Twenty-five years ago they spotted it, fifteen years ago they plotted it, and five years ago they tried to stop it but the nukes weren't enough. And there was no time or technology to try anything else. Two years ago the spot in the Urals where the asteroid 17045-2003AF is going to hit was narrowed to a hundred-metre square, and the evacuation began. Now humanity, huddling far below the horizons around me as the red glow overhead slowly grows, is a few minutes away from almost total incineration. The hammer of God is coming.
I have known I wanted to come here from the minute I heard the nuclear missiles had failed to divert the rock sufficiently from its course. I knew I wanted to take a shot, the one-in-a-billion shot. I used to play professionally, after all, and I know that humanity, except for a lucky twelve thousand, is going to be extinct after this whatever happens. I have no close friends, no family. I have nothing to lose.
I turn my eyes from the bitter wind and stare upwards. I'm hoping that nobody knows I'm here. I wouldn't want them all to be pinning their hopes on me, because I honestly have no idea what will happen next. All of humanity is going to be annihilated today. I'm just going to be the first. Unless there's a miracle.
The redness high above me is a glowing, growing glare now, occupying more sky than anything I've ever seen. I'm not used to this angle. I can see distant cloud formations being torn apart as it descends, cutting a swathe over the Pole directly towards this mountaintop. Size - we've all known since '03 that it had half the diameter of the Moon, but I never realised how small I had mentally interpreted that as up until now, and I see it, filling an entire hemisphere of my consciousness with hellish orange flame. It's not a thing in the sky anymore, the sky itself is on fire, and it's falling. Nothing that big should be airborne, and in a minute, it won't be. Wind is starting to pick up. It's getting warmer. I can't make this hit. There's still ten seconds until it reaches me. Gravity's getting ever so slightly weaker.
I'm gonna be toast before it even gets close. This was an insane idea. Only God Himself could make this hit. This is it, this the end of the world. I'm no saviour. I'm just a nut with a baseball bat.
Closing my eyes against the howling wind and whipping dust, attempting to block my ears against the ascending roar, and bracing my feet against the slippery mud and melting snow, I keep my stance. I count down the last few seconds from my wristwatch, and swing blindly. The bat connects-