He had been one of the last men of science. As the human race and its culture devolved into hedonism, he continued to rebuild the vast archives of information once held by the planet.
It had all been lost some hundred years ago when the people had revolted, burning libraries and universities in a panic. He had been raised by a reclusive grandfather with a desire for knowledge and a tendency to despise the Bacchus lead masses. Indulging themselves continuously in drink and festival, they were a creature he considered unfit for the wonders he held in his mind of biology, physics and astronomy.
Nevermind the fact he'd be lynched for discussing such matters.
When his grandfather died many years ago, he developed a method to disperse the ashes using a device which was the epitome of his practical research. His grandfather had planned to be sent clear through to the heavens upon his death, and spoke of little else but being entwined with it's beauty, with the remnants of his cremated body someday finding their way into a nebulae, or a torn between a binary star system, or even being pulled forever to add to the mass of a black hole singularity.
So when the time came, he enclosed his greatest teacher's remains into a small glistening bubble. He initiated all the necessary launching procedures and watched as it cleared the sky into the heavens. He stood standing on a rather large hill near the launch site for a very long time. When he lowered his eyes to the valley beneath all he could see was a city in ruins. The people scurried between crumbling buildings and ransacked old stores of food to stay alive.
Nature was retaking the city, with grass grown between cobblestone, tree limbs forcing their way through broken windows of old houses. And yet behind him stood a pristine field of green grass below a bright blue sky, the only structure that stood was his laboratory, the great dome of it's radio telescope pointed towards the raptured sun as he worked at determining the exact time he would need to join his grandfathers ashes.
He began the long walk home.