Feynman had reached the door to the rocket silo and was fiddling with the keypad. Strickland watched intently. The astronauts all sat immobile in their seats. The President continued to hold up his thumbs as if he could hold the pose all day. Flames started to lick from the bottom of the great rockets. I felt the floor start to shudder. “Strickland,” I said, standing shakily. “Be quiet.” “T minus two minutes.” Feynman had opened the door and was clearly shocked by the heat coming from the silo. He ran to a control panel and started to press buttons. Strickland, the President and the astronauts were all immobile like dummies. “Project Icarus will incinerate the Earth,” I said desperately, now the panic seized me. “T minus one minute.” Flames started to fill the silo and Feynman battled with the control panel; he looked very hot. “T minus thirty seconds.” Finally I knew then that this was the end and that I was going to die. I looked at the feed on the screen but the walls had started to shake and I had to sit down or fall down. The screen looked blurred. I could no longer tell what anyone was doing. Everything felt hot. My head was thundering. Everything was shaking and bending and melting. Everything looked blurred. “Ten.” I hoped Feynman was still going to stop it. I hoped he hadn’t burnt to death already. “Nine.” I hoped that nine seconds was enough to save the earth. I really couldn’t tell what seconds were anymore.
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 - THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE 41