The warnings had been around for a couple of decades – or more, the seismic activity, sinkholes popping up all over the place, volcanic incidents, even the apparent global warming.
They were all signs that the planet – as a whole, was heading towards a major event.
And the people realised almost too late what that event was going to be.
The planet was about to grow!
The outer surface would crack open – like an egg, and the inner lava would pour out, causing the planet to increase in size.
The force of the event would give it a jolt as well, and the hope – the fervent hope was that that jolt would move it just a little bit further from the sun. Any closer and it would mean the eventual demise of the planet, since if it did move closer then the increase in size and the closer the proximity would cause the sun to drag it into the fiery ball.
Oh it would take centuries to that – but it would still be a death sentence for the planet earth, and the people of planet earth so did not want that, for their birth planet ... even if they could not stay on it.
Because of course, the event would destroy absolutely everything on the surface; even the bottomless oceans would not be immune to such a violent act.
The hot surface would eventually cool, and harden, and the rich minerals would maybe one day encourage re-growth – providing that there was water...
“We estimate twenty to fifty years,” the chief scientist sniffed as he read his notes. “We realise that it’s a wide estimate, but of course long before that most optimistic time frame, the planet will become almost uninhabitable ... the earthquakes and weather events, the air itself – it will become so poisonous that it will all become too much for anyone or anything to survive on the surface.”
He looked around nervously at the people gathered.
A world meeting – the first of its kind, where the leaders – the leaders of all countries were gathered in one place – at one time, to hear and decide together, what – if anything must be done.
Of course there were advisors, the best in their fields, the top people the most brilliant – imaginative and creative. The engineers and the scientists, generals and strategists, all of them had been summoned, and all would be give the opportunity to speak and be heard.
“Is there anything that we can do to stop it from happening?” An official from somewhere asked hopefully.
The head scientist shook his head firmly. “Nothing. We can’t even delay it. No, we have to leave – if we want to survive we have to evacuate.”
“Leave, and go to where?”
“Why to the stars of course ... the further we go, then the better chance we have of finding a new home ... the better the chances that the human race can survive.”
This was the where the discussion really took off; as everyone in the room realised that there was only one course of action.
For a brief time it was as if the world was united in one purpose – one goal, to evacuate the population of the planet earth.
But of course that could not last.
Countries began to conspire, to form alliances, to scheme and plan to ensure the survival of the wealthiest and most influential people, and in the end groups began to slip off together to plot out their own plans.
It did not take long after that for the meetings to dissolve entirely and the leaders returned to their homelands, with nothing achieved but that knowledge that they must find a way to leave this planet.
“Our island is not so very big,” the British prime minister mused as he travelled back to his home. “We could save a large portion of our population if we do it right.”
He looked at the lead scientist – his own kinsman, who was nodding thoughtfully.
“We will never be able to assemble enough – large enough vehicles for so many people ... not large enough to house them, and powerful enough to get them into orbit, and then out into the stars ... but maybe there is a way...”