The Original
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The jig was up. Something had gone wrong somewhere, and the Foundation had failed its final mission. Maybe 343 had got sick of the entire mess and decided to sweep the quarrelling apes off his planet. Maybe a vial of 008 had smashed, and brought the world to a moaning, hungry death. Or maybe nothing unnatural happened, and the human race had finally destroyed themselves as the great superpowers promised they would. It didn’t matter.

Nothing did. Not anymore.

From one pole to the other, only one thing showed any signs of life. It was two metres tall, and made of concrete and rebar. It ran on tiny little legs, and as it moved its concrete flesh bulged and stretched in ways concrete never should.

Unbound by eye contact, the statue had its way with the planet. Entire continents were passed by in minutes. The spindly legs worked like pistons, grinding up asphalt and rock. It ran over dying oceans and fields of ash. It never stopped.

Whenever the statue passed through a city, or what remained of a city, it would never pass through without first darting through every room of every building. The same went for any town, or any type of human settlement whatsoever. If any intelligence had remained to observe it, they might have theorized that the statue was looking for someone. Or anyone.

Centuries passed, and the statue kept moving. With every empty city, it seemed to get just a little bit faster, as if being driven into a rage. Its speed uprooted trees, and sent the chassis of ancient cars flying. The spray-painted face never faded. Instead the colors simply grew brighter, angrier, and more vivid. The black eyes became like holes into space; the red lines seem to glisten.

Maybe in some faraway era, an alien intelligence will find the Earth, completely swallowed up by shit and blood. Maybe they’ll find the statue, or the statue will find them, and the dance will begin again.

Or maybe nothing will come. Maybe it will just be the statue, unstopping, undying. Forever.

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