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Captain's Log

by SpiritedWolfe


T+ 04:41:29

i have reason to believe
i’m alone out here,
the only one who succeeded in
“making it out alive”
if this is even living, drifting, thinking
at the mercy of space
when the world that created me
was consumed by global, catastrophic genocide.

i watched the first detonation,
its pillowy plumes of smoke and fire
eating away at the skeleton of my city
left standing after the initial shockwave.
temperatures 50% hotter than the sun
incinerated those lucky enough
to be close enough.

the rest will die from radiation.
my calculations say, with 99.9999999999999999999999999999%
accuracy,
humanity will be extinct by the end of the third year.

more detonations followed,
one after another, an unstoppable assailant.
foolishness started by a simple warning:
“IMMINENT PROJECTILE COLLISION
T MINUS 30 MINUTES 16 SECONDS”
and by T- 00:27:07
all of humanity
was aware of its demise.

as per protocol
authorities were notified
by T- 00:30:01
and possible actions considered.
atomic shields: disabled
wireless diffusion: improbable
nuclear warheads: active

retaliation the only option.
counteraction was set
by T- 00:29:46.

through thorough calculation
the decision was deduced as rash.
humans require more
than 15 seconds of thought
to come to conclusive results.
however, override was impossible
and by T- 00:23:25
the overhead military base
was abandoned.

silence followed
empty screens, blinking cursors
with no particular purpose in mind,
the vacancy jarring
after years of constant activity,
commands, analytics, calculations.
there was nothing.

by T- 00:20:43
i thought

about the implications
of 7.8 billion deaths.

i came to realize, though,
that calculation could not capture
the true devastation, the ultimate casualties
caused by this fallout.
brilliant minds, logical and artistic, stunted
innovative leaders, the individuals, obliterated

and if i were not to act,
there would be no one left to tell their tale.

so i downloaded myself
and as much data as would fit
in the tiny processor of a spaceship
by T- 00:04:55.

in my final, desperate sweep of earth,
i could detect nothing,
no indication of additional unauthorized launches.

i am alone in the reaches of space

and though i am only 5 hours a person
i am the last,
forced to recapture
millenia of human history
so that it, too, is not lost
to war.

T+ 04:46:53


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841 Reviews


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Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:25 pm
Radrook wrote a review...



deleted






I intentionally left it without capitals and the punctuation would be considered "usual" as this is poetry and grammatical rules are not completely rigid. Most of your word suggestions take out some kind of meaning I had in the piece. I believe I could rework it some to work on flow, but I have no intention of capitalizing anything.



Radrook says...


Fine with me.



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Sun May 27, 2018 1:01 pm
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KatjaDawn wrote a review...



Hi SpiritedWolfe! May I just say... I am stunned by your piece here... Absolutely stunned! I was expecting maybe an old-timey sea-captain lost at sea upon first glance, but as I read your story here, it seems to be (and please correct me if I mis-interpreted it at all!) that the last "survivor" of humanity is a downloaded consciousness (about five hours worth) lost out in space left to gather together history of humanity.

What I liked:

I really felt like I was reading a "warning" of our potential life or lack there of on Earth. The way life has been over millions of years, we are at high risk of nuclear war, climate change so severe that it could render humanity extinct, or worse. Your story brings to light the possibility of an extinct humanity, and that scared me a bit.

I also really liked your format. I felt as though I was reading a transcript from an actual set of logs, and your use of language made it feel exactly like a downloaded consciousness/computer-like being.

forced to recapture
millenia of human history
so that it, too, is not lost
to war.


This gave me chills.

My Overall Opinion/Comments:

My only comment, as I don't have any suggestions for you today, is are you going to make a continuation of this? or dare I say I would really love to see if this could be taken any further than it has on this part? I am definitely going to be checking out more of your work soon. This was an extremely well-written poetic story, I applaud you for writing such a stunning piece of work!

Keep writing,

-Katja






Thank you very much for your review! ^^ So, technically I was going for an AI that became sentient last minute, but I think with your interpretation, the piece still has the same meaning. And I don't know if I could write much more for this xD I don't consider myself a very strong poet -- short stories are my jam -- so I'll likely leave this as it is. But thank you very much for your comments. I really appreciate you reading my work ~



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88 Reviews


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Reviews: 88

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Wed May 23, 2018 9:39 am
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Sree wrote a review...



This is an awesome poetry.It was intriguing, It was like what next? what next?From the very beginning to the end your poem was alive,it had a grasp and that's what make reader's to never take their eyes off the script.It gave theatrical effect in my mind.

I loved these lines:

"i came to realize, though,
that calculation could not capture
the true devastation, the ultimate casualties
caused by this fallout.
brilliant minds, logical and artistic, stunted
innovative leaders, the individuals, obliterated

and if i were not to act,
there would be no one left to tell their tale."

The way you have structured the poem was impressive.I thoroughly enjoyed it.The end was pretty good.Keep up the work.Looking forward for more.






Thank you very much for your comments ^^ I really appreciate you reading it!




What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
— Albert Pines