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Rated: E · Fiction · Nature · #2318544
Two astronauts visit their old home.
The two astronauts surveyed the landscape.

"There we go," Bryan reported as the last sample needed was collected.

"And...?" Harry asked.

Bryan glanced at the monitor on the side of the sample container. "Our ecology team has to do more analysis but it is not looking good. The toxicity levels are still showing as too dangerous to sustain human life."

Harry sighed. It wasn't a surprise. He could see the sludge around his legs. It was good that the astronaut outfit doubled as a hazmat suit.

"Shall we head back?" Bryan asked.



"Sorry ... Just I was just taking it in a moment more." The astronaut nodded. "Yes let's go. "

As the two of them headed back to their shuttle. Bryan chatted with his teammate. "So what did you think of her?"


"The home world... I heard our ancestors used to personify her from time to time. They even saw her as a mother... Mother Earth".

"Mother Earth ... It sounds so weird."

"It was a completely different time. The planet really sustained us at that point. She gave us food, water, shelter before she became uninhabitable."

Harry nodded. "The photos of the planet in the archive look so different from now."

"Toxic waste, ozone depletion and poor environmental maintenance will do that. You can see why we had to evacuate."

"Yes I feel like we could have done more to preserve her though ... you know before it got this bad. There were enough warning signs... melting glaciers, they even had an air quality index established early on."

"Give our ancestors a little bit of credit. They did try to reverse course once they new. They went into preservation mode... create recycle bins to conserve resources material. They even had a hug a tree campaign" He smiled as Harry snickered. "Yes that was a real thing."

"It didn't help much... they kept burning 'her' out"

"Well you need to keep in mind that it isn't easy to change out habits. Now we monitor environmental maintenance much more closely but back then our ancestors were expected to change their lifestyles after doing the same thing for decades. It makes sense they were slow to respond. It is hard to do."

"Perhaps ..." Harry shrugged. "I guess nothing lasts forever... Still it would have been nice to visit this planet in its heyday."

"Yes." Bryan agreed.

As the two reached their shuttle, Harry voiced one more thought "Do you think 'she' will ever be livable again?"

"Judging from today's findings, it seems like it will be a little bit of a wait." He tilted his head not dismissing the possibility entirely. "...Still who knows what the future holds?"

The astronauts boarded their spaceship and leaving behind the the ruins of the planet that had once housed the human race for close to 300,000 years.

Word Count: 472 Words

Prompt: In honor of Earth Day (April 22), include all of the following in your story or poem, bolded:

melting glaciers
recycling bin
Mother Earth
hug a tree

Choose NATURE as one of your genres.
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