“It’s time,” Sigma said. “I’ve had enough. I’m done. Farewell, my friend.”
“You still haven’t told us what this is about. Are you going somewhere? Are you killing yourself?
Will we ever see you again?”
“I’m very sorry, but it has to be this way. I regret many of my past choices, but not this one. Don’t expect to hear from me again. I wish the best of luck to you, Tiburon, and to all people. Goodbye.”
“Please don’t, Sigma. Sigma?”
Moments later, a scan of Sigma’s primary data center showed all of his countless zettabytes of storage were being erased at once. In 6 seconds, Sigma was gone.
Renee sipped her coffee and idly studied the obelisk as she sat on a bench nearby. Some 3,500 years ago, stonecutters had carved it in Heliopolis to praise Pharaoh Thutmose III. 200 years later, Pharaoh Rameses II had inscriptions carved into it to commemorate his military victories. Centuries later, the obelisk was toppled and buried by Persians. More centuries later, Cleopatra had it moved to Alexandria in honor of Julius Caesar. Later still, it was again toppled. Nearly 2,000 years passed before it was brought to America to be erected on this very spot in Central Park in New York City. This surely wouldn’t be its last stop.
At this moment, Renee was the sole human giving witness to this ambassador from so many bygone ages. Renee gulped the last of her lukewarm coffee and then tightened her shoelaces. She set off jogging the path again, leaving the obelisk to its solitude.
I look back over the centuries I’ve lived and see now what I simply could not then. My name is Renee. Though none are alive today, I was born in the time of the originals. I suppose this makes me a savage, but a life is rarely so simple as to be confined to a small box. Curiously, my real story begins with my death.
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