On the verge of deletion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An existential story of a man at the heart of a war who realizes life and death is just a game that can be played for a quarter to some.

Submitted: July 26, 2014

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Submitted: July 26, 2014




By Derwin Gonzalez

Nichol wakes up to find the warehouse afire and his gut bleeding from the shot-gun blast he endured.  Dead bodies from both sides litter the floor.  He looks up and sees the ceiling blown in from the last round of shelling.  Through the smoke and dust he tries to drag his leaking form as far away as he can from the blaze.  He crawls through a sea of spent shell casings.  The trail of gore he drags across the concrete floor is a clear sign of his impending death.  He grins, comfortable with this fact as he struggles further.  He looks up to see Priest standing over him.  Priest is unwavering in his stare.  Nichol vomits violently but he recovers quickly and chuckles.

“You lack faith my son.” Priest tells him.

“Sure I don’t. “  Nichol spits up blood to tell him.  “I have faith in something you guys just don’t get anymore.  I have faith in humanity. So I guess that means I have faith in you… and the other programmers, gut shot and all.”

A long silence is the Priest’s only response as Nichol drags himself past him.

“You see I have just enough faith left in me to believe that the programmer pushing the buttons right now still retains enough of his humanity not to hit enter.  Heh heh, I know this like I know my mother’s maiden name.  It’s a program, it’s all just a program… aint it!” His roar rings out.  “But it’s fucking flawed, it glitches and it pisses you off because you can’t fucking fix it.  After a million years you decide you don’t like the broken game you made.  It embarrasses you, we embarrass you, that’s a very human trait Priest.”

“Human we are not Jonathan Nichol.”

“Not anymore I take it.  That’s why you assholes are always itching to hit delete or uninstall or whatever the fuck you call it when you want to wipe a program clear and forget about us!  You’re not Godly, you’re human… or you once were. You just don’t need to wipe your ass anymore after you shit like we do, at least not with paper.  That’s what you keep us lower life forms around for, aint it?  To wipe and flush.  URI Corp my fucking ass!  We should have known.  URI, I get it now, duh.  You are I. But it’s not just I, it’s us.  We’re 8 billion strong across the milky way clammering to take a breath every second of the day.  Just like you bastards used to… before you ascended or evolved or whatever it is that made you the dicks that you are now.”

Nichol stops crawling and looks back at Priest in his priestly garb.

“That’s eight billion souls Priest!  Eight billion bleeding, shitting and fucking souls, we’re not just ones and zeroes asshole if you look at us twice.  Look at us Priest!  We are you.”  Nichol gets to say just before something unseen grips his gushing gut wound like a closing fist.  Nichol screams louder than any man ever has.

Priest looks up to the sky and shakes his head.

“Release him.  He is aware… and he is brave.”

The unseen thing releases Nichol and he collapses into unconsciousness.

“He is vain and proud, nothing more.” A voice answers Priest.

“He is much more than that.  They are much more than that.  Don’t you see it sibling?” Priest asks the sky.

“They are flawed.  If we allow them to continue it will not end well.  We already know this sibling, we of all know this.” The voice responds.

The Priest crouches beside Nichol.  He lifts his head up and rests it on his lap.

“You are wrong.  He is what we were intended to be and fell short.  As much as you have tried to hide them I have learned there are others that match his quality.  They are raw but they are beautiful.  They have suffered so very much and still they ascend.  He must prosper… then we will truly know what they can become.” The Priest states.

“As you will my sibling.” The voice concedes.

Priest gently lowers Nichol’s head onto the floor.  He strokes Nichol’s hair back, out of his hardened face.  Priest stands up and walks off right through the roaring flames surrounding them.  Nichol stirs into consciousness.

“Water… what I wouldn’t give for some God damned water.” He mumbles.

Thunder cracks loudly overhead and a second later lightning flashes so brightly Nichol is left blinking.  It only takes a few seconds for his vision to clear.  He looks up through the smoke and into the gaping hole in the warehouse ceiling the artillery shells made when the attack began.  He sees a multitude of stars staring back at him and he thinks he’s never seen so many in his life.  Then the heavens open releasing a downpour of rain so heavy it puts out the fires and quenches his thirst.  Nichol puts a hand to his gut and finds the wound healed.  He stands up, this time he gets to live.

© Copyright 2019 Derwin Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

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