I couldn’t help but wonder what must be going through their mind as they sat there alone and in silence, eyes skyward. Mind adrift in an inky sea, studded with glittering stars.
Hello friend. Save for obvious variations in gross surface anatomy, the robots might appear to be indistinguishable from each other. But each one is wonderfully unique, its life story told via scratches and dents on its housings.
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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.
“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.
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.
Analog interface drift. I was told that with each analog/manual interface, a small amount of drift or irregularity is introduced. This is a favorable outcome that heightens the appreciation of the music experience.
Oonst-oonst-oonst. The robots tell me they favor the low-frequency vibrations, the physical quality, the percussiveness of experiencing music.
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.