Two lovers discover their world.
|“My old bicycle was found in the canal,” said Sforza, looking intently. “My new bicycle was destroyed by a tree.”
“What do you mean?” said Svella. “I do not understand these riddles.”
It was a beautiful day near Tamboro lake in Sweden. The sun was glistening, and everywhere people were just out-and-about, trying to enjoy this July before the ultimate winter was sure to come. Sweden was doe for a good cold snap, and everyone was ready. But that was still a ways off. Right now, their only job was to have fun, to entertain nature's heaviness and endure, without complaint or confusion.
Sforza and Svella were standing at the edge of the lake, looking out into the vast expanses of water before them. Svella was wondering about them. She had been so restless lately. Up all night, trying to make sense of it all. Their love was somewhat of an anomaly. She was an accountant. Had been since college; he, a personal trainer. They would chuckle whenever one of them mentioned that one of their clients was trying to “hide the dough.”
“Why is life so...burning?” said Sforza. “Burning with an endless heart of enmities.”
“It's just hot out,” said Svella. “But soon it will be cold. The cold is among us, every day. Even when the mercury rises, it is cold underneath. Heat rises; cold guides our feet as we walk down the lanes of eternity. Love is up above, guiding our hearts, ears, noses and lips. And with our hips, we come to grips with it.”
“With love?” said Sforza.
“Yes, with love,” said Svella.
“I think of beautiful breezes,” said Sforza. “More beautiful than Miss Sweden. Or you.”
“I beg your false equivalency, sire,” said Svella.
“False equivalency,” he said. “The bases of all disjointing, is it not?”
“Not of all,” she said. “It is a special case.”
They stood there for a while longer. Neither wanted to go any further, or move any muscle. Life was changing in Sweden, now that the AI Council was trying to inflame public sentiment by releasing the Blanco Tapes. In them, AICo officials told of all the grand benefits of having a talking robot. Living machines they were called, not killers. Living, and breathing, and thinking, and dying, and...
But there was a problem. Machines were a human creation. Created based on the natural principals of physics. Nature was certainly, if nothing else, the godfather of machines. But it wasn't...anyway, Machines could not be alive unless humans were gods, capable of creating life out of thin air. “Nothing can be created without a creator,” the old saying went. If humans were the creator, what about all of those unanswered prayers? And why all the suffering? It was at the most recent AICo meeting that Sforza began to act strange.
“Why are we here?” said Sforza. “Why have we come?”
“We have come where we're from,” said Svella. “Are you worried about the machines?”
As she said that, an explosion went off on the other side of the lake. Infused with neon colors, it created a thick mushroom cloud, high in the air. One that was almost like a permanent structure, a skyscraper of incineration in a foreign land. There was a buzzing sound. Then a handful of drones rushed past them, heading across the lake. Sforza looked back at Svella. The look of surprise and bewilderment on her face. The feelings that washed over him as his progeny was washed out.
Just then, there sounded an alarum. Wide, and broad, and biting. It was usually only sounded as a test. Funny how it was so useless in a real situation. Everyone was too busy looking at the mushroom cloud to play musical chairs. Especially when those chairs were on a sinking ship. The feeling of distrust among the people seemed to rise when they realized that this is what they signed up for.
“All those hours posting on Twitter, for this?” said one man.
“Sforza,” said Svella. “We must find shelter.”
“No,” he said. “We will not be able to hide from this one.”
“What will we do?” said Svella. “Where will we go?”
“...We must evolve,” he said.
Just then, some holes opened up in the ground, and out came warheads. Slowly at first, as they were being raised up by the elevators. But then the burners fired up, and they left their perch. Swallowing up air as they were invited in and then swallowed by the sky (the sky would not give up its own). The people were bewildered. No one understood, with all this smoke, with all of these fumes, how that their survival was always, had always been, in a precarious position. Nobody knew, but they would soon see. That was all.
As their own MAD array took flight, Sforza knew tha tit wasn't over. There was a calm before the storm, a period of immense tranquility, in which no one could be sure exactly who had killed who, or what.
“America,” said Sforza.
“You think America did this?” said Svella.
“I don't know,” said Sforza. “We should...maybe there's...I don't know.”
The heat was stifling. Their clothes, and skin, were becoming singed with the raising temperatures. Something was wrong, but everything was right. They could be seen as the uninitiated. No security clearance. Not “important” enough to know the truth. But what was truth? What would be left? How would the highest generals, the Prime minister; how would they survive one week without a blade of grass, or a twirly seed? How would they make it without their own garden of Eden, or wherever life kind from?
“We need a camera,” said Sforza.
“I don't think having a camera is going to help us this time,” said Svella.
There were so many ways that this could be seen. What would the people think? That their world had been destroyed? That they had been left without any form of redress? What would the people see? Eyes.