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and years ago, he had opted in to replacing his body with synthetics, a means of extending human life far, far beyond its normal threshold. At some point science and technology had advanced to the point where humans no longer had to worry about aging or death, and he had immediately bought in. And yet… And yet nothing worked. Something had happened along the way, and while he was more or less indestructible, nothing worked any more. Was it a technical issue? He couldn’t tell. All he knew was that at some point his functionality had shut down. A shortage in computing components in his body, or a lack of internal power. The only things that remained operational were his eyes, which he had a little control over, and his mind. The final, most horrifying thing he was aware of was that Dianne was there on the beach, as well. He could see her, in fact, if he shifted his gaze to the left. Only unlike him, Dianne’s physical shutdown had left her in a far more precarious predicament. She had at some point toppled over, and was laying stiffly on her side, protruding from the surface of the sand at a diagonal angle. Most of her body had been submerged in the sand, years and years of shifting tides and natural erosion forcing her frame deep into the earth. Only her head and one shoulder were still visible, her neck rigid and jutting from the pale sand at a diagonal angle. Her face was emotionless, her eyes fixated on a spot a few feet before her, her mouth slightly ajar. Her hair was a tangled mop, and Eli could see a small crab scuttling across her scalp. She hadn’t blinked in decades, or shown any signs of life as far as he could remember. Their upgraded, synthetic bodies had eventually shut down for unknown reasons, and now they had remained here on this empty beach, and had been for hundreds of years. He had not seen another human in as long as he could recall, and for all he knew people simply no longer existed on the planet. Both he and Dianne had both bought into a new technology which allowed them to live forever, without considering the ramifications. Now, on this empty planet, they remained for eternity, vessels of a time lost to history. Eli wanted to scream her name, to run over to Dianne and pull her from the sands, to hold her again. To hear her speak his name. He wanted to know whether she could even see him, if she was aware of what was happening. He wanted, in some small degree, to be dead. To end this nightmare. Anything but this. The worst part, the thing that had caused him the most sorrow and dread, was that he didn’t even know if Dianne was still there. Was her conscious trapped in her body in the same way his was? Had she been stuck in her own personal hell for the last hundred years as he had? He couldn’t communicate with her, and she had stopped operating long ago, so there was no way to tell. Was she also trying to communicate to him? Was she aware of her surroundings? Had the endless life of being trapped with nothing but her own thoughts driven her insane, a madwoman left with nothing but her own nonsensical ramblings? Or had that part of her also finally given out? Had her consciousness, much like her physical form, fizzled into oblivion, leaving him alone with nothing but her memory and an ancient relic of an era long lost to time? *** Later the next morning, as they were getting ready for work, Eli looked across the bathroom at his wife Dianne. She was wearing her baggy pajama pants and brushing her teeth in front of the mirror. Her hair was a little unkempt, tied back in a simple ponytail. She stopped her brushing at looked at him through her reflection in the mirror. “Umm-Hmm?” she mumbled through a mouth full of tooth-paste. Streaks of grey had begun to show in her hair, right near the roots. Eli knew she dyed her hair, and never once mentioned that he’d noticed the greys before. Surely, she must have VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 - THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE 19

Profile for Free Lit Magazine

Volume 5 Issue 1 - The Technology Issue  

Volume 5 Issue 1 - The Technology Issue  

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