The Sentinial

The air was thick making thinking sluggish the sentinial sat wishing for sleep knowing that none would be forth coming. The last 1000 yrs had been the same, sweltering heat and grit storms. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the heat had been dry and dusty but it was thick with humidity – the sort that would have pressed on the lungs if anybody other than the sentinal had remained.

It was just as well no one had as the humidity was made not just from water but from oily organics that had been evaporated from the broiling surface. Lungs that breathed the grit ladened air of Santor would have simultaneously drowned and had their lungs fried from the insides out – that was if they weren’t abbraided by it first.

Anyway you looked at it it was a slowish, painful death.

The sentinial stood – he did not worry overly about the air – he no longer breathed but the heat was beginning to be an issue. The oily smog of an atmosphere was not corrosive but it was abrasive and grit had jammed one of the cooling fans. The motors that helped the Sentinial where sealed units or at least had been now things were getting a little thin for wear and there was nothing it could do.

The waiting had been millenia and he was starting to have doubts that they would ever come back, his people had preserved him as they preserved themselves in a floating cloud of ice particles out there beyond the atmosphere. The sentinal’s sensors had watched them blink out one by one, a constellation gone, Was it the senosors that had warn out in the intervening time or personal cataclysms, one after another or something else?

The planet had not recovered in the way they had expected, it had become more inhospitable. Maybe plan b) had worked instead and the lights were not extinguished but removed from the system as the explorer craft came back, maybe they had rescued everyone but him. His brain purred and twitched at the thought, and he set the grinding motion of the calculations and transmission go. It absorbed him and took for ever, originally he had done this whilst relaying game moves to friends aboard the plan b)’s but all had fallen silent.

He was lost and forgotten and yet he continued with his job, what else was there?

There was a niggle, something was not right, or more wrong than normal, little pin picks seemed to be invading his system, he had no organics left and yet he had never managed to loose the idea of pain. He locked his processes down and scanned his system as best he could, he could not find the issue.

If he’s had the cameras still he would have seen the crystal growths encrusting his body, seen how the sharp laths pushed in and punctured him. He fizzled and froze and hung, one thought on loop until it became nothing but a whisper.

“so alone”

Posted: Thursday, September 25th, 2014 @ 10:21 am
Categories: Flash Fiction.
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