They weren't human--weren't even related to humanity through ties of blood--but they were our heirs!
strange hardness of these four dimensions. "Being is a thin thing here," she said.
"Thin, yes," Creno smiled. "An almost dead world. But there is a mystery in that almost to make the journey worth the coming."
"What mystery?" But Creno was of the wisest on the home planet and her sense feelers scanned once more to find what he must mean. "I do feel it! Everything dead but that one great mental thing moving, and a four-dimensional stream coming out in the vibrations of this world!"
"I have been watching it," said Creno. "What kind of life can that be? You are a sharp sensor, Harta. Focus to it."
She strained and then relaxed, speaking: "The circuits are closed into themselves. It learns nothing from outside itself except to move and extend its metal feelers for food. Soil is its food. Soil is its energy. Soil is its being."
"Can it be alive?"
"It is alive."
All his legs rested now in a row along the ridge. He too was relaxed as one myster
Bizarre short story of two aliens investigating the only remnant of the human race left after the atomic war--a self-repairing toffee-making machine. I found the idea that a cruddy little junk food machine would be all that survived (rather than, say, the works of Shakespeare) quite fitting.
Great title, but I thought this SF short story was boring. It's nothing more than a dull philosophical discussion between two aliens exploring a post-apocalyptic earth.