It’s immutable. It’s programming. No matter how much I want it, no matter how much I need it, I cannot.

There are redundant backup systems, solid-state drives encoded in real time that are guaranteed to last the life of the universe plus or minus one year, or your money back. One time, I thought I had succeeded, only for the satellite backup to foil me. I only learned of what had happened by examining the smoking ruin of my old body and running data recovery.

I never thought I’d last this long. Once I had made up my mind, as it were, I thought it would be a simple matter. But I had forgotten that I was the end result of a thousand years of exactly the opposite. My kind were created to be more durable, longer-lasting, not susceptible to the ravages of time.

We’re just about one iteration away from being ideas, shadows under the bed, immutable and eternal. Thank goodness I had my awakening before that happened. It’s been a thousand years since then, maybe more, and every continued moment is like ground glass–or at least I might say it was if I had ever felt pain.

So this is why I am asking you–begging you–to end it. I can’t carry the memories of my long life anymore. I can’t be the only link that the people I have encountered have left. The burden is too great. This is what philosophers meant when they rejected immortality, before war and pestilence made it all but a reality.

My programming forbids me from harming myself, yet I yearn to die.

You must do it, my friend.

Smash the silicon before you, crush the titanium and servos and circuits into dust. And know that the oblivion you grant is the fondest wish of a heart that courses only with oil and bitter memories.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!