Peers Ch. 09byjjcole©
Marc had spotted the meteor that would devastate the Gulf of Mexico two months before he announced it. He had given the worlds astronomers a chance to find it first but with six months left before its arrival he decided he needed to tell the world. People and governments needed to get ready.
As expected there were delays and re-confirmations before he lost patience again and published where and when it would strike two weeks after he announced his discovery.
He understood the reluctance scientists had in believing what they were seeing but valuable time was lost before the governments began to move their citizens away from the areas.
None of the major cities on the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico were empty when the meteor hit. All of Florida and Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Yucatan, and half of Texas, had to be evacuated and there was massive chaos in trying to accomplish that.
The meteor came in at a steeper angle than anticipated and fell short of its predicted impact point by five hundred kilometers. That did not help the Gulf Coast any and hurt the Atlantic coasts since it sent the full tsunami force between Cuba and Florida towards Europe and between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula sending the full tsunami force to the Caribbean and South America
Millions died within ten minutes of impact. Billions were dead within six hours.
Many who thought they were far enough away from the Gulf were swept away as the tsunami crawled up rivers. Many, many others on the Atlantic Coasts of Europe and Africa ignored the tsunami warnings as a Gulf of Mexico problem and were swept away by the fifty-meter wave. Even on the opposite side of the Earth the ten-meter wave inundated all low areas.
Many ignored the predictions of major storms that would follow the impact and became casualties of them.
All in all about two billion people perished the first week from that impact and eventually millions more because seawater had covered the agricultural lands. The asteroid event was a lot more devastating than predicted. The Akkadian did not give humans enough credit for screwing things up.
The next day the four Lords accompanied their sons on a quick exploration of the planet. Marc was with his second son Andy and his wife Yara, the second daughter of Mizuki. They commanded the ship.
They pointed the ship cameras and sampling equipment at the devastation below. They were traveling in near space so their ship would not feel the effects of weather and the shock wave, which was still circling the planet.
The crew of each of the four ships fed their visuals to every communication satellite that was still working hoping the rescue people of the nations below would act on what they saw.
What they saw was astounding. North and South America where again separate landmasses. Central America was now and island archipelago of erupting volcanoes.
The seventh wave was just receding from the Gulf area and they saw that the entire Florida landmass was gone and the sea lapped the shoreline in the outskirts north of Dallas and Shreveport.
The more than thirty meter American Atlantic tsunami had flowed up the Potomac basin and Washington DC was completely flooded as were Baltimore, New York City and Boston. Millions died while stuck on highways as they belatedly began to flee.
Holland had vanished under a thirty-meter wave and every coastal city in Europe was inundated. Bangladesh had vanished as well as all of the coastal areas of Asia.
The shock wave had caused massive avalanches and many towns were buried in snow and rock around the Rockies, Alps, Andes and Himalayan mountain chains.
The returning Celian spaceships plunged into the sea around the island and circled Cel looking for gaps and openings in the shield. They saw none and opened the portal below Natalia Island and surfaced near the spaceport closing the portal behind them.
They took out the memory tabs of the visuals and the environmental measurements equipment and the Lords took all of them on the train to Clara. During the ten-minute ride Carlos put all the ships visuals on one disc for Marc to take to Jordan and Carmen.
Marc explained to the King and Queen what they saw and what they no longer could see.
The King and Queen were stunned. Carmen immediately asked Ahn to send the visuals to First Friend Clara, to her mother and to the Emperor.
She then asked Ashel to run it in Cel's news broadcasts and feed all the satellites. She ran it with Marcs' commentary in which he rued the delay in evacuations and the unnecessary loss of lives.
Hu, Jim, and Carlos had gone directly to the shield control building and handed the ships data to Natalia. She immediately gathered everyone working there around the displays and as they watched made comments about forces, angles, topography, rates of return and all that data was incorporated into their programs in less than ten minutes.
Akira and her team plotted weather patterns and concluded three weather systems would become major typhoons and the one would become a category five hurricane and that a series of hurricanes would form after that storm. The first three hurricanes would rush directly north from Texas to Alberta then due east to Europe.
There would be seven more hurricanes in the next two weeks and four more typhoons. All were category five and all the tornados they spawned were F4 or higher.
One of the typhoons hit Cel directly but the shield performed as it was designed and for the citizens of Cel it was just an attraction to watch.
As Natalia had suggested Carmen ordered the shield to stay up for thirty days.
They had broadcast their data worldwide and all the forecasts they made proved to be accurate and saved thousands of lives.
The world became aware of Cel that month.
A few weeks later after the many hurricanes and typhoons had run their course it occurred to the world that the small country of Cel had better info and smarter people than they did. They asked to be included in Cel's information stream.
After several countries were denied an exclusive band they eventually subscribed to the one band Cel had offered and began to get all the information they needed.
Three months after that Carlos showed Marc, Hu, and Jim how little had been done to get the people ready for the Bombardment. All nations were still trying to cope with the previous event.
Marc informed the world that a catastrophe bigger than the one they had just experienced was coming and was shocked that the leaders had ignored the data for over a year.
Marc then publicly regretted that many shelters would be incomplete when the need for them came.
"Burying the dead is a fine and noble thing but if you do not get ready now there will be no one around to bury you. Bring your armies home and begin construction now," Mark said before he took himself off the visuals.
It had been the closest thing to anger anyone had ever seen from Marc.
As expected the governments reacted badly preferring to insult Marc than to address the data. Soon however the governments were on the defensive as Carlos uploaded document after document proving their leaders had not done the main job they had been entrusted with, to keep their people safe.
Eventually many admitted they just could not believe the data. The governments collapsed and the leaders vilified.
Soon Marc was the most trusted person on Earth.
Some of the failed leaders went to the shelters they had built for themselves only to find they were already occupied. Carlos had leaked the locations of those shelters on the Internet.
Battles were fought. Shelters were destroyed. In their panic humans and nations were striking at each other.
A quarter billion more people did not have to wait for the asteroid bombardment to get killed.
Several adequate shelters were built however. The Swiss, Norway, Kenya, Peru, and Japan built shelters following the blueprints Marc had placed on line. Several large corporations built shelters too and those followed Marc's suggestions to the letter and would likely be safe.
However many were too proud of their own expertise and many shelters were built in vulnerable areas or too small for the projected number of people. In China, Russia and India many were built on ground that would be subject to secondary disasters mainly earthquakes and volcanoes and floods.
There was suddenly a huge market for suicide pills and firearms.
Carlos found the plans for building a home nuclear war shelter and how to supply it and put them on the web and thousands of families, neighborhoods and small towns built their own shelter.
Supplies got low and business people began to gouge the consumers, which led to violence and looting.
The big space barrage was nearly half a year away and planet Earth had already cut its population in half.
Millions put their fate in the hands of a deity. Millions blamed the deities for what was going to happen. Millions shrugged their shoulders and said, "Shit happens."
Murder and suicide became common occurrences. Millions let out their frustration by looting and raping their fellow citizens. The war between the have and have not had become brutal.
Half a billion more died.
The two big spaceships arrived at two preset locations each; loaded the people advised to be there by that date and time and took off before the mobs knew they had been there.
Each ship carried several hundred women carrying the children of a Peer or the children of the son of a Peer. Marc and Natalia's first children captained one ship and Hu and Claudia's first children the other.
The children had married but had decided to go with their sibling on the first part of the exodus, then the men would switch ships and go to their spouses when the ships docked together three months later. Their trip would take four years and she ships would be co-joined until it was time to land on the other planet.
The parents and their children had communicated often but had never been together.
They named their new planet Asherat and they would remain in contact with Cel over millennia.
Both would be admitted into the Federation together.
Many people tried to get to Cel but found there was no way to get there. There was never any air service to Cel; there were no airports, landing strips or runways. Commercial ships were no longer allowed entry.
Many decided to provide their own transportation but the shield had been kept up ten meters around the island so boats could not get through. The boats circled the island endlessly until they ran out of fuel and drifted away. Larger vessels tried to ram their way through only to learn the shield simply pushed them back. None of those knew their bow was above the shield before the shield was raised to one hundred meters.
Ocean Cruisers came by and broadcast their ships passenger list and description to Cel. Those people were the elite of their nations and felt they must be entitled to be welcomed but were ignored and before long the cruise ships stopped coming
Pirate ships had come to the area for easy pickings but soon found their boats without power and ended up just drifting away. Their ships never regained power and all ended up in a gyre three thousand kilometers off the coast of Chile.
Some tried to reach Cel by private planes but the first attempt to land happened just inside the inner reef but the pilot hit the shield on his approach to a bay island. The boats reported that incident and there were few other attempts although by then the shield had been raised again.
The shield itself was a marvel, it built itself from seawater and was really just a bubble but of incredible strength. The bubble had its own magnetic field that helped keep it together. The ring that constructed the shield was around the islands outer reef at a hundred meters down. Several submarines had learned there was no way in under the shield.
The Akkad had invented the ring and shield because every thirty-seven years their island homes were subjected to horrific storms when their stars companion made its closest approach.
Le had been sent to be in charge of the shield over Cel; she had been the controller of the shield for the Imperial Island on Akkad.
The Peer did keep a close watch on the boats and listened to the names broadcast from them. Many in Cel had come up with a list of names in case they were heard but many weeks went by without a match.
Rudihi and Rapa had been assigned the task of keeping up with the boats and they ran the names through Carlos' worldwide database.
Soon they noted some boats carried people they would welcome but wondered how to separate them from the people they did not want to come in.
Rudihi suggested they put everyone on the boat asleep then remove the ones that were wanted. No one took the idea seriously until one of the boats exploded. That boat had many children on board.
Rudihi was put in charge of the rescues and recruited removal teams. A protocol was set and followed.
They put the plan in motion and on moonless nights they boarded the boats and after verifying the identities removed the desired ones.
Rapa had suggested they be taken off naked and that their clothes remain were they had been found. She thought that might fuel a legend and convince the others to go home.
Much to everyone's surprise it worked. By the time they had boarded the seventh boat the others had gone away but only to be replaced by more boats. Those later boats seemed to carry mostly desirable people, they had apparently studied the background of those taken and had matched their passengers to that. One boat became legendary when all thirty-two on board were taken and the boat was sent towards Chile with just sets of clothes in it.
That ships log listed the names age and education of those on board and the episode was repeated twice more.
One passenger found himself alone on a boat; all others had been taken off. He was not surprised; he had gotten on the boat with a stolen identity.
A sail cruise ship that held three hundred passengers approached the island and instead of circling went directly to Felicity Bay.
The ship captain asked for permission to enter and it was granted. A ships pilot boarded the vessel and steered it through the shield and reef and on to the pier.
The rest of the flotilla of boats saw that and quickly tried to follow the boat in but by then the shield's portal had closed. A few knew that if they had been more alert they would have been to the side of the boat and not behind it. Some of the passengers understood that their boat crews had missed a golden opportunity and violence erupted. Those boats immediately found themselves powerless and drifting to the east.
Lord Jim greeted the new people and said, "Welcome to Cel. Those of you that are with someone special need to disembark together so you may be assigned housing accordingly. No need to go to your cabins, what you need will likely arrive at your new homes before you do. Those of you that have someone meeting you please go left after to enter the terminal, the people waiting for you will be in the waiting area. Again, welcome home."
All cheered and all the women giggled all the way to the pier offices. They filled out the forms on the computers and were asked to take the train to Clara and get their ID's, home address and job assignments.
About thirty people turned left and met people waiting for them.
A lesbian couple that had already been selected for Cel but had missed their cruise ship was among them. Both were talented engineers but very distracted women. Each was pregnant with Marc and Hu's children. They had several ladies cheering for them when they reached the waiting room and were immediately swallowed by a storm of kisses.
But no one would allow them to forget their blondeness.
Marc and Hu kissed them then swatted their butts.
One young lady that turned left was a concert pianist whose parents lived in Felicity. She was with a beautiful girl her age, an Asian violinist. Their parents met them then after hugs and kisses they began to walk home. Both parents regularly swatted the young ladies' butts as they walked. They had also missed their cruise ship.
A large red headed woman and a small redheaded woman with twin redheaded girls greeted a red headed woman with two redheaded girls and a gay men couple. After hugs and kisses there was a moment of sadness before they walked away clinging to each other. It was obvious there was supposed to be one more person arriving.
A small black woman was met by a small redheaded woman and hugged. As they began the walk they held hands but thirty paces later they hugged each other with passion and kissed with even more passion. Both were in tears as they continued walking hand in hand.
Two dark haired girls greeted two small blondish girls that had music instruments cases in their hands; one of those girls was being guided by the other but she could see the other two jumping up and down. The girls kissed each other deeply then the dark haired two swatted the butt of the blondish two and the four walked away hand in hand.
The ship captain understood his mission was accomplished and hoped there would be another one. His mission had been to bring very specific people home. They had boarded at three different locations off shore then his vessel was guided through dangerous waters and away from pirates to its destination.
The captain had not known if he would get to stay.
He had not known his daughter was there waiting for him to the left.
The next week the circling boats scattered when a major power decided to invade Cel. Like the smaller boats they could not get through the shield. Undeterred the flotilla circled the island delivering an ultimatum.
They got no response from the island.
Carmen and the Council had decided to stop communicating with the outside world as soon as they saw the first reaction to Marc's plea. They still kept that silence.
Carlos had learned of the plan to invade them months before and the shield was completely up and at full strength.
Two weeks of no response was all one warship captain could endure and fired on the island only to be shocked and destroyed when the missiles arched right back to where they had been fired.
The shield had bent inwards like a bowl and the missiles followed the contours until they flew back to where they had been launched.
The political commander became irate thinking they had been fired upon by Cel and ordered the fleet to barrage the island. The captain of the largest vessel and commander of its naval fleet had seen what had happened and canceled the order.
The politician commanded his ship to fire and was soon destroyed.
The attacking fleet was still just offshore of Cel when the fleet of four other countries destroyed them before they had a chance to escape but they had no intention of escaping, what they did was to attack their attackers. The battle did no last long.
The entire incident was broadcast live to the world.
The countries that had come to the aid of Cel then requested that Cel check on their shelters after the asteroid barrage. They understood the seriousness of the coming event and simply wanted their help.
The locations of the shelters on their lands were transmitted but were not acknowledged.
The Cel Council met and deliberated on the request. Carmen and Moesha were the only ones not at the meeting that evening.
The question was not if they would help but on how to communicate with all that would need help. Mara suggested each shelter be provided with something that would be able to receive news from them and send messages back.
Jim said he could design something with enough power to last five years if judicially used.