The Last Sunset

CODE BLACK. Those words filled the hologram table, causing everyone to look at each other in uncomfortable silence. These two words were the ones that children were taught to fear at a young age, the ones that their mothers threatened them when they wouldn’t drink their medicine. CODE BLACK continued to flash, and it finally hit us; this really was the end of the world.

There were ten codes used by everyone on Earth; white, indigo, red, green, blue, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and black. White meant there was a video that people needed to watch, but that happened from time to time. Black was used only once since this system had been adopted, during the alien invasion of 2070. That had been disastrous, and it took five years for all of the humans evacuated to return to Earth. Thirty years later, it was being used for the same purpose; the end of the world.

Everyone in the house grabbed what they could fit into their emergency pack. Water, some food, and a small memento were all the pack was designed to hold. I added an extra sandwich in place of most of the memento space, and slipped in a photograph for the sliver of room left. The picture was of me and my family standing at the edge of a cliff during a Hawaiian sunset, and it was my most prized possession. This picture reminded me of family and peace, and if I had to evacuate, I wanted it with me. Satisfied with my pack, I met my family in the front yard, where we ran off to catch an evac-tram.

Standard procedure dictated that when CODE BLACK was issued, each city would evacuate via a government-issued starship. It had a design similar to your “television” show Star Trek, but there was no glossy exterior; that would only hinder its purpose. Inside, everyone filed in to get to their seats, their faces that of loss and despair. However, I saw a few that had hope hidden in their eyes, believing that we would return if the incident was dealt with. I couldn’t believe that we were actually leaving for good, but just in case, I stared out into the distance, towards the object that was the cause of all of this, the object that was skirting the faraway lake’s edge.
And so I gazed at the last sunset I would ever see on Earth.





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