Ozymandias

Wufei. G. ~500 words. Wufei POV. Futurefic.
Flowers struggle to grow on the ravaged earth.

I worked for Preventers less than a year before I quit. I started to see things in black and white instead of shades of grey. In the early morning on Earth, everything is grey. I murdered trainees in the middle of the night, but their blood wasn’t red or black. It was grey. I never saw them bleed.

I accepted funding and went back to school. For five months, I studied. I passed each proficiency exam and began my university career in late winter. In four years, I’ve never held a gun. Sally doesn’t ask if I want to visit the range any more.

Today is April 10th, AC201. I have an apartment. I have a mailbox. I have bills every month. I have a driver’s license. I have classmates. I have neighbours. I have a cat named King Tut and it suits him. I’ve been hit on and dumped. I buy groceries and cook using my own pots and pans. I watch movies about life. I have a life.

People define their lives by what they have. I have a paper due next week on early inter-Sphere politics. A suggested topic was the destruction of Colony A0206 of the L5 cluster. I don’t have a gun.

In my second year, I saw him. I watched him flit through the hallways like a ghost of the past. He has an apartment on the other side of the city. He exists in both my lives. Two months passed before we spoke. It was like waking from a dream to find the dream a reality and the reality a dream. I only have one life. This is it. He doesn’t have a gun.

Today is April 10th, AC201. The sun is setting. Flowers struggle to grow on the ravaged earth. If you dig, you’ll find dirt, roots, stone. Layers of life and the passage of time. Colony time is artificial; it only has one life. If you dig, you’ll find metal, gears, space.

He watches the sky darken. We walk over the ends of lives, picking our way through twisted metal and jagged stones. I can see the black scorch marks like the frustrated ravings of madness turn grey again. It is a skeleton, the hallow remains of a history that is ours and ours alone. Memories are not as brittle as bone.

The centre of the wreckage is clear. On the weatherworn foundation, there is a single metal plate. We don’t need to read it. The sun sets as we stand in the future of the past that we wrought together.

“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

End

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