The Senior President knew about the meteor for years. He was approaching his sixth seven-year-term, and final, before he finally told everyone about the new star sending billowing waves of rainbow radiation throughout the evening skies.
On his 24/7 webcast, internet channel 4444, he peered into the screen giving us access to his every detail, and told us what was left out during what had been previously believed to be live streams. Truths, left on the cutting room floor, tossed by the genius hand of an editorial mage. Somehow replaced. He revealed them live, for all the world to see, the broadcast quickly becoming an electronic virus which took over all holographic streams in the continental American States within mere seconds.
“Our death approaches,” he announced. “On a direct path with earth, destined to collide in ten years, is a meteor the size of Jupiter. We have no chance of survival. Prepare to die.”
The date was Sephiroth 33, 2301.
The next day celebrities and politicians alike were planning a death-knell final party on the eve of human destruction. Their channels received more views than ever before as people watched them discuss what they would wear, who they planned to have sex with, the different sexual positions that would be involved, and the drugs they would most definitely like to overdose upon.
The Junior President shot himself in the head.
Within weeks, although tainting nearly every aspect of social interaction, the true importance of the meteor, simply named METEO by the media, had been forgotten. Although it was discussed openly and with great optimism, the seeming finality of the collision had not yet seemed to dawn on its inevitable victims.
A FOX NEWS syndicate, channel 1566, ran this interview with famed Psychosurgeon Jeff Mahler. The interviewer was Bill O’ Reilly the eighth.
“Jeff, can you believe this liberal wing nuts want to lower the age of legal adulthood to ten now? Isn’t twelve low enough? Haven’t we decided, as a society, that we cannot sexually think of children until they turn twelve years old? Why fix what ain’t broken, am I right, Psycho Jeff?”
“Indeed, Mr. O’ Reilly, I know that I would find it perverse to think of having sex with anyone under even the age of thirteen. Twelve, I feel, is too young. But thirteen… we all know what this is really about. This is an attack on our great Republican President Romney’s revision of the age of consent fifty years ago - this country was behind Romney on lowering the age to twelve. We knew as a country then that fourteen was just not appropriate, that children were able to make adult decisions about having sex at a younger age than that. But now… ten? These Democrats are doing this to piss on the legacy of our late, great President. You wanna know what I have to say to them, Bill?”
“What’s that, Psycho Jeff? We’re all ears.”
“Hey, you liberal pieces of shit! GO FUCK YOURSELVES! Cock-suckers!”
“I think that’s a sentiment we can all get behind. How do you think our impending doom as a society affects this? Any thoughts on METEO? Does it even really fucking matter? Some silly cunts over in Washington are saying it doesn’t matter, but I think we all know, just because God is going to obliterate us with a rock the size of some country none of us have ever heard of doesn’t mean we don’t still have to obey!”
Together they tossed back a shot of vodka, and then GOOGLE broke into the program with an advertisement. METEO was the harbinger of great deals on webware, which needed to be cleared out for new inventory.
A new religion formed, worshiping METEO. It was called METEOROLOGY. Some suggested a similar religion had existed two centuries ago, but most considered it to be a sham ideology, invented by antiquarian “weather people” to boost ratings on their shitty local news television shows.
METEO was not a god of potentials or abstractions. It was clearly visible in the night sky, growing brighter each year. Waves of rainbow broke through the black, obliterating stars in colorful effulgence. The world tripped on death, even in denial of it.
Over time, the denial became affirmation.
Some scientists suggested trying to stop METEO, but they were quickly lynched. No one cared to try, it seemed too impossible. All religions of the world, five years before the impending strike, decided that they could finally agree upon one God to worship. “The same God all along,” the said. And METEO was his final judgment, hanging high for the eyes of every man, woman and child to observe, a visible manifestation of all shame, wrongdoing and evil done by the hand of man over the long-span of his existence.
Bill O’ Reilly the eighth decided that he had nearly had his fill on marrow-laced cocaine and murdered hookers. He dropped the corpse of his nineteenth murdered hooker for the night over the edge of his enormous, stone mansion. It bothered him that prostitutes still legally had to be sixteen. He would have to see about getting the age of consent lowered for prostitution through network lobbying. A few people still owed him favors.
The world began to shake and he looked up at the moon.
Shit. He had totally forgotten about that.
It first cracked, a large, zig-zagging bolt of lightning splitting from the center toward the top and bottom of its lit portion, before suddenly splintering into millions of shards, each breaking away into the brilliant rainbow sheen of the sky, now greater than ever as METEO neared the planet. Chunks of luna, small and large, blasted toward the planet, flaming through the atmosphere, breaking it apart. Hardened stardust shot through O’ Reilly’s right eye, sniping him from the void, and his body tumbled over the edge of the mansion, down toward his corpses.
Fire rained first upon the West.
BIO: Michael C. Thompson has been published by Lethe Press in Icarus Magazine, Static Movement in two anthologies, one anthology by Burning Bulb Publishing ("The Big Book of Bizarro") and one story in Collective Fallout magazine. And he also has work appearing in an upcoming anthology from Pink Narcissus Press.