Leticia Dos Santos: Countdown to Zero – Part VIII


Leticia gazed towards Earth long after it was out of sight. She did her best not to think about her daughter. Walter is holed up somewhere in the wilderness with Alex, assuming they got far enough from the nano swarm targets, and clear of its path.

She was almost thankful that the nano outbreak was intelligent, that it would only gobble up threats, and not the Earth entirely. The Singularity wasn’t trying to destroy the planet, just humans. They’ll wait things out. When the chaos settles, he’ll teach her to hunt, to build smokeless fires, to disguise their communication in the sounds of the wild, to live as the first men, shadows in the trees.

He’ll know better than to use those rifles. Too loud, unmistakably human. If the Singularity cared to exterminate the human race completely, and it did, Leticia had reasoned its drones would comb the planet for survivors. They might already be dead. She didn’t allow herself to think anymore about that possibility, no matter how probable. Instead, turned her focus to her own reality. Soon, they’d all be dead.

This ship is a deathtrap. Indeed it was. But the ISA-001, a half-alien ship poorly restored, was also the only spacecraft that could travel through the alien gateway, though the capability had never been tested.  Commonwealth ships had tried to pass through the gateway, only to disintegrate when crossing the barrier.

The damned thing has memories of going through. What choice do we have but to trust it? That the ISA was sentient had never bothered Leticia until she had to live inside of it. It’s watching us, helping us, like an omnipresent, benevolent god. Why?

Leticia had no answers, but she was determined to find out.

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