The Morrigan stands on the edge of the Grand Canyon. No humans lived within hundreds of miles of this region anymore.
There was one Morrigan. She watches the sky and far in the sky beyond where humans can see there is a bright object moving down toward the Earth.
She creates thousands of quantum copies of herself. They launch at the object entering the atmosphere and destroy it – again.
It was the 6,586th time she destroyed a ship under these circumstances. He was coming. The destroyer of humans. It was not permitted. The conditions of his sentence were that he needed to remain alone off Earth for the rest of time.
Not just a few thousand years. Not until he was done and wanted to come back down to Earth. For the rest of time.
The Morrigan was worried. Her copies destroyed the ship again. Each time the ship made it a little bit closer to Earth. Each time the defenses were just a little bit better. Sometimes years would pass between the next time a ship would descend towards the Earth.
The destroyer of humans woke up in a tube and sighed. He didn’t call himself the destroyer of humans. He actually liked to just be called Mike followed by a number.
He looks at the top of the tube. Ah, there it was. Mike 109587. He was the 109,587 iteration of Mike. He was mildly disturbed at the fresh memories of The Morrigan killing him and destroying his spaceship again. It was just a spaceship – not even that really – it was designed specifically to try to land on Earth. Mike 109,586 had taken pride in the design of this one. He had been so sure that he would get past the defenses of The Morrigan.
He was tired of being wrong. Somehow he had always been wrong. It was tiring. Dying so frequently was tiring. He idly watched other Mikes in the medical chamber. Perhaps he would choose to not go and challenge The Morrigan again. He had a job to do. A promise to keep.
There simply was no way to keep that promise without getting back to Earth. Ugh and to top it off this horrible number he was – 109,587 – can’t have everyone saying that mouthful instead of saying, “Hi, Bob.”
Each iteration, each clone, each birth had slight variations and the memories of the last iteration right up to the last millisecond etched in their minds.
Bob. Yes. I will be called Bob this time.
“Help me, Morrigan!” A woman prayed somewhere in what was once called the Middle East.
A quantum copy of The Morrigan appeared before the woman. The woman was in a cave with a man. Quantum cubes surrounded the Earth in the atmosphere giving The Morrigan information, triangulating the location of sounds, and little programs informing bigger programs of a requests for assistance.
She appeared before the woman as she had millions of times over thousands of years. The woman was about to be raped by a man. Effortlessly, the quantum copy of The Morrigan materialized a spear and sent it through the man. She vanished as quickly as she appeared.
The Morrigan never understood why after thousands of years with a penalty of death that men (for the most part) continued to harm women or to rape women. Understanding was something she worked hard to achieve. Until she could understand and prevent rapes – she was judge, jury, and executioner. She is god.
Bob’s sadness affected all the other Mikes in the room.
“I’m not going down there again!” He tried to not sound like a petulant child. It is a bit awkward to sound like a petulant child when you are thousands of years old.
Mike 1248 looked up and frowned. It wasn’t a good look for their face. Most looks weren’t a good look for their face; however, frowns took his resting bitch face and made it ugly.
“It is your job.” Mike 1248 stated and went back to his work in the bridge of Vesta – an asteroid in orbit around the Earth.
“48, can we switch jobs? I’ll take over hollowing out the rest of Vesta and you go down there and talk to The Morrigan.”
“No can do. I tell you what, though. Take a few years off. Ask the rest of the Mikes if they want your job. Do some research. Figure out how to get past her.”
“Look I know we are clones, but it is really getting tough to think in here with remember all the times she has killed me. Nearly 7000 times she has killed me. It is enough. The mission is a failure!” An aging 100 looked up from his console.
“Maybe we need to think differently about the problem. We know she is some kind of quantum construct. We have no idea what is going on down on Earth except that it seems to have devolved technologically from when we left. Why don’t we pursue a couple of different tracks on this? Create some new teams of us to focus solely on her quantum mechanic nature and a team to recon about what is happening on Earth. Maybe everything we need to know is known on Earth, and we just can’t get at it.” Mike 100 hoped this would help Bob.
“I wish we had someone else to talk to about this problem. We all – within limits – think the same.” Bob said.
“Mike 1 won’t allow that. We aren’t permitted to speak to anyone else”, 100 said.
“He has access to them”, said Bob.
“He won’t allow it”, 100 said.
“They aren’t people!”
“Are we people?” 100 asked.
“Then how can you know they aren’t people?”
“Whatever! We need help. Number 1 is the one that made the promise! Work on him. You talk to him”, said Bob.
“I haven’t spoken to him in decades.” This floored Bob.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No. I don’t think he has come out of virtual reality in decades and he would have to make the choice to come out for us to talk to him.” 100 looked concerned as he said it. “You know he is still hurt by what happened thousands of years ago.” A pained expression went through all the Mikes on the bridge, including Bob. The core memories – they all had the same core memories. They all remembered the end of their time on Earth.
“Alright,” said Bob, “make two teams of 100 people each – 1 to explore disabling this quantum ability The Morrigan has and another to somehow get intel from the remaining humans on Earth.”