An Infinite Sorrow

An Infinite Sorrow by R.J. Harker Page B

Book: An Infinite Sorrow by R.J. Harker Read Free Book Online
Authors: R.J. Harker
came, for reasons no one remembers.  Now, humanity is gone.  Only we remain, and Basilisk: the god computer." 
      A beam of light concentrated on Liz.  She seemed to freeze in time.  Rich tried to move her, but the light burned his hands.  "What are you doing?"
    "I learn."
      "Stop it!  You’re hurting her!" 
    "I learn."
      A second beam of light locked onto Rich, as he too was frozen in time. 
      The old man didn't move.  "As a species, humans seemed to spend most of their energy trying to kill one another.  Yet, they also produced amazing works of art, architecture, and showed compassion.  Some seemed wiser and move evolved than others.  For Basilisk, the species is an impossible contradiction.  It hates you for it.  The tests have done little to clear things up." 
      Rich couldn't move an inch.  "So what does that have to do with us?  Let us go." 
      "No.  One series of clean, immune DNA samples has been preserved from before the fall.  It needs to be determined if the species should be granted another attempt at life.  As the only clone samples to survive most of the trials, you two will have to decide."
      The light beams faded, freeing them both.  Rich looked once again at the form in the chamber that bore his name.  "WE have to decide?"
      The old man nodded.  "Decide, or your lack of decision will decide for you."
      Liz thought for a moment.  "We'll do it."
      Rich looked at the old man, then at her.  "Are you sure?"
      "Rich, think of everything that we remember from our life.  Or, even think of what we did in Desolation Falls.  Alice, Stan, school, your mom, everyone.  All of those experiences happened to someone.  Someone knew all of those people, or people like them.  There was good in them, and in the things we all went through.  What we felt and experienced was real, even if we're not.  I think if we're all based on humanity, it's worth saving. Both the good and the bad…."
      The old man nodded in approval.  "Then it is decided.  Good luck to both of you.  You will need it."
    Chapter 7
    12 months later.
      Rich was happy he had found the well.  Along this forgotten, dusty trail somewhere in what used to be North America, water meant the difference between life and death. "Now all we need is our own fast food chain."
      Liz laughed.  "You could always build one.  We can do anything we want now."
      "I think I'll aim a bit smaller for now.  Seeing as how we don't have many supplies, or electricity, or, well, anything at all, I'd settle for getting a decent shelter set up." 
      The baby was crying.  Liz soothed her as best as she could.  Rich smiled.  "You're really good with her, you know."
      "Yep, the best synthetically produced mother in town."
      "Don't think of it like that.  We're still people.  We still have souls."
      "Do we, Rich?  Are we?  We're copies of dead people, raised in a simulation.  Now we're supposed to raise humanity’s last hope?  I barely know you, and that was when I thought we were living in the real world."
      In some ways, Rich had been struggling with the same feelings.  Something in the distance suddenly caught his eye, distracting him from their conversation.  To anyone else, it would have looked like a large rock formation, but parts of it were familiar to him.  Little shapes and patterns.  "Liz, it's the school.  It only makes sense it would end here, where it began." 
      "This isn't the end."  Liz played with the baby, who cooed happily. 
      "So weird, seeing the world like this.  Empty.  Quiet."
      "I know.  Everything was always so noisy.  So busy..." 
      "Cell phones.  Email.  Facebook, Twitter.  People, wall to wall, yet all alone because their faces were constantly glued to electronics.  You think it's better now?" 
      "Yeah, I do.  Well, other than the zombies."
      She pointed.  One of the skeletal, mummified forms was lurching its way out of the school.  Liz rocked the

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