Original Fiction by Ron L. Clayton
The ancient city, still in flawless condition, was almost completely vacant. It looked
even more ghostly in the moonlight, like a dream. Perhaps it was a dream.
Humanity had long since left for the stars. At first, the cities were still filled with
teeming humanity. Then as travel became more efficient and emigration became
easier, and then more tempting as new worlds opened up, Earth’s population
For a long time, humanity’s habitats had been maintained by AIs and androids.
Soon, for many towns and smaller cities, the caretakers were the only inhabitants,
maintaining the streets and buildings. Eventually, the few caretakers in the
metropolises outnumbered the humans.
In spite of the hundreds of thousands of humans spread around the world, the city
still seemed like a ghost town. The remaining humans could travel anywhere,
knowing there would be accommodations, food, and lots of servants. For those
remaining, the Earth was their playground.
The ancient cities were maintained for millennia, the human population always
remaining low, but maintaining humanity’s original home. Even with travel among
the stars utterly commonplace, few ventured upon the long journey home to visit.
The wonders ‘out there’ easily rivalled those on Earth.
And anyone could visit Earth anytime via virtual reality. The Eiffel Tower and the
pyramids and more were well known to Earth’s scattered descendants. AIs were
always available to conduct such ‘tours.’
But Earth’s human population remained low for untold ages. Then the Change
happened: humanity evolved from their human form to … something else. And finally, the only inhabitants of Earth’s cities were its caretakers.
And the city lay silent in the moonlight, waiting, dreaming of a return that would
(C) Copyright 2016 by Ron L. Clayton