"Get your feet off that console!"

Jamie flinched; his knees bucked back and he set his feet on the floor. "Jesus, you scared me." He said, checking to see how much coffee had spilled from his cup. "What are you doing up so late?"

Joshua crouched beneath the low ceiling, avoiding the covered switches and dials that littered it. "Just can't sleep." He said, taking a seat in the navigators position. "Anything interesting?"

With a few taps at a keyboard Jamie shrugged his shoulders. "Not really, a small gamma burst about an hour ago, probably the leading edge of a star that died before our solar system even had a sun."

"Imagine how disappointing it would be if we got there and the thing had already exploded?" Joshua said, staring at the monitor before him, at a small speck of light that was their destination.

"Not possible, we know it's got a few hundred billion years to go. Unlike Sol."

"Well if we hadn't mined it for hydrogen so much maybe we wouldn't have made it so damned unstable."

"And yet we'regoing to do the same to this one."

Joshua shook his head. "There isn't a doubt in my mind. Like introducing rabbits into a wolf population; the wolves will grow in number until the rabbits can't sustain them."

"Then they'll die off, or find some other food."

"Yup, first oil, then water. Who knew we could suck the planet dry in just a few generations?"

"The more you feed the beast, the more it needs feeding. The oceans drying up was nothing compared to the destabilization of Jupiter."

"Yeah... threw the whole solar system out of whack when we lowered density to the point that the liquid core expanded into a solid and pretty near destroyed the whole planet."

"Then the sun. What a track record!"

Joshua laughed. "It only took us four hundred years to deplete our solar system of energy."

"We just never stopped growing, that's the problem. Too many people? Move them to the moon. Too many people there? Move them to Mars. We're like a freakin' virus man."

"Yeah, the Milky Way has a case of the humans."

They laughed together, then a red light blinked on the console and they both inspected it.

"Huh, another energy spike." Jamie tapped in a few commands. "Looks like it's similar to that last one I read."

"It's nothing."

"So what do you think we'll do once suns aren't enough to meet the status quo?"

"I don't know, it's not like we're short on stars."

Jamie laughed. "Yeah, true enough. We'll never run out of stars."

They looked at each other for a moment, wondering if it were even possible.

"Nah... never."

The End

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