April 22, 2011
I’m not used to the silence of the forest. I grew up with the din of suburban sounds imprinted on my DNA: a garage door going up, a lawn mower, a Yorkie barking non-stop. These sounds make me feel at ease. But this silence…This silence makes me nervous. I can hear the faint rustlings of creatures in the shadows. I can hear the wind as it screams through the barren tree branches. I can hear my own heart thumping in my ears. My stomach growls. I’m reminded that I’m just a frail part of nature. And I don’t like it.
It’s been nine days since the robots made their move. We all saw it coming but no one did anything about it. We acted as though the machines that we designed would somehow adopt a benevolent attitude that their creators didn’t even possess. We humans planted our own little seed of tyranny in them. And they acted on it.
I haven’t eaten in nine days. But I know that mankind has made it through worse things than this. We overcame three World Wars. We developed vaccines to combat bacteria. At our core, humans will survive. We can adapt. We can defeat anything.
Most of us didn’t have weapons to fight back with so we retreated to the hills. The whirs of servos and the squeaking of rusty gears were far away now. But it’s day nine in the forest. Things are looking grim. My stomach aches. I’ve got a fever. Delirium is setting in I’m afraid. Maybe this whole thing is a dream. Maybe I’m just at home on my bed and my Butler-bot didn’t really try to suffocate me with a pillow.
I hold in my trembling hand a .45 revolver I grabbed as I left the suburbs. Someone who tried to fight against the robots had discarded it. It was useless. Metal against metal. An unfortunate stalemate. I found it though and have been carrying it ever since.
My empty stomach wrenches and I fall to my knees. No fuel for the body has incapacitated me. I crawl forward through the dead leaves. The musty, rotting smell hits my nostrils and comforts me. It’s like I’m almost home. I’ll join the rest of the organic matter in a dance of decomposition. And I’ll watch what unfolds on this earth from a perch high above.
I hear a rustle in the shrubs and a tiny bunny hops out. Food. God has put this bunny on the Earth to save me. This bunny is here to fill my stomach with energy and nutrition. This bunny will allow me to fight again. Perhaps I will meet up with a band of outcasts and we will formulate a counter-attack strategy. Perhaps we’ll take this Earth back again. Man will live on. We will survive no matter the odds. This little bunny is the key to life.
I raise my pistol to the little bunny. He doesn’t seem to think me a threat. But my DNA is ruthless. I’m the man who conquered the globe. I’m the man who ensnared nature and twisted it to do my bidding. I’m the man who enslaved my fellow man and turned him against his neighbor. I take aim. His soft little bunny ears twitch with a change in the wind. His little wet bunny nose sniffs the air. His shiny little bunny eyes stay motionless.
But I can’t kill this little bunny. He’s so darn cute! My girlfriend would flip out on me. Plus, how do you field dress one of those things anyway?
I reach down into the soil, feeling the black Earth crumble beneath me and join the rest of nature.