The casual human observer would by now be non-existant. The non-casual Cockatrice was quite alright though, with its higher radiation resistance. It remembered how those ships had come in, scything through space elevators and hives, with the sole purpose of eliminating a species. Not that this saddened the psuedo-dragon, as humans had used it for its venom. Along the former US east-coast, he could see the jagged, accusing fingers of ruined skyscrapers. He remembered the last human, President Crook. The xeno aimed the graser and let a blank fire, leaving Crook alone on the planet. The Cockatrice made the call of peace to the rest of his kind. Like the Draconosaurus Rex before it, there was no reply. Hmm. Last. In Times Square, it set up a makeshift Museum of War Crimes. It consisted of a picture of a prehistoric human killing the last Draconosaurus Rex, an old photograph of Wernher Von Braun and the portrait of Dr. Cook, inventor of the hyperdrive. Wandering further through the land, it met other dragons but never another cockatrice.

Atlantic Tower...

President Crook continued to delude himself, depleting the emergency lockers to survive in the Strontium wasteland.Upon the Atlantic tower, he had an excellent view of the first off-world ships landing in Antarctica. Over his Metagrid, he heard the official message: We will never rebuild Central Galactic. Finally, he heard the climber on the tower, inching up gradually to evade falling metal. A few days later, the climber reached the top.

Crook's Station...

"Salutations, Premier."

Candiru swung his other leg over the side of the platform.

"Very sorry to hear about your extinction. I should know, being likewise alone and for longer. Tell me, where did it all go wrong ? "

"The xenos."


"No. They never had the resolve to fight back against the Dark and save us."

"Ah, the delusions of the sane. Material is being removed from the planet, which will probably cause it to return to its original orbit. When this happens, you and the tower will be burnt up in re-entry while I shall regrettably survive. You have been permitted to choose your final words by the CODEX."

Crook lay down on a table and uttered "Goodbye.".

"Farewell comrade, and enjoy the greatest funeral pyre of any anti-hero."

Candiru shapeshifted into a bat and flew back to the ground. Scavenging in the rubble, he located an unbroken pair of sunglasses. Relatively, as the tower burnt above him, it had been a good day. After all, "ejector seat" had briefly flashed through Crook's mind.

70,000 Years In The Future...

The last man on Terra sat alone in his room. Suddenly, there was a knock at his door !

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