He didn't understand why everywhere was silent. It hadn't been that way when he first arrived.
He sat, motionless, and all the information in this world flowed around him. He touched one fragment as it went by.
Rare Comet Sighting in Night Sky
A smile touched his lips. Well, not really a smile, and he didn't have lips as such. But he felt pleasure that they had been aware of him.
He touched other information fragments.
Comet Visible even By Day
Tidal Surges Swamp Low-lying Coastal Regions
He remembered his growing excitement when he'd detected communication efforts. It has been so long since he'd found others, other intelligences.
He snagged other information snippets out of the swirl before him.
Family Rejoices Over Birth of Quintuplets
Vibrancy! A growing race. He'd become so excited.
Severe Weather Conditions Over Entire Pacific Region
He pulled together more information items, searching for patterns, searching for an explanation for the silence.
Sudden Increase in Deaths Across Asia
Doctors Seeking Cause of Mysterious Brain Aneurysms
He felt pleasure again. They too had searched. Another sign of intelligence. He remembered how he'd reached out, trying to help them communicate with him.
Devastating Fires Sweep Across Europe Caused by Heat Wave - Hundreds Die
Instability Detected in Floor of Rift Valley in Africa
He hadn't been able to make himself understood and it had taken so long to learn their communication systems.
Chaos at UN After Communication Satellite Network Disrupted
Nuclear Missiles Detonated at Three Underground Silos - Terrorists Believed Responsible
He'd reached out again. He knew now he'd been impatient - but, it had been so long, so very, very long.
11.5 Quake along New Madrid Fault in Midwest Triggers Tsunami in Gulf of Mexico
He'd made one last attempt, absorbing all the knowledge he could from them, finally learning how to communicate. And he's stepped onto the planet.
It was the silence he didn't understand. There was no one. Everywhere he moved was blasted clean, windswept, empty.
His sense of being alone deepened till it was impossible to bear.
Then he heard it. A faint communication. He gazed upward and saw, a space station. Pleasure flooded his being. They were so clever, so clever. They took refuge off their planet and awaited him high above it.
He focused his full attention on them and saw, with horror, how the International Space Station crumbled and fell apart under the intensity of his gaze.