He resented it. Why had he been birthed now, with such precious little time left? It seemed to him that of all the cruelties he had witnessed, this was the gravest. Every day he sought escape, but was never given it. The starship was useless. Suicide would not do any good. The only option was to wait. As he waited, he thought of all the worthwhile things he could have done with his life, had he been given a chance for one. He could have been a scientist, discovering new and better ways to look at the world. All he could do now was watch it crumble around him. He could have been a priest, worshiping and serving the gods. All he could do now was pray to any that had not yet died. He could have done anything—but here he was, destined to die before he had even reached maturity. As he stared out the last window not to have been confiscated as building material for some mining drone, he sighed. None of them would survive. It seemed almost merciful that the planet was ending them quickly.

As he looked upward at what was left of his sun, he felt strangely emotionless. All he could hope was that if anyone, some intrepid explorers of an alien race, found this planet, they would not make the same mistake that his people had. The oil! When his race had landed here, so the storytellers said, it flowed in torrents. It seemed a dream come true—until three years before his birth. They were siphoning down in Beta quadrant when it happened. The core began to fill with oil. Gravity increased. Earthquakes ravaged the cities. And he was born. He was forced to watch hard-faced guards using the broken bodies of laborers—his parents among them—as rocket fuel to escape the planet. It was in vain. He looked on as the ship stalled and fell to the ground, killing all inside. He had not known then who they were—only that they were more fortunate then he.

In the end, none of it mattered. Everyone would die. Did it really take a common death to unite his people? They began to work together at last, but it was too late. Perhaps if they had come together earlier, they would have survived. Nothing could change their fate now. As he drew his final breath, he realized something. It might have saved him—but the building he was in collapsed as the planet's death-throes racked the surface. Everyone was dead now. The core re-solidified, ready to kill the next race to come. It would go on forever, a circle of death, and it was always the same.

Written by Ftaghn
Content is available under CC BY-SA