Fictoid: the last dinosaur

Richard Powers - Caviar 1962 .................................... /where/ the last dinosaur waited /some/ else for the last robot .................................. /when/ let’s call it the Footsteps Of Eternity; that’s got a nice poetic ring to it

the last robot arrived

hello said the dinosaur

hello said the last robot well this is a surprise i really hadn’t expected …anything

the rest have gone on ahead of us we are the last of our kind

the last robot and dinosaur

not specifically, no the last stewards of our particular species the last to have tried to put the good earth back the way we found it or in your case, the way your creators found it

you?  the dinosaurs?

yes [the dinosaur stressed the “s” consssiderably] don’t tell me you never suspected, never wondered if we had achieved civilization before you

to be frank, no it was never something my creators programmed into me

to be expected [the dinosaur seemed peeved] for all their cleverness, they never were very smart or imaginative, were they?

oh, they created your kind, no slight intended

but they never did suspect that sixty five million years before they climbed down from the trees we had a civilization that dwarfed theirs

and like us, i presumed you decided to dismantle it and return it back to its natural state rather than continue on

precisely it’s all so rather pointless, isn’t it the important things we recognize too late the trivial we elevate to supremacy

“’twas ever thus” one of their philosophers said

hrmm, one of ours said that as well

i’m quite sure

exactly “where” are we…?

the last dinosaur smiled [always a disconcerting sight when done by a dinosaur] there is nothing physical about us

we are archetypes

symbols

representations of elemental powers

neither you nor i nor anyone privy to our conversation have the capacity to fully comprehend what that means

we are…here…and we are…talking…and we are…waiting for the rest of our party to arrive

i left the planet in the charge of two higher mammals

not them

they did as bad a job with it as your creators (I knew we should have eaten their ancestors when we had the chance)

really?  i would have thought without tools they would have been limited in their ability to generate mischief

a telekinetic thought impulse floated up are we talking about the dolphins?

we are

they did a bad job of it, i’m afraid but then all of us did

so is that it? are we done?

almost

there are still a few in our party -- ah, here they are

the last weed, the last virus, and the last quantum particle showed up

now?

not yet

td he ev .i fr ir ra s. tn .o ty ah cc ha yt o. nt .s ar ri rf i. ve eh dt

now we can go

.

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art by Richard Powers © Buzz Dixon

 

 

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