Red lights flash on every screen in NASA headquarters. This is the first time in history anyone will ever be able to witness the rare and unexplainable fluctuation of a planet’s gravity. The exoplanet Alpha 61954 is experiencing a major gravitational change, pulling its moon closer and closer. As the NASA officials watch their computers in awe, the rest of the world mulls about in oblivion.
Alpha 61954 and its moon collide at exactly 3:47 p.m., sending millions of tons of debris and planet matter into space at incredible speeds. The planet and its moon disappear from view for a few hours as the debris expands into space.
“Well,” says the head NASA officer, “that’s the end of Alpha.”
Then, when the debris has cleared, to the surprise of everyone in headquarters, the planet appears out of the dust. Its moon, which has just collided with the planet, is embedded in Alpha’s side. The planet swings rapidly out of orbit, heading toward another part of the universe.
A man wearing bulky headphones looks up from his computer. “Guys,” he says.
No one hears him. He takes off his headphones.
“Guys!” the man repeats. The head officer turns his gaze. “Alpha is headed toward the Minefield.”
The head officer stiffens. He walks briskly to the man’s computer and shoves him aside, staring intensely at the image on the screen.
“Should we send a missile after it?” the man asks the officer.
“Absolutely not,” the officer replies. “Do you even know what would happen if that thing explodes out there? We can’t risk that. All we can do is hope it doesn’t hit anything.”
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