Shooting stars without wishful thinking
by Alfred Hermanni All rights reserved Autumn 2021
Translated from german to english by myself and Dr. Google's kindly help. Sorry for any mistakes.
„Grandpa, why are at night so much shooting stars to see in the sky?“, my granddaughter Svenja asked during she cuddled on my lap. As so often we sat at this late but warm evening in my rocking chair on the terrace, watching the sky.
Not only this was an event, the fact to stay not in bed but instead watching the stars with her favorite grandpa, was very exciting. The most, most, most exciting what ever, she very, very often told.
And her parents? They had since a long time the opportunity to listen the philharmonic orchestra in Dortmund, our hometown.
And me? I was also lucky to spent some time with my grandchild, to tell her about the good old times but also from new times. Because nothing is as constant as change, that I learned during my life. In spite of my age, more than 60 years, I felt young enough to talk with her about the challenges of the new times.
We admired the spectacel of all these shooting stars, which crossed the sky permanently. Every second dozens from them flown through the upper layers of the atmosphere and left cascades of glaring traces of light, before they burned up. It was every night a fantastic view. Sometimes a symphony of light and colours arosed, which illuminated the country. The art of light by a cosmic designer.
„It wasn't so in the past, my dear. In former times only a few could be seen at night. Very often not only one shooting star could be seen. They were so rare, that people said, it's such a good luck to see one, that you have one wish for free“, I explained and looked tender into her childish- questioning eyes.
Would she understand the truth? Even me could hardly believe what has happened at that time.
Four years ago.
It was an ordinary winter night, which followed an ordinary day, waiting for the next morning. The sky was clear, the stars sparkled more intense and the view was unclouded.
Maybe nothing would have happened and no one would have noticed anything at all. If not, yes, if not an attentive hobby astronomer somewhere in Germany would have pointed his telescope to a random region in the sky.
A tiny point of light caught his attention. He checked all the data from the laptop but everytime he got the same results about this anomaly.
An asteroid races towards Earth.
Proximately meeting point: less than 13 000 Km distance from Earth
Size: 29 Km average diameter
Speed: 48,23 Km/sec
Date of impact: 26. October 2037
Category: Global killer
Remaining time: 8 month 2 weeks 3 days
Probability of a flyby: 92,43 %
All data would directed to the astronomers network and soon all the different platforms reported about this sensation. All around the world the scientists were excited. Conferences took place everywhere, in TV, Internet and social media.
Especially several newspapers gave the development of this event a complete new direction and the history took its own course.
The headlines formulated:
Apocalypse! Doomsday! End of the world!
Giant Comet races with insane speed to Earth!
Around the world scientists became active to proove the statements from the press.
With enormous success. In the further days one knowledge would followed by the next. Everybody knew it better or more exactly. All possible
pseudo- scientists declared their truth as the only truth and that their suggests were the only solution.
Horrible ideas spreaded over the whole world and soon nobody had any doubts, that doomsday will come in spite nobody has claimed that.
The reports got a momentum and became uncontrollable.
Anyway the people remembered dinosaurs and their extinction 65 millions of years ago, because of the impact from an asteroid, with a diameter from only 10 or 15 Km, in the gulf of Yucatan in Mexico. That was only the half from the new „visitor“. But enough to kill almost all of life on Earth by modification of the living conditions because of the nuclear winter.
Since today nobody knows who made the first miscalculation. The result was chaos, panic and confusion.
Probably somebody changed miles and kilometers or offset a comma, anyway the asteroid suddenly should hit the Earth instead of a suspected flyby. The point of impact should be Wanne-Eickel in Germany. A small town in the heart of Germany. Barely anybody in the world knew this town. Only insiders applied the idiom „Moon of Wanne-Eickel“, which described with funny words a very, very fat ass. But now this hick town came into the public eye.
Reason enough for the german goverment to establish crisis units and disaster responses at state- and federal level, the upcoming election campaign welcomed that.
Emergency laws were applied, security units and military related position in order to ward off riots and looting.
The daily special broadcasts, talkshows and political statements triggered a rush of fake news and nobody knews what he shall think anymore.
More or less useful strategies would suggested, many ideas presented and discarted.
It was the time for politicians, professionals and conspiracy theorists until the german chancelour adressed the people and declared to turn over the leadership to the military.
Clever calculations had shown, that with an appropriate counter- strike, the impact could be prevented.
A rocket with a nuclear warhead should give the asteroid, when he passed the moon, the nescessary impulse to leave the course and the impact in Wanne-Eickel could be avoid. More time for implementation of other plans was not available. A landing on this space rock and its explosion, like the movie Armageddon with Bruce Willis (Is he still alive? I don't know.) themed, was out of the question.
Amazing was only the fact, that Germany, until now a nuclear- weapon free country, suddenly possessed nuclear warheads.
Indeed the party of the chancelour was proud about their ingenious foresight, to have purchased on time one of these weapons, naturally only one. This brought a lot of votes and percentages.
But nobody was interested about this trifle.
Primarely the asteroid didn't hit Germany.
Instead it would hit Nottingham, United Kingdom.
The British were annoyed. And his majesty, good old King Charles was not amused, that the unappreciative Germans did not keep quiet.
But the british goverment also panicked and presented similar simulation games. Now Orlando, Florida, USA, was the next place of impact from Jackass, which the asteroid would named from the people.
But the United States didn't want to accept this and announced, that they will launch the new Cruise Missile to blow Jackass out of the way.
But in this case Tokio would be the next goal. But it went further.
Clonakilty, Republic of Ireland, would be the next possible point of impact.
But Teheran and their theocracy, (Yes, they are still existing), couldn't allow this, because since a few years in Dublin was established a mosque and the Islam influenced meanwhile also this catholic country. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards opened their rocketsilos and equipped their long range missiles with supposedly never existing nuclear warheads.
Jackass should now, with a lot of symbolism, be distracted to...Glenfiddich, Scotland.
In this city of unbelievers, with all the demonic alcohol, in the middle of this world- famous whisky distillery. (Oh god, all the good old whisky.)
But the British couldn't accept this, uncomfortable Scotland or not.
Instead they found another distraction variant.
New York, Albany, Vancouver, Sidney...appeared soon in the charts of impact places.
Even the Vatican became a possible hit center, because Down Under did not attached any importance to this cosmic visitor.
Immediately the Vatican began, under the leadership of the pontifex, with several intense spiritual exercises, to stop the calamity and to pray away with the help of god and all the apostles, this doom.
The leading clerics of the curia even suspected the orthodoc christians to made the Vatican to an impact place, only by intrigues and lies.
The last reincarnation of the Dalai Lama advertised to descend Jackass to a highly active volcanic region, to let enter the mankind into nirvana, after the fraction of the earth crust and invoked it daily in all media. His favorite impact places were the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, California and the area around Yellowstone.
The mystics and conpiracy theorists allies and agreed on one exotic impact place: The Bermuda Triangle.
It was virtually predetermined to take him in, especially since it was able to make him completely disappear immediately after the impact.
Apart from other scurrilities, the hour of jehovah's witnesses has now also come. They brought out their magazines and flyers and besieged all pedestrians zones around the world.
Optionated and bright- eyed they implored the long awaited end of the world including the last judgement.
Also other cults and self- proclaimed gurus collected their supporters and from every corner and every prayer house the inviteable „Omm, Omm“ sounded.
The muslim community saw in the imminent arrival of the asteroid an unmistakeable sign of Allah, which would like to punish all unbelievers and especially the Judes.
But it was also clear, that the impact would have a lot of collateral damages in the house of the Islam too, which concerned the righteous and faithful alike.
Sunnies and shiites began to visit each other...with bombs and explosive belts, to insure a place in paradies with seven, seventy or seventy-two, however, young virgins. Only seventy-two for the eternity...
Hate preachers of all kind agitated against everything.
Hostile palestinians once again declared a war against themselves and endangeroud the mutual but fragile living together with Israel.
The Middle east was on the edge of riot.
It was a time of madness.
Believers of all churches were unsettled.
Even the normally calm buddhists showed nervousness and got weaker.
They no longer smiled so often in public, especially since few of their leaders
announced some doubts concerning the reincarnation after the impact.
The international crisis summits took no end. The usual disagreement.
Only Russia stayed true to its reputation and suggested to descend Jackass
on China or India, as a contribution to solve the problem with the overpopulation. The following outrage could only be smoothed with dificulty.
Only at the last moment, a war could be prevented. China suddenly held maneuvers at the border to Russia and accidently India pointed their nuclear warheads to Russia.
The third clone of the beloved and wisely former leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il seized the opportunity and pointed all his missiles to the asteroid,
in order to hit reliable Seoul in South Korea.
From well- informed sources soon was heard, that the greatest man ever created from heaven, has been replaced by another puppet, which wasn't so eccentric and out of control like the previous.
But the folks still had to eat weed and spruce needles.
Even Mallorca and other resorts became, depending from the respective game plan, new places for the impact.
At the end no one could overlook, when, where and from whom a missile strike would be planned or carried on and no one knows really where and when exactly Jackass would hit the Earth at all.
The confusion was soon complete, because nobody could calculate anything,
to many possibilities and nothing concrete.
Consensus existed only in one point, to avoid a crash into the oceans.
A worldwide uncalculateable risk because of giant tsunamis wasn't desired from all states.
An international coordinated work seemed impossible.
Every state distrusted every other state.
Crisis summits and conferences failed completely.
No one would direct the management of the coming doom to the UNO- leaders.
No one believed that they are wise enough, to find an impact place outside the contributing states.
At least no state want to tolerate a place of impact in a territory near of them at all.
Therefore every state planned their own, secret operations. No one talked with another.
Chaos and confusion was perfect.
And the time ran.
The population had given up. Surrendered to fate, people fell in resignation and depressions. Madness became commonplace.
In the face of impending doom, suicides increased to an incredible rate.
Sects, cults and churches got uncountable members from all social levels.
Bunker facilities built in the short term should save what can be saved.
Goverments tinkered with emergency plans and moved their members into the mountains or in until now secret facilities under the surface.
People stock up with weapons, food and water, money, gold and all other what is worthy for the survival after the big crash.
At least the people waited with humility or apathy for the big collision.
Any forecast seemed too uncertain.
Already until now had shown which damage Jackass worldwide had done, without touching the Earth at all.
It came the day, the hour zero, when amazingly Bangladesh, the land of hunger and poverty, opened their subterranean missile- silos, and the first rocket was on the way into space, to distract Jackass before it's too late.
The latest uncomfirmed rumours told that Bangladesh was the most likely target.
Accidently other countries have also launched their missiles, which rushed to the point of rendezvous behind the moon orbit.
It must have been dozens or hundreds of missiles on the way to Jackass.
The german missile ranked somewhere in the midfield, even political correct.
All broadcasts worldwide reported about this most important event of all times and even the descendants of Wernher von Braun could give their statements.
And the missiles hit, all of them hit this hated cosmic surprise guest. Exactly on the right time. Simultaneously all together.
They fragmented the asteroid.
They crumbled the asteroid.
They pulverized it.
They atomized it.
Since then a cloud of debris and dust from Jackass was flying through the orbit around Earth and the Moon, which lost a good part of its power to illuminate the Earth.
Jackass just left only small and tiny pieces, which we can watch every night, when they follow the gravity of Earth.
Shooting stars which remembered us daily, that a divided mankind almost would have failed in itself.
Actually a reason to be ashamed. The mutual mistrust had influenced, clouded and obscured the human intellect.
It was obvious that only the successful random product of mistrust created an accidently cooperation, which was the only logical solution to neutralize the danger.
Probably a great patron with cosmic- divine qualities were careful with us and gave us a new chance.
Probably the intense prayers from vatican were answered and made accidently a contribution to humanity. But if, it would be one of the most rare cases, that the Vatican was good for something.
With the time the world situation normalized.
It remains to be hoped that the leader of the world the right lessons learned.
In spite of better knowledge like always people have their wishes and desires by seeing shooting stars.
But that's how people are.
The mood of the last month influenced the decision to equip the UNO with more power ressources, in order to counteract the egoisms of single states.
That gave hope.
Now I am happy, that I told my grandchild the recent history of the shooting stars.
Of course, I tried to tell it like a fairy tale and Svenja listened exactly and unbiased.
„I love shooting stars in spite, but the politicians must have been
very silly“, Svenja explained precocious.
Who says that children are not capable for judgement?
Magnificent but scary beautiful they will be forever, our new nocturnal shooting stars.
Even if it doesn't work to wish something if you see any...The stars don't care.
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