“Hey Bill, found some more.” Tanya said as she stared at her screen. “Get the robots over here to start digging.”
She hates her job. Government pays her to search out remnants of buildings destroyed by the great earthquake of 2047, along the New Madrid fault line. She doesn’t understand why the government really cares about this stuff, it happened over 400 years ago. All they find are worthless pieces of crap that probably meant something to those people back then, but not really worth anything now.
It is just Tanya, Bill and three archa2000 robots going through this area that was known as Mississippi, Hernando was the name of the city. She is so glad that everything is just coordinates on a map now, no need for names of cities. What’s the point?
“Where you want them to dig?” Bill asks as he leads the robots towards where Tanya is standing.
“34.8407 x 89.9436” she replied looking at the flashing point on her display
“What do you think it is?” He asked
“I’m sure it is just someone’s old house full of their old useless crap. Let’s just get it over with, we got another zone to complete before we can stop.” she says as she looks up at the housing units hovering above them, longing for her sleeping quarters.
The robots started clearing away layer after layer of dirt and debris in a matter of seconds. “OK, slow them down a little, you are right on top of it.”
The robots slowed their pace at the touch of Bill’s finger to his wrist band control pad and started picking up debris instead of disintegrating it with their lasers. After a few minutes one of the machines stopped and started flashing a red light indicating that it needed attention.
“I got it.” Tanya rolled her eyes and started walking toward the robot currently sitting still awaiting further direction. She walked over and saw that she was in a room of some sort. Looking around she saw a bunch of soiled books in the corner, some kind of stuffed animal sitting on a piece of wood furniture.
“Analyze” she commanded to the robot.
After a series of blips and beeps, the archa2000’s display read TOY PENGUIN. She just looked at it and threw it in a bag. She instructed the robot to gather all of the books from the room and store them for further analysis, even though she did not see a reason to do so. She had to come back with something or they would send her here again. ‘Everything is stored digitally anyway, not sure why people had such a fascination with books, they take up too much space.
Something caught her eye at that point, it was a folded piece of paper that fell out of one of the books as the robot was picking it up. She walked over and picked it up. Opening it up, she started to read
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
As a tear formed in the corner of her eye, thinking about how cold the world was, how lonely she felt. Everything is a number anymore, no time for feelings. Just follow instructions and keep to yourself was her motto. For some reason these words touched her, like nothing had touched her in a very long time. She heard a voice.
“What you got there?” It was Bill coming from another part of the lot
“Nothing. Just something that someone wrote down, not important.” She folded the piece of paper and went to throw it in one of the storage bins, but then stopped. ‘Not important’ she thought as she slid the folded paper into her pocket.