Joel Hans’ Planet
Just burn it, the admiral says. His eyes reflect a small version of the blue-green planet.
Are you sure, sir?
I’m tired. I want to go home. This is one planet in a million. No one will remember it.
All it takes is a spark: this planet’s atmosphere is made out of methane instead of oxygen and the spark drifts down slow like it is searching for a place where it belongs, star-twinkling all the way. They watch it fall, the admiral and the spark-dropper.
Then there is fire.
Spark makes its new home: flame in slow cascade across the entire planet.
They turn their ship homeward, fire-blindness lingering in their vision.
The burning planet gets a little bit lighter.
Souls and so on.