66 – Expectations

“Are you sure there’s no sign of them? They were quite numerous.”

“Positive. We already ran the scan four times. Other than some scattered traces here and there, there’s no sign of them.”

“But they couldn’t have gone full cycle already, right? I mean… it’s just too soon.”

The taller being turned away from the floating screens to face its younger companion. “How many times have we had this talk? I’ve told you never to get emotionally attached to young civilizations. They’re way too fickle.”

The younger creature lowered its gaze sadly. “But they were so promising. They went from basic language to their first space probes faster than any of the other ones.”

“That’s one of the first signs of trouble. When they start evolving faster than you expect it means they haven’t really had the time to learn how to measure the consequences of their actions before discovering technology.”

“So there are no life-forms left on the planet?”

“The planet is full of life, there are just none with advanced social models or technology. Fortunately all they did was alter their climate patterns to the point where the conditions for their survival were exhausted.”

“What’s that blip on the third landmass?”

“That’s the last one of them… He went on a deep space mission and returned to find all the others gone.”

“Can we keep him?”

“You know the rules. We’re supposed to observe without getting involved.”

“But he must feel so lonely down there with no one to talk to.”

The senior angel shook its head and sighed. “Ok.” It finally said. “–But you will have to take care of him. He will be your responsibility.”

The older angel had barely finished the last sentence before the younger one spread its wings.

With a big smile, it plunged into the atmosphere of the blue planet below, straight over the point where a lonely metal man sat staring at the sky.

• • •

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