Like all of his training missions the day was cloud free and blue, the air was still and the normal chatter of birds was no more, the animals must have known the importance of his mission.
The van stopped at the base of the launch platform, an officer opened the sliding door for him. he stepped out, felt the weight of the suit settle on his body. He took another look at the ground, it was dry and the grass along the path was brown and dead too, the earth was dying. He still felt happy, he knew what he was about to do.
"Please step into the elevator sir."
"Yes, I know."
This is the last time I will see this planet, and now I realize that I am going to miss her, even though she is in bad shape I am going to miss this world.
He stared out the side of the elevator, through the lattice work of metal reinforcements at the earth, already lonely, already wishing to return to it, to this florida, that had once been a green and wonderful place. Now it looked like the Arizona deserts of his childhood. The whole earth had had a global temperature rise of sixteen degrees celsius and the people of the earth could no longer use the planet. They had done this to this planet and they were going to abandon it and find a new home.
"It is odd that the very same animal that conquered the earth, have destroyed that wich they sought to rule."
"This is it, sir."
He turned and headed for the entry hatch, his home for the next year and a half, his eventual hospital, when he falls sick and his office that he will work in for a long time to come.
Placing the helmet on his head, the assistant helped him lock it down. He then he moved to the captains seat and layed down in it, the technician again helped him strap in. The belts where pulled tight enough to make breathing difficult, the tech left him there strapped to a million pounds of fuel and electronics. He heard the door closing behind him, the metalic grinding of the the latch engaging.
T - 20 m 00 s
Main computers power on
He checked to make sure all 3 computers came up correctly, no problems where found. He started his check lists, He started with the navigations systems like he was taught, checked the life support systems, all pressures where correct, checked INS it was setup correctly and working optimally, checked the feul stores, all at maximum.
T - 07 m 30 s
He felt a small bump as the catwalk slid away, and he was now one more step closer to his new life on a distant planet, without companionship, just him and some equipment to help colonize the planet, of course others would join him but for now he was on his own.
T - 05 m 00 s
He reaches for the switch to start the APU, the motion is ingrained in him, there is no longer a concious thought but a trained response, and he is along for the ride, just watching the hand, its graceful arc from his chest to the center console, a small flip of the switch and then a thunk and a hum start behind him, he watches as the hydralics come up to pressure and the electrical sysstem starts powering itself.
T - 02 m 50 s
The shuttle shutters as the beanie cap disconnects from the external fuel tank ans slides away, He thinks of his wife, how he had loved her and how she had died gracefully, even when the pain was unbearable she had never cried and never complained, she had only wanted him to reach for what he had desired and with her dying breath had told him to follow his dreams, and to never give up. and to always beleive in himself.
T - 00 m 10 s
The computer begins the main engine start sequence, the fuel pumps start spinning, and he double checks his safety harnesses and leans his head back in the restraint, he closes his eyes and realizes that this is it, there is very little that he can do to stop this now, his destiny is playing itself out now, he is truly along for the ride.
T - 00 m 06.6 s
Main engines ignite, the whole machine starts to shake now, the noise is deafening and the feeling is both awe inspiring and horrifying at the same time, He thinks back again to his wife, who loved him to the very end, he realized that he loved her and this is why he was in this thing now, and not for her but because of her.
T - 00 m 03 s
Shuttle engines move to the launch position and the orbiter bends in its mountings, the solid rocket boosters are still firmly attached
T - 00 m 02 s
T - 00 m 01 s
T - 00 m 00 s
The restraining bolts fire and the umbillicals fall away, the world is no longer his and he is no longer the worlds, and the vibrations are so violent and the noise is soo loud and his wife would be so happy and...
He has to pee.