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.”
A storm darkened the sky early and forced the robot to take shelter in the derelict building over night. Before going to sleep mode, they spent some time exploring deeper into the structure, the lantern casting long shadows. The building was empty and devoid of anything of any interest— save for one wall. It was covered in strange, indecipherable markings and pictographs— the raw materials of legend and myth. The robot set their pack down and dig out a paper notebook and stylus. After recording some visual data they set about logging the find in the notebook— a failsafe storage mode. First the odd EMF spike and now this…
After a few days of travel, the robot encountered an oddly designed structure, overgrown with tenacious weeds and shadows. They had been monitoring low-level background EMF noise for the past day and moments after stepping inside the structure there was a tremendous spike in the energy level. Logging the event for investigation later, the robot proceeded to walk deeper into the structure…
The robot stood a moment, the territory spread out before them, territory waiting to be mapped, documented and known. All previous information regarding the outlying areas were frail structures built on fragmented and noisy datasets. The robot had prepared for this task. After noting the location of what was an unmistakably artificial ring-like structure, the robot walked on, measuring their strides.
“Due to localized EMR exposure, I was unable to trust input from my sensors. I had to engage in triple redundant checks of my surroundings. I still could not confirm whether or not I was being followed.”
While traversing a deep, narrow ravine, the traveling companions discovered an anomalous opening in the face of one wall. The dimensions of the passage were oddly uniform— not the result of natural erosion processes. The light from outside quickly dimmed to a murky gloom. “Should we proceed with documenting this passage?” asked one. “No,” replied the other. “My batteries are not fully charged. Let’s get into the sun so we can fully charge and then return.”
“I know your ways,” the robot said to me. “I know that you can not tolerate a state where you lack information.” Even so, the robot shared with me stories about ‘places I should not go.’ The robot continued: “There are places far from here; places without label, without map. They once must have been known, marked, and organized. Now there are nothing but blank sectors and noise. I circumnavigated one such area, attempting to add to the borders of mapped locations. Some of the topography was familiar but out of place. My attempts to build a map failed due to localized EMR causing errors while I was writing data…”
Their journey took the robots through ever stranger landscapes. One evening, at sunset, the sky appeared to be consumed in a silent explosion. They were momentarily alarmed, however neither of them detected any rapid changes in local atmospheric conditions or an increase in EMF. Even so, there was a low-level background noise that defied analysis…
With the sighting of the giant now moved to storage, the robots set up their thermoelectric generator and discussed their plan for the next day. Through their sighting of the giant they had established the plausibility of some of the stories that had been shared with them during their travels. Their course of action was plain: they would seek evidence to confirm (or debunk) other stories of anomalous events and circumstance.
After the giant had vanished into the mists, the pair of explorers continued on their way along the ridge. While they saw no more of the colossus for the remainder of their traverse, their CPUs hummed with visual data (IR, visual spectrum, and UV) collected during the encounter. Prior to embarking on their journey many stories had been shared with them regarding anomalous phenomena in the vast unmapped areas. They wondered what else might be true?