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He watched the sun go down for the last time, like a ball of flaming rock, he thought, though rocks shouldn't catch fire and they wouldn't be quite so round, really. And then he turned, and got into his car, and drove off, leaving the surface at just enough speed to get out of the gravity. It had been a good run, he thought. It had lived up to quite a few of his expectations, though not, he would admit, all.

***

"What about the moon, though?"

She shrugged. "Well, that's one of the tricky bits. It'll get caught up in the explosion, of course, but we want to make sure it doesn't go prematurely, or something."

The younger girl rubbed her chin. "Huh. D'you know what model they used to pull it in, like that?"

"Nah, that wasn't a trick - it's been getting close for a long time. That was part of the decision, really. Even if the time had been right, we couldn't have done this even a few centuries ago, the moon would have been untouched. I think we'll be alright for this one, though. Head back into the blueprint? We're going to need a lot of going over, here."

The transformation was seamless; the AI manifestation gave a cheery wave, and went from the normal human projection, complete to all external human senses, to bolt of lightning-- then vanished. The extrapolations had already been gone over by several human engineers, one of whom had gone so far as to draw up a whole new model, just in case. But in the end, this part came down to her.

Boots sounded on the bridge, and the ship's captain glanced over at the control screen, panning over the triggers and catalysts, set up in just the right patterns, and nodded in approval.

The officer glanced up, then back at her screen. "What was this one called, anyway? I remember something about it being historically significant, but you know the weapons crew is always going on about some historically significant detail or other."

She nodded, and tapped the bracelet that showed, briefly, beneath her own uniform. "This one was Earth. The first planet to host the human race, though it's been hypothesized that the whole thing was set up as an experiment, near the end of the last great imperial civilization. Probably bunk, you know the imperialists have that whole ego thing down pat. Anyway, they wanted it out of the way before the sun went - it's one of the few nearly symmetrical dwarf phases in a while, and it won't do to observe it with gaps like this coming and going. The others have mostly been taken out, by now. Charges ready?"

"Charges ready."

And the last son of a long-dead empire leaned back against the window in his car-turned-ship, and watched his first work die.

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thulcandran

May 2013

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