The Bright Side.

Peter Smith has just found out he has a month left to live due to a lethal brain tumour.
He has also just found out that in less than a month, the human race will become extinct and that he has been chosen to be one of six humans to survive the approaching apocalypse. And who has saved him? E.I.P.F, the Earth Inhabitant Protection Front, a group of intergalactic environmentalists who want to save just one species.
And so, whilst also keeping his deadly secret from the aliens, Peter embarks on a quest to rally the chosen survivors, whilst avoiding Government Agents, the secret services, Satanists, Velociraptors, and a manic depressive Tyrannosaurus .

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5. Chapter 5

 Emilia stared at the collection of men sat in front of her. Their attention, usually absorbed in computer screens, now focused on her in bemused fascination. One of the scientists meekly approached her. To say he was pale would completely disregard the fact that he was terminally pallid and looked like a rake. “My name's professor James English, how may I help you?”

“I have a scientific discovery” Emilia said sharply, staring at the collection of men. These were men who for the majority of their lives had been dictated by their mothers and the sight of women made their very bones tremble. Emilia smiled with satisfaction. A second scientist leaned forward, “It's not another bloody star is it? Everybody's discovering bloody stars. Can't move for the newly discovered stars, makes discovering stars bloody difficult, I mean -”

“Shut up Reginald!” English hissed. He turned an ill smile on the woman. “Erm, we generally don't take outside discoveries”

“Why not?”

“Well -”

“Because we're fed up of other people finding new stars” Reginald grumbled. “Some of us spend months searching for new stars, even come up with fascinating names. Then some jumped up ten year old with some telescope from Argos pops along with KCD – 206574, makes me bloody angry!”

“Shall we go somewhere more private?” James asked, he had started to sweat slightly. Emilia reluctantly agreed. Although Emilia was a fully functional clairvoyant, she happened to only be part time. When she was trying to live an ordinary everyday life, an unexpected premonition would jump up and decide to readjust her life into a backwards motion. However, at points when she really needed it, all she could find was one embarrassed neuron shuffling its feet awkwardly in the corner shrugging its shoulders. Which was why, when she had decided to pay a visit to the Royal British institute for space investigation, or The R.B.I.S.I for those who insist on using acronyms, she had not expected to find that the entire faculty consisted of six men who seemed to live at their computer screen in a building that would have given sheds a bad name. Professor James English led Emilia into a cramped, tiny and uncomfortable office. She removed several folders from something that looked slightly recognisable as a chair and waited patiently for the professor to climb into his own seat. Once he combed down his ruffled hair and caught his breath back. He smiled weakly at Emilia, she really was staring at him quite sternly. “Erm” he said nervously, “So, you think you have a scientific discovery?”

“No” she said sharply, “I know I have a scientific discovery”

“Ah,” said English tugging at his collar, “Well, we don't normally accept outside information -”

It happened in a split second, he barely had time to react. And when he did, it was too late. Emilia tightened her grip on his collar, “Now listen very closely” she hissed, millimetres away from his quivering eyes. “In three weeks this whole planet is going to get blown up by a very large solar flare and every single living thing on this planet is going to die! Understand? And if you don't believe me, then check it with some big jobs in America or something. Because if you don't believe me, well, you'd better hope I'm wrong” she then released James. He fell forward, gasping for air. Emilia straightened her hair and stood up. “Goodbye Professor English. Have a nice few weeks.” she then left the gasping scientist and strutted from the building. It was as she was walking towards the bus stop and passing a small dark alleyway, that the premonition hit. It was like holding in five sneezes all at the same time. Her eyes bulged and her nostrils flared. A burning sensation ran down her spine, giving her the sensation of placing her damp fingers in the toaster. Her whole brain burst into multiple images that almost answered her main question, it was just a shame it was that point her attacker hit her over the head with a cosh.

 

Sixty five million years of operation had done a lot for the members of E.I.P.F. Centuries of inter-species-breeding, divorces and law suits had successfully gained them the title of a whole new species. Such a trivial matter of not having an origin planet was nothing to hold any species back, in fact, the Dripaxi beetle who flies through the galaxy pushing stars into black holes, was among the first species to be registered in the intergalactic tax system. Once finding out about this, the entire Dripaxi colony had pushed every single planet with an intergalactic tax registration building, into the nearest black hole.

And so, the new species had named themselves, Collopians, and after the complimentary banquet for all new species held at The Galactic government's headquarters, they had resumed their work and ignored all letters from the Tax registration corporation asking for donations to rebuild the corporation. During those sixty five million years of preparing for a catastrophic event that would cause total extinction of the Earth inhabitants, the Collopians had successfully worked out a system that would choose who would survive the end of the world and repopulate another world. That system was housed in The Small Room. Unfortunately, the Collopians had not invented the humour known as irony. This fact did not comfort Peter. He breathed carefully and edge closer to Kurt. “This is the small room?” he asked breathlessly.

“Indeed” Kurt said, smiling uncomfortably.

The room had not been designed for three people. It hadn't even been designed for two. Not even one. The original use of the room had been a storage room for spare battery packs. But, since the invention of the system, the batteries were now shoved into every available space around the ship. Now, the room housed a small pedestal in the centre of the room, atop it, was a large yellow book. Peter stared at it silently, Kurt and Lars watched him expectantly. “Behold” Lars said quietly, “The Book!”

“It's the Yellow Pages” Peter said simply.

“Well, that is what the book is called,” Kurt admitted, “But with it -”

“You decide who will survive the apocalypse” Peter said slowly, “With the yellow pages?”

“Erm, yes” Lars said, his eyes betrayed his worry. Peter was not meant to be taking it like this, he should have been in awe at the sight of the book, not being very, very calm. “It's a very complicated process actually”

“Show me”

“Pardon?”

“Show me.” Peter stared at the stammering Lars, there was a sheen of panic driven sweat slowly progressing across the alien's temple. “Right now?”

“Yes please.”

Nervously, Lars shuffled closer to the large yellow book. He glanced at Kurt, who had suddenly become very interested in the ceiling. He was alone. With shuddering fingers he grasped the book, then, he flicked. He flicked the pages. They whizzed past Peter's eyes. “Stop!” Kurt barked. The book slapped open, the pages stumbling to a stop. Lars, with his eyes ceremoniously closed, raised his hand up into the air, then let it drop on to the page. He opened his eyes, and looked at the name beneath his finger. “Cross, Alex” he said loudly.

“Cross, Alex” Kurt repeated.

They then both turned to Peter, his eyes hadn't moved from the book. “That's it?” he asked.

“Erm, yes” Kurt said.

“You just flick through the pages and then stop on a random page?”

“Yes” Lars said.

“It's much fairer” Kurt explained, Lars nodded in agreement.

“And that's how I was chosen” Peter asked, memories of his medical result were treacherously raising their head.

“Yes”

“So, you don't know anything about my medical records for example?” a dim light of hope was rising over the cliff of guilt. “Oh no” Lars stated. “If we didn't get to you straight away we may have lost you.” Lars explained happily, thankful for an escape from the Yellow Pages problem, “Why? Should we check it up?”

“Oh no!” Peter yelped, far too quickly for anybody's comfort. “No” he said more calmly, “I'm fine, and very glad you chose me to survive” Peter, unlike the Collopians did understand irony, he smiled at the pleasant thought. The two aliens joined him in the smile, but for completely different reasons. It was at that point the ceiling burst into red blinding light. A shrill wail rang through the tiny cupboard, Peter slapped his hands over his ears. “What the hell is that?” he asked, he glared at Kurt, then gulped. The alien's face had turned even paler than normal. “What does it mean?” he asked sombrely.

“We're at war!” Kurt explained simply.

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