The Last Adam and Eve.
Yuri switched off the monitor in disbelief. Arianna doubled over in pain. She floated like a fetus in the communications section of the space station. The intercom continued to hum.
They had become witnesses to humankind's ultimate act of stupidity. Complete and total annihilation. They were probably the only humans left alive.
They were not sure how the war got started. There had been a flurry of confusing reports from the ground. Within a half an hour it was all over. The Earth was encased in a layer of radioactive dust that was ten miles thick. Sunlight would not be able to penetrate the dust cloud. All living things were going to die within a matter of months.
While still gripped by the horror, Yuri started to make plans. Suspended 100 miles above the Earth he knew there was no hope of rescue. The shuttle spacecraft would not be coming. He was taking mental inventory of the food and water supplies. And the oxygen!
He estimated that he and Arianna had six months to live before the air would run out. There was enough food for a year, but the air filtration systemís activated carbon canisters were due for replacement. The new canisters were to arrive on the next shuttle flight. Now, that flight nor any other would be coming.
He watched Arianna as she scanned radio frequencies, looking for life on a now dead planet. His gaze became a look of appreciation and lust. His fellow cosmonaut was a good-looking woman. She had shapely breasts.
Suddenly, moral reasoning kicked the thoughts of sex from his mind. Are you crazy? The world has just destroyed itself and you are looking for a piece of ass? he asked himself.
But to hell with reason, he reasoned. His wife, children, parents, and friends were all gone. Rules and regulations were gone. All of man's religions were gone. All restraints on human behavior had been obliterated in the multiple nuclear blasts. He was bound by nothing. He was his own king. And he wanted Arianna.
And so he raped her.
Later, she took revenge and slit his throat while he slept.
And that is how humanity met its end. Mankind was never quite civilized; the strong took from the weak without remorse.
©2006 Richard C. James