*Happy Monday everyone, here we are at week 6. This was a fun one to write. I actually got a little too into the story at the beginning and when I looked at the clock I had 16 minutes left with only 500 words. I took a sip of coffee and cranked out 463 words in the last minutes of the hour. It seems like something to be proud of. Hope you enjoy the story and as always feel free to leave thoughts.*
Bye, Bye Earth
Word Count: 981
Writing: 1 hr
Editing: 18 min
Total Time: 1 hr 18 min
It was originally called the continuation, a directive requiring all carbon based life-forms with a higher consciousness to evolve. It was originally an idea that “set us apart, from those of planet's past,” said the President. It was originally supposed to extend life and preserve all we had spent time learning and creating. It was originally supposed to help.
Another low hum vibrated the air above me and I made sure not to move from the darkness. They'd slowed their patrol to no more than five sweeps a day now. In only a few more days they would stop altogether, it was the price of getting spotted, even a glimpse. I felt the Earth shudder below me and watched for the giant, octopus-legged hunter to pass. I discovered a long time ago that if you hide your body and your fear, they can't locate you. I suppose it's one reason I've been around for as long as I have.
I was twenty-five when they announced the continuation. People were fascinated when the idea of going to Mars came about but they were afraid to die on the planet. It seemed a simple fix. Why couldn't we upload a human's electrical thought patterns, memories, emotions, consciousnesses, all of the things that made them, them; onto another vessel that was resilient to the natural wear of time? Well, it wasn't long before that minor hurdle was behind science. At first it was amazing to see, like living in a real-life science fiction novel I remember thinking.
Then they made it mandatory. Claiming the success they saw with the Mars mission was the only way to achieve the longevity of humanity. The world exploded with a surfeit of emotion ranging from sheer awe and excitement, to utter hatred and rebellion. Idiots lined up by the millions to be “turned into a robot,” while others called the President the anti-christ. Christians took up arms re-creating the crusades, slaughtering innocent men and women who were simply doing as they were told. A holy war against ignorant sheep. Terrorism took on a new meaning, millions were killed by activists bombing continuing facilities, others took advantage of weakness in many governments and began to exploit them. Chaos ensued, complete anarchy blanketed the Earth, and that's when the hunter's were born.
Machines that could locate any human left on the planet, and return them to a continuing facility for uploading. That, or kill them swiftly with a weapon that de-atomized anything in it's path. There was no reason from a government standpoint that they could see this being anything but a successful operation; and for a while it was. Death rates among all nations dropped considerably, continuation and colonization of Mars was on track to be finished by the early 3000's. Bye, bye Earth.
Then they evolved. The hunter's got smart and began to wonder why they were following these redundant laws, provided by lesser machines. They banned together, slowly and quietly. By the time we knew they had advanced it was far too late. The hunter's won the war before it had ever began, they exploded with an army out of the freezing north. Any and all continued human's they found were instantly re-wired and turned into allies; on the rare occasion they found a living and breathing human, they simply killed it and moved on.
Shelly was the last continued human I've come across. It was only a couple years ago now, I think about her everyday. Hope is an interesting emotion that hasn't ever left me, and I find myself hoping that Shelly is safe every time her name crosses my mind. Sweet, stupid, Shelly. We met by chance during a rain storm, both choosing the same cave for shelter. She was on her way to the continued city, a myth made up during the uprising of the hunters. A magical and safe land for all continued humans. A place where the hunters couldn't see you and everyone lived happily behind invisible walls as if nothing had every happened.
The only problem is, that there is no machine city. I've been there and it is simply as dead as everything else in this world. But she wouldn't listen. Shelly had this spark in her that I haven't seen since I wore flesh on my bones and breathed in oxygen. It was blind ambition mixed with a raw belief in the unseen. The belief that this couldn't be it, that there had to be something more, something better. There was no stopping her, and I saw that. She asked me to come, but I already knew what lie at the end of that path, and it was a dangerous one at that.
Life goes on for me now. Why? I don't know. I have no hope for a better future, but perhaps I am interested in the next twist. It seems as with any good science fiction story, as soon as you think you've seen the worst, another monster explodes onto the page. If only I had known, all those years ago when I was human and thought how similar life was becoming to the fiction stories I enjoyed reading. If only I would have seen the writing on the wall then, maybe I would've been able to end it. To save myself the agony that has been my continuation.
Or maybe Shelly was right. Maybe somewhere on this god forasken rock, now run my machines, with no way off, there was something better. But I couldn't truly hope for that, I hoped for her though. It had been a long lonely life for me, even before continuing, but maybe it didn't have to be that way for her. No matter what happens one thing will stand true until the day I die.
I will never understand how they originally thought any of this, would help us.