Silence, in space there is no sound; objects sore, shine, orbit, and collide in complete silence. The last Over Seer orbits the little blue marble silently, having avoided collisions for decades, with numerous close calls and thousands of safe passages over the surface below the controls are now unmanned, leaving the satellite to fend for itself. The years without interference have been uneventful, some grazes by debris but nothing catastrophic, in the event that this last satellite is struck down a switch has been built in, a switch that will trigger events that will crush the fighting spirit of everything below.
Over Seer rotates to catch the light, rays glinting off of its solar panels, a solitary green light blinks as the battery is recharged and excess power is used. In the silence of the stars, solitary points of light trapped in inky blackness, a solar panel explodes sending shards of plastic, metal, wire, and the ice chunk that hit it spiraling into the atmosphere, burning up almost instantly. Alarms go off, warning the people no longer listening of the event and the solitary hunters and wanderers on the surface below of the end times. Halfway through its message to the surface another ice chunk slams into it, pushing it into the atmosphere, slowly it lose its orbit and begins to burn away.
If I didn’t know any better I would have said the Amazon was startled and scared when I let the arrow fly, but I wasn’t tasked with considering its humanity or feelings. I follow the trail of green-yellow splotches through the forest, I really wish I had the time to stop by the village and get Diomedes, but I don’t want that thing to repair itself and be ready for me. The snow crunches and the wind works against me, pushing against me as I jog along. I reach the end of the green-yellow trail and the entrance to a cave, I hesitate and look inside. The blackness is seemingly endless, I take a deep breath and nock another arrow, ready to fire it if I need to; I step in and I’m struck with how much warmer it feels compared to outside. I carefully step, picking my foot placement as I make my way deeper and deeper into the blackness. I reach the back of the cave and freeze, I can’t see my prey anywhere. Was I mistaken? This is where the trail ended… Did I miss an off shoot? I step forward and kick a tool sending it skittering across the floor and drawing blue and orange eyes to me, my heart nearly stops but it doesn’t react to my presence, it stares and mumbles like I never stepped in. “The end. The end. The end.” it drones “It is coming. I am falling. Beware. The end. The end. The end. Beware. The end.” I swallow hard and bite my bottom lip. “Beware. I am falling. Beware. I am falling. Beware.”
“Hey.” My own voice startles me, the light being produced by the eyes goes from diffused to focused, on me no less. I raise the arrow but it makes no move. “What are you talking about?”
“It.” it pauses “It is falling… It is falling. The end is coming. It is falling.”
“What is it?” I press, drawing the string back as it shifts.
“I do not know what it is. I can hear it, it talks to me and it is falling.”
“Hey.” Her voice cuts through the fog in my mind “What are you talking about?”
“It.” I do not know if the life forms know about the voice that speaks to me. It is unlikely they do. “It is falling…” She gives me a blank stare “It is falling. The end is coming. It is falling.”
“What is it?” I shift, making to stand but she draws the arrow back.
“I do not know what it is. I can hear it, it talks to me and it is falling.” She considers this information for a minute before sighing and lowering her bow.
“You should meet Pythia.” I unfold and rise, she steps back in fear. I do not know how to make her understand that I will not harm her. “If you do anything stupid, I will kill you.” I cock my head.
“I do not understand. I am not alive, so how could you kill me?” She blinks at me, clearly thinking of answer, but she has none.
“Fine, do anything stupid and I’ll shut you down. Better?” She rolls her eyes when I nod. “My village is full of highly trained fighters, you do anything we don’t like and you’ll get shut off.”
“I have seen you and your fellow life forms train,” Her eyes widen “I am impressed with your displays of power.”
“You’ve been watching us?” She sounds annoyed and shocked.
“Of course, I have watched over your village since its inception. I have kept you and your fellow life forms safe for decades.”
“Safe?” I nod “So you weren’t planing to kill us?”
“I would not willingly do harm to your village, I am your protector.” She smiles and laughs softly “What is it? Did I say something that amuses you?”
“Diomedes sent me to kill you! He thought you were hunting us.” I do not see humor in this idea, but the definition of humor varies from form to form and I do not think it was programmed into my memory banks or processors. “Come on, the people’ll be… Well scared and angry but Pythia needs to hear your warnings of the end from it… Whatever it is.” She leads the way, though I know the exact location of the village to my home. The leak has slowed considerably, I am left hoping the life forms have what I need to repair myself and replenish what I have lost.