No living soul breathed upon the earth. Only robots, carrying on the last great order.
its poisoning wake across space to leave behind it, upon Earth, a noxious, lethal gas vapor, had done its work too well."
No living soul breathed upon the Earth. No one lived here now, but Kiron and his kind.
"And," so thought Kiron to himself, "he might as well be a great unthinking robot able to do only one thing instead of the mental giant he was, so obsessed had he become with the task he had set himself to do."
Yet, in spite of a great loneliness and a strong fear of a final frustration, he worked on with the others of his people, hardly stopping for anything except the very necessities needed to keep his big body working in perfect coordination.
Tirelessly he worked, for The Masters had bred, if that is the word to use, fatigue and the need for restoration out of his race long decades ago.
Sometimes, though, he would stop his work when the great red dying sun began to fade into the west and his round eyes would grow wistful as he looked out over the great city that stretched in towering minarets and lofty spires of purest crystal blue for miles on every side. A fairy city of rarest hue and beauty. A city for the Gods and the Gods were dead. Kiron felt, at such times, the great loneliness that the last Master must have known.
They had been kind, The Masters
A comet's dust has killed humanity, leaving the robots behind doing the work they did when men were alive. A simple, not very profound story from the 1940s. It seems quaint.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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