Just as all “big things” happen, there was no preface, no hints, at what perception-altering event lay ahead. One moment the dry, dusty emptiness of the tunnel system, and then, in a shallow alcove, evidence of an entirely unknown facet of the robots’ existence. The edge of the map had been unfolded to reveal a terrible landscape.
As much as there is out in the light, there is probably just as much in the dark. A robot took me down to what appeared to be storm surge tunnels beneath an older part of the city. I didn’t go too far into the tunnel but the robot did not follow me. Strange. They provided no explanation for why they would not venture past the mouth of the tunnel.
This is the first in a series of drawings using the contents of Marker Universe‘s “January blind box”: A curated selection of various markers and pens from Karin, Graph It, Sketchmarker, and Aristo.
Pointing to their own head, one said to the other “It was not apparent to me before but you seem to have sustained an injury during your recent incident. I suggest you not repair the damage—your adventures are being written to your surface.”
While the showers were short-lived, they were intense, brutal affairs. Conformal coatings on vital components offered excellent protection but the best line of defense was a long coat or poncho. (And a can of Water Displacer-Formula 40 was good to have, just in case.)
As darkness fell the traveling companions made camp for the night under the shelter of an outcropping of rock. As the thermoelectric charger topped off their batteries, they shared stories of their respective journeys through the Unmapped Areas.
Rising to a dizzying height above the desert floor, the blackened structure kept its mysteries and menace to itself. The two companions shouldered their packs and gave the structure a final look before turning and striking out for the next horizon. “This is a dangerous place best left alone. We’ll return, but only when we’re better prepared. For now let’s go see what other interesting things we can discover.”