I pitied the public in my spare time. I felt sorrow for the oblivious when I remembered to do so. If I had a minute of downtime, I realized that our plan was happening plain in their faces while every day unfurled steady progress. The ordinary citizens were powerless, too busy technology-crunching or fast-food-munching to do more than pander their days away consuming. They didn’t have a clue what was happening, and it was my job to assure they never found out.
I considered myself special. I was on the inside. My people were quiet and our project was discrete. Coordinating the shuttle flights, I oversaw the team which worked the remote areas for departing and returning passenger crafts.
While I managed the flight logs, my buddy over in media saw to the meticulous care of blasting insignificant stories on repeat during news broadcasts; occasionally something (I considered transparent) would slip: a senator retiring without justifiable cause, a soap opera star leaving the set after years in the limelight, the highest ranking city officials not running for reelection.
Yet even these stories would never give us away.
Entire planes gone missing, the supposed assassination of key politicians, elite families abducted by recently-emerged terrorist groups: these things called more public attention and were assigned greater interest by news anchors; these stories trended seventy-two hours and then faded away in the blur of new stimuli dropped by the media.
Our planet was rapidly evacuating, and hardly anyone knew of it.
When the Vatican telescope confirmed the impending arrival of impacting asteroids- a confirmed thirty-thousand bits of galactic boulder heading our way- it was decided to keep the public unaware. No plan could be executed to save us all. The lists and diagrams were formed, week-long committees held, and at last, names were put on flight logs from our planet to Space Station.
While the public thought to mourn the loss of some over-dosed celebrity, I was shaking the starlet’s hand while they boarded the space craft. I saw all sorts of people come through: new money, old money, the famous, the brilliant, those afraid to leave, all afraid to stay.
Yet with every flight I saw depart, I should have demanded my way onboard. I suppose I always assumed one crew would be back in time to take me away.
You’d think that when I found myself unemployed, I would be full of the same pity I felt for the common citizens, myself now one of them; instead, I was lost in silent pandemonium, awaiting destruction: no true government in place, no entertainment stars coaxing us into a stupor. It seemed only a matter of time before civilization crumbled. You’d think I would have been beside myself with remorse.
Only, I was too busy laughing to feel sorry for myself. For weeks past, I saw the arrogant, the prideful, the money-hungry and the savage board their evacuation shuttles without even a glance back at the society they were leaving to die. I couldn’t help but laugh when the sky became dark, the light of the sun obscured by a field of asteroids; I laughed, and laughed, our planet unharmed, as the space station appeared as another shooting star, massive explosions, flying overhead.