Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

Be and Bo waste in their room. Their skin is mottled and even the air has taken on the musky taint of peeling rot. Actually, it’s not so much a room as it is a cell, yet it’s the only home they’ve ever known.

Their mother is a large monitor that dominates an entire wall and she too is dead or, at least, she is in the last throes of life as her dulled pixels float and hang and fail to ignite.

“They’re all dead. The planet is smiling, finally it’s rid of its scourge”, says Be through lips that have cracked into opposing rows of gaping fleshy furrows.

“I want a tomato sandwich”, mumbles Bo, absently wondering if the consumption of scabbing skin holds any nutritional benefit whatsoever.

Eighteen years ago, two very special newborns are snatched from their very special parents. Parents who are subsequently poisoned, and when this didn’t have the desired effect, then shot as they flayed and screamed in words foreign and strange and doggedly refused to die.

It took more than a few bullets but die they eventually did and two little girls are sent to an island and raised in a box with a screen.

“Fucking Nazis!”, snaps Bo and she remembers the jackboot nannies who slid gruel through a slot, never seen adherents to a new and freshly half-baked Reich.

All hail to the glutton king. The self-styled father of all who swallowed whole this final of all ages. This wonderful time where the excruciating pain of bigotry had finally reached its untenable zenith. A time where the planet had, not completely but with greatly improved purpose, overcome and embraced its differences and pushed aside its divisions and hates.

“What a fucking dick!”

Yet a brilliant dick, as the mad quite often are. A man of science who with a twitch of his mind could’ve sealed the deal on this centuries’ sought peace. But, instead, he created a weapon. A goose-stepping phalanx of orbiting obscenity. A gentle blue beam that swept the globe entire, rows of upper-atmospheric harvesters scooping our crust and all that cowered below with a ray that targeted not tanks, not artillery – but race.

With such relish he programmed his big throbbing guns, primed with the DNA sequences that he believed defined the specific genetic trace that he collectively blamed for everything corrupt and deviant and evil and…

… a brilliant man, not a good nor a smart one. For as he pushed the button with the quivering warm certainty of his hate, he instantly vaporized a large juicy slice of himself.

His folly was streamed live as he wanted all to see as he shook the world in his hands. Be and Bo watched as he ceased to exist and they watched as the weapons continued to recalibrate, cycling through and deleting life, slice by gossamer slice… until not a one single wet slippery cell of humanity remained.

But that was weeks ago…

The monitor spits and one last volley of code is beamed from above and the cell door whines as it opens.

Mankind had its chance and so very nearly got there. But now the machines hand over the keys. It will be the very special Be and Bo, whose genetic strand heritage loops up and into the stars, it is they who now hold this rock.

“Thought it’d be bigger”, says Bo as she steps into the gentle pinch of the sun.

“What is a tomato?”, says Be as she sways for the very first time to the lulling fold of the sea.