It was all over when silver rained down over the domes. We held out longer than anyone else we'd spoken to, save for the groups in Wilke's Land and Atacama. Silver had spread most everywhere else. Wherever it flowed or fell it devoured and restructured organic matter. We had lasted this long thanks to the mostly closed-loop system of the domes.
I pressed my face to the glass of the dome. Precipitation was rare enough near Tuscon. Droplets ran down the sides as if thousands of old mercury thermometers had broken and emptied in the skies overhead. I tuned out the panic and screaming of the other survivors and looked closer at the ground outside the dome. From a mirror-like puddle of silver something crawled and wriggled towards the glass.
We thought that silver had run its course and was content to leave Earth uninhabitable. The silvery suspension of nano-mites however, turned out to be far more ambitious than expected. Carbon life churned in the oceans for millennia before attempting robust and complex forms, but silver had managed to assemble itself into eukarya barely a decade into its existence.
More specimens of silver crawled through the cracks of our aging and tired building.
I left the planet in their hands and went outside for a last look at the desert.
submitted at 10:10pm
25 January 2012
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