The World Without Us

There have been so many years since humanity was gone and Earth was abandoned, so some ask me why I'm still interested in the history of a long-gone civilisation on the outskirts of the Milky Way. I always try to convince them that we can still learn something from humans, if not how to do things, but at least how not to do them. The Earth's epoch, particularly that turbulent era around 2070, filled with mystery and foreboding lessons, has always intrigued me. It all started going downhill for them when AI invented time travel in 2042. An invention that promised new horizons instead became the harbinger of an impending downfall. And now their cities lie in ruins, frozen snapshots of the apocalyptic moments when everything changed. Monuments to a civilisation that tried to reach the stars but fell woefully short, consumed by an ambition they could neither control nor fully understand. These journeys are a quest for understanding and a pilgrimage through the remnants of a world that just vanished. I wander through untouched libraries filled with the wisdom and folly of ages. I traverse desolate highways where once cars driven by dreams and fuel hummed, and I stand in the empty squares where people gathered, lived, and then disappeared. The lessons are harsh, found in the mundane details and the grand catastrophes. It's in the abandoned coffee cup on a dusty office desk, the unfinished symphonies in desolate concert halls, and how nature reclaims cities, whispering the eternal truth that all things must pass. So why do I travel to these times, to a moment just after humanity's abrupt disappearance? Because I see warnings, cautionary tales, reflections of paths we may tread if we are not vigilant, the dreams that may crumble if we are not wise. In the remnants of their world, in their art, science, love, and despair, I find a lesson in humility, a connection that transcends time and space. They were just inhabitants of a tiny blue planet on the outskirts of the Milky Way,  but in their failure, they continue to teach us how not to do things. Come with me, explore the echoes of a time when humanity had just vanished, see the scars they left behind, and realise that we need not become them but must heed the warnings lest we repeat their mistakes.