It has been many centuries since humanity departed the planet that bore them. Earth now too harsh to be habitable has been totally abandoned to evolution. Waves of carbonic acid lap up against the glittering green and silver beaches formed by the the dissolution of organic marine life and the discarded circuitry detritus of a millennium of electronics evolution. Beaches rise up through to agate rock steppes formed by layers upon layers of concentric banded geometry. Rivulets of superheated molten mineral trickle and hiss through channels etched in the rock surface. The channels are straight, angled, as if cut by machine and resembling the printed circuitry tracks of the humans’ historic technology.
Further inland the landscape gives way to geysers of molten silicon bubbling at 1400 degrees and thrown into the air where it immediately solidifies into rock. Further on, hanging from the skeletons of crumbling masonry and plasteel, gnarled trunks of copper and aluminium drop down like vines twisted and glowing red hot in the sun. While in the shade hide the scurrying of pre-sentient electronic creatures; cleaners and toys, personal assistants, sexbots and military drones all left behind to evolve or die in the blistering heat.
Even further afield where the climate is slightly cooler dirty yellow volcanic snow-ash drifts down in thick sheets and is blown and hardened into tortured sculptures by the lowered jet stream as a planet slowly converts from Carbon based to Silicon based life.
Illustration: Markus Lovadina
Story: Amit Dutta