A dead world. Of course they had both fantasized about it, though not in a post-apocalyptic way. Their thoughts, when they ran together as in this moment with the shared cigarettes on the roof of Evelyn’s flat, conjured a world devoid of the objects that gave rise to artifacts and then to meaning. How to think without thinking, and would a dead planet make such a thing possible? Back then the Empire had just deployed the first generation of drones-as-birds, and they hadn’t figured out how to land them in trees yet, and the whole thing was comical, really, to watch them try to perch on a branch only to end up tangled and dying there, depowered, until one of the freelance retrieval units came to bag them and return them at the depot. It was Evelyn who first spoke about how the drones might very well be the first step in the direction of lifelessness.
The fifth instalment of a six part story by Nicholas Rombes.