art by Richard Gagnon
by Rich Larson
He waited until Eta Carinae was in the viewport, roiling on its stellar winds. It was blinding.
"Four hundred times the size of the old sun," he said. "Which, of course, fit upwards of a million Earths."
She champed at the plastic in her mouth.
"And at peak population, Earth had, what, eleven billion people?"
She turned away. The skin of her neck was burned and blistered, like his, from the slow approach.
"And now there's only two of us," he said, craning to see the bodies drifting above them, each with a cauterized hole in the forehead. "Just the two of us with the whole universe in front of us."