When Vena awoke, she began her morning ritual: hot shower; clean clothes (freshly ironed); boiled egg; Marmite on toast. She picked up the old tablet lying on the kitchen counter. It beeped to protest that it couldn’t contact the news server. She dismissed the message, just like she did every morning.
Vena was an avid reader, and she opened a new ebook from the tablet’s vast hoard. A second message popped up, telling her that this was book number 1462… She dismissed this too.
Each new book evoked a wince of nostalgia, a reminder of all those books she’d gone through… Well, what else would she spend her time doing? She could, truly, do anything she wanted. She could call it up and it would be delivered to her: food, music, theatre, cinema, pets, women and men. It would be delivered to her, and she could absorb it at her leisure.
But she’d long ago made a pact with herself not to succumb to any of the temptations – the obvious choices that might spring to mind for most people finding themselves in a similar position. She read, she made notes, she synthesised and hypothesised. She left reams of research notes for any future… people who might find them.
She had spent her ‘Before’ life engaged in similarly intellectual pursuits: research, management, experiments, fieldwork. Most of those were now out of bounds, in what Vena called the ‘After’.
Anything involving teamwork was out of the question, and so Vena was restricted to solo work, primarily absorbing the reams of knowledge built up by humanity, and available at her fingertips. Routine helped, a regular workday, distracting her from the absence of other people.
Her tablet was old, but fromone of those windows in history when tools were being built to last, just like the toaster that made her breakfast, the auto power plant that would no doubt keep everything running for longer than she was around, and the kitchen unit that she would program to prepare her lunch, and later her dinner.
It was a sunny day. Perhaps she would go for a walk. She was the only human left alive, so a little communig with nature would keep her company until it was dark.
She could do anything, but these are the things she would do today.