Melinda peered through the cracked outer window, watching the dazzling fires dance as the atmosphere burned away. “My God, nature is amazingly beautiful, even when it’s trying to kill you. At least it makes a gorgeous final Christmas display.”
Hearing a sob, she turned from the deadly fairy lights to look at the grizzled veteran cowering in the bunk. “That isn’t helping, Karl. How’d you get into the Norwegian Spesialkommandos?”
“Drafted,” he croaked.
Melinda’s attention went back to the swirling firestorm on the horizon, hundreds of kilometers away from the now-waterless shores of Spitsbergen Island. She figured the sealed Norwegian global seed bank would survive the initial shockwave, but the air supply would deplete with a few hours. Melinda and Karl would be the last humans on a destroyed world.
Karl emerged and shuffled over to the window. “I can’t believe one amateur scientist in New Jersey killed us all.” He knuckled the tears from his eyes. “How long?”
“Minutes now, you can see the trees vaporizing from the national park to the south.” Melinda turned and admired Karl’s square chin. “You’re not bad for a male.”
Karl looked down at the open hatch leading to the columns of seeds. “They’re going to need some kind of water to sprout.”
The maelstrom roared its approach. Melinda pulled the pins on the four grenades in Karl’s belt, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him close. “We’ll see what we can do.”
Karl smiled and gave Melinda their first, and last, kiss.