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Edition 7: Surface Stars by Hanson Hovell Holladay

flag USTrapped in orbit with the world below destroyed, a single astronaut awaits rescue, alone in the dark. Not knowing whether any live, he waits, and listens to the silence. SY

Kelsey. Kelsey, my thoughts—my racing thoughts will not stop. When was it again? Twenty-nine, twenty-seven months ago? Thirty?

I witnessed the first surface star emerge from the East Coast in what looked to be Virginia. The second, third, fourth, fifth…all were separated by hundreds of miles, yet still so close. Almost immediately after the East Coast’s annihilation the surface stars were scattered throughout the globe: Eastern and Western Europe, the Soviet Union and numerous sites within its empire in Southwest Asia, China, along with many sites in its Eastern empire, England, and throughout the North American continent, most within the United States.

“Cape, this is Outer Reach,” I softly speak out to the other side. “Outer Reach broadcasting on all available S band frequencies. Is there anyone alive?” Only static through the comm, the symphony of white noise to honor our possible extinction.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know where to go—how to go.

The airlock you damn fool.

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