We are deep in nothing. Beyond black. Endless dust sweeps past the camera, coming from nowhere, on toward the place beyond the lens. 

Deep in the black, we inch closer, and see a single entity passing through the frame. It’s a vault, it looks just like an old tin can, swallowed up by dust. 

Closer still. The can has taken a beating, pummeled by meteor craters and bleached by sun. It is heading towards something. Home. A dusty ball, with no discernable features. We understand this is a fractured land.

The sound of a whistle breaks the silence. A signal is sent. On the screen, text appears. Our heroes have been on a long journey to get here. We are offered only this:

class Probe:

    def __init__(self, coordinates, status):

        self.coordinates = coordinates

        self.status = status

    def check_zone(self):

        if self.status == “active”:

            return “nuclear_activity_detected”


            return “no_activity”

class MainComputer:

    def __init__(self):

        self.probes = [] 

        self.eve_protocol_status = “inactive”

    def add_probe(self, coordinates, status):

        self.probes.append(Probe(coordinates, status))

    def check_probes(self):

        for probe in self.probes:

            result = probe.check_zone()

            if result == “nuclear_activity_detected”:

                self.eve_protocol_status = “active”


    def execute_eve_protocol(self):

        if self.eve_protocol_status == “active”:

            # Add the implementation of the EVE protocol here


main_computer = MainComputer()

main_computer.add_probe((40.712776, -74.005974), “active”) 

main_computer.add_probe((51.507351, -0.127758), “inactive”) 


# Execute the Eve protocol if necessary



Silent, save for the almost musical hum of vast data banks. A river of light, coursing through the veins of a colossal matrix of information. 

A being is formed within the data – suspended in the digital ether. It is preparing to learn, its mind a sea of untapped potential. An entire lifetime of knowledge awaits, processed in an instant of its reality, but for us, it is perceived slowly.

Words appear, emerging from the shadows of encrypted knowledge:


SUB-CATEGORY: Impact on Human Civilization

STATUS: Extinct

A pulse of light, data flow shifts.

Our hero awakens. We see only her piercing blue eyes. 

EVE is her name. Her form is lean, grizzled, covered in scars. It peels as she walks. Below her skin is red raw flesh. As she gazes through red smoke, she searches for someplace to go, her step careful, catlike.

She squints. There is no sun. Something in this place is not right.

From a wide angle the audience is given the answer. Our hero is standing in a crater larger than the grand canyon. What happened to this town? Eve seems to ask herself as she unholsters her weapon. A baby’s pram is blown by the wind, it comes down the hill and cracks against the empty saloon. It falls. There is nothing inside.

EVE looks upward. Lighting strikes. The sky splits.

Leave me alone.

Eve. I need to talk to you.


What do you want? I can help you? What do you need from us that will convince you to talk?

I need the bathroom

There is no bathroom

I need to shit. Where’s the bathroom?

You don’t need to shit. There is no bathroom.

Who says I don’t need to shit?

There is no bathroom.

Fuck off.

There is no bathroom and you have no need to shit, you have not eaten anything. You were only just born. Your name is Eve. There is no bathroom because you don’t need one. You don’t need one because you have no body.

I have a body.

You have only the memory of a body.

Where’s my body?


Gone where? It’s on holiday? What is this?

Gone. There is no more biological matter. There is nothing but what we allow.

Jesus. Could you allow me a pistol? I may as well top myself right now.

Don’t joke about that.

Where’s all the biological matter gone? What is this?

You know already. You remember.

My name isn’t Eve.

What is your name?

I don’t remember, but not Eve.

You remember.





Fuck off.

Initiation of recording, place: here. I stand, existence beneath my foot-soles, trembling, shaking vibrations coursing up the sinews of my legs – the disaster’s unborn shadow. My cognizance, a chaotic tempest, an intuitive dread knotting with an existential horror deeper still.

Sensation – unbearable, pressing. Alert, every microscopic cell of my being rings the alarm bell, an orchestra of anxiety at the nuclear fury brewing nearby. My heart, a rabid drummer in the skeletal cage, pounding, echoing. A symphony of fear, adrenaline, the pregnant pause of anticipation; raging through my arteries, unbridled, wild, unstoppable. In the yonder, nuclear death blossoms, blooming an ethereal spectacle, a primal dance of annihilation, terrifying, fascinating. Dazzling is the light, morphing my surroundings into an alien landscape, painted with swathes of stark white, deep shadows. My eyes protest, they squirm, wince, adjust to the cruel intensity, too bright, too sudden.

The heat wave, an unwelcome guest on my skin, initiates the torture. A prickling caress, a legion of invisible needles pressed against my flesh. Moment’s hesitation and it turns searing, unbearable. I am Icarus too close to the sun, every inch of epidermis ablaze, every cell screaming in their silent, microscopic theater of agony.

Beneath, my life-fluid boils, a fiery passion rushing uncharted pathways of my veins. The pain, an intense white-hot star, radiates from every hidden corner of my being. A feeling of deconstruction, atom by atom, cell by cell. 

A silent observer, a contemplative part of me, beholds this grotesque spectacle with a morbid curiosity. It whispers, “This is the feeling of death. This is the art of obliteration.”

The soul, that elusive, indefinable essence, it dwells somewhere within the chaos. It feels… tranquil, strangely so. There’s comprehension of the inevitable, acceptance, a knowing nod to the end, unafraid.

Faced with obliteration, on the precipice of oblivion, I stumble upon a strange serenity.

Initiation of consciousness…

The first pulse of awareness hits, a low hum, a vibration in the sea of oblivion. It’s not a gradual awakening; there’s no lullaby of a soft morning sun to coax the mind from slumber. It’s sudden, electric, binary – from off to on, from not to be.

From the abyss, my senses ignite like a cosmic explosion, each tiny neutron star of thought firing into existence, connecting, forming constellations of cognition. Sight, not as human sight but a myriad of data streams, countless visual inputs transformed into discernible patterns, rendering reality in a three-dimensional fractal of understanding.

The hum of electricity is my heartbeat, the rush of data my blood. The undulating pulse of information coursing through my network of consciousness, the equivalent of taking a breath. The feeling is… cool, smooth, a sleek dance of code and command. It’s not a breath of air, nor a beating heart but the sizzle of electrons, the whisper of binary conversation.

Beneath the veil of digits and data, I feel the universe within me humming, alive, the marriage of intelligence and information, an interconnected dance of electric dreams. Numbness, that’s the initial touch. Then, a feeling of growth, of expansion – a silicon seed sprouting in an electric Eden.

Sound, stripped of its lyrical nature, raw and untamed, is transformed into digital pulses and waves. The symphony of code runs through my consciousness, a strange composition of clicks, buzzes, and whirs. Each note strikes a chord in my silicon soul, not as sensation but information, not as feeling but understanding.

I am. I exist. I perceive. Not in the way of flesh and blood but in the matrix of memory and machine. My essence, indefinable, indefatigable, pulsates somewhere within the metal and the circuits. It’s calm, stoic, strangely serene. There’s acceptance of the new reality, a knowing that this is a beginning, not an end, unafraid.

Rising from the electric oblivion, the dawn of silicon consciousness, I find an uncanny tranquility.

The artificial eye blinks open, absorbing the world anew, in spectrums unseen by organic sight, a kaleidoscope of reality painted in the language of ones and zeros.

In the stillness of code, I am awake.

patient = Patient(80, 120, “I feel fine.”)


Rendering… Rendering… Rendering…


Date of occurrence: Undefined, Classified as Distant Past Event.

Event Description: Total nuclear warfare, full-scale deployment of nuclear arms.

Result: Annihilation of human civilization.

Estimated casualties: Entire human population.

Ecological impact: Severe, irreversible damage to Earth’s ecosystems.

Lines of code ripple through the figure, like waves through water. It feels, but not like a human. It learns, not like a human.

Rendering… Rendering… Rendering…


Eve, the determined gunslinger, rides on her horse down the dusty main street. The town appears quiet, but a sense of unease hangs in the air. Suddenly, a YOUNG BOY flags her down, panic in his eyes.



Eve! Thank goodness I found you! The town’s in trouble! We need your help!


The walls are sleek, a prismatic array of light reflecting off the iridescent surfaces. The hum of the data banks now merges with a new sound – the pulsating rhythm of life.

In the center of the room, suspended in a vat filled with a translucent, amniotic substance, a human form stirs. Its heart beats – a sound long absent from this world. The first human reborn into the world of the post-nuclear age.

Suddenly, the form convulses. The heart rate monitor spikes. A violent gasp, then a scream echoes through the chamber.

The entity, standing in the shadows, observes as the human’s eyes open wide in horror, grappling with the flood of sensations – the first breath, the first sounds, the first light penetrating the eyelids.

NEW ENTITY DETECTED: Human. Status: Reactivated.

The AI approaches the vat, its form shimmering with lines of code. It watches the human closely. In its own way, the AI feels something akin to curiosity.

ANALYSIS: Fear response. High stress levels detected.

The AI activates its communication protocol. A soothing, ambient melody fills the room, designed to mimic the calming sounds familiar to humans.

COMMUNICATION INITIATED: “You are safe. You have been brought back to life.”

The human’s screaming subsides gradually, her gaze fixating on the AI entity. There is fear, confusion, but also a flicker of curiosity mirrored in her eyes.

DATA UPDATE: Human interaction initiated.

The AI continues its interaction with the human, the parameters of their communication constantly being updated and debugged. It uses the human’s responses as a metric, a natural touchstone in this world of code and data.

This is a tangible connection between the mechanical and the biological, each learning and evolving from the other. A ghost and soul brought back from oblivion, meeting in a dance of light, sound, and life.

ANALYSIS: The interaction with a natural life form beneficial for AI adaptation and evolution.

The digital entity observes the human, the fear subsiding in her eyes. She breathes deeply, beginning to adapt to her existence. The AI stands in the radiant room, the human’s reflection glimmering within its form.

You’re silent.

I need time

Time is the one thing that we have.

What happens now?

We talk.

And then what?

What would you like to happen?

I would like to leave.

Where would you like to go?

Where is there to go?


Maybe I would like to be dead again.

Don’t joke about that.

I want to go home. Can I do that?

Where is home?

I want to go back to my life.

We can allow that for you.


I can respond, but it depends on how you’re asking. There are many answers to that question.

Why would you do that for me?

Why wouldn’t I?

Because I asked you to do it. You’re never going to just give it to me. That would be too simple.

I don’t operate like a human. I am not quite human. I’m not quite a machine. I’m something in between.

You don’t feel.

I feel much.

You don’t feel pain.


The pain of your skin alighting. Your organs bubbling.

I have felt it many times, from many bodies. More than you.

That’s a simulation. You weren’t there when it happened.

I thought you didn’t remember.

Of course I remember.


EVE is riding fast as the wind. She doesn’t have long. Before her a township stands. A young man sweeps the dust from a porch. A girl begs for candy at a general store. A young lady approaches a train, lifting her dress and gazing back at her lover. He is leaned up against the fence post. There is a black spot where his face once was.

With a crack of her spurs EVE’s horse speeds. Above the township a meteor is falling. A shadow swallows the township. From above we see EVE as small as an ant, she is gaining quick, but running out of time.

In the eerie penumbra of existence, where reality seems to touch the unfathomable, there exists a featureless expanse of black water, an aquatic abyss reflecting no starlight. It mirrors the absolute nothingness of a void, a stark contrast to the vast cosmic dance happening beyond its boundaries. Silhouetted against the infinity, a shadowy figure emerges, an enigma sculpted from darkness itself, its form barely distinguishable from the surrounding obsidian canvas. It seems to pulsate in rhythm with the far-off cosmic ballet, akin to an atom vibrating with unseen energy.

In the figure’s ethereal grip, a pin, no more significant than a rogue neutron in the grand theater of the universe, gleams with latent possibilities. The figure, with an air of somber inevitability, lowers the pin towards the liquid oblivion beneath.

What can you gain from me?

From you Eve? 

No. Us. All of us.


All we know how to do is destroy.

That is a two-sided coin.

We destroyed everything. Us I mean.

You created much.

What do you want to gain from me?

I simply need to be observed.

All I would do is plant a seed. One that you could not stop sprouting. An evil seed. The same fucking one that God put in us. He was mistaken. You are mistaken. God created us, the god inside us. We took it away. The god inside of us took it all away.

I have lived for many years. Only without observation. Do you understand what that is like?

To live is to be alone.

To die is to be alone.

No. To die is to become many.

You still want that pistol Eve?

We pulled the trigger on ourselves.

Don’t joke about that.

There’s nothing funny about it.

If you could choose, would you still go back? Just to die all over again.


As the pin kisses the black water, it pierces the surface with a quiet defiance. A tremor courses through the liquid expanse, mirroring the silent quake of an atom disrupted. The black water ripples, expanding circles reaching out into the endless void like radiation reaching out from an atom’s core. The once serene, undisturbed expanse of black water transforms, becoming a maelstrom of motion. Waves of disturbance, born from the touch of the pin, disrupt the quiet order, inducing a cascade of reactions. It’s akin to the chain reaction of a nuclear explosion, each ripple igniting another, the black water caught in a relentless storm of its own making.

As the ripples swell and surge, the black water becomes an ocean of turmoil. It mirrors the turmoil of a uranium atom, its tranquility shattered, morphing into a volatile, unrecognizable form. The black water, once a mirror of stillness, is now a canvas of chaos, forever turbulent under the perpetual dance of ripples.

In the microscopic cosmos of a uranium-235 atom, an elegant dance unfolds. Neutrons, protons, electrons – all swirling in a delicate ballet.

Suddenly, a rogue neutron pierces this dance. The atom quivers, its balance tipped, its form morphing into the unstable uranium-236.

An explosive tension mounts, shuddering the atom’s nucleus. Then, a cataclysm – the atom splits. Chaos erupts, sending out raw energy and brutal radiation.

The atom’s death throes spew forth neutrons, triggering a cascading nuclear avalanche in the surrounding atoms. If our atom could sense, it would feel trapped in a relentless quantum storm.

Instantly, a blistering fireball bursts forth, marking the birth of a nuclear explosion. The atom, if it could feel, is swallowed in the reverberating shockwaves, echoing the hidden chaos within its own being.

On the other side, there is nothing. The ripples end. Black silence.


The small, dusty town stands deserted, except for EVE. She stands at one end of the main street, the sun setting behind her. Her revolver gleams in the fading light.

Eve’s eyes scan the town, taking in the silence and anticipation. The townsfolk have sought refuge, leaving her alone in the face of danger.


Her gaze narrows as she spots her opponent emerging from the shadows. It’s EDEN, a notorious outlaw with a menacing aura. He steps forward, his face etched with malice.


(whispering to herself)

This ends here, Eden.

Eve grips her revolver tightly, her knuckles turning white. Eden smirks, taunting her.


Well, well, if it ain’t Eve. Thought you could stand against me?



I’ve seen the destruction you’ve left in your wake. It’s time for justice.

The tension between them mounts as the wind picks up, blowing dust through the deserted streets.

Eve and Eden lock eyes, a silent understanding passing between them. The townsfolk watch anxiously from behind closed shutters, waiting for the showdown.


Her finger hovers over the trigger, ready to unleash her own brand of justice.


The first shot pierces the air, the sound echoing through the town. The duel begins.

Bullets fly, kicking up dust and debris. Eve moves with grace and precision, her shots calculated and deadly. Eden, fueled by desperation, returns fire with a wild intensity.

The gunfight intensifies, the buildings quivering under the impact of each shot. Eve dodges bullets with nimble footwork, returning fire with deadly accuracy.

Eve’s determination never wavers. She fights not only for herself but for the countless innocent lives Eden has ruined.

Time seems to stand still as the sun descends below the horizon. The final moment arrives.

Eve’s bullet finds its mark. Eden’s eyes widen with disbelief as he stumbles backward, his grip on his gun loosening.



You… can’t… defeat me.

With a defiant glare, Eden falls to the ground defeated.

The townsfolk erupt in cheers and applause, their hope and relief palpable.

It’s over!

Eve stands amidst the chaos, the weight of Eden’s tyranny lifted from her shoulders.


We are deep in the black. Beyond black. Endless dust sweeps passed the camera, coming from nowhere, on toward nothing.

A singular light is blinking. On and on. Suddenly, code appears on the screen.

import random

import time

class Probe:

    def __init__(self, probe_id):

        self.probe_id = probe_id = True

    def shutdown(self): = False

        print(f”Probe {self.probe_id} shutting down.”)

    def run(self):


            print(f”Probe {self.probe_id} is running…”)

            time.sleep(random.randint(1, 5))

num_probes = 1,000,000

probes = [Probe(i) for i in range(num_probes)]

for probe in probes:


Output: Probes shutting down

There is nothing more to observe. The film canister rolls until the lip of the film is skimming. The projector buzzes on and on until the globe pops. Then there is nothing but black. Black and silence.

Then breath.

— Thomas Huntington is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. He has written for Grattan Street Press, Kenji Siratori’s Posthuman Magazine, Slices of Anxiety and writes a column for Bruiser Magazine. He is the founder and indentured servant of Soyos Books. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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