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The Long Tomorrow

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The library, I decided, must be searched again. Somewhere, it was hidden so that, in the time of collapse, none but myself could find it, and there would be instructions.

It was on the third day of searching when once again I was beginning to think hope lost, that I stumbled upon another memory.

“Deep in the cellar,” my maker had told me, “there is a hollow wall. It looks just like the others, but a gentle tap will confirm it as the hiding place. It’s an old priest hole, from the times of the inquisition.”

I had not, at that time, understood why he told me such a thing; thinking that perhaps he intended me to hide down there should the mob turn against us. But now I understood his true purpose.

To the cellar, I went and knocked upon each brick of chiselled masonry until I found the hollow place. I pushed gently against the stone, and it slid a little. Then I heard the clanking of a mechanism and, by some hidden system of gears, it was pulled to one side.

The room behind was small, barely big enough to hide three men. At its centre, placed in full view, was a box. Atop the box was a letter on which was writ, in a familiar hand, my name.

I shall here forth transcribe its contents.

My Dearest Servant,
I suspect, though cannot be certain, that if you are reading the contents of this letter, it is because I am perished. Know then that your loyalty and goodness have been unwavering and that I cherish you as a father would his child.
Ah, but what horrors I have left you.
None, it seems, are immune to this strange sickness that robs us of our minds. I myself have already felt its grip upon me and must work fast to stay its hand. It is my intention to devote these final days to the saving of humanity, but if, as may be the case, my goal proves unattainable, then let this suffice as insurance.
The others of your kind will perish quickly, for they have not the blunt stubbornness of human nature to sustain them, but you, my boy, you will survive, alone to walk a barren
world…
Let it not be so.

The box below this letter contains in it, instructions detailing how it was you were created. Follow each step with rigorous faith, never wavering from the course as laid before you. You will not retain the knowledge of creation for, in conformity with the laws of the dying land, a flaw was built into your memory. No automata can be allowed the implementations of creation, for they would quickly overwhelm humanity. Thus as you follow each step, so the knowledge of the whole will slip from your mind; but the one you create, ah, she will not bear this self-same flaw.

TASCHEN
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Grammarly Writing Support

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