Humor Satire Science Fiction

To Catch a Comet

By Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Apr 3, 2019 · 1,748 words · 7 minutes

Sublime purple night sky

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon via Unsplash.

From: Samantha Schandin

To: Greg Smith

Regarding: Asteroid Strike

 

Dear Greg,

Attached please find our revised projections regarding the inbound asteroid based on newly collected data from Observatorio del Teide. The results have been verified by the Astrophysical Unit here in Cambridge.

As you can see, it's more bad news. You haven't sent any updates lately and I am hoping there's no delays on the intercept mission as we have only a few months until impact.

Please get in touch and let me know the status.

Samantha

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From: postmaster@europa.eu

To: Samantha.Schandin

Automated Response

I am sorry to inform you that Greg Smith no longer works for the department of special projects within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. You may wish to get in touch with another project department regarding this. Your email *Regarding: Asteroid Strike* has been deleted unread.

From: Samantha Schandin

To: European Institute of Innovation and Technology

Asteroid 2007 QS August 2016

 

Dear Mr Peeters,

I'm with the Near-Earth Objects research project. Can you please tell me who is leading the AEGIS intercept project regarding Asteroid 2007 QS? It's urgent.

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From: European Institute of Innovation and Technology

To: Samantha Schandin

Regarding: Asteroid 2007 QS August 2016

 

Dear Samantha

I regret to inform you that the AEGIS project has been cancelled due to funding issues. If I can help further, please let me know.

Thomas Peeters

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From: Samantha Schandin

To: European Institute of Innovation and Technology

Regarding: Asteroid 2007 QS August 2016

 

Dear Mr Peeters,

I'm not sure if you are aware, but the AEGIS project was an intercept mission against a meteorite which is due to impact this August. This isn't a research project but a matter of a defence project which has been ongoing for the past four years. Can you please tell me who to speak to in order to get the project back on track? There are lives at stake.

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

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From: European Institute of Innovation and Technology

To: Samantha Schandin

Regarding: Asteroid 2007 QS August 2016

 

Dear Samantha

I'm afraid the AEGIS project was cancelled three weeks ago and the team has already been disbanded. It's out of my hands. Have you considered contacting the military?

Thomas Peeters

From: Dr Samantha Schandin

For the attention of the European Defence Agency

Regarding Imminent Meteorite Strike August

 

Dear Sirs,

I am trying to find the right person to speak to regarding Asteroid 2007 QS, a meteorite which is inbound to Northern Europe. Our analysis has shown that the impact site will be land-based and cause considerable devastation. We believe that the most likely point of impact is Luxembourg if the asteroid is not intercepted.

The EU-sponsored AEGIS mission was the first line of defence against the destruction which this meteorite will cause and this project has now been cancelled. We urgently need to meet with you to discuss this situation and look at how to defend against this incoming meteorite.

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

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From: European Defence Agency

To: Dr Schandin @ NEOWatch

Imminent Meteorite Strike August

There is no appropriate department within the European Defence Agency for missile intercepts of near-earth objects and Luxembourg is not a high priority target.

I looked it up and there's no confirmed records of any human ever dying in a meteorite impact. How bad can it be?

Tony Martins

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From: Dr Samantha Schandin

Tony Martins, European Defence Agency

Imminent Meteorite Strike August

 

Dear Mr Martins,

I'm not sure you understand the urgency of this issue. Asteroid 2007 QS will cause considerable devastation. Although my department's work has shown that the impact site will most likely be Luxembourg, this is not an exact science. Perhaps it will be easier to gain the attention that we need to deal with this by citing Brussels or Paris as likely strike sites, as there are significant staff in both locations.

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

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From: European Defence Agency

To: Dr Schandin @ NEOWatch

Imminent Meteorite Strike August

 

Quite frankly, a 30-metre rock is not an issue for the European Defence Agency. If you have some sort of proof that the rock is sentient or launched by sentient beings, we would be very interested in hearing further. Perhaps you should contact the European Space Agency to see if they can help you with your issue.

I am sorry that I am not able to help you further.

Tony Martins

------------------------

From: Dr Samantha Schandin

Tony Martins, European Defence Agency

Regarding Imminent Meteorite Strike August

 

Dear Mr Martins

It is not my issue. NeoWatch is three dozen people who have spent the last four years analysing data on Asteroid 2007 QS. We have coordinated with observatories and astrophysics departments around the world who have all confirmed our findings. We have updated our website with a factsheet about the asteroid in order to help you highlight the issue.

An asteroid with a diameter of 7 metres would have the equivalent kinetic energy of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Over one thousand people were injured by the Chelyabinsk meteor airburst event over Russia in 2013.

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEO-Watch

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From: European Defence Agency

To: Dr Schandin @ NEOWatch

Imminent Meteorite Strike August

Understood, but this damage would be specific to Luxembourg, is that right?

Tony

From: Dr Samantha Schandin

For the attention of the EU Space Department

Imminent Meteorite Crash

 

I'm with Near-Earth Objects research project in Cambridge and I've been tasked with finding the right person to speak to regarding Asteroid 2007 QS, a meteorite which will impact the earth in just eight weeks. Possible crash sites include Brussels and Paris. We expect significant localised consequences.

The EU-sponsored AEGIS mission was planning an intercept but the project has been inaccountably cancelled and we now have no defence. Can I speak to someone within the EU Space Department urgently about coordinating a response?

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

------------------------

From: EU Space Department

To: Dr Samantha Schandin

Regarding: Imminent Meteorite Crash

 

Dear Dr Schandin

Thank you for your email. I am afraid to say there is not anything we can do to help. As you are no doubt aware, a mission of this size would take at least one year to put into place and even if there were enough time, we have neither the staff nor the funding to launch an intercept craft capable of withstanding the meteorite and taking it off track. There is also significant risk to our reputation if this mission were to be undertaken and then be unsuccessful.

Elisabeth Jacobs

EU Space Department

 

From: Dr Samantha Schandin

Council of the European Union

URGENT: Imminent Meteorite Crash

 

To whom it may concern,

I am Dr Samantha Schandin, an astrophysicist employed by NEOWatch in Cambridge. We analyse Potentially Hazardous Asteroids. An asteroid is heading for Northern Europe and will crash into the Earth next month.

I have assembled a petition of 1,742 scientists and researchers who all confirm that this asteroid is an immediate hazard and will create a one to two kilometre crater on impact. The most likely impact sites are Brussels and Paris.

We have contacted staff representing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, European Defence Agency and the European Space Department and am unable to find anyone who will take responsibility for coordinating a defence. Can we have your support?

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

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From Jean-Luc Vasseur

To: Samantha Schandin

Regarding: URGENT: Imminent Meteorite Crash

 

Dear Samantha,

We recommend you come to our next meeting on the 17th of July and see if you can find a representative who is interested in your cause. I have attached a document with travel information and local hotels. We look forward to seeing you.

Jean-Luc

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From: Dr Samantha Schandin

Jean-Luc Valais, Council of the European Union

CRASH AND BURN

 

Dear Mr Vasseur,

My entire department went to Brussels for for a meeting and there were more translators there than MEPs. This was a completely wasted effort. Asteroid 2007 QS is incoming straight for us right now and no one seems to be able get the EU to react. We're running out of time here! PLEASE HELP ME FIND THE RIGHT CONTACT!

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

------------------------

From: Dr Samantha Schandin

Jean-Luc Valais, Council of the European Union

Regarding: CRASH AND BURN

 

Dear Mr Vasseur

It is now only four weeks until impact! I understand that you are originally from Paris which is one of the likely impact destinations. Are you really willing to allow what is effectively a large bomb land your home town and do nothing?

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

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European Parliament

Dr Schandin

Regarding: CRASH AND BURN

 

Dear Dr Schandin,

Paris is empty in August anyway, so I don't think that's of particular concern.

However, I have forwarded your emails to the department most likely to be interested in the situation. I hope you are able to resolve this.

Jean-Luc

 

Department of Geology and Mineral Exploration

Dr Samantha Schandin

NEOWatch

FW: Regarding: CRASH AND BURN

 

Dear Dr Schandin,

Your information was forwarded to me by Jean-Luc Vasseir of the Council of the European Union.

Could you please specify the exact details of the meteorite, including metal composition and other things so that we can correctly identify the value? It is possible that the Belgian Department of Geology and Mineral Exploration (BDGME) is interested in this occurrence. If, as you say, the meteorite will definitely land in European territory, then we are definitely interested in more information which will allow us to recover the meteorite after impact.

Kristina Krinov

Department of Geology and Mineral Exploration

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From: European Institute of Innovation and Technology

To: Samantha Schandin - NEOWatch

Regarding: Asteroid 2007 QS August 2016

 

Dear Samantha

This is a follow-up email as a part of our quality control to ensure that queries to our department are correctly handled. Were you able to resolve your issues regarding Asteroid 2007 QS August 2016?

Thomas Peeters

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Dear Thomas,

I have left NEOWatch and relocated to the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bengaluru.

I have come to the conclusion that Brussels could only be improved by a meteor strike.

Kind regards

Samantha

PS: I appreciate that at least you took the time to check back with me. Have you considered taking a holiday? I'd recommend the third week of August. Head South.

This story originally appeared in Galaxy's Edge.


  • 1 Comment
  • waltergm@comcast.net
    April 13, 8:12pm

    Loved it...Immensely humorous, but at the same time, isn't this gravely trueful of the Governments of the World right now.