The monk moved through the shattered temple, sparks rattling around his head like fireflies. He was mumbling something under his breath that context may have forced people to believe was a mantra or somesuch — it wasn’t … he was angry.
War broke across the country in an uneven wave.
The monk had been part of a networked consciousness — their vow of silence not so strict that it prohibited burst of binary, but now there was nothing. He feared perhaps that he was the last.
It gave him pause. He sat there at the edge of the property that was bound to the temple. Nothing left standing really, except a column by the back wall.
A small child approached, anti-cancer plug-ins studding its back, so that it could walk through this radioactive desert. It was something to behold — the tenacity and fragility were obviously only surface.
He wondered if he had some food to give it. Did it need to be cared for, even when it standing there proved that it was the definition of resilience?
He reached down to pat its head.
How quickly can a multiple series of questions drive themselves through your mind before the death that is hot on their heels leaves an erasing impact crater in the centre of your life? Pretty damned fast it turns out. How did they plan the sneak attack? Where is this kid’s parents? What exactly is this thing before him called now that it has been altered away from an innocent child? Had it walked the whole way here? Did it have any feelings about killing him? What was going to be left on this planet when these things were done with it?
And then the extinction event brought a period to end it all. Full stop.