Grand-pa chuckles, “Einstein’s fault, really. He didn’t want them to drop the bomb. Called it the Great Green Day. Humanities last chance, and I volunteered us.
I don’t know what to ask first, so many questions occur to me all at once. Us? What the—
But I am getting excited, and that helps no one, so I will my thoughts to calm.
To help, my mind cycles through what I know. I knew my grandfather had metals from the war- that he earned them doing things he never discusses. Top Secret, he’d say. But I knew his pedigree helped my father become a Senator, which allowed me to get into West Point and be a war-fighter in the Middle East. I came back escaping demons by seeking out science and cold hard facts. NASA came-a-knocking for my physics, and my projects took me to the moon and to the beginning stages of the humanities first space elevator. I was busy, and I loved my life. Until I got the call, G-pa’s in the ICU.
And now I am here, pushed from my next mission because of bad timing.
I don’t know who brought the pictures, so I ask.
I had never seen them before today, and his answer is a little annoying, “but why—”
“Why is the sky green?”
I nod, sure, willing for any information that’ll make sense of what I was looking at:
Me, under a green sky, standing on rocks so bright red it gave the photo a 3d effect.
“The sky is green, Javier, because of what Einstein called an electromagnetic-field at rest through a spatially-oscillating beam-of-light. It’s been active since we decided my grandchild would be the best candidate for humanity’s first time-pilot. There’s a lot of math involved here, but the gist is- Einstein picked you to make humanity better. Congratulations!”
He hits me on the shoulder with an open palm, and just as I think of my next question, “why me?” I notice the image begins to glow. The details becoming so crisp that I actually think I can feel the ancient cloth on my skin and the dry-hot New Mexican air in my lungs.
I blink, and when my eyes open, I am staring at a middle-aged man with crazy white hair, “Did it work? Are you Javier? Or not?” he yells his questions at me in a bavarian accent over the clatter of all the machinery behind him.
I feel dumped in an oven cranked to full blast. The sun is hot desert sun, and a small breeze stirs red desert dirt. I nod, because, for a small moment, I remember my name, then as if someone drenches my brain in freshly poured coke- I collapse into a blissful nothing.