Content 18+ Cosmic wind was blowing dust, created billions of years ago. Of course, it was not an earthy wind produced by air movements, but the mighty power of gravity and thermonuclear reactions, forging cosmic objects in an infinite vastness of the Universe.
The dark round object was flying through one of the spirals of swirling interstellar clouds, silent and untouched.
An observer might notice the deep scar on one of the sides of the object, almost artificially-looking, cut with a terrifying precision on the upper crust of the…planet.
This round object was a planet, smashed by the asteroid long ago, shuttered from its’ eternal way through the cosmos around the star, just like a sinking man from the ship when storm roars and it is very easy to fall unnoticed.
It is also possible that just a smash was not enough, and gravitational pull from another star passing nearby (don’t get me wrong – we are talking about thousands of astronomical units – distances from Sun to Earth here) helped a bit, and probably, to finish the poor planet, the gravity of a colossal planet in the system – something like a gas giant – whipped it even further so it could penetrate the invisible barrier and be released into the empty darkness to travel alone without light, without life, without energy.
Should the planet with the size of roughly 6.5 thousands kilometers in radius go that far, it will soon lose its’ internal heat, and the surface will be frozen long before that. It will eventually be an iron-stone ball (or whatever) covered with snow (or whatever) traveling till the Universe ends.
It will all end one day. First, stars will burn out hydrogen, all of them – sooner or later, turning into red giants and then collapsing, slowly cooling down to absolute zero. Their light will fade. Eventually, red dwarfs will also faint, and Hawking radiation will evaporate even the black holes, leaving slowly moving particles in deep space. There will be no stars, no lights, no fusion reaction, no nuclear reaction, and just because of that even those particles will freeze to an absolute zero, leaving Universe as something static.
Yet let’s get back to our lost planet, some millions of years in the future.
This planet has scars on it, scars of asteroid damage, yet it doesn’t look like the moon (or cheese) – the space is empty, and it has been flying through it. Between stars, there is not much that could hit it, and the planet is that small that the probability is almost negligible.
Asteroid smash did two things. First, it launched chain reaction on the surface, evaporating millions of tons of rock in the atmosphere, scorching the sky. Second, it made a wave in the mantle, and this was much worse. Supervolcanoes erupted, heating the crust to a melting state; magma rivers flowing on the surface wiped out everything that existed ever before.
Taking chemical probes observers might still notice the unusual presence of certain carbon isotopes, methane, probably some small amounts of frozen water. This may lead to an uneven conclusion – this planet was inhabited. Probably some microorganisms lived on it, they harvested their star energy in order to grow and expand.
This observer may never know (actually most definitely won’t) that this was once a planet inhabited by intelligent species that stopped looking up in the sky, consumed by the one-year (ok, sometimes one-hundred years) political changes, useless gadgets, infinite consumption and development of design instead of taking content to the next level, who tried to make life easier in perception instead of inventing something ground-breaking. Something that could have saved them. Something that could give them an opportunity to shield off this ill-fated asteroid…or, if that was not possible – to migrate to another planet they could have called their home.
Unfortunately, (and the observer won’t even know) they didn’t. They sold immortality for a plastic toy with a window to an imaginary world.