Fiction: Watching George, Son of London


George, Son of London, born on the cusp of The Coming, was of human line.   They called him royal – a baby above others.

Days of heat parched the city as it waited for news of the birth.   It came after the rain as night fell.  It came four hours post-birth – a boy, un-witnessed, had been born.

In those times humans celebrated the arrival of royal offspring.  What they didn’t realise, what they couldn’t see, was that George was built of their own fragile fibre.  They didn’t know that his descendants, like their own descendants, would be found wanting by The Coming.

Many, many calculations and coded eras have passed since this birth.  The London to which George was born and the planet on which London grew have all slipped behind us.

I’d watched over the planet for darkness after darkness – it was my punishment for programming the acrids to frenzy.

The tiny Earth, millennia away, was so dull, so distant, so pointless.  It did nothing but revolve in slow green-blue spins.  When the signals started to bounce towards us, simple and unformed, it got more interesting.   The humans had found their voices and didn’t stop.

They talked of killing, of war.  One lot believed this.  The other believed that.  He wore this.  He wore that.  They attacked.  They wailed.  They worshipped.  They rebuilt.  They microscoped each other – what they looked like; what they ate; what their babies could do.

I knew their languages.  I’d been there watching, listening since the earliest pulse.  I never said anything.  They entertained me with their strange, floppy bodies and their need for each other. They even became more like us although it took joint-aching darknesses to achieve.

It was news of this George, this Son of London, that really sparked our screen.   This was frenzy.  I tried to explain but they wanted evidence so they sent me to Earth to beam back direct findings.

It didn’t take long.  I have my reports bound beside me now.   They bear witness to the baby’s first century and those who came after; to the digitisation of the human and the evaporation of his voice and separate intelligence.  They record the browning of the oceans and the land; that London shrank to dead, windless sections; and that George’s children’s children no longer had children.  They show a steep decline in frenzy.

It was at the end of the line of George that The Coming took place – a mercy mission really.  It wasn’t my decision and in the end there were only three.  They took nothing – just decontaminated before the planet was kicked out of orbit and its sun unleashed.  The two orbs may both regenerate at some point but I won’t be watching.

None of us will for a while.  Signals of an intense sophistication are being received and we’ve been tasked with tracking down their sou…

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