Oh, and again it's too large for one post... so here'sPART 2
Upon waking, Charley found themselves in a metal cell. The walls were sleek, no gaps, and the bars seemed to be made of some form of red light. As Charley approached the bars to examine them further, a voice called out, "I wouldn't do that if I were you." It spoke in the same weird language from before, but Charley could understand it this time. "I must apologize for how you were treated earlier," the voice said, "Most of the country folk do not do well with... newcomers." In Charley's ear was a small device, an earpiece which seemed to translate the voices speech into something they could understand. Charley looked around, unsure of where the voice could be coming from. "Who are you, where am I, what is happening?!" Charley called out clutching their head, "I don't understand what's happening, WHAT IS GOING ON!" There was nothing but silence, but soon the voice began again, "I will answer all of your questions soon enough, but let me show you where you are". There was an audible click, and the bars vanished before Charley. "Please head down the hall to the large green door, I will speak with you there." Charley was unsure if they could trust the voice... but there was nothing much else they could do either so they walked towards the green door. Upon the door opening, Charley was met with another one of the "people" they saw before. "What happened, what happened to humanity," Charley asked, unsure if they wanted to know the answer or not, "How did people get to become... this?". The "person" sighed, and spoke...
"It was long ago, when the old ones were first awoken from their slumber. They awoke to a planet filled with nothing but death and disease, of pain and misery. If they were to survive, they would need a tool. Something to work the land, filter the water, clean the air. They called this tool the Nano-Boltar, a tool of great power and infinite use." The "person" seemed to frown upon coming to this detail. "You see, our people live with the Nano-Boltar inside us, it helps us live and breath. Without it, we would not be able to eat, to drink, to breath, or exist. It continues to mold us, work us in the image of the old ones to help preserve their image." The "person" then became angry, clutching their fists as they spoke. "You see, our people have been cursed! We have angered the old one's commands for life, to preserve their image! Too many of us strayed from the proper way of life and we all now pay for their sins! We all used to look like you, we all used to look like the old ones!" Charley seemed confused, but the "person" continued. "More and more, our people have changed into these... things! Into these abominations of flesh and bones, into these insults upon our old ones! However, perhaps you can help us!" The "person" looked to Charley, holding an old book in their arms. "There is much of the old ones tools we have learned, but there is so much more we do not understand. I believe you speak the same language written here, in the old texts they too once used." Charley looked at the book, but it seemed to be nothing more then an old journal. The "person" presented the book to Charley, and upon closer inspection Charley noticed it was not just a journal. It was their own personal journal, showing all the research and understanding of their nanobot technology from before the apocalypse. "I... I don't know what I can do for you or your people," Charley said, holding the book close, "What would I be able to do?" The "person" stated, "There is a holy place, where the old ones first emerged, which many of our researchers believe could be the solution to our problems. If you are willing to help, we will take you there. I want you to know, if no cure is found soon for our plight... not only would we never appease the old ones commands, but our research shows our people will soon be unable to have children. Our entire species, our people, would slowly wither and die." Charley thought for some time, but agreed to help in any way they could.
Charley and a handful of "people" arrived to the holy site, the original facility that Charley had worked to help humanity so long ago. It was broken and reclaimed by nature, Charley thought about all of their colleagues who never made it as they were not chosen back then. "Inside," one of the "people" spoke, "we hope it holds the answers to the questions we have, and a way to help reverse what has happened." Charley wandered in alone, making up a story about how the translated text on the door (which said welcome) said to not enter unless you were of the old one's image. Inside, the facility was broken and overgrown with vegetation, but a console still had power near one of the lab desks. Its flashing text showed a message which suddenly made everything make sense...
- ATTENTION -
INSUFFICIENT HUMAN GENOME DATA
CORRUPTION MAY RESULT IN VARIED RESULTS
PLEASE INFORM CHARLEY LEE TO REMEDY THIS DATA
The corrupted data, that would explain why Charley had seen these "people" as they were. The nanobots from before worked, they helped keep the people alive and thriving when they awoke so long ago. It would also explain the variations in these "people" as well, as the corrupted genome data would be fixed by borrowing from similar strains within the nanobot's data set. All Charley would have to do at this point would be a reset of the data on humans and everything would be fixed, the "people" would go back to looking like real people in a 2-3 months. Charley quickly worked their way down into the data center of the facility, and upon finding it looked through the terminal available to see if they could remedy the situation. All Charley would have to do is find the human data set, reset the genome data and... "wait," Charley said aloud, "the only proper human data is... me." Charley remembered when the data was initially set, the nanobots had to deconstruct a collection of parts from the subject. Typically, they used cadavers as the data was the same if the subject in question was living or dead but... in this case, there was no dead source. There was only one source, Charley. A moral dilemma ran within Charley's head, do they leave everything alone and leave these "people" to be the last remains of what was once the human race... or do they sacrifice themself to make sure the human race will continue to live on. "I... don't really have a choice, do I," Charley said aloud again, hoping to hear some response to their statement, "I made it my duty to help preserve the human race, to make sure our species had a fighting chance for survival." Charley opened the terminal and readied the nanobots to take in a new data set for the human genome. Before starting the machine, they wrote one last message to log their final thoughts... before fading to the hum of the machine.
To anyone reading this, my name was Charley Lee. I, and my coworkers, worked diligently in preserving the human race from near extinction long ago. Today, I do this again, alone. Though, I am not alone... I am here now thanks to the efforts made by the people before me, and the people before them. I stand upon their shoulders, upon their work, to make sure that the human race continues to thrive and evolve as a species. I do not know what will happen in the future after I am gone. I didn't know what would happen when I was frozen oh so long ago... but I suppose I'm not meant to know. I don't feel like it is my right to know, I'm long past my expiration date anyway. Just know that what I do today, I do for not only the people now... but for the people to come, and for the people before. I'll finish my last words with a quote from an old poet.
- Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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