Nomad

tags: short-story

date: 2009-07-15

I am Nomad; a lonely consciousness among all the dead, doomed to wander and watch the civilization of man crumble and fade against the inexorable onslaught of natures fury. I am the last of mankind's children; though it could be argued that I am no child-of-man. I alone survive as a virtue of the terrible endowment given me during the height of man's reign on the earth.

This was the pinnacle of man's technology: to cause a human-being, whose natural state is one of frail mortality, to be loosed from the chains of death, to live an indefinite augmented existence, an existence void of most physical necessities. I do not eat, I produce no waste, I do not tire, I do not sleep.

I had been kept isolated from the outside world for days, I had no contact with anyone without the authority, or interest, to know about what was going on in an obscure military hospital located who-knows-where. Despite the clear importance of my assignment I was given no way to prepare except to maintain a twenty-four hour fast the day before translation.

I entered the operating room fully expecting a sort of traditional surgical treatment to correct whatever it is that makes man mortal. It had never entered into my mind that I would be undergoing any sort of physical transformation. Painful injections, perhaps, or a series of implants but never the unspeakably dark, sinister, vat that awaited my entrance. It appeared, to my eyes, as some conglomerate of filth, the very life robbing corruption laid upon man in his first days.

I must not be the first translation of the day, I thought, fully expecting, nay anticipating, yearning, for the medical staff to extract the same filth from my body.

The thought that I would be rid of Adam's corruption excited me; I would be what few others could become: pure in-corrupt and free.__I lay upon the table expectantly waiting for the exquisite pain I imagined would take the mortal filth away and leave me pure and immortal. For surely no immortal thing could be corrupt and yet live as a god.

Dreams come upon me in consciousness; incessant in their persistence, furious in their intensity. They seize my attention and envelop my brain and I am reminded always of my past. Try as I might I cannot escape for I do not sleep and I cannot die. I cannot forget any mistake, not a single mistake! I know with exact detail the atrocities I have committed. The people I've wronged? I cannot forget their names! I am trapped in constant remembrance of what I cannot change and what I cannot amend.

Mankind has lost it's collective hold upon the Earth, a sorrowful end made inevitable when man first split the atom. Men do not have the strength of will to resist the temptation of so powerful a weapon. We may resist for a time but they will always crumble. But not I! I am hardly man enough to call them my brothers. I am stronger than man! Man is dead and I cannot die! I alone am left; the strongest of the strong. I am the last and final evolution. None can stand before my might!

I lay upon the cold operating table, naked and alone, awaiting the puring of my soul. I shivered and looked upon myself with disdain. Such weakness, I thought, soon it will all be gone! Then came the needles. Oh, joy, my redemption had come! I was about to be freed from my wretched state of mortality and made God-like. The chemicals seared my veins with pain most exquisite; the pain of liberty, the pain of triumph! It__lasted for what must have been days. So endless was the torment and so infinite the rapture. And though it came upon me in a sudden torrent of pain it did not end in like. It lingered, I could feel my very bones ache. And slowly, ever so slowly, the pain receded and I was left limp upon a sweat-soaked bed.

As the pain loosed its hold upon my body and mind I tried to get up, I wanted to feel the strength of my new body. I sat up and stepped onto the ground and my legs collapsed beneath me. The fall felt like hours, I could not believe that I was so weak. Slowly, ever so slowly the ground rose up to meet me.