Aors is your typical life-sustaining planet. The population is an exact 7,438,963,234,531, or it was at the time of the incident about which is this story. The peculiar thing about Aors is that the news media industry and the entertainment industry are one. The inhabitants of the planet are willing to pay sums of money in order that they might be able to watch a greater amount of news channels.
The main economy consists of Producers, Consumers, and Entertainers. The producers keep the consumers alive, the consumers keep the producers alive, and the entertainers keep everyone happy.
Aors gender balance is rather interesting too. The male-female ratio is close to 1:1. In fact, it would be 1:1 if it wasn't for the fact that the total population of the planet were an odd number.
Obviously, I have established that Aors is quite the interesting planet. Obviously, you're pondering what other "interesting" facts I have to point out. Obviously, you're getting restless. Obviously, I should probably stop saying "obviously."
Marriages, the next interesting topic, are all arranged. When parents have a child, they immediately look for another new parent, and there arrange a marriage in the newborn ward.
No one knows how Azhra (say "Ah-jra" [but say the j as if you were French]) came to be the only one who wasn't arrange to be wed. He would have asked his parents, but they died in a gristly freak accident involving an elevator, an elephant, and an electric current. Surprisingly, this is the most common way of dying, next to natural causes.
You're probably thinking, "Why should Azhra care that he doesn't have any woman to go to? What about widows, and widowers? What do they do?"
Widows and widowers go into seclusion, and usually end up dying a few months after their partners. The loss is too great to bear.
Of course, there aren't many nonessential deaths on Aors, since murder is low.
Back to Azhra. His parents were sick and twisted, naming him after the ancient Hythian (an lost, but remembered race of people) word for "Loner."
Things looked bad to Azhra. He didn't fit in anywhere.
His life past, and he was approaching his 23rd year. That's the year that everyone normally gets married, provided that their parents established an agreement with another family, like every other person on the face of the planet had done for generations past.
The International Space and Air Committee had not sent any rockets into space in quite some time. They had recently developed a new method of jet propulsion, which allowed interplanetary travel in a great deal less time than typical means.
Of course, they could not test out this new technology, since the People Interested in Tending Animals would not allow ISaAC to launch any more animals, including apes of the Mono espacius type, into space.
The Mono espacius is better known as a Space Monkey. They have a natural instinct that allows them to pilot spacecraft, survive in a frigid space vacuum for prolonged periods of time, a draw perfect images of all that they saw. Of course, unlike people, they had no souls, so it really didn't matter if they died in gristly accidents. They were designed for such.
It was therefore decided that the scientists would collaborate to decide who would be the best suited for this mission, this brave exploration that could unravel the mysteries of the universe.
About a week later, they announced the big winner.
Shockingly enough, it was Azhra.
Of course, he had nothing to lose.
The big day came. Azhra had been trained by the scientists and monkeys alike to better operate the spacecraft. He had been abused by PITA, for the sake of the animals. He even was given an ISaAC flight jacket, because there was a bit of a surplus, and the scientists thought that it would coax him into being a bit more enthusiastic towards this grand mission.
He boarded the ship, glancing back at Aors for what could be (and would be) the last time. He was regarded as a hero, but no one would dare trade places with him if given the chance. They weren't loners.
After the countdown, the rocket launched into space. People kept waiting for it to explode in the atmosphere.
On a totally unrelated note:
"Oh, Mike, we're going to miss the rocket launch of that Azhra character!"
"Lucy, calm down, we won't be late. Let's take the elevator!"
Quickly Mike rushed with Lucy to the elevator and pressed the call button. The elevator came, and the two boarded it in a rush.
It lowered several floors, and came to a stop at a wide, open space.
Standing before Lucy and Mike was a great elephant.
Mike uttered in a whisper to Lucy: "Don't make any sudden moves, dearest, just let it walk away, and hope that the power line directly above it doesn't snap, hitting the elephant, shocking it, and causing it to crush us in a mad panic."
Lucy silently nodded, as the tears ran down her face. She was nervous, and missing the rocket launch.
The power line snapped.
Azhra looked down on Aors as it became a green and blue sphere. His rocket ship wasn't too crowded. He was actually comfortable.
His next task was to find a habitable planet, and with that, find other intelligent life.
"Intelligent life," he muttered, "How can I know it if I've never seen it?"
Suddenly, his monitor started beeping. It had located a planet that was not only habitable, but had signs of habitation: buildings, agriculture, pollution.
He set his course for this planet.
The morning light broke anew on a fresh day in the dew-laden fields of the comfortable planet of Solu.
Solu, yet another interesting planet. The interesting thing about this one is the population: one.
With the morning light, crashing upon the plane, came a rocket ship crashing right next to the morning light.
A figure wearing a fancy flight jacket climbed out of the wreckage, and stepped back to survey the damage. It was gruesome.
In a white room, a lone pair of eyes were opened.
A young woman, having about 20 years, sat up from what appeared to be a hospital bed.
Looking at her surroundings, she assumed that she must have been in a coma.
For how long, though, she wondered.
Her current train of thought, however, was derailed by the sound of a rocket ship crashing down onto the ground not to far from her current location.
She watched as a man in a fancy flight jacket climbed out of the wreckage and surveyed the gruesome damage.
Quickly, she ran outside to see if he was all right.
Azhra figured he'd be stuck here for a while. He looked at the smoking wreckage of the ship.
He heard the pitter-patter of bare feet across a dew-laden meadow. Looking over towards the sound, he saw a girl, having about 20 years, making her way towards him, to see if he was all right.
Peculiar, he thought.
"Are you all right?" she asked the stranger.
"I'm fine. What about you?" he said, addressing her hospital dress.
"I was in a coma, or something, for a bit, I guess. My name's Gertie." she said, reading his Jacket. "Are you Isaac?"
"No. Not really."
"Who is he then? Some sort of prophet?"
"Actually, my name is Azhra." Azhra told. "Say, where is everybody else?"
"You got me. You're the first and only person I've seen since I awoke." she said.
"My guess is that we're the only two left on this planet. It also looks to be that we're stuck here," he mentioned, motioning towards the crashed ship. "Probably a good thing. Of course, I bet I'm not missed back home."
"If we're the only two people left, does that mean that it is our responsibility to repopulate the planet?"
"Let's get to know each other, first, Gertie. We've got all the time in the world."
Azhra put his arm around Gertie as she leaned into him. The sun was now setting on the horizon.
Didn't it just rise a bit ago? Azhra pondered, but he quickly ended that line of thought upon realizing that he finally found completion.
From a world of trillions, to find "the one" light years away.
"And you'd like to find a secluded place on our planet to start your own little colony?"
"Wow, ever since we sent that little bugger into space, it's visits from intelligent life left and right! Certainly not an uncommon thing."
"We do know intelligent life when we see it."
"Well, by all means, we'll find you a nice place to start your colony. After all, we like to say, 'Aors is Yours!'"
"We thank you, sir."
"Say, what did happen to your planet?"
"An asteroid was scheduled to strike our planet. In fact, it may be happening now. We're not 100% sure when, but we are certain that it will strike. We figured better early than never."
"Oh, what a pity. What planet was this that we shall never be graced by?"
"We call it Solu."