The Ark - Part 2

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She stood stiffly upon a disc of light as it carried her down the unending
hallway. The speed at which it shot through the ship was something that would not
make sense indoors, much less aboard a space faring vessel. But even at this speed,
by her calculations, it would take a bit … (read more)

She stood stiffly upon a disc of light as it carried her down the unending
hallway. The speed at which it shot through the ship was something that would not
make sense indoors, much less aboard a space faring vessel. But even at this speed,
by her calculations, it would take a bit over a day to reach the destination.
What seemed as an explosion at first had proven to be a series of them,
somewhere along the lines of the engines. The Ark was designed as a monument to
the struggle against time. It had been built to outlive time itself. And that’s probably
why it’s finally coming apart… just as the very fabric of existence is unraveling, she
reflected gloomily upon the situation but found that it was all too absurd. Her
programming incessantly forced her along this quest but what little remained of her
humanity constantly nagged at her to end it.
“Caretaker, I am totally cut off from any information pertaining from that
sector of the Ark.” Tipy spoke while perched on her shoulder and pulsed a soft red.
“It’s the same for me.” She spoke the words reluctantly as worry ate away at
her. Of all the probabilities she could conjure to explain the situation, most none
were the kind that she could resolve without great sacrifice to the Ark or the
They travelled in silence until Tipy finally spoke up “Caretaker, do you wish to
die?”, his color shifted between blue and yellow, the four tentacles pulled close to
his body.
“I wish for this to end. Whether in death or in success it matters not.”
At this Tipy flashed through dozens of colors frantically. Most of an hour
passed until he spoke up once more. “Is it because you feel alone?”
The disc of light suddenly stopped. They both seemed unaffected by the
sudden drop of velocity. Caretaker stood, still as a statue, with Tipy pensively waiting
on her shoulder. She did not turn to look at him when she finally answered but kept
her gaze intent on the corridor.
“I have felt alone for the span of time it would take a star to die, Tipy. It
seems now that most starts have died or are flickering towards the void. I do not
know anything anymore besides my mission and myself. As it is, I have existed a
thousand fold longer in solitude than I have among others.”
“Then why would you want to die? Seems to me that you’re already used it”,
his light flashed a cheerful pink.
Caretaker’s head suddenly turned towards Tipy and the Cyber-Squid jumped
back in fear. He was alternating between red and black as he scurried on the wall
towards a vent. “I’m just saying! If you don’t feel lonely anymore, why would you still
wish to die?”
“Tipy… If only I knew, once more, what loneliness felt like.” The squid slowly
slithered closer to Caretaker, it’s light flashing through colors in confusion.
“We need to go. Get back on if you wish to come along.” Tipy obediently took
his place on Caretaker’s shoulder and the disc of light sped onward.
If only I could feel loneliness again, to have that cancer of a fucking bridge to
my humanity. To feel something besides time eating away at the last bits of what I
was and replacing it with this nothingness, she thought bleakly and decided to speak
“I wish to die, Tipy, because what little humanity remains in me is only
enough to to tell me, quite clearly, that this is not life. My experience is not life as it

should be. It is an aberration. What I still retain of my former self is revolted by this
“But you have purpose, you have a mission. And sometimes you have me.
That’s surely better than standing around in nothingness for all eternity.”
At that moment Caretaker felt that she would smile if only she could.
Though she couldn’t explain the feeling or why the reaction had come so naturally to
her… But she was certain that she would smile if her body would allow her.
The rest of the journey was silent and uneventful. The disc of light dissolved
from under her feet upon arrival and Caretaker stood, taking in the damage. The
walls were a dark red, no doubt from fires still burning on the other side, and a thick
smoke blanketed the hallway. She left Tipy outside and went on ahead, past large
armored doors which slid firmly shut behind her.
Caretaker’s investigation took a week though the conclusion was much the
same that she had on arrival. She fixed what she could and shut down what was too
unstable to merit a second chance. A faraway memory told her something about
how under other circumstances, aboard other ships, that equipment would have
been saved. Not good enough for the Ark though, she thought to herself and
wondered at how these random memories manage to surface after so long.
There had never really been any true malfunction on the Ark. She had her
periodic inspections but she was never truly set against problems that needed
solving. The cyborg couldn’t tell if it was the novelty of it or the opportunity of
solving problems that had calmed her despite the stark conclusion with which she
walked out of the damaged sector.
“So? What is it? I still can’t access any information from there. What
happened?” Tipy asked as soon as she stepped out of the hallway and the large
doors closed behind her. He showered her in a flurry of lights, his excitement barely
“It seems tha-” she stopped, disbelief at her own words causing her to
stammer “It seems that the coming apart of creation is finally catching up to the
Ark.” There… I said it, it’s real. As real as something can be when even time is
They stood in that hallway for a long while, each alone with their thoughts. It
was Tipy who finally broke the silence.
“Caretaker? What does this mean for us?” His pulse switched through a
myriad of colors, each one in the same vein. Confusion, sadness, anxiety… Fear.
“I- I don’t know.”
But she did know. The answer was quite clear. Somewhere deep in the
bowels of the Ark stood a pair of colossal doors. The only part of the ship that went
against its pragmatic nature, they were designed in the old way; Behind those doors
stood what could only be described as an artificial god. And she would have to go
talk to it.

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very stunning !

Himanshu Arya

That's awesome!