With each visit the moments I record stack up. They accumulate; they build up in my memory and create depth and definition. In the evenings the establishment’s 3800K lighting casts everything in amber, arresting and slowing the transition of one moment to the next, allowing me to hold each one and to consider it thoroughly.
I snap my sketchbook closed and sweep my pens into my open satchel. I dig out a few more coins from my pocket and drop them on the tiny table, adding to the small pile I’ve already left there— a peace offering to the proprietor. I flip my bag around behind me and step out into the city lights and setting sun.
The robots never “sleep” for lengthy periods of time; this makes wandering their cities both endlessly fascinating and exhausting. I am especially drawn to these crowded alleys: they are always buzzing with all manner of activity and always in a state of perpetual dusk.
The map is not the territory. Documentation was important but first-hand experience was paramount to understanding.
“Rechargé life.” Quick sketch of a street scene, early evening. Worked quickly as the light filtering down to the sidewalk was changing minute by minute.
Street market. An amazing variety of items were on display—everything a robot might need and quite a few they might not!
The body will stay where it is, in the dark. The tunnel will keep its secret for now. More importantly, to remove the body would undo, to erase, an important part of their story. Whatever caused their demise is in the past and what we do now will not affect that.
Accelerometer readout null; robot dreams of flight.
Leap over walls, surmount obstacles, because they are there and because it is fun.
Dark alley, deep within the city, lit only by softly glowing signs; air vibrating with unseen frequencies.
Crouching next to the dead body for a closer look, the robot remarked “This is an old body. Several years since this particular antenna design was last used. And there’s no obvious signs of damage.”
I surveyed the scene. “Why is there even a dead body here? How could this happen?”
The other robot replied “This is an exceedingly rare event. And the environment hints at potentially anomalous circumstances.”
I looked into the gloom farther down the tunnel, suddenly wanting to be outside in the light.
Anomaly. A quick sketch of a scene as it unfolds.