Nightfall of Civilization

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson appears mid-interview in a PBS NewsHour special report, opening with the anchor asking about the coming solstice phenomenon

Anchor: “Neil, scientists seem abuzz over tomorrow’s rare alignment of planets during the winter solstice. What’s special about this event? Are there any foundations to mystical claims it may trigger the ‘end of days’?”

Neil chuckles shaking his head

“Quite the contrary! Planetary alignments this precise are exceptionally rare from our vantage point on Earth – their combined gravitational effects do subtly influence solar activity. But as to mystical energies or supernatural events? Sheer nonsense.”

gestures out a window at the setting sun

“What’s important is we’re witnessing a dazzling celestial convergence allowing studies of how subtle gravitational fluctuations affect everything from communications satellites to power grids. Your GPS may be a few yards off tomorrow night! But it’s a wonderful opportunity for new discovery.”

Anchor: “And most thrilling of all, a lucky glimpse of so many worlds aligned across the horizon after sunset?”

Neil nods, grinning

“Absolutely! I’ll be right out there with my telescope! Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus…all visible to the naked eye for those brief magical minutes. A Dance of Planets we won’t see the likes of again in our lifetimes. That alone is worth celebrating – no doom and gloom needed!”

Both laugh as the program shifts to viral videos of “end times” preachers forecasting unlikely disaster theories

“This is Riley Cook of News 52 coming to you exclusively from CERN in Geneva where final safety checks are underway for the ‘God Particle Portal’ experiment tonight. With me is Director Sorel who will explain the monumental test they plan to execute at the stroke of solstice midnight.”

Dr. Sorel nods, gazing proudly across the colossal supercollider ring. “Yes Riley, years of calculations indicate that only by harnessing the exponentially magnified energies during this rare planetary alignment will we accumulate enough speed and vector resonance in the collider beams to pierce the quantum dimensional veil. In effect creating a temporary traversable Einstein-Rosen bridge ‘portal’.”

“You mean…a portal to parallel dimensions?” asks the reporter.

“Precisely,” Agathe grins. “Navigating the quantum foam between branching realities has been mere theory until now. But if the cosmic harmonic forces we expect to harness tonight converge as predicted, our ion tracer stream will become a bonafide hyperspace tunneling conduit punching through dimensional barriers!”

“Hyperspace portals…incredible! And viewers, you’re hearing it live, this ‘God Particle Portal’ experiment happens tonight at 12:00 AM UTC. Of course, we’ll provide exclusive covera-“

The news footage cuts out suddenly, the broadcast switching back to the frantic eruption coverage amidst Yellowstone’s impending cataclysmic detonation.

A teen girl with neon rainbow hair stands in front of Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone, holding a sparkly pink selfie stick pointed back at herself.

“Hey TikTok! u/MadisonMagic here coming at you LIVE from none other than like, the most gorgeous hot spring ever! I SO scored bringing my besties on vacay to Yellowstone! Make sure you comment “yas queen” when you see these unfiltered pics! Now let’s go find some bison!”

As she’s about to turn the camera, the ground shakes violently. Geysers erupt columns of steam in the distance followed by bloodcurdling screams. Strange lightning courses violently through the plumes despite clear skies.

“Oh em gee, what’s happening??! The boardwalk just cracked and people are freaking!”

She pans left revealing visitors fleeing from a now violently explosive Old Faithful, spewing azure and purple hued mineral clouds. Lightning lashes out wildly, striking signposts that burst aflame as electronic devices short circuit and fail en mass.

“Samantha!! Kelly!! Ouch, something shocked me! We gotta get…wait stop, my phone is spazzing!”

The strobe-lit view on screen glitches further then cuts sharply to:

[Transmission Lost]

As the dimmed globe rotates beneath the Lunar Gateway, violent lightning storms flare up visible even from orbit, arcing wildly between volcanic eruption plumes punching through cloud layers in North America and along the Pacific Rim. But even more concerning, eldritch auroras of purple and green hues spiderweb rapidly to encircle the entire planet.

“Mon dieu! Spectral electromagnetic manifestations tracking with seismic events!” gasps an astrophysicist floating back from the cupola viewport as tendrils of this otherworldly aurora lash violently.

Ground-zero eruption sites glow angry lava red amidst spreading ash clouds but between them, giving the orb an ominous etched appearance, dance continent-spanning torrents of electromagnetic plasma – ghostly purple, ethereal veins bulging then diminishing from one quake nexus to the next.

“It’s tapping the planetary grid itself…” the Commander whispers in dreaded awe. “This isn’t just earthquakes but something causing a fundamental dimensional shift.”

Surging ley lines distort gravity and magnetism keeping Gateway briefly afloat before sickening spatial undulation ceases.Crew scream as the station abruptly lists starboard despite no obvious orbital change. Distant rumbling seems to echo outside suggesting this cosmic chaos has only just begun. Strobing globes of eldritch forces now fully encase their homeworld.

“This is the end, Beautiful friend, the end.” – Jim Morrison

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