I watch in deep sadness. Great heaving sobs push to escape. I let them rise then swallow before they break the surface of things. I can’t look at Dao, my research partner. We’ll both lose it. I sigh instead.
‘Definitely the last human.’ Dao finally speaks.
‘Lights out time for the planet.’ I manage to keep my voice steady.
‘Leeta, we were fortunate. We saw them at their best.’
‘I know, Ancient Greece, India. I was hoping they’d get through the techno age without consuming themselves to death.’
‘You’re being much too harsh. So many were starting to find truth.’
‘I was so convinced it would be enough. They’d make it.’ My eyes moisten. A tear escapes.
‘Ah, Leeta, highly unlikely they’d survive their own climate change.’
‘It’s not a they, they’re an us. We are almost the same species. We both had birth cycles there.’ I reach for the tissues.
Dao starts forming a report in his mind. Words appear at the side of the display. I stare at the Earth image. Black clouds circulate. Even the fiery flashes of red are almost gone. Little oxygen. It mightn’t be our’s but it was the closest thing we had to a home. Our own planet was now a frozen rock. Mars like. In less than a thousand years Earth would look much the same. No green, no life, just icy oceans and tundra. Another Titan for the Solar System.
I fiddle with the controls. A life blimp appears on the screen. ‘Daoe, can you see it?’
‘Ahhh. Deep sea. Damn it,’
‘Could be more.’ I turn up,the amplification to receive signals from the ocean depths. There’s thousands. A message comes in from the underwater team down the corridor.
‘Hey guys. Blobbo here. Looks like we won the bet. Still hundreds of viable colonies down deep. Pretty stable environment.’
‘Not forever. Will they be able to adapt?’ Daoe asks.
‘Adapt? Of course they’ll adapt. Radiation’s our middle name.’ Blobbo laughs an underwater gurgley laugh. ‘And don’t you humanoids insult us by even thinking the intelligence question.’
I tap the spirit view. Planet-loads. Daoe raises his eyebrows. ‘Where there’s spirits there’s hope. Must be still a future for life there.’
I purse my lips. Huge sigh. ‘Not for our kind. Not for us.’