“DANGER. Evacuate the place now!”
“DANGER. Evacuate the place now!”
The small device kept on buzzing the same thing until I switched it off. The weather was very foggy, or rather smoggy. I faced difficulty in seeing through even 10 meters. I wanted to pull off the mask and feel the air once cool and fresh and which I now long for. I glanced at my watch.
I turned towards home. I felt really fatigued. There was nothing unusual around me. The temperatures were all normal at -40 and not a box had moved from its place. I drove the rover rather slowly because the acid levels were on the rise that day. That was, maybe, something unusual about that day. Acid levels had surged after a very long time for as long as I could remember, 6 years, maybe 7, who cares. Such a phenomenon held even more mystery owing to the fact that it had rained only an hour ago. I could see the glass of the rover corroding a bit so I slowed down my speed. I did not want to lose the left air with me.
Arsh took out a knife and sliced the apple. He would sometimes skip the meal but today he could hear his stomach gnawing. He opened the door to the BREATHING chamber, taking care that he does not leak any air. Finally inside, he sat down on the grass and took the slices of apple and began eating them.
When I reached home, I found something really unusual, more unusual than the sudden surge in acid levels of the air. The doors to my house were open. I could give plausible explanations to the increased acid levels, maybe a volcano erupted or another factory blew up but this was something I could never imagine. To add to the mystery was the fact that there were footprints entering my house. I believed that 6 years of isolation had made me resistant to the fear of death but that day I felt scared. I was sitting in my rover and the sight of the opened door and the prints of mud on entrance gave me goosebumps that day. I stayed in the rover for some minutes, imaging what thing would have entered my home. Another human? No…... It was just not possible.
Having satisfied his hunger, he reclined down on the grass and began staring into the skies. For the moment, he did not want to think it was virtually created and all that 3-D imaging thing. He wanted to sleep but after a long time, some thought had troubled him so much.
After what could have been an hour, I mustered enough courage to get out of the rover and entered my house. A closer look at the doorknob showed it had some bloodstains on it. This sent shivers down my spine. It had been quite a time that I had to think of my safety against any life-threatening species. I did not have anything to protect or even defend me, no ammunition or anything of that kind. Unarmed, I entered the house, convincing myself that there was someone injured and in need of help. There were no marks of steps after the door. Was it decent enough, really? I just did not want it to be human. I preferred thinking it were some monster hiding inside to kill me
He wished he could never leave this BREATHING chamber. Though artificially created, it seemed so natural, much natural than the natural world out there. He filled his lungs for the last time, before he got up, took the empty plate and got out of the chamber. He pulled on the mask and went out of the door and sat on the steps. He could remember that day very well. He had seen them flying away from this planet to Earth 29.16. They left him behind. He was sent to pick up some medicines from an underground chamber but when he reached there, a gas rendered him unconscious. By the time he woke up, they had already left. He ran outside and saw the last craft taking off. He ran after it like one runs to catch a bus. He cried for days after it but then one fine day, when he felt some problem in breathing, he began his quest for survival as the last human on Earth. Since then, he had been alone. He did try to find any other human, if left, on the planet but repeated searches that continued throughout the first year did not lead him to any success. Now he had become so much accustomed to the loneliness that being in any sort of company might feel absurd to him.
He was still contemplating over who or what had entered the house. The day had finally stretched out and he could see a brown thing lying some 50 feet away from his house. He had initially thought it of as some garbage or plastic bag carried to the front of the house by rains but in the dull daylight, he could see it was not. He got up to unveil the identity of the brown thing. As he neared it, he saw it was an orangutan. Something had pierced through its heart. With the mortality or birth rate of anything around him zero for the past several years, this incident revived in him the emotions of life and death after a long time. His throat tightened and he could feel his heart thumping against his chest. The cold atmosphere could not prevent him from sweating. Sensing it was dead, he dropped the dead body there and ran towards his house. He had checked every corner in his house. He had not found anyone or anything inside so, at this moment it was the safest place for him.
“You have to live, Arsh. If only as the last hope of this planet… Damn, am I overreacting? It’s not an alien attack. C’mon cool down now. You’re safe in here.”
His mind drove him crazy as he slammed the door shut behind him. He rushed into the kitchen.
“Hell! Where’s the knife?”
His hands trembled as he searched the whole place for the knife. He remembered to have kept it here after slicing the apple. He felt short of air, he rushed towards the BREATHING chamber. It was dark inside. Maybe, the visual systems had run down. It had happened earlier also.
He sat on the grass. Something metallic and sharp touched his hands.
Before he could think of having left it there mistakenly, he found its blade dripping wet. Without thinking anything else, he got up. He could sense someone inside the BREATHING chamber. He rushed towards the door. The door was locked. He shouted and he shrieked. Amidst the loud calls for help, Something entered his back. His chest glowed. Comatose, words came out of his mouth,
“Cyborg 8085, sleep mode on.”