Date 2017. It has been five years since life ended on Earth. I got a front row seat to the end of existence. I sat up here on my throne, all alone as everyone and everything I ever cared about turned to ash and died in front of me.
It all ended in fire and bright lights. The world wiped out in one fluid moment. I never thought humanity would ever go down this road. We where warned that we would be the death of ourselves, but being stubborn we never looked at the warning signs. We just kept marching to our Doom.
I plan on ending my life after this memo. Today is my birthday, I am Jack Robertson and I am thirty one years old.
I was born and grew up in a small town in Nebraska called Red Cloud. My Dad, James, worked as a truck driver who spent days on the road without seening us. But we didn’t mind because it put food on our plate.
My Mam, Stephenie, was a stay at home mother who thought my brother and me a lot of what we know.
My brother, Frank, was two years younger than me but we got on like brothers got on. We fought but we never really meant anything by it.
I had the typical country boy lifestyle, grew up fighting other boys, kissing all the girls and playing football after school. Fell in love with Cindy Lawrence who ended up breaking my heart. By all standards I had a pretty good life, but an uneventful one.
Until in my last year of school when an Army recruiter came to visit. That soldier stood up on the school stage, looking like a hero. His medals polished and proudly displayed on his chest. His uniform carefully cleaned and ironed. I had never seen a man before who looked so proud and confindate as he did.
I fell for what he was selling, the promise of a life full of adventure, college paged for me and friends for ever. A month after I left high-school I was leaving home to serve.
I got my head shaved, my gear and a bunk. All the typical G.I ‘pleasures’. The training was the most intense I had ever done. But I quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant and had my own men to command and see through the training.
A year after training and small details, my platoon was been shipped out to Afghanistan. By this time I was twenty and had been promted to Sergeant First Class. My time over there was one of the most terrifying of my life. But I couldn’t really show it incase my men picked up on it and fear struck them as well. I killed three men over there…..and a boy.
The second biggest regret of my life. In the middle of a fire fight with some Taliban, this young boy ran out of a building that was in the compound that we where fighting in. I heard something behind me, turned and shot. A single gunshot wound through the heart.
I remember the just slidding down the wall staring at this kid I had killed. I dropped my gun and kept looking at him. My heart broken and tears streaming down my ash covered cheeks.
I hated myself so much then. I could never forgive myself. But fortunately for me no one saw and a grenade expolding around on the other side of the house brought me back to reality, I picked up my weapon and ran on. I couldn’t let anyone ever find out.
My brother Frank followed in my footsteps and joined the Army as well. After a year of training and small duties for him, he got sent to Afghanistan as well. My parents were so proud. Their two sons serving their country. I was happy and so was Frank. We felt like we were helping the world.
A month after Frank set foot in Afghanistan and IED went off and killed him and two others that were traveling in a humvee on a patrol in an area thought to be under our control.
I had to write home and tell my parents that their baby was dead. I was a wreck for two weeks after it and the Army gave me time off to go home and deal with it.
After the funeral we held for Frank, I walked through my home town looking at everywhere me and Frank had played as kids, everywhere we got in trouble and everywhere we fought.
I cried so much that night. I had never felt so uncertain in my life. I wanted to leave the Army and get away from it but I couldn’t just leave the service like that.
I thought of all my options and eventually went into an Army office in Omaha and explained my situation. The officer in there nearly ripped the head off me. His eyes when I was talking felt like they were ripping my soul out. I didn’t blame him but I couldn’t stay in the Army anymore after Frank’s death.
After been yelled at and threatened with court martial for twenty minutes he left the room to be replaced by another officer. This guy seemed more at ease and like he understood where I was coming from. He told me I couldn’t leave the Army but with my rank I could be moved to another section. Usually they wouldn’t do this but he made a special case for me, he told me why as well. He too had lost someone close to him while serving and felt like he couldn’t go on.
After been giving a list of options, only one stood out. One that me and Frank used to lay under the stars and night and wonder about. To stand with the Titans and see everything between our thumb and finger. An Astronaut.
My heart almost skipped a beat. I asked him about it and he told me NASA was having trouble with budgets and wanted fit soldiers to try an new program they where starting.
I signed up straight away.
Too float between the stars and look down on Earth was something me and Frank always talked about as kids by when we grew up we just forgot about.
After my two weeks off, I headed off to start my training with NASA. I thought the Army training was hard but that was nothing compared to the training required to be an Astronaut.
For two years I went through the most grueling physical pain of my life. But I came out trained too fly through space. I was able to look up and say to Frank, “I’ll join you up there soon.”
A mission came up four years later that required me to head into space to take over the running of a one man space station. My home for the past five years. It was only meant to last three months. I would have been in radio contact with home base every day. So I was never really alone, but beening alone up there for three months at a time was found to be just under the limit of what people could handle.
I said goodbye to my parents, goodbye to everyone I grew up with in the Red Cloud. I assured them that I’d see them again before they knew it. I never did.
The day came, I was in my shuttle, all ready to go and I blasted off, away from Earth. For ever, never to set foot down there again.
I was greeted by the Astronaut who had spent the last three months up here. The shuttles crew unloaded all my provisions and equipment that I needed for the next three months.
The airlock closed behind me as they left and I was on my own. I watched through the window as the shuttle headed back to Earth leaving me here on my own.
For a solid hour I just sat by a bigger window and watched the Earth rotate. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It seemed to peaceful. So far away. Everything I had ever done just seemed to pointless. The war, Frank dying over something that just didn’t seem to matter up here in the stars.
For a month, I went about the daily routine of excerise, maintance, talking to home base and staring at the world, knowing my time here was limited.
Then one day I could’t get a answer from the radio. I checked the radio and the satellites to mark sure everything was working and they where. I talked into the radio for a soild hour trying to reach someone, anyone. I hard never felt so lonely. I left the radio on with the static playing in the backround.
Each day I grew more desperate. I broke down once and couldn’t get control of myself again for 4 hours. This went on for five days.
Then it happened. The fire, the bright lights. The end of the world. I don’t know what started it and I never will. But I seen massive explosions over America, then China and then Russia. Then the world. Massive balls of light where appering all over the world and then nothing. From my time in the Army I could tell these where nuclear.
I couldn’t tear myself away from the the site. It was the most horrible yet most amazing view I had every seen.
Everyone I had ever know gone, just like that. Swept away in a flood of light and fire. I couldn’t even cry, I couldn’t even scream. I just stood there for I don’t know how long.
Watching as the vision was burned into my brain.
I could see the world dying every day, it wasn’t as bright as it used to be, it looked darker. I was stuck in here in my castle while the world died.
My biggest regret was becoming an Astronaut, I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had died on Earth with everyone instead of this lonely existance I’ve been forced into.
Today is my Birthday and today is the day I die. My name was Jack Robertson. Goodbye to whoever reads this.
Just as I finished writing this memo, took one last look at the Earth and got ready to kill myself, a single word was spoken over the radio to me, “Hello….”. I am not alone anymore.