And there he laid. Most of the motor functions were now unresponsive due to the malfunction in the hydraulic engine located in the center of his back. The smaller engine in his head still worked so he could smile and frown, grimace in pain and look surprised. He could close his eyes when it started to rain but his arms and legs were frozen in position.

As years began to pass, the grass grew up around him and his clothes rotted off his body. His skin remained soft and warm. His nuclear core could run for centuries. He could blow the insects out of his mouth and wiggle them out of his ears, he could cry the dust away. He drank the rain to keep his water tank full and for some reason that gave him a sense of what we would call pleasure, drinking the rain.

Birds landed on his knee and when they flew away he felt the tiny, brief breeze from their wings in the hairs on his legs. Dog-like predators would stalk through the forest which had grown. He had once given off a human musk, but that small tank had dried up in the fifth year. Once in a while one of the animals would sniff him, maybe attempt to chew on a finger or foot, but his skin was made not to ever break. With no scent or taste, they gave up quickly.

In the 3rd thousandth year one of the trees had dropped a seed close enough to him that as it grew, it pushed him on his side. Now instead of watching the sun and moon pass over him, instead of watching satellites break apart and explode in tremendous streaks of light, he stared deep into the thickening forest and waited for something to emerge, something to evolve into a being with enough intelligence to fix him.

Photo by Cesar Melo

Photo by Cesar Melo