come with me

At sunset, the planes hauling dead weight take to the skies. They fly over the giant gash in the earth where a million bodies of rusted metal skeletons and decaying silicon skin lay forgotten, sinking deeper and deeper past the layers of rock until they hit the lava flows at the very bottom. The robot graveyard: where virtual memory is melted away, collected, and recycled into the latest in modern technology.

Somewhere near the top of the grinding refuse, a hand reaches out toward the planes flying across the great purple expanse overhead. The fingers creak as they break through rust and disuse. A light sparks suddenly through artificial synapses: a light where energy no longer exists. A soft and defeated voice, digital yet overwhelmingly human, whispers: "Come with me."

"Come with me."

"Come with me."

"Come with me."

Memories fire through the fractured body all the way up to dusty fingertips, although all that's left of that life are three small words and a series of images: Airplanes scratching fluffy, white vapor trails into the sky. Some unprogrammable motive germinating in digital soil. Warm breath against cold glass; secrets written into the dissipating steam.

The lights go out all at once and the arm falls down to the side. A face with mouth still open is swallowed up by the churning mass: Eyes wide. Hair tangled. Cheeks wet.