The following is a personal journal entry of astronomer Dr. Adam Vowbind, who was aboard the Deep Horizon Space Station during what has become known as the Firefall. The Deep Horizon was responsible for deep space imaging. The station was manned by a four person crew accompanied by a team of six scientists, including Dr. Vowbind.
Aris Holden - Historian
I don't think there has been a darker day in my life than the day that asteroid began its barrage on the Earth. We had thought it would pass us by. The trajectory was all wrong for a collision. My colleagues around the globe had agreed with the assessment that there would be a near-miss event, but that there was almost no chance the asteroid would collide with Earth. How could we all be so wrong? We watched in horror as the massive asteroid shattered as it passed the moon's gravitational well. By the time we figured out that the "near-miss" would become thousands of impact events, it was too late to do anything about it. People on the surface panicked, I can't blame them.
Unlike the great majority of known impact events, this asteroid did not crash directly into the Earth. Instead, due to its relatively slow speed and angle of descent, the asteroid was captured by the Earth's gravity and pulled into a low orbit where it collided with satellites, orbital tethers and anything else unfortunate enough to be in its path. Eventually, under the influence of orbital decay, it began to strew its remains across the Earth's surface.
We lost communication with our ground team shortly thereafter. All the information we have gathered since then has been from our earth-bound cameras and any stray radio signals that we can pick up. It's been about three months, and only now does it appear that the barrage is ending. What was once the asteroid is now just a jagged ring of dust, encircling the Earth like one of the rings of Saturn.
Fortunately, there do appear to be survivors. But this appears to be the only sliver of good news since the event. Through the small windows that faced the planet, we witnessed the destruction as meteorites razed entire cities and created large-scale tsunamis as they impacted the planet's surface. Some larger fragments obliterated whole regions and even small countries.
The worst case of destruction involved the largest chunk of the asteroid, a monster we labeled FA23. On November 2nd, FA23 slammed into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean creating a mega-tsunami that decimated the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States as well as locations in Europe, Africa and the rest of the Americas. After the waters receded, we could see only a trail of islands left by the asteroid. Our crew has started calling this island chain the Atlantis Fracture.
Although initially we had trouble seeing through the dense dust and ash clouds, through thermal imaging we can see that the face of Earth has been forever changed. The asteroid created entirely new, alien mountain ranges and island chains. It closed off the Strait of Gibraltar, completely decimated the island of Japan and left entire, previously dry, regions such as Northern Italy and California's Central Valley underwater.
Beyond the disfigurement of Earth's surface, the meteorites appear to have also shattered the structure of civilization. We've intercepted radio transmissions implying a great splintering of nations, many of whom appear to be breaking apart into segmented states with the intent of fending only for themselves. Even more troubling, in some cases there seems to be a complete absence of any sort of central government, these areas seem to be plagued with a staggeringly high level of violence and suffering.
Our crew remains trapped on the Deep Horizon, helpless to do anything but watch the destruction and chaos on the planet below. As you can imagine, much of our crew has fallen into a deep depression. Dr. Neal Profok, a personal friend and a valued member of our crew, flushed himself out of an airlock earlier this week. It wasn't unexpected as his family had lived in Boston.
We've estimated that our food provisions will last us little more than two weeks with extreme rationing. Though our outcome looks slim, many of us are still holding on to whatever hope is left.
This journal entry was recovered from the remains of the Deep Horizon after its orbit deteriorated and it came to rest in the central United States. Other accounts of the Firefall are too fragmented to include in this entry. Hopefully more information can be found to give us better insight as to what happened during this time period.
|Twelve Days of Firefall|