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The Sun Men

by Harry Lang

Begin transmission.

I must report this quickly, before the next gravity surge crushes the sun station. Will it ever be heard?

Five hundred years ago, during the reign of the Third Dark Moon Prince, the first sky man transformed gravity and ascended beyond the atmosphere. Others followed; soon the planets of our star system were populated.

There were groups, too numerous to list, for and against the expansion. One group on the furthest fringe warned about gods and angels, or devils and fairies or some such fantastic creatures. I only know this because my wife...

No time for this diversion. The readings are heading up.

It was my proposal! For over a century Ether Corp. has operated the sun siphons, collecting the rare lights and pure fusibles that energize... energized our civilization. But the sun is also rich in heavier elements, particularly essential metals. I recognized the potential of the magnetic coupling effect and the exponential amplification possibilities of resonant neutron carrier beams. Small scale tests...

Voices in the background, raised in panic.

“The lifeboats won’t boost you out of the gravity well!”

Sounds of struggles and screams.

She was right! My wife was right! When I showed her the drawings for the beam projector she just nodded the way she did about all of my work. Then she noticed the title, “Sun Drill,” and she asked what it meant. I told her it was for mining the sun, thinking how impressed she’d be but she just got quiet...

“Secondary field rupture! Did they get out?”

She finally told me what was on her mind.

“It will be no more than a pin pricking the surface of the world!” I told her. I was angry. “It can’t hurt anything!”

We fought about it for the twelve years it took to build the sun station. I’m ashamed for what I put her through. Ashamed! She was out of her mind when I left last week. “Don’t hurt them!” she cried. “Don’t kill the sun men!”

The sun, a community of living beings!

We powered up for the full-intensity test and fired. A hole, a stream of bright red, the sun flickered then went out. Contraction and collapse started immediately.

The last of the sunlight has passed the home world by now. My wife is frozen. I know she stood in our garden and watched as her husband killed the sun, killed the planets and every living person. I know she couldn’t bring herself to call me a fool. I know her last thought...

End transmission.

Copyright © 2011 by Harry Lang

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