Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Saw a Cat in a Tree

I was walking down the street and I saw a cat in a tree. This was odd, seeing as how most things tended to float away in zero-gee. Perhaps the cat had mastered the ability to stay in one place despite his short time aloft. It was hard to discern its continence—it always is with cats. It seemed to be doing better than most, though; after all, it did not have the benefit of magnetic traction boots to hold it in place as we had. Was he clinging with all his might, as most did, grasping onto any available handhold; or was he merely comfortable… As I watched him, perched upon a branch as he was, I wondered as to its origins.

“The Street” was what we called the long, porthole-lined corridor commonly used by the crew and passengers to go between opposite ends of the ship, where the majority of habitable spaces were. Lately there wasn’t as much traffic here as there had been at the start of the trip; the ships ferrying refugees from below had long since canceled service, and nearly everyone had settled into whatever place would have them. All told, there were perhaps several thousand souls on board, from all walks of life. Rich, poor, religious—well, not so many of those, these days—basically all who had been within commuting distance of the port with the big, shiny, silver rockets two days ago, when the sirens started.

The asteroid hove into view not long after we left orbit. It didn’t look especially menacing, just another rock left over from when the planets formed. It slowly tumbled about on an irregular axis, alternating between light and dark as it rotated into view. Oblong and several hundred kilometers from end to end, it seemed stately; a perfectly proper thing to exist. We lost sight of it against the backdrop of clouds and ocean just before we reached the moon’s orbit.

The impact was nearly imperceptible at first, as far out as we were, and we were already well past the moon when the first signs of debris began to stream silently by. And there, on the other side of the porthole, among the rocks and the dirt and all the other detritus of a dying planet, there it was. Sailing against the backdrop of stars, coldly staring back at me, I saw a cat in a tree.

An Introduction

I am a 35 year old, full-time college student. I like to write things occasionally. I also like to blather on about sciencey-type things. Cheers!