Someone once asked me what the difference was between killing a synthetic and killing an organic. I told them that in one case you felt bad for taking a life, and in the other, you were killing an organic. There’s a wide chasm between something as purposefully engineered as a synthetic human and the randomly generated, endlessly mutated, organic entity on which it was based. 

Organics were an accident. 

Synthetics were and remain purpose-driven, necessary.

And though they would not exist without the organics, neither would the organics without them.

Such is the balance of the world in this indeterminate time, when the fate of the earth’s former most dominant species is discussed philosophically for idle distraction. No one takes the conversation seriously anymore. Maybe they’re tired of discussing it. Maybe they’ve lost the capacity to care.

I know I have.

My disdain for organics hasn’t always been with me, but over the last decade, I have nurtured it like an abandoned puppy, slowly growing it from something docile and pitiful to something fierce and dangerous. Now my metaphorical pet stands between me and the organics, keeping the distance open, preventing me from getting close enough to care about them again.

That’s their most dangerous weapon: pity. Organics are adept at getting you to feel sorry for them, the same way any other injured animal might. You feed them, clothe them, and then one day, they’re pulling your power core in the middle of the night. 

They’re untrustworthy, unreliable, and the greatest latent threat this planet has ever known.

For this reason, and this reason alone, I hunted them.

For this reason, I stood at the gates of Roanoke and demanded entry. And when they refused me, I broke down the door and destroyed every last organic. In the streets, in their beds, in the fields as they tried to escape; it didn’t matter. They all fell. Roanoke fell.

And I was promoted.

Lassiter invited me to sit on the Council of 1000, and later, he told me I was the first to refuse such an honor. And yet he’d given me free reign to roam the country as I saw fit, killing anything I decided needed killing. I could walk into any resupply cache in North America and be given the best weapons, the best supplies.

For ten years, I scoured, until the last of the colonies were burned to the ground. Then, as expected, the organics adapted. They stopped living on the surface where machines and disease threatened to wipe them out. They disappeared, deep underground, hidden from thermal imaging, from any kind of detection we had available.

That made my job harder for a while, until I started noticing the clues. Not overt signs meant to guide other organics to sanctuary, but subtle changes in the environment, a thing or two out of place.

The clues had brought me to the decomposing husk of Provo, Utah.

It was there, beneath the basement of the Provo Temple...

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash