From the author: In the far future, where will humanity find water? And when they find it, will it be enough?
They swore it would be different across the wasteland. Here, the last survivors were dying of thirst, but the other side--that would be an oasis, with springs. Streams, even.
Classical texts were consulted, and we refurbished ancient engines. Our ambitious odyssey: 12,000 miles and 9 months long, across rifts and ridges, across death made of sand and rock. But oh, the stars out there. How they blazed, with so little atmosphere.
And still they blazed, 12,000 miles later. We found nothing at the North Pole. No ice. Not even a drop of water. Only an abandoned radio transmitter array, its lonely dishes blasting our ancestors' plea heavenward:
Help. Our planet is dying.
Is anyone listening?
This story originally appeared in PEN-ULTIMATE II: A SPECULATIVE FICTION ANTHOLOGY.