To The Letter by Melissa Mead

The programmers knew that the ship carrying the last precious remnant of humanity had to be more than just an unthinking mobile canister. They gave the ship the ability to assimilate tides of data, to analyze input and draw conclusions. Then they bound it with an overarching command: to preserve the most possible lives, no matter the cost to itself.

The ship registered the toxic, stinking air of Earth, the steaming seas with their rafts of garbage, the multitude of dying plants and animals.

With scrupulous care, it tallied the humans and made its choice.

It dove into the sun.

Melissa Mead lives in Upstate NY. She’s short, and tends to write that way too. Many of her stories are on Daily Science Fiction. Her Web page is here: