I was a veteran of Iraq 1 and 2. I had been given a medal of honor for saving my platoon from an ambush in the mountains. I had lost 2 men in my command, but could have lost all 15. I reacted quickly and threw myself onto a land mine that my subordinate lifted his foot off of as I shouted for him to freeze. I jumped on the mine and lost both of my legs, sending small pieces of me onto the faces of my men. They carried me crying for my mother to the old Jeep and took me to what would be my own little shrine of glory.
A year later I participated in my last interview. The BBC journalist asked me the only important question that none of the others had thought to ask. She asked, "Would you do it all over again?" I was taken off guard, but quick to react. I said, "Yes." Something in my stomach rejected my own words and I froze after speaking. I sat and thought of running again. I thought of all of the people who now stare at me first in the face, then at my missing legs. I thought of the moment that my wife left me behind for another officer in another time.
I should have said no.
Five years later I am alone. Many people in history have written those words on paper and through binary. During the war, one of my closest friends marooned behind a rock in the mountains and surrounded wrote this in Morse code, squawking it with his handset. He died alone and so will I. Throughout history, people have only spoken of being alone. I am the second to actually be alone. The first...Adam.
The second war ended and things got calm. The economy flourished and America smiled like two twin children that hated the guts out of each other. Nothing happened, then nothing happened. Then came the Great War. The war that came out of nowhere. A meteor struck us and killed a million people. The sand kicked up and killed 3 million more. The waves crashed and killed another 2 million. Then China attacked every border of every western country and killed 10 million more.
We all shot rockets and warheads. We all hid in bunkers and waited for the first to fire the nuke. This time it wasn't America. This time it was Russia, and it was pointed at the Statue of Liberty. Everything blew up and we threw some nukes at them and vice versa and vice versa. In the end, I was the only one left standing...alone in a bunker in the capitol of the United States.
Everyone from the bunker was evacuated once the first nuke struck, except me. I was commissioned to report bomb activity in the former capitol. I was given a death sentence. The president actually got teary eyed when he shook my hand and left the bunker for a larger one in Missouri. Nukes fell and blood was bled, but nothing dropped on top of Washington that had radiation in it.
A year later I ran out of food. I made my first step, well crawl out into the air and expected to feel my lungs burn. I felt a cool and wonderful air. An air that made me remember my childhood and how it smelled and felt to step outside on the first warm day of spring. I looked around and there were ruins. I couldn't figure out what was what. I explored and found supermarkets to be untouched and convenience stores fully stocked. No one had a struggle to survive. Everyone had either left or died instantly.
Fifty years later and nothing has happened. I found this electric journal in the basement under a Christmas tree that I used to put up every year until I finally lost hope. I would string the tree with lights and tack the strands onto my roof to celebrate the day that the Son of God was born. I would celebrate the most wonderful holiday to have ever been forgotten. This particular day, I picked up the Christmas tree and found the computer. I plugged it in and here I am, an old man.
A lot has happened in this time. Nothing has happened in this time.
I am still alone. I haven't seen another breathing thing since I saw the president. I guess that makes me the president. I stopped replacing batteries in my walkie 10 years ago. The thing would fuzz, then make a strange noise, then fuzz. Every-time it got my hopes up. No one ever answered when I beckoned them too.
I am a vegan now. Not by desire. I have a garden that I am very meticulous with. I grow enough to keep my body healthy. I have found nothing to keep my soul. Sometimes I catch myself inside one of my DVD movies, pretending to be a real character that changes the outcome of the film. I wake up in ditches and on random neighborhood floors and realize that I can't change anything. I watch the same film to make sure, hoping I would have changed the ending of "The Abyss," or "The Last Man on Earth." The ending always stays the same. Even in my dreams, it ends with me being alone.
So here I write my last note of this forgotten machine, forgotten by only me. No one will read this. No one will care at all or wonder what my childhood was like. No one will listen to my stories or drink this last glass of whiskey with me. I write as I have lived...with no companion and no one watching. Goodnight. Goodbye oblivion.
I twisted the handle of the door that gives way and opens into a little room. Inside is a skeleton slouched in front of a dusty, silver machine. The head lays beside the keyboard of what looks to be a primitive keyboard. I charged the device and here I am. I am no one looking into the eyes of the past. This is the only evidence we have found of anything living and intelligent on this world. I am ecstatic.
I have been pulled from this duty. We have all been pulled. This has been deemed a dead world, but I am so fascinated with history. I have to leave and I am not permitted to take anything from this place, so I'll leave this note on this old journal.
The Earth is a cold and lonely place. I don't believe it had to be.
Goodbye, I say to dead data.
Thanks for reading...Z