The shadow reached him. Karl looked up at the sky in disbelief as the Dark Star started to eclipse the sun. Only a week ago the news had broken, and since then anyone who could get off-planet had packed up and gone. The streets were in chaos. Sirens were sounding. There was only a small chance that the world could be saved, and Karl knew that it was his responsibility.
Earlier that morning when Karl awoke, the morning light was almost painful. It had been another long night working the LIV. After just three hours of sleep, Karl was starting to wonder how he could continue working both a night and day job. He knew it was not a choice though, and he had to be back at work in just half an hour. “There’s no time to be tired today,” Karl muttered to himself while pulling on his coat. “People need me.”
Thirty minutes later, Karl was sitting at his station on the 85th floor of Bell Towers, home of the LIV. The Light Interstellar Vehicle, or “LIV”, had left Karl with burns all over his hands. Ever since the announcement about the Dark Star, the LIV had been working around the clock, sending people off-planet to safety. All that was needed was a cool million dollars and a ticket was yours, leaving only the other nine billion humans on Earth to wait and learn what their fate would be.
Karl peered out the window at the view. Boston had become one of the largest cities in the world after the discovery of Cold Fusion, and as Karl gazed out, he thought to himself how the city now had the skyline to prove it. After Cold Fusion’s unveiling in 2059, everyone wanted to be a part of this new industry and its promise to change the world for the better, and many people got rich in the process. All of this led to Bell Labs becoming the largest company in the world over the course of just three months.
But that was just the beginning. In 2109, Bell Corp. discovered how to apply Cold Fusion technology to interstellar travel, and the LIV was born. Karl had seen old movies about a spaceship called “Enterprise” where people were beamed from one location to another. The LIV actually made that possible. In the last seven days alone, the LIV had “beamed” over 2 billion people to other planets. Unfortunately, these people had a good reason to leave: the Dark Star.
Called the “Dark Star” because of its dark black surface ringed with lava-spewing volcanoes, this threat was actually a large asteroid... and it was headed straight for Earth!
Karl was one of the scientists at Bell helping to coordinate the evacuation. He had been a child protégé and graduated from MIT with a degree in particle physics, but even though he was a genius, Karl’s young age meant he got no respect. This was never more apparent than the day Karl had a brilliant idea to save Earth from the Dark Star.
“What if...” Karl exclaimed, running up to his coworkers, “What if we used the LIV to DESTROY the Dark Star?”
The older scientists all laughed heartily. “How can we use the LIV for that?” snapped Dr. Hector Platus, the self-proclaimed leader of the group. “It’s too busy moving people off-planet to safety!”
But now Karl looked up to see the sky continue to darken. It was only midday, but it looked like dusk. Karl left his desk and took the elevator down, on the way bumping into Kali, the beautiful daughter of the President of Bell Corp.
Kali looked at Karl, worried. “It’s started, hasn’t it?” she asked in a whisper.
By the time Karl and Kali stepped out on the street, sirens were piercing the air and people were taking cover anywhere they could find shelter. Seven days of extreme weather had secretly been predicted by scientists, but to avoid further panic, government leaders were telling the public as little as possible.
Karl looked up as the shadow of Dark Star reached him, and in that moment he knew that he had just seven days to save the planet.