Day: March 22, 2014

Shoo!

The little machines beeped and whistled at us for quite some time, but even with my cunning and code-breaking skills, I simply could not fathom their meaning. I tried asking them questions: “Where is the nearest town? Where can we find water? What is the name of this place?” but received only electronic babbling in reply. Switching languages did not help. Thinking perhaps they have some telepathic abilities, I fixed in my mind an image of them leading Sigyn and myself to a crowd of welcoming friends.

Nothing.

My next idea was to look them over for a communications device or some recorder that would play a message back to their maker and lead someone to us. The little ones were easy to catch but revealed nothing. The largest one gave out a mechanical growl and gave me a mild shock. Searching the medium-sized ones was likewise unrewarding.

My patience is not infinite. Realizing that we can expect no help from these things, we have resumed our trek.

Blast it, the machines are following us. For what purpose, I do not know. We have tried doubling back, veering sharply, and trying to outrun them. They are sticking like glue, trailing along like so many metal ducklings. It is as if they have decided we are their leaders. But what good is a small army if it won’t follow orders?

……

Just when I thought they could not be more annoying, they have proven me wrong. Sigyn likes to sing to herself as she walks, and the whole idiot lot of them have begun*humming* along with her. The two littlest ones have come up with a descant that is not unpleasant, but the one with the long arms is a half a tone flat and it is driving me MAD…

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Um…?

Sigyn is too good-natured to complain, but if she spent as uncomfortable a night as I did, she must be truly miserable this morning.

It was cold, our perch was hard and poky, there was no way to get comfortable, and that cursed tree dripped sap on us both. I think it even tore a hole in the back of my cloak.

After we climbed gingerly out of that nightmare, stiff and groaning, we set out walking again, breakfastless. We are definitely heading slowly downhill. Downhill means river or ocean eventually, and shoreline means ports and cities and someone who can help us. Or at least a decent meal.

<Later…>

Miles and miles of nothing. Sigyn likes to stop and look at unusual rocks. I am trying to be patient, but I have seen enough rocks. Is there anything in this desert that *isn’t* a rock or a noxious weed or an animal that wants to gnaw our bones?

<Still later…>

Now those *are* unusual rocks. And are they… moving? Sigyn, do those rocks look as if they’re moving?

Odin’s toothbrush! They ARE moving. And they aren’t rocks. They appear to be mechanical devices. The small ones are almost amusing, but the larger ones are disturbing.

And now they have us surrounded and are beeping at us unintelligibly. They do not appear to be hostile. They almost appear…expectant. What on earth could they want?