by Deb Houdek Rule
This is a science fiction story that is one of those stories based on an interesting notion that occurred to me–what if you needed to terraform a planet fast, in a catastrophic way, much as Earth was changed in the past at the time of major extinctions, but by intent. ©1998 D. A Houdek (Deb Houdek Rule)
“I have news from Earth that affects us all, and affects our mission.”
A murmur rippled through the crew. To Jurnee and most of the other younglings, Earth was nothing but a distant myth, not something that could actually touch them.
Captain raised her hand for silence. “It’s a series of messages, we’ve only received later ones. Something happened on Earth. We can’t determine what it was, whether a natural disaster, or war, or what. Whatever the cause, a series of ships were forced to depart from Earth, starting out not more than a decade after us. Like ours, they’re asteroid ships, but constructed in haste, and without full resources, they have the capacity to reach only one destination.” She looked meaningfully at the star again. “This one.”
Unheard in the noise of the crew’s reaction came Jurnee’s whispered, “Oh, no.”