I was excited this week by the Science-Fiction prompt. The idea that Science Fiction teaches us more about own humanness, than any human could, is a beautiful part of the genre. I was very late in getting this entry together, but I was glad to be able to participate in this week's competition. My thanks to @theinkwell for continuing to provide prompts for reflection and creativity. In line with the February challenge to focus on the skill of world building, I decided not to include any images in my post, to avoid offering an unintentional image.
Prompt: They’re here.
Skill Focus: World Building.
The mountains loomed ominously over the plains beneath it. They were shrouded in a tangled maze of deformed trees, each ruthlessly reaching for the limited light which filtered through the deep cloud cover above. Large brown flying creatures busied themselves in the canopy, concerned to hunt for lesser prey before the weather turned, and the ice took them into death. The earth further below was not hospitable. In places, it was hard and cracked and rough mounds of dirt would seek to trip, and in other spots, the mud would thicken and ooze and a wrong step would leave you gurgling for breath.
In short, this was Ezekiel III’s favourite holiday destination. He’d been coming here since his processor upgrade forty years ago had allowed him to see in the dark. He would lurk in the shadows, relaxing as it were, and wait. The cawing creatures added to the ambience, the discordant notes echoing through the undergrowth. The storms would come, whipping up sand from the plains and it would lash the mountain; unrelentless whipping; unrelenting smothering; unrelentless unrelenting. Yet, the mountain would stand strong, and the small tech-oid being hiding its web of treachery would smile.
It was not easy to be a tech-oid being. There were rules. Strict ones that sought to govern everything from the way you polished your antennae, to the way you thought about the imperial emperor. You were not to have a concept of time, and your entire purpose was to exist to work until your bolts were rusted, and you were discarded, thrown into the proverbial waste bucket of time (of course, you would have no concept of time, but the tech-oid beings certainly understood the idea of recycling).
Yet, here in the wilds, wherever they happened to be – geography being a thing of Earth, and much like time, not of concern to tech-oids, Ezekiel III found himself waiting. He seemed to come to this spot almost intuitively, and when he was here, beneath the distorted branches and sitting on the cold windswept stone, his processes would start to shut down, and his connectivity to his systems were somewhat disconnected. The whole thing was as bizarre in nature, as the appearance of a rare speckled red-spotted splodge-o-daur, which scuttled by Ezekiel III’s feet. In this wasteland, without the distraction of binary processes, Ezekiel could hear his heart beat. A curiosity he attempted to define around metric progressions, but could not accurately capture what he felt.
Each year, another tech-oid would seek out this same spot and the pair would sit together, in the dark, in the wind, unrelenting as it was. They would start out with scanning each other for malware, or rogue trojans, before discussing system boots and memory space. But once reacquainted, the small-talk would cease, and they would continue to build their own child. Ezekiel III would remove a bolt from his partner, and she would clip off part of his memory boards and together, with smuggled solder, they would bring forth their offspring. It was secret rendezvous, and had they known the feeling, they may have even called it love.
With another swirl of dust and presided over by a howling beast’s quivering cackle, Ezekiel III’s partner’s buttons began to glow in the distance, mirrored by small glows sparking from Ezekiel IV, V and VI. The tech-oid turned up his speakers, and with a hint of exclamation in his voice, pronounced, ‘They’re here’, and he quickly turned on his surge protector, lest he be overcome with emotion.