We saw the Earth shudder when the first nuclear blast took place. Though we were only a few hundred miles above Earth, we could tell something ghastly was happening below us. The Earth winced, like a person stabbed with a sharp knife. Subsequent nuclear blasts popped up like measles spots in rapid succession, painting the surface of the planet I once called home with seething pockmarks. Even from space, we first heard Earth’s sigh, as if it was taking in news of its child’s death. And then we heard the shriek. The shriek of a planet undergoing transformation. A shriek so loud and so hideous that it never leaves the ear. It is imprinted on the brain as if it were burned into the psyche with a hot branding iron. That shriek told us all we needed to know. There was no going home again. We could either perish in the space station or we could take the spacecrafts designed to return us to Earth and use them to seek out other places to live the rest of our days. That’s what we did. Three former U.S. citizens, two former Russian citizens, and one former Italian citizen. We launched within ten hours of the nuclear holocaust below us. We left, not knowing whether our families were alive or dead, but assuming they were dead or dying. The horrors of an all-out global thermonuclear war were obvious to us; there was nothing to return to. And so we headed out, looking for something or someone who may or may not exist.