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When the Sun Goes Out
Heavy titanium doors clanged into place, sealing out the bleak, barren lands. Swirling bitter drafts were soon replaced by the gentle warmth of immense heaters. But the wind, cold and primeval, could still be heard moaning outside if one chose to listen.
The motley crowds of people chose not to listen to the wind. Instead, they cheered for the person who had saved them from the long night that lurked outside the solid steel doors.
Smiling, the man waited for the applause to die down. When it had finally decreased to the occasional outburst the man began to speak.
“When astronomers first spotted the Blot on the Sun, the world was transfixed by this sudden, unprecedented change. As the Blot grew, Earth became colder and darker for lack of sunlight.”
Frantic footfalls and a series of thumps somewhere backstage went unnoticed while the man went on speaking for several minutes. Finally, he reached his conclusion.
“Do not forget that it was the cooperation between each and every person that made this facility, its hydroponic farms, nuclear reactors, and other machine to ensure humanity’s continued existence. I do not ask you to forget what, and who, you left behind, but to safeguard those memories and strive towards progress in remembrance of them. Thank you.”
With a bow, the man left the stage to thunderous applause and cheering. However, over the noise the robots could be heard beginning to weld tungsten plates to the massive doors. Backstage, a still-struggling astronomer had been pinned down by several security guards. Smile gone now, the man turned to the guards.
“Take him down to Level 7 and make sure he stays there.”
As the astronomer was hauled away, he screamed at the retreating back of the man.
“You said that we ourselves have to ensure humanity’s continued existence, didn’t you?!? Then why didn’t you tell them the Blot was artificial?!?”
Outside, there was only the wind, moaning through the wasteland.