Guiana Space Centre
Ben and Love waited for a jeep in the dead of night. Harsh spotlights cast either blue/white light or black shadow on all the moving staffers, converting a spaceport to a Defense Effort piece by piece.
“How… how did this come together so quickly?” Love asked, over the loud vibrations of a passing helicopter overhead.
Ben could see there was so much Love didn’t understand but she tried to pace her questions with his failing stamina and her own patience.
“There’ve always been comets and asteroids,” Ben replied, “and there will always be comets and asteroids. It’s humans that have no precedent. We’re the variable—”
“So you always knew it was a possibility,” Love interrupted, “but how did you get all these different people and governments to work together?”
“Science has no borders,” Ben said simply.
It sounded like a bumper sticker but it was true. For as long as Ben could remember, there was an international network of scientists dedicated to collaboration in the name of planetary defense. Despite wars, espionage, broken promises, cyber-attacks and sanctions between their countries, scientists kept communications open with a flow of ideas. When UD3 was discovered, these scientists didn’t wait for public opinion or permission from demagogues.
“We acted with the allies we had—”
“The UN and the European Union,” Love finished for him.
“This Space Centre already had an Ariane rocket close to complete,” Ben explained. “And thank God. It was slated for a mission to resupply the ISS. Sorry, that’s the International Space Station. You’ll get used to all the acronyms.”
“What about the Space Station? How will they get supplies now?”
Love continued to stare. She was going to make him state the obvious, awful truth.