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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics


Friday, August 23, 2013

Earth Yanker: A Science Fiction Story

Earth Yanker: A Science Fiction Story To the shock of the world, astronomers announced one day that a Jupiter-sized planet was heading toward the solar system. It was one of the so-called rogue planets that were wandering through interstellar space. No one knew whether the planet had formed by itself outside of any solar system, or had formed in a solar system and had somehow been ejected from that solar system. It didn't matter. All that mattered was that the planet was heading into the solar system, where it might threaten Earth.

A meeting was convened at the White House, where the President of the United States met with his advisers.

“I have good news, and bad news,” said Gill Tooley, the White House science adviser. “Which do you want to hear first?”

“Give me the good news first,” said the President.

“The good news is that this rogue planet is not going to hit our planet,” said Tooley.

“That's a relief,” said the President. “So what's the bad news?”

“The bad news is that this rogue planet will pass so close to Earth that its gravitational attraction will yank our planet out of its current orbit,” said Tooley.

The President put his hands over his face. “What will the effects of that be?” he said.

“Our planet will be dragged farther away from the sun, a little closer to Mars,” said Tooley. “Earth will get much, much colder.”

“We'll stop it,” said the President. “We'll hit that damn thing with every nuke we have.”

“It won't do us any good,” said Tooley. “Nuclear weapons are a pretty good way of stopping asteroids, but they won't do any good against a Jupiter-sized planet like this one. Every if we were to blow up every nuclear bomb on Earth in front of that planet, it won't change its path by even a thousandth of one percent.”

Panic set in when word got out that the Jupiter-sized rogue planet was drawing near. People could see the object in the sky; it looked like an unusually bright star. People began calling it the Star of Doom. As the planet passed by Earth, the gravitational pull of the planet yanked Earth into a new orbit millions of miles farther from the sun. Surface temperatures on Earth dropped by many degrees. Most of the oceans froze. Gigantic glaciers started to spread over huge portions of the Earth's surface. Almost all of humanity died, except for a small hardy group that lived near the Equator.

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A thousand years later Jon Orson led an epic journey of exploration to the legendary lost city of New York.

Jon had lived all his life with his primitive tribe at the equator, where it was very, very cold, but at least warm enough for survival. For years Jon had been fascinated by stories that a great city had once existed at New York. The stories had been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Jon had no idea whether the legend of New York was based on truth, or whether it was just some old myth with no basis in fact. Jon decided to found out for himself. He organized a sled expedition consisting of five men. The men would travel on sleds that would be pulled by dogs.

For many weeks Jon and his men traveled northward, upward from the equator. Finally after several months Jon and his men came to something that looked like it might be a remnant of the lost city of New York. It was a strange structure consisting of six semi-circles perched on top of each other. Inside each of the semi-circles were triangle shapes.

frozen New York


“There it is!” yelled Jon. “The legend is true! There really was a great city here.”

“This is just one little structure,” said Walter, another of the men on the expedition. “This does not prove there was some big city here.”

“Let's explore this strange structure,” said Jon.

Approaching the structure, Jon saw that the triangles were actually windows. He could look through the windows, and see inside. After much struggling and fiddling, Jon was able to break open one of the triangle windows. Jon and Walter climbed into the building, and began exploring.

They soon discovered the door to a stairway leading downward. Opening the door, they saw below them only darkness. They lit a torch to guide their way, and began traveling down the stairways.

The other three men in the expedition waited on the floor where Jon had broken open the window. The building provided some shelter from the cold winds outside.

Jon and Walter were astonished to find that beneath the first floor they had entered there was another floor, and that underneath that was another floor, and that underneath that was still another floor, and so on and so on and so on. Just when they thought they would keep traveling down to the center of the earth, they finally opened a door marked “Ground Level.” After opening that door, they discovered a magnificent lobby and and a row of shops that included a book store.

After much exploring, Jon and Walter walked up 77 flights of stairs spanning 300 meters, and finally returned to the other three men and the dog sleds at the top of the Chrysler Building.

“We have proven the legend of New York,” said Jon. “This was once a great building soaring up into the sky. It has been covered with ice.”

“But our tribe will never believe us if we tell our tale of finding this building,” said one of the men.

“This should convince them,” said Jon.

He was holding two books filled with hundreds of color photographs showing New York City as it existed before Earth was yanked out of its orbit.