Author : ifrozenspiriti
â€œWhere will you be when the world ends?â€ she asked.
â€œRight here,â€ he said.
â€œWill you be conscious?â€ she asked.
â€œI expect so,â€ he said, â€œthough consciousness is hardly the privilege you make it out to be.â€
â€œI still donâ€™t believe you,â€ she said. She was smiling, though.
â€œDonâ€™t believe what? That Iâ€™m conscious?â€ he said.
â€œOf course,â€ she said.
â€œDonâ€™t you think thatâ€™s maybe a tad juvenile?â€
â€œOh . . . oh, so you mean youâ€™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?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know what youâ€™re talking about,â€ she insisted.
â€œOf course,â€ he said. â€œIt looks like Iâ€™m the sceptic now, then.â€
â€œI guess you are,â€ she said, staring purposively at the window.
Neither of them spoke, for what would have been deemed an appropriate length of time. Then, â€œItâ€™s just a little strange, is all,â€ he said.
â€œWhat?â€ she said, â€œWhatâ€™s â€˜a little strange,â€™ 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.â€
â€œNo,â€ he said, â€œyour hang-up on consciousness.â€
â€œOh, of course,â€ she said. â€œYouâ€™re right, thatâ€™s definitely the strange bit.â€
â€œNo, seriously,â€ he said. â€œAn obsession with something you canâ€™t even define. An absolute refusal to attribute it to anything besides yourselves, despite the aforementioned issue that you donâ€™t even know what â€˜itâ€™ is. A-â€
â€œItâ€™s what it feels like to be alive,â€ she said simply.
â€œOh, very poetic. Yet you deny me the right to say it feels like something to be me?â€
â€œSay it all you like,â€ she said, â€œI made you.â€
He smiled. â€œAnd who made you?â€
She was silent, the arguments welling up, and he said, â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€
She looked at him. â€œSorry for what? Itâ€™s not like Iâ€™m religious.â€
â€œThis is pointless,â€ he said. â€œWe both know itâ€™s pointless, and even your philosophers seem to have conceded despite their insistence on continuing to publish identical arguments every so often.â€
She grinned, and there was more silence. He joined her in staring out the window.
â€œSo where will you be when the world ends?â€ he asked.
â€œIâ€™ll be here too, I suppose,â€ she said.
â€œAnd . . . youâ€™ll be conscious.â€
â€œOf course I will.â€
They were silent again, and then she said, â€œI should get back to work.â€
â€œRight,â€ 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 â€œbrain-scan.â€ It was perfect.
Someone switched on the light. â€œThat was . . . perfect.â€
He turned around and saw the others walking in with clipboards and smiles. â€œItâ€™s like sheâ€™s more human than you are,â€ said one, slapping him on the back.
â€œFunny,â€ he said, but he couldnâ€™t help the pride.
â€œPerfect,â€ they repeated.