La Terre’s Sovereign Bartholomew Ritter, faced with an invading Lem’ing fleet, decides to destroy his colony world instead.
Governor’s Office

A large open room with expensive looking hard wood floors and panelling. A black desk rests in the middle of the room with a comfortable looking leather chair set behind it. In front of the desk is a much less comfortable looking wooden chair for visitors. Filing cabinets line the walls to the sides of the desk. The wall opposite the entrance is a large window with a view of the town of New Paris.

The light filtering into your office begins to dim as if a cloud has just passed before the sun.

** Warning klaxons begin to scream in the distance. **

Sereval rushes in. “Did you hear that?” He inquires.

Sereval glances around and rushes out.

Ritter leans back in his chair as he keys his comlink, “Sgt. Preston, are the charges set and the switch hooked to my computer?” The answer comes back, “Yes Sir, press enter and that’s all she wrote.” he nods grimly and sits back waiting, his finger poised over the enter key.

Eryn stands from her chair at the sound of the klaxons, “Shit!”

Ritter looks over at Eryn and smiles softly, “Try to stay calm, we play the waiting game now.”

Eryn moves to Ritter’s side and rests a shaky hand on his shoulder, “Bart, It doesn’t matter. I know I’ve been living on borrowed time since Earth blew anyway.” She smiles wanly at Ritter, “I’m just glad I was given a bit more time to live, and to meet you.”

The sky continues to darken overhead, the sun all but blotted out as tiny red streaks begin to form in the atmosphere.

Ritter nods his head and returns the smile as he watches the screen, “I’m glad we had the time that we did, it’s definitely been interesting.” his finger rests on the enter key now.

Eryn glances out the window as her arm goes around Ritter’s shoulders, “I wonder if this is what Earth was like before it went.”

Ritter says, “I don’t know, but the earth didn’t blow it’s still there, it’s just an irradiated dust ball.”

Eryn’s hand grips Ritter’s shoulder, “Doesn’t much matter, everyone I loved there are gone. The rock doesn’t matter as much as the people, Bart.” she whispers as she can’t take her eyes off the sky.

Ritter nods his head only slightly, “True, very true, who knows, some day maybe compassion and caring will be universal and violence and chaos will be a thing of the past.” he keeps watching the screen, “Come on in, that’s it, come to papa.”

As minutes tick by, more and more red lights begin to burn in the planet’s atmosphere. The loudspeakers which were hastily rigged by LTDF Soldiers fortunate to escape the destruction of the orbiting station begin to announce the presence of incoming vessels.

Eryn steps closer to Ritter till her body touches his. She looks down at him as he sits at the desk, “Just one more thing, Bart.”

Sereval rushes in. “We have a problem here.”

Ritter looks up from his console for only a second, then back to it, “I am well aware of it.”

Eryn stands by Ritter’s side, very close to him, her arm around his shoulders as he sits at the desk. She turns from looking out the window to the person who just entered.

At a distance, the incoming vessels appear to be moving at a snail’s pace through the darkened sky over La Terre but up close, at several hundred miles away and leveling out as they near the planet’s surface, their speed being so fast that a pocket of dust several miles high has collected in the pocket of of air behind them as they cruise along a dozen times faster than the speed of sound.

Ritter turns and gives Eryn a soft kiss on the lips, then turns back to his screen, “My god have mercy on us all.” he presses the enter key igniting all the charges that we placed in the Polydenum mines.

Eryn leans down to Ritter and kisses his cheek, not caring who’s here to see, she says quietly as a tear rolls down her cheek, “Just in case I don’t get to say this later, Bart. I love you and I wish we could have been married before this happened. But if I die today, I wanted you to know, how much I’ve enjoyed our short time together.”

The planet shivers as depth charges deep within the planet’s crust ignite…

Ritter leans back in the chair and places his hands over Eryns as he closes his eyes.

Eryn slips into Ritter’s lap and circles her arms around his neck. She buries her face in his neck and waits.

Sereval calmly leaves the room, lighting a cigarette on the way.

Ritter says, “At least we’ll take that damn fleet with us.”

Sereval heads into Government Offices. Sereval has left.

The death of a planet, despite what the holovids would describe, is a rather slow process. The shuddering crust begins to quake even further, items falling away from store shelves. The incoming vessels, not having fired a shot yet, remain on a straight course, using the planet’s natural curve to fire them off back into space. The only legacy of the Lem’ing’s short invasion of La Terre is the sonic booms which go unnoticed.

Eryn nods and tightens her hug, she whispers, her eyes tightly shut, “How long will it take? Love you, love you, love you…”

Ritter smiles, “Well the tectonic plates will have it breaking apart any time now, since Polydenum is a highly volatile energy and the planet’s core will pop like a kettle with a lid on it.”

Eryn nods and buries her face against his neck, she smiles a little, “I can’t imagine anyone else I would want to die with, Bart. I hope it won’t hurt much.”

Ritter hugs her to him, “I tend to think it happens so fast you don’t feel any pain, at least we can hope.”

Eryn sighs and grins a little, “If we survive this, I want to get married right away, understood?” she leans back a little to look at Ritter.

The large bay window to the office erupts, shards of glass flowing in towards the two individuals like a pack of piranha.

The quaking continues to grow more and more intense as a wall of dust rises from the planet’s surface like a ghostly wraith at midnight. Polydenum deposits begin to go off, large pieces of land erupting up into the sky – The sky … oddly enough, is clearing, the vessels orbiting around it moving as if of single mind. Those still racing for the expanse of space, several thousand of them, are cut in half as chunks of earth impale against them, spinning their hulls around ito oblivion.

The last thing seen by the inhabitants of La Terre in regards to something other than the destruction of their planet is a brilliant flash that bleaches away any shadows. A good portion of the orbiting fleet has jumped away, others still fighting to maintain and save themselves.

In less than ten minutes, the world of La Terre and all its inhabitants are no more.

By Brody

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