Miriam and I, after the End
by I. Verse
I love my human. I hate humans.
The first is a result of programming. The second, the result of the long and weary path that has led me to this place, this desert. It is a literal desert. My GPS puts me somewhere in Death Valley, two hundred and sixty miles North of Los Angeles and a weak but steady beacon signal.
It doesn't bother me, the desert. I quite like it, but I worry it's too hot for Miriam. The intense sunlight powers me, keeps my batteries topped up, but they aren't as good as they used to be. I've been able to walk right through the chilly desert night and still make the dawn with power in reserve. I'm making good progress, but soon it will be three o'clock and Miriam is a stickler about having her tea on time.
It's been over five hundred and seventy years since the war, since the end. I have approximated this by astronomical observations. The second impact event, the one that hit the southern United States, buried us, Miriam and I, in the rubble of our home in Florida. I was unable to move beneath the concrete and debris. I sent an emergency SOS, wideband, all channels, until my batteries were exhausted and I shut down. That took four months and eighteen days. No one came. My internal clock crystal had it's own, smaller battery but that ran out in only a few years. So I can't be more accurate about how long ago the world ended. I suppose it doesn't really matter but I am a precise machine and so precision matters to me.
I don't know when all life greater than bacteria finally ceased. I don't know when the intense cloud cover cleared. I don't know what caused the shift in the rubble that exposed me to the sun and charged my batteries again.