In the distance, beyond the departing star cruiser, the red tidal wave of energy rolled ever onwards.
Her job was almost complete. A few switches to pull and a button to press and she could leave this earth. Despite being told during the nexus training regime to not get close to any reality, she had decided to call this earth, Home. For the last twenty three years and five months, she had done her duty in preserving the planet as best she could. There had been little in the way of incidents during that time. An invasion of Dinosaurs that sounded like they were from the south west country and the plague of watches aside, it had been a quiet posting. It was a shame to have to say goodbye to it now but orders were orders. Plus her nexus agent training had given her a set of techniques to help her cope with, what back then had been a hypothetical situation. Now it was really happening. The destruction wave was a real thing and as it was currently making its way across the multiple earths and realities that lay within the orrerry, it was now her time to say goodbye to earth home.
She had heard horror stories over the nexus communication network, about worlds and realities that refused to believe they were in danger from something that they could not see. By the time the threat had become visible, it was too late to save the majority of the world populations. Luckily she must have lived on a more open minded world as the various countries governments had united quickly and arranged an evacuation plan within a year. Less than 3 months afterwards, the first ships were leaving for a myriad of destinations. The occupants of the interplanetary craft, heading for a new life somewhere out there.
Checking the instruments in her command centre for a final time, she saw an anomoly. typical, she thought, it was going far too smoothly. I should have been ready for something like this. The Nexus had its enemies out there in the orrerry and they would like nothing more than to interfere with any plans that had been laid down to save as many people as possible. Grabbing her jacket from the back of her metal chair, she checked the co-ordinates, programmed her jump technology and turned to the right.
The figure that stood at the sea front was humming something to himself as she approached. Seemingly lost in his own thoughts, he did not flinch as she approached.
“Excuse me,” she asked him politely but firmly, “You know that you should not be here right now?”
The man turned to her and registered her presence for the first time. A smile crept across his face as he removed a pair of ear pieces that blared the same tune that he had been humming.
“Hello,” he said, rather jauntily she felt, “Sorry I just thought I would have a few moments to myself here before….well…the end.”
He stood slightly smaller than her and she accepted and returned the handshake that was offered.
“Well I have no record of anyone staying behind and since you were not here five minutes ago, my guess is that you are some sort of reality wave rider. I have a duty to inform you that this earth is in the process of being removed from existence by a force, or forces unknown”. Her tone had become more business like to help underline her point. “The entire population of this earth has been evacuated to a new homeworld for their safety.”
He turned to look out over the cold, angry north Sea.
“I know,” she could see his eyes twinkling almost as if in delight, “It is nice and quiet now.” He turned back to her, still smiling. “Is it not beautiful?” His hand gestured around the two of them, “All this silence. No machines hum tainting the background. No crowds of people walking about, their eyes glued to their mobile phones, ignoring each other? It is a paradise.”
They stood in silence for what felt like a minute or two, but in reality could not have been more than a few seconds.
“It is such a shame that this will all be gone soon.”
She had found herself nodding. Despite knowing that it was coming, her duty had kept her busy enough to not think about what was actually happening. her world, her home would soon not exist. There, just beyond her perception, a fear lurked that she may not even remember that she had lived her for so long. Would that mean that every single part of her life that had happened, Friendships, her loves, cities she had visited, even her favourite bands would just disappear?
Her chest hurt.
“How long do we have left my dear?”
She automatically glanced at the chronal device attached to her jacket.
“I have to leave in about thirty minutes, so maybe,” she paused as she worked it out, “Three quarters of an hour at most.”
The man nodded and looked back out towards the advancing red tidal wave.
“Well I suppose we have time then.” He reached out his hand and took hers without waiting. “Let us have this last dance together.” It was not a question.
The music got louder, no longer filtered by the mans ear pieces. It seemed to wrap itself around them both as he held her tightly to him and they danced across the sand, slowly and completely out of time with the tune. The sky got darker as they moved together and she found herself closing her eyes. A strange sense of calm flowed through her and if she had been looking for memories of her past life, she would have seen them fade away like smoke in the night air.