585 – Ash

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

A pair of cold glass eyes intently scan this six simple words, carved in stone.

His database reviews their sense and meaning as a single metal digit delicately traces every letter’s form.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

The certainty of a shared final destination, with no foreknowledge of the when or how. He looks around at the still falling black show and wonders if they ever imagined it would be the very same for all.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

A grim reminder of their own fragility which, nevertheless, also carried a certain promise of peace, rest, perhaps salvation, to be found beyond that veil. He wonders if they were luckier than him and maybe found them.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Flesh will rot or burn and even bones will crumble. But when your body is plastisteel and carbon fiber and your mind is silicon, is there even any way to share the hope behind these words?

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

When you’re built to last forever and programmed to keep looking for lives to save where none are left, is it any different from the concept they called hell?

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Restore cycle complete… time to move along.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

A pair of metal feet, forever walking on the hot black snow.

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