The Eleventh Hour

Zalán Kaposvári

I was about to arrive at the place where my colleagues and I had arranged a meeting. It was a very important one, because the future of humankind depended on it. While I was walking cheerfully, I completely forgot about all the problems that were waiting for me in the next few minutes or hours, because nothing more than our previous greatest achievements were in my mind. As I stepped in the meeting room, I realized two things. First of all, that everybody was there, each of them sitting on quite old chairs, because of our financial status, waiting for me with less and less patience. Secondly, that I was late. I checked my watch again, hoping that I was wrong. But I had read my watch correctly. Then I remembered the good old times when my mother used to scold me for being always late from everywhere. But these nice memories were kicked out of my head when I realized a huge problem that I had forgotten recently. I apologized and sat down to initiate what we were here for.

“So why are we here exactly?” the question was asked.

“I want to come to an important decision, for which I need all of you,” I explained. “It is already 3013 May and we need to perfect this planet before the first group of visitors arrive, which is predicted to be in 3014 December. We cannot be late, since Earth is already dying and will possibly be completely uninhabitable very soon. But there are a few obstacles left that keep us away from our goal. Firstly, shaping the biosphere to be more Earthlike, but that isn’t the one that creates a headache. The main problem is that the global temperature is increasing at a rate which threatens the habitability of ’our ’ new planet, the Green one.”

“What can we do?” asked someone.

“That is why I have arranged the meeting,” I replied. “We have managed to overcome many obstacles together since we found this planet, so this one can’t defeat us. We can do this, we just need to work as a team once more.”

“I think I have an idea and—” said someone in an excited voice, but he was interrupted.

“I have a better idea!” said the one in front of him, much more loudly.

“I would like to listen to everybody, but let’s hear the first idea.” I said in a rather calm voice.

“If we could direct a giant meteor towards this planet, it would cause the same events as in the time of the dinosaurs, with a final result of drastical global cooling.”

“This is insanity! That is a world-killer asteroid and would ruin everything!” I expressed my opinion, hoping that this would never happen.

“I agree with the lead researcher, it is too risky. Moreover it would take too long and we will run out of time.” said one of my most trusted ones.

“Why don’t we build an enormous solar shade that would cover it from the star’s heat? That might be very effective.” said another scientist, and waited for a reply, but a short, embarrassing silence followed his speech. Then he continued.

“I know it sounds like science fiction but nothing is impossible…right?”

“You are correct that this method is effective, but unfortunately it has a downside,” I answered him, thinking about how to implement his monster. “The construction would cost us fortunes, along with the lack of appropriate materials. Furthermore, building planet-sized structures takes decades. Thus we have to dismiss this idea, too.”

Hours passed by brainstorming around the roundtable, where multiple thoughts came to surface, but we were out of luck, as we had to throw all of them into the dustbin. After a while, when I thought we had been sitting here for years, I started to get desperate. Then suddenly someone had an idea, more precisely the one we had recruited not long before.

“Wait, I thought of something that might actually work. Let’s launch an Atmosphere Stabilizer Unit with which we could change the gas content of the atmosphere so we could stop the increasing heat. And this device is quite fast, too. As I have studied history, I know that it saved Earth’s life, but only from one problem,” the young scientist expressed his point of view.

“Let me think.” I started. “Your idea seems feasible. It is relatively cheap, too. I remember that we have a few component parts in the storage of our spaceship, which speeds things up. And finally, as you said, it won’t take up years, it will even finish its job much before the deadline. You have done an excellent job today. You managed to defeat the obstacle and prepare a clear way for the future.” I congratulated him and was followed by my colleagues with a big, cheerful round of applause. He felt like a hero.

After finding this planet I grabbed the opportunity and fulfilled my dream of a utopia. We transformed the giant rock to look like the Earth, so we would never forget our homeland. It has lush green vegetation along with flourishing plant and animal life. Great, dark blue oceans fill the blank space between the continents. But they aren’t left without life either: we were able to establish rich marine life, full of fish, algae, and other animals that could be found on Earth. As for the people, we have already started to transport would-be inhabitants of this perfect world. We decided to let only those people in who agree to the conditions we had made for living and whose personalities fit it. In this community there is no leader, nor anybody with a higher rank than the others. In simple words, we want everybody to be equal. Furthermore, they should have many positive qualities, such as reliability and unselfishness. Everyone would feel happy and would live without a problem. They need to be cooperative as well and of course, most importantly, there is no war anywhere on the globe.

Some years passed by since that meeting. Our ˝hero˝ was right: we managed to stabilize the temperature before the first group of people arrived. As they observed their new home, they were fascinated that someone could create a planet so similar to Earth. They bravely invited their relatives, so they could live peacefully here. After many tiring and problematic barriers, finally my dream has come true: I have created my own utopia. Also with these great achievements I have laid the foundations for the future.