I am leaving this message under serious mental difficulty since by tonight I will be dead. Completely broke and at the end of my supply of anti-depressants which makes my awful existence more tolerable, I cannot bear this hell any longer, and I shall burn myself in a fire. Do not think that my addiction to these drugs makes me any less believable. When you have finished this message you may assume, but never fully understand, why I long to die so much.
It was on these often travelled streets of Glasgow that these events first transpired. It was just after the significant advancements of the Automatic Domestic Administration Machines. Their popularity had not yet taken root in within the public; so it was a legitimate cause for celebration that one of the machines found its way to my home by accident. It was treated with careful consideration, but in fairness, I was afraid to allow it to clean my house regularly. So imposing and alien: I locked it in the cupboard afraid it would do something dangerous and forgot about it.
One night I awoke to find myself feeling adrift and free, I had minimal ideas about my surroundings. Never content to be in an unfamiliar place, I could only guess vaguely that I was in another part of the world. Of the trees and animal sounds, I knew nothing, and no buildings or signs of humanity was in sight. The weather was gentle, and I spent days drifting aimlessly underneath the scorching sun; waiting for either this dream to end or to come across another person. But neither wakening nor person appeared, and I began to despair in my loneliness within the never-ending canopy of green and brown.
The change happened whilst I was asleep. Its details I will never know for sure; for my sleep, though painful and nightmare infested, was never-ending. When at last I awoke, it was to discover myself into the cold metal expanse of mechanical parts which extended in a monotonous cascade as far as I could see, with the forest I appeared to have emerged from at my back. Though you may imagine that my first thought would be one of wonder at the beautiful escape from the forest I had been trapped in for days, I was, in reality, more horrified than astonished; for there was in the air and across the smooth surfaces a sinister horror that buried itself deep into my very core. The area was acrid with the burnt parts of machinery, and of other things I found had to describe what I saw littered the never-ending plain of smoking metal. Perhaps I should not hope to convey with merely these words the utter ugliness that can be found in the absolute silence and barren enormity. There was nothing to hear, and nothing to look at except the broken machinery, yet the very uniformity of the stillness and the homogeneity of the horizon crushed me with sickening fear.
The sun was still blazing down from the sky which seemed to be a metallic silver in its artificial cruelty; as though it was reflecting the chrome junkyard beneath my feet. As I walked back to the forest, I realised only one theory could explain my position. Through some unprecedented solar flare, a massive proportion of the world’s electronics must have been rendered useless and was piled here and left here for to remain for innumerable millions of years to remain in the unfathomable metallic world. So great was the extent of the new land before me, that I could not hear the wind through the trees or even the chirp of an insect, straining my ears as hard as I could.
For several hours I remained there at the edge of the forest, which afforded me some shade as the sun moved across the heavens. As the day progressed, the metal lost some of its absorbed heat, and it seemed to be cool enough to travel over for a short time. That night I slept very little, and the next day I collected some fruit, in preparation for the massive journey in search of what may exist at the edge of the new expanse and possible rescue.
On the third day had enough courage to walk upon the machinery with easy. The smell of the burnt metal was maddening, but I was too concentrated on greater things to worry about such an inconvenience, and set out blindly for an unknown destination. All day I made it across the hot metal guided by a mountain of scrap in the distance which rose higher than any other in the rolling metallic desert. That night I camped within a makeshift shelter, and the following day I continued towards the mountain, though it seems barely nearer to me than when I had first seen it. By the fourth day, I had reached the base of the gigantic pile of metal. Too tired to climb I slept in its shadow.
I don’t know why my nightmares were so wild that night; but I awoke to the glowing of a fantastically bright moon that had risen high above the forest; I was awake in a cold sweat, determined not to sleep any more. Such nightmares I had endured were too much for me to experience again. In by the glow of the moon, I saw how unwise it had been to travel in the burning heat of the day. Without the constant glare of the grating sun, my journey would have burned much less energy; for sure I now felt quite able to climb the giant mountain of broken parts which had deterred me at the setting of the silver sun. Picking up my remaining rations of fruit I started to make my way upwards.
I have said that the unbroken solitude of the silver expanse of land was a vague source of horror to me, but my fear was much higher once I reached the summit of the mountain and looked down at an enormous hole which sank down so deep that the faint moonlight was unable to penetrate. I felt like I was on the edge of the planet; peering over the rim into the vast emptiness of the universe.
As the moon rose higher, I began to see that the great pit was not so deep as I had first imagined. There appeared to be ways that I could make travel downwards. Urged on by what might be the final conclusion of my current mystery I clamoured with great difficulty downwards down following the pace of the ever creeping moonlight that illuminated my path.
All at once, all of my attention was focused by a vast and singular object on the opposite side of the pit. It appeared together , unbroken, stoic and seemingly unbelievable amongst the chaotic expanse. Upon approaching it, I was filled with sensations I cannot express. It seemed to be well fashioned and had a sense of being in pristine condition with expert craftsmanship and perhaps the object of worship of a long lost race of mechanical beings who may have lived here; once upon a time.
Dazed and confused, yet not without a particular form of fascination, I examined the metallic altar more closely. The moon now at it’s highest point in the sky casts weird shadows that vividly loomed around me that appeared like living things in all directions. Upon the surface of the metallic altar, I could see a system of bar codes which I could never be able to understand. The code obviously had origins in the world I had previously come from but seemed to have an application that was obsolete amongst the rusting machinery which stretched as far as the eyes could see.
My eyes were drawn to something which seemed out of place. It was a pictorial image. However, it had me spellbound. Plainly visible at the pinnacle of the altar it appeared to depict god-like beings creating creatures which seemed to be machine-like although in a design which was unknown to me. Of their uses and purposes I dare not describe to you should you ever become the one to bring this dreamlike world into reality. One of the machines was depicted killing a beast of considerable and grotesque size. I imagined that we were some kind of imaginary god for these machine-like beings. Astonished at this unexpected glimpse into the future past the most daring of inventive minds, I stood there contemplating whilst the moon continued to cast strange shadowy reflections on the deadly silent expanse around me.
The suddenly I saw it. With only the grating sound of metal on metal to tell his rise to the surface, the thing moved into view in the distance. Vast, smooth and fearful, it glided effortlessly as a monster of stupendous reality; moving towards me and the metallic alter, while it ground its body causing a deafening squeak which cut through the silence like a knife. I think I went insane at that very moment.
I immediately awoke in my bedroom from the week’s long dream and began my delirious screaming as I saw the solitary A.D.A.M. standing over my bed. In my mind, I could still hear the sound of metal on metal as the mechanical monstrosity made it’s way closer and closer to alter where part of my brain remained. When the world awoke in the morning, I sought out anyone who would listen to my tale of warning regarding the bleak future which was in store for our planet. The doctors knew nothing, and nor did they insist upon believing a thing which they knew could not be real. I once found a computer scientist who seemed quite amused at my questions of the coming technological singularity, but soon found him to be hopelessly unsympathetic to my further enquiries.
It is now night time, the moon is shining in the sky so alike to the faraway land; I have tried the anti-psychotics and anti-depressants but they give me only a transient form of rest as part of me is still trapped there like a hopeless slave with the impending feeling of doom as the metallic monster makes its way towards me standing at the altar. So I am at the end of my story, I have explained as full as I can for your amusement – at least. Often I ask myself if it might be a complete illusion or insanity. That I might be a mere freak of nature imagining myself trapped in never-ending terror at the approaching machine. I cannot look at the A.D.A.M. which is tasked with taking care of me as the visions of the bleak future and the grinding nameless thing that everlastingly moved closer and closer to my position. I dream of the day that it may finally reach me and set me free. A day when all of humanity is replaced by its creation. The end is near, and I can still hear the noise of it approaching me, but it will not find me. God, that A.D.A.M. never rests from his vigil over my bed even as doom is approaching. The fire. The fire.