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I started reading a story that I believe was originally posted on reddit within the last 3 years or so, about an asteroid destroying the Earth. I think the asteroid is Apophis 99942, but I may be conflating that with something else.

The main character was counting down the days, watching neighbors being killed by random rioters, expecting to die like everyone else, including his wife and son. Just a few hours before impact, MC's parents or in-laws reveal that they have tickets to escape Earth, which MC's family takes. There is something going on with an etch-a-sketch that sends MC messages when his son is not playing with it. A colleague of MC's parents/in-laws is a prominent botanist, who apparently died on Mars, and forms a plot twist that is formenting as well.

This was part of an ongoing work by the author, which I can no longer find. Ideally, I would hope to get a link to the story, if it still exists online.

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I expect you are thinking of "Apophis" aka "The Last 12 Days on Earth".

On January 1, 2036, The President announced that a near-Earth asteroid, called Apophis, would collide with our planet. We had all heard of Apophis. We had been told 20 years earlier than it would pass near earth, but that the odds of it striking us were 1:1,000,000. For 19 years we thought we were safe. We knew nothing. Until they let us know everything.

*Apophis was not 1/2 KM wide, as we were told. It was much, much larger.

*In 2004 NASA learned that Apophis was going to pass through the gravitational keyhole and strike earth 32 years later.

*In 2005, SpaceX started working on plans with NASA to send as many humans to Mars as possible before Apophis' impact.

*On April 13, 2036, a 96 km-wide asteroid whose name means "The Un-Creator", will collide with earth.

My name is Travis. My family was not chosen for Martian colonization. I live in a suburb of Kansas City, MO, USA, where the asteroid will most directly hit. I will continue this journal until the end of my time on Earth. Today is April 1, 2036.

....

"Ten years ago, your mother and I sold the farm to Amazon. We sold all of it." He grabbed his wife's hand and continued on. "We didn't need the money, but the price of land was so high we decided to sell." My wife's Mom grabbed my wife's hand and said "Sweetie, we used the money to buy seats on a rocket to Mars, and it leaves today." She smiled and continued "We made enough money from the farms so that we can all go, but we have to leave now." My mouth was wide open. I could feel my heart in my throat. My father-in-law stood up. "We have the tickets in the truck. Now let's go. They will have everything you need for you and your son on the ship. It leaves in 1 hour"

....

"Something for your child." The man grabbed something else from the storage area and handed it to my wife. It was an old fashioned drawing toy called an Etch A Sketch. "It's still a long journey," the attendant said. "This should help keep him busy."

....

Etsuko walks up to me with a soft smile. "Sleep now, Travis." She places her hand on my son's head. "There is much to discuss in the next 24 hours." My eyes are drawn to a tattoo on her wrist that I hadn't noticed before. It looks like some kind of old symbolic art. Like Aztec or Egyptian or at least something very old. It looks like some kind of bird with a moon behind it. Ah, yes," says Etsuko, realizing that I've noticed this patch. She taps it. "Do you know what this is?" she asks. I shake my head "no." My son is now sleeping on my chest so she leans in to whisper, "This patch is worn by those who wish for the survival of the human race." She smiles again and takes a step back. "The leader of our group is a man named Chance Wesley. He is very anxious to meet you, Travis" She gently takes the Etch-a-Sketch dangling from my sleeping boy's hand. "This was his creation." My eyes widen in amazement. Etsuko smiles again, "And I believe you are well acquainted with another one of his creations." She motions to the Attendant, who has heard what she's said. She motions for him to approach. "Show him." She placed her hand on his glove. The attendant looks at her for confirmation. She nods in approval. One finger at a time, the Attendant slowly removes this left glove, revealing the intricate metalwork beneath. I shudder. Etsuko motions to the Attendant again, who returns the glove to his bionic hand and then walks back to the other side of the room.

Found with a search for site:reddit.com Apophis "etch-a-sketch"

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    That's very much the one. Many thanks. Jul 19, 2022 at 20:25
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    It always amazes me how simple the searches turn out to be a lot of the time. Jul 19, 2022 at 20:28
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    Site searches are especially handy if you know where you're looking. And sometimes it's just a matter of finding the right keywords to add and remove.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 19, 2022 at 21:28
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    @MadPhysicist "...how simple the searches turn out to be..." Hindsight is always 20/20!
    – Hans Olo
    Jul 20, 2022 at 10:27

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