I walk in the field.
The ground is bare. Not even weeds grow here. Poison has leached all nutrients from
the soil, and what is left is a mockery, a shadowplay of earth. It is enough to
hold my boots up, nothing more. I walk in long strides, covering ground rapidly,
for I have many miles to go. Dawn comes soon. I tire, my eyes feel old. My body is ready
to collapse. I recite the opening verses of Genesis, the only true book of the Bible,
aloud in the still cold air. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. I stumble over a hummock and nearly lose my bearing. There is no time for exhaustion.
I am on a journey. In the east the skyline slides to barest gray, weakening with
the coming of the daystar. I cannot, must not slacken my pace. Darkness moved upon the face of the waters. The earth was without form then, pure then, pure as thought.
The idea of earth. I must move with the purity of an idea, a holy idea, a flash
of light upon the dark waters. I must be the only idea moving through this dead
land. The sound of my boots on the dead ground is the sound of a bone machine reading
the minutes of the last meeting before the fire came, when all the bullshit was cleared
to make way for the cleansing. At that moment, as never before, truth was spoken.
And it was clear. So clear. Like the ringing of my spurs against the stones. When
death comes there is only one language. Let that language be the tongue of my blood,
the information that moves the machine of my body through this wasteland, the click,
click, click of my progress toward the mountains. The greatest trial is yet to come.
There is no time for fatigue. I was born a human but I will not die a human. I
am not dead yet. I will reach the mountains. I will scale the mountains. I will
descend the mountains. The daystar will rise in all its searing glory, but it will find
me far ahead. It will find me with my hand on the lever of the last relevant machine,
the only machine with meaning after the fire came. My bride. We will be wed, legally
wed under the only law that remains as daylight shatters the stillness of the desert
valley west of the range, our hands clasped in holy matrimony, mother blessing our
eternal vow. The daylight will break too late. If any god is left to witness it,
he or she or it will witness my skeletal hand clasped with the fervor of eternal love around
the joystick of the last machine. The game will be over. Self 1; Eternity 0.