Kickoff

Kickoff written by Borough

Ancestors long dead

They lost their planet, but found ours

Down there is the city. Here, on the hill overlooking it, the shimmering lights and steady buzz of the city traffic come with a lag and somewhat subdued.
On the gentle slope of the hill lay prostrate a boy and a girl. They both stare up at the billion twinkles above them.

The eyes of the girl scan the night sky, trying to discern something.

“I don’t see anything”, she says.

The eyes of the boy are fixed on a spot up there, in the endless. Whatever he sees in the starry endlessness mesmerizes him.

“Look really, really carefully”, the boy whispers in a while.

We follow the boy’s line of sight and we rise and ascend deeper, further into the cosmos...amidst planets...through galaxies and finally at a place in the deep space.
Amidst that nothingness is a giant, ash-colored hollow sphere of a planet with a glaring jagged opening into it. The planet is small is now disintegrating one monstrous piece at a time.

We move closer and descend on the broken planet to witness as the aliens hurry
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to board their ships. They are human-like and through their thorn insulation suits we discern their very pale bodies, their eyes - various shades of blue.
We move further over the surface of the planet and reach a giant control center perched on the edge of an abyss.

There is a crevice on the shield that center. A fresh scar left by a swooshing rock. So through it we enter. In the control room.
Alone in that room is Cogan. An alien, a leader, the Supreme Commander. He is majestic in his black insulation suit. Form a cracked window he watches the abyss. His pale, almost transparent face is frozen but not in fear. But in disbelief. A flicker of denial in his eyes.
Behind him something moves. A figure. Another alien. This is Rob, the Fleet Commander. He is holding a protective suit in his hand.

“We need to leave, Commander. You have to board the master ship immediately.”
Cogan’s eyes track something. We look through the glass to see what that is.
In the hazy distance, a file of crippled
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aliens struggle to walk on the shaky ground as they rush to board a tiny ship which is about to take off.

“Not everyone has left,” says Cogan
Rob struggles not to speak, but eventually he does.
“But he will not come—“
“Not everyone has left!” bursts Cogan.
A commotion behind the door and an alien storms into the room. This is Jov, Cogan’s son. His frame is frail, his body clad in dirty rags. The holes in the rag expose his wounded flesh.
Jov rushes to Cogan.
“There is still hope, father. We can save this planet.”
Cogan turns to face him but addresses Rob.
“We can leave now, Rob.”
Cogan takes the protective suit, hands it to Jov but is met by a defiant look.
“I am not leaving. We can heal this planet.”
Cogan is unimpressed. He tosses the suit in Jov's legs.
“We cannot solve that.”

“You have to lead a restoration and not a desertion.”

Cogan senses the start of an argument. He has fought many battles. Including to conquer this planet. But the fights with his son have remained the
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one thing that would tax his nerves over and over. A dull response usually works.

“Jov, this planet can no longer provide for us. You know that very well.”

The indifference in Cogan's voice bitters Jov. He has known it all his life and has never been able to get used to it.

“So that is our solution? To abandon it?”

Cogan looks at the suit that he has handed to his son who refused to put it on. The son who refused to comply.
“I am the supreme commander and I order you to put on that suit and board the mother-ship!”.

Cogan picks up the suit then hands it to Jov again. Jov stares at him.
“The planet is dying fast in million pieces at a time. We cannot save it, Jov.”

A growl of disintegrating rocky flesh shakes the air and sends tremors through the control room. Rob darts in.
"It can happen any minute now, Commander!"

Cogan walks over to Jov. His hand reaches out to his son, clutching the suit. In his chest, his heart clutches the hope that this is not the last time he is seeing his so
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