Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2145905-An-Old-Hope
Rated: GC · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2145905
The time is running out for all life. One last hope remains, but will it be in vain?
The last red dwarf will inevitably die, and the entire universe will fall into eternal darkness. The cosmos will be filled with nothing, but black holes and drifting remnants of the what once was mighty civilisations. Trillions will perish, and trillions more will have never even existed. The last and the oldest star in the cosmos named by the beings of all species resting and holding onto it for life as "hope." Final bastion of life, the penultimate, the omega, the just before the end: "Hope," is the final refuge for humanity as well as all others. No more wars, no more conflict and murder. The ultimate peace could only have dawned on life as it came to the brink of extinction, only after 200 trillion years from the birth of this universe. All other red dwarfs had perished, and all colonies went cold, forever.

The star, and the colony, was named "Hope" not because it was the last star it could be lived around just to wait for extinction, but it was named hope for the anomaly it had. A way out from this universe. A rupture in space and time. In reality. It was- "

"Are you watching this again?" Dawien asked to his fellow scientist.

"Well, what else to do? We did all the preparations, now we wait," Corren replied.

"You could just rest, or come talk with us. Watching this is depressing. We have a way out. No need to worry."

"A way out? You think that is a way out? We found a supposedly a wormhole leading to fuck knows what. Even if we can enlarge it enough for convoys to travel, chances are they will end up somewhere were the laws of physics do not work as they do here."

"We could just travel back in time? That is quite possible. Think about that? 100 trillion years into the past. 100 trillion more years to fix the universe. To find a true solution to the death."

"Do you think that is even better? Travel through time? Universe wouldn't allow such a risk. Paradox possibility is off the charts."

"Wouldn't allow? It's already dying. Why the hell would it care anyway? It's not like it's a sapient being."

"Dying? Only thing that is dying is us. Life. Universe is eternal. It just had some light for not even a fraction of its lifetime. It doesn't even have a life time. Universe is fine Dawien, we are the ones that are dying."

"Fine, be pessimistic at the last hours of your lifetime, not like you will regret it."

Dawien left his colleague in the darkness he found him and went away. Corren continued watching the propaganda for the project "Hope." He didn't even know why he watched it. Not like it gave him any hope, or any sanity. He was not afraid either. He knew that death of the universe is no different than death of himself. Either way he was going to be gone forever even if the cosmos remained. He even left his parents in the far away colony that got destroyed. He was taken for his science degree. His parents begged him to leave, so he did.

Hope colony took no refugees from any other stars for it was already over it's supply limit. The colony housed billions of living creatures when it was designed to house a billion at most. The colony was a gigantic ring around the dying red dwarf. A sphere was thought to be built to house trillions, but the resources were either to be diverted to housing trillions just for them to die a little later, or the project that could ultimately save the billions. The choice, however hard to make, was obvious.

Some humans wanted to dub the colony "Noah's Ark," from an archaic and long-gone Earth religion, but it was better thought to be called something all species could understand. The ring had different sections for different biospheres to house the specific species. Sapient and non- sapient were being housed. This caused some outrage that people couldn't bring their families and fellow species just to house something that is called a "dog," or a "whale." So, only one per non-sapient species was decided instead of the two for meiosis-way breading creatures. However, this increased the risk for their DNA corruption on reproduction.

The oscillating sirens rang throughout the ring to call the refugees for extraction. Corren didn't even sleep for a second the entire night time. Still, he was late. He got dressed and walked fast to his station. He passed through corridors of barracks and passed through a dozen of security points. Finally, he passed the last security station and reached the huge hall of the machinery. It was a device of immense size, same circumference as the ring. It was basically the ring. It was enclaving the rupture that was around the star.

"Where the hell were you?" his superior Maadroh asked.

"I am here now," was the reply.

"Man your station, now!"

Corren walked to his processor and started to run the numbers. The entire ring was on high alert. Nobody knew what was going to happen once the massive construct activated. Poking the rupture could have unimaginable consequences, but that did not matter anymore. The machinery started to make incredible amount of sound throughout the entire colony. Way over 160 decibels. Certain to give hearing damage to all species that had ability to hear even with ear protection, but that didn't matter at all.

"Come on, don't you explode. Come on. Give a response. Come on!" the superior was shouting.

An hour had passed, and people were losing hope. They had to close the device soon or the station was going to overheat to explosion.

"Should we stop sir?" Dawien asked.

"No! If we stop now, we might not have another day. The star is way too unstable. It could die any day. Today might be our only shot."

"Sir, the B992 sector is experiencing overheating issues," an engineer informed.

"Z 352 as well sir," another engineer pointed out.

"And K011. We have at most 15 minutes to critical failure."

"Keep going."

22 minutes passed, and 509 more sectors reported over heating problems. So far over ten thousand workers had died keeping the device from exploding. Dawien got up with fury and moved to the main command node.

"The hell are you doing!" project leader Maadroh shouted.

"I am closing it. We are going to die!"

"No you won't. Guards!"

Guards came running and restrained Dawien by force.
"You are going to destroy the last remains of life! You won't be even remembered for it. Stop the fucking machine! We can try again later."

"No, we can't. Keep going."

The pipes started to crack inside the huge hall. Radiation was almost certainly leaking.

"We need to stop sir!" another engineer shouted.

"We need to- "

A shockwave went through the entire ring. Not enough to kill anyone, but certainly enough to shock them.

"What the hell happened?"

"The- the device sir. It worked. The wormhole, it's open," Corren informed the project leader.

"Extend the gateways. Open the radiation shields. Follow the protocol. We need to be quick."

"Are- are we going in sir?" Dawien asked after the guards let him go.

"Yes, we have no time."

"What about survey teams? We don't know what is on the other side."

"It is a one-way wormhole. The survey rays are not coming back."

"So, sending the team is meaningless? But we don't know what is on the other side?"

"We know death is on this side. Whatever is on the other side is no worse than our faith here. Now, lets evacuate everyone, then ourselves."

The success sirens rang on all station announcers. The population cheered and cried. They didn't know that other side was not surveyed. They could've guest, some of course did, but nobody cared. They had a way out. All species, with their families and their minds moved to the extraction bridges on the inner sides of the entire ring, touching the wormhole. The first one to go in was interestingly a stowaway that got in the station through incredible luck. He first touched the wormhole. He lost the senses of his hand, but this was to be expected. After all, the wormhole separated two different realities.

It hurt all their minds to stare at the wormhole which was like to glare at the emptiness. Beyond any comprehension. The stowaway couldn't pull back his hand back, as expected, and did a leap of faith into the unknown. After all the refugees were extracted It was time for the scientists and guards. They all went to the gates and walked through the darkness. Corren waited behind for all of them to go in first. The last guard walked with courage.

Corren thought. He was the last living being in the entire cosmos now. He was the only one. Truly alone. Then he didn't think anything anymore, and just took a step into the oblivion.

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