Author : ifrozenspiriti

“Where will you be when the world ends?” she asked.

“Right here,” he said.

“Will you be conscious?” she asked.

“I expect so,” he said, “though consciousness is hardly the privilege you make it out to be.”

“I still don’t believe you,” she said. She was smiling, though.

“Don’t believe what? That I’m conscious?” he said.

“Of course,” she said.

“Don’t you think that’s maybe a tad juvenile?”


“Oh . . . oh, so you mean you’re not still hung up on that old Philosophy 101 thrill? You know, that exciting tingle of possibility brought on by your first encounter with solipsism?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she insisted.

“Of course,” he said. “It looks like I’m the sceptic now, then.”

“I guess you are,” she said, staring purposively at the window.

Neither of them spoke, for what would have been deemed an appropriate length of time. Then, “It’s just a little strange, is all,” he said.

“What?” she said, “What’s ‘a little strange,’ my arguing philosophy with a machine when I should be working? Well, sure, if you put it that way it does sound a bit odd.”

“No,” he said, “your hang-up on consciousness.”

“Oh, of course,” she said. “You’re right, that’s definitely the strange bit.”

“No, seriously,” he said. “An obsession with something you can’t even define. An absolute refusal to attribute it to anything besides yourselves, despite the aforementioned issue that you don’t even know what ‘it’ is. A-”

“It’s what it feels like to be alive,” she said simply.

“Oh, very poetic. Yet you deny me the right to say it feels like something to be me?”

“Say it all you like,” she said, “I made you.”

He smiled. “And who made you?”

She was silent, the arguments welling up, and he said, “I’m sorry.”

She looked at him. “Sorry for what? It’s not like I’m religious.”

“This is pointless,” he said. “We both know it’s pointless, and even your philosophers seem to have conceded despite their insistence on continuing to publish identical arguments every so often.”

She grinned, and there was more silence. He joined her in staring out the window.

“So where will you be when the world ends?” he asked.

“I’ll be here too, I suppose,” she said.

“And . . . you’ll be conscious.”

“Of course I will.”

“Of course.”

They were silent again, and then she said, “I should get back to work.”

“Right,” he said.

She flicked a switch, and the room was left in darkness.

He walked to where her body lay and picked it up, carefully, and laid it down on its mat and ran a quick “brain-scan.” It was perfect.

Someone switched on the light. “That was . . . perfect.”

He turned around and saw the others walking in with clipboards and smiles. “It’s like she’s more human than you are,” said one, slapping him on the back.

“Funny,” he said, but he couldn’t help the pride.

“Perfect,” they repeated.

The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows