Friday, March 23, 2007

Caledon My Home

For seventeen days I was trapped. Nausea shook my frame as I melted rubber in my furnace for its petroleum. Thick smoke coated my insides with filth. The only relief was from incinerating bones, which burn hotter than coal. I kept telling myself I was doing the poor souls a favour.

My optic sensors degraded from radiation. I performed self-surgery..improvising a new sensor and housing before I went completely blind.

I saw my old android friend Neobokrug. He was resigned to his fate..or perhaps he was content there.. running a recycling machine, remolding scrap for bare essentials of continued functioning..and watching salvaged archives projected on a concrete wall.

Even Toxia was better than this place. If either man or machine could survive into the next Age it would define the word "Miracle".

No vegetation..not a single blade of glass. Never did I feel so alone.
And when things were at their most dire, when my soulflame began to flicker and dim..my voice rose above the din of trash fires and squeaking rats in what I supposed to be my swansong..cradling myself on the concrete stair of a bombed-out building..I sang a song of home..

Over fields and rolling hills
Across the moors, on rocky shores
Past tangled trees and moutain skies
Is where our tartan flies!

Caledon! Our prosp'rous nation
Where the flag unfurls
Tradition guides and Progress drives
Our beacon to the world!

Explore, my friend! Go far and wide
Lose yourself in ancient tome
But first behold your flag with pride
Sing "Caledon, my home!"

My words echoed through the concrete canyons, grown silent. I waited for the punishment of having so foolishly given away my position. Instead..light, scattered applause. Father always did say I had a beautiful voice, I thought, as powered down to sleep.

The unshielded wrath of the sun stretched across the poisoned sky in the morning. The glare on my failing eye made me wince and I woke..

A tattered tartan tied into a sack lay in my hand. Inside I found a lump of coal the size of my fist.

~Qli

1 comment:

emillyorr said...

Someone cared, there. At the least, you have that--not all shreds of decency expire, when the rest of civilization does.