The Asteroid missed detection on any telescope; no radio signal binged off its surface. But here it was in 2024 only 50,000 miles out and headed straight for Earth. The last two asteroids were 200,000 thousand miles put, and they hardly raised an eyebrow except for in the scientific community. The never to late astronomers, named this one Cakewalk. Well, it did resemble a cake, but the name was a name of hope, hope that the planet would survive. The next 48 hours the world would hold its breath and wait to learn its fate.
Ken Elk had dreamed about the asteroid, and even though scientist predicted a direct hit, he saw it skimming the stratosphere, but not smashing into the planet. The CIA unit informed the president.
“We can’t go with a dream that everything will be all right. The public would run us out of town. No, the best we can do is to spin this as another attempt to scare people and disrupt our way of life. Tell people to go on about their daily affairs.” President Thornbush Jr. verbalized and sat down at his desk in the Oval Office.
This was the message that nobody bought. Stores closed—streets emptied. All who had family or a friend, if possible were together. Yes, the president, world leader, the brass at the Pentagon, and military commanders across the globe could only put out positive propaganda and wait.
Diamond was at the CIA headquarters with General Smith. The image of the asteroid filled the space monitor, from the ground it looked like a large Star. Then the asteroid penetrated the earth’s atmosphere. At first, hundreds of red, orange fireballs exploded across the night horizon. A deafening silence gripped the world; the air was still, almost un-breathable.
“ Well Diamond, too bad I don’t have somebody to watch the end of the damn world with, besides you. You’ve done great work. But hell... I’ve given my entire life to this damn country. Yet, My wife divorced me five years ago, and the rest of the family thinks I’m a big jackass. I don’t know how in the hell I feel the way I do, but I’d rather be a jackass in their eyes knowing I’ve done everything I can for their safety and the security of the United States. But, no offense Diamond, I really don’t want to spend my final minutes ending up alone like this.” General gulped down what remained of his Kentucky Bourbon, and through the bottle into the trash.
Diamond did not respond. He knew if things didn’t change he would be in General Smith’s shoes in a few more years, and no he didn’t understand the way he felt; he wouldn’t change his yesterdays, either. Diamond knew if he had a future, he would change his tomorrows.
The asteroid roared in on the evening of March 31 2021 and lit the sky from North America, South America, parts of Europe, and Russia. Surging lower into the atmosphere, the asteroid changed from fiery orange to a huge ball of bright white light, with a sparkling tail that seemed to fill up the night sky. The Earth began to shimmy, as if a terrified child lost without her mother. To Diamond it felt like a small earthquake. People around the world stared into outer space.
In Atlanta in the South, General Smith’s grandmother gazed out of her den window. She had never seen a comet like this one. She hoped it burned out before it hit the ground. Then she played her bridge hand and asked the ladies if they would like a fresh shot of Jack Daniels.
Across the world in Beijing, Lu Ying watched the large flat screen in her apartment, alone. She had been briefed about Cakewalk. She called her mother and her sisters. Now she watched and waited. Lu Ying lit several candles and listened to Tibetan Monks chanting, with Tibetan bowls in the background, ringing their pure sound, and filling her heart. She was at peace, and she closed her eyes.
Down in the Deep South, Goma Wiley cut the fresh watermelon he bought off the truck that afternoon, salted it and slowly chewed a juicy ripe slice.
Percy Jamms held his guitar -Miss Blues-he hammered down on the strings and bent a note untill it cried; he played chords with a bluesy rhythm and traveled into a world he loved.
In the Western U.S., Ken Elk drove to the ancient second Mesa of his ancestors with Smiling Pony, the love of his life. They gathered wood, and he started a fire against the cold. They sat in the solitude of the cool evening desert singing Hopi love songs to one anther in low loving voices.
The Earth trembled and hung in space like a startled mother with no way to protect her children. Wind blew across the face of the Earth awakening ancient primitive fears born before fire and never extinguished. As the vibrations became stronger, sky scrapers swayed, mothers gasped as children screamed, and fathers pulled them all close to their chests. Fathers also gasped, as children screamed and cried, and mothers pulled them all close to their breasts. The evening sky was now full of white light. The light from the asteroid blinded people; flat screens in every corner shined intensely, people reached for their last breath... Then the end was over, leaving a new beginning. Diamond wondered about the uncertain present he could not imagine before.
As the weeks passed after the Thunderous roar of the asteroid faded into the background, the riots in the streets erupted around the world. Citizens demanded new leadership. It seemed like everybody got it. Like the hundredth monkey ages before, when one more monkey started using tools to get its food, that one monkey jettisoned the consciousness of all monkeys. Across the islands, monkeys started using tools. The only connection was monkey consciousness. The riots ignited when one more human said.
“Wait a minute, I need this planet for food, shelter, air, and water. Without the planet I call home, I’m dead.”
On that riotous day, human consciousness must have clawed its way up another level. Like spontaneous combustion that need to survive hit home for all humanity.