Too Late To Be...

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Day 27

The sun rises, its blinding orb obscured by the grinning face of a human infant, its moronic chuckles echoing across the grassy hills. At the bottom of a natural bowl shaped by the landscape sits a wide metal dome.

Inside the Dome a compact service-droid ambles out of its alcove and sniffs the air, its sensors detecting the presence of decaying matter. Following the scent the droid trundles its way into the low central chamber where the two furry corpses have lain for the past five days. Relays click and whirr inside the miniscule metal brain, and the droid comes to a decision. Reaching out with its one prehensile arm, the droid grasps the nearest body and begins to drag it across the floor to the nearest disposal chute.

Soon both bodies have been dropped down into the bowels of the Dome, where sophisticated Recycling systems reduce them to their component molecules, routing the detritus to the Dome’s food synthesis mechanism. Returning to the centre of the chamber, the droid begins to disinfect the metal floor.

Several feet away, four metallic caskets hum quietly. Inside, four sleeping forms begin to stir, the bright primary colours of their fur in stark contrast to the clinical surroundings...

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