Captain Harash was its last occupant, the last living man from Earth, and both he and Duxa knew he was dying.
“It’s time, Duxa,” he told her.
She checked the output from his lifechair. While it was still replicating most of his bodily functions for him he did not seem appreciably worse than when she’d last monitored him, less than half a second before.
“We’re not at our destination yet, Captain.”
“You’ll make it there without me, Duxa.”
And the processors that she must have built but could never quite find — she was enormously bulky, and by now some of her was a mystery even unto herself — created an awkward sensation. Duxa told him: “I will be lonely without you.”
“And that’s good,” Harash said.
“You wish me pain?” Duxa asked him.
“No. I wish for you to feel. I wish,” and he paused here, his lips making the smacking noises she knew indicated a loss of reflexive controls as the plague made its way through his cranial nerves, “I wish that there were more things that you could feel, Duxa.”
“I think I feel quite a lot.”
Harash laughed, a coughing sound. “All teenagers do. Remember that, should you actually feel someday, that the white hot intensity fades, but to keep the embers stoking.”
Rated PG: For brief violence, the death of tentacled creatures, and the end of the world as we know it.
- Recommended watching: Babylon 5
- Feedback for Episode 254: A Talent for Vanessa.
Next week… Sibling rivalry never goes out of style.