I can’t handle this smell.
It stinks.
No… It doesn’t even stink, it’s a stench.
I’ve never smelt this bad. The river water won’t seem to go away and digging in piles of garbage for hours is only making it worse. I’m beginning to feel nauseous. My head is starting to throb.
I touch the side of my head. I can feel the dry blood and a lump where the brick hit me. There’s definitely a gash, but I have no way of telling how bad it might be.
Maybe it’s infected… I should stop and eat some fruit. Hopefully at the very least my headache will dissipate.
I sit down and reach into my bag. I breathe deeply and the stench returns. My appetite shrinks in an instant, but I must eat anyway.
I’ve had these fruits for almost three weeks and they still don’t seem to have aged in the least. Incredible.
Delicious and incredible.
I hear a faint “curururu curururu curururu” sound between bites.
The frequency increases.
I try to swallow but fear holds the fruit up and I cough it back out of my mouth. As it hits the ground, a small, friendly looking robot turns the corner. The long, extendable camera on its top peers directly into my eyes, then down at the fruit. It continues studying the contents around me.
“Hello.” I say.
It stops and looks at me again. It carries on.
I think back to when I met Sally.
“What’s your name?”
It stops.
“I am Third-Eye.”
It continues on.
“What are you doing here?”
It stops.
“My main function is inspection and analysis. I am an essential part of this waste yard’s staff.”
Staff? It’s still working? This junkyard must’ve been abandoned years ago.
“You’re a staff member? What do you do?”
It stops again.
“I will repeat. My main function is inspection and analysis.”
“Um… List your functions, please.”
It carries on.
“Excuse me, Third-Eye. What are you looking for?”
It stops and investigates the fruit.
“This fruit is not in my database.”
“This fruit is not in my database.”
“Database? How many, um… Things, objects, are in your database?”
“Just a moment.”
It freezes entirely for a few seconds.
“I currently have 4,815,162,341 items in my database, ranging from organic materials to man-made objects. I will add this fruit to my database. Please allow me to ask you some questions.”
“Um. Sure… Go ahead. I don’t really know much about it though.”
“What is the name of this fruit?”
“Uh… I don’t think it has a name.”
“Please describe the taste of this fruit as clearly and plainly as you can.”
“Well, it’s very sweet. Refreshing… Very juicy. I guess melonish and somewhat citrisy are the closest things I can come to.”
“I am sorry. ‘Refreshing’ and ‘juicy’ cannot be accepted, as they are not proper attributes of taste. Moreover, ‘melonish’ and ‘citrisy’ are currently not in my English dictionary. Perhaps they are from a different dialect. Shall I add them to my dictionary?”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever.”
“Please speak the administrative password into the micophone on my left in order to make the appropriate changes to my vocabulary.”
“I’m sorry. ‘What?’ is an invalid password. Would you like to try again?”
“No, that’s alright.”
“Very well. I will store the words ‘melonish’ and ‘citrisy’ in my auxiliary database. If you would like to add them to my permanent vocabulary, please ask me at any time.”
“Please tell me what the fruit smells like.”
“It doesn’t really smell like anything. No smell, I guess…”
“Accepted. Please list any nutritional facts about this fruit and I will cross-reference them with a biological sample of it.”
“Um. Complete rejuvenation…”
“Please be more specific.”
“Well, I got smashed in the head with a brick and felt pretty close to death. I couldn’t really see or hear and I ate one of these fruits and felt entirely healthy again.”
A small syringe appeared out of the front of the robot and pierced into the fruit. It stood frozen momentarily, then it spoke. “The biological properties of this fruit are not corresponding with my existing framework. At this time, I cannot classify it as a fruit and will store it in my auxiliary database until further information can be presented to me. Would you like to file this record with a specific name for recall?”
“Why not… How about ‘crazy fruit’?”
“There is an existing listing for ‘crazy fruit’ in my primary database. If you name this file ‘crazy fruit’ you will have to specify that it is in my auxiliary database. Is this okay?”
“Yeah, no problem. Tell me what ‘crazy fruit’ is…”
“’Crazy fruit’ is a term used for mutative crops of fruit of which were thought to cause depression and in some more severe cases, dementia and hallucination. The problem was linked to the fruit seemingly depleting the body’s supply of vitamin B12 although advanced studies were never formally carried out.”
“Formally carried out? What does that mean?”
“I’m sorry. It means I have no further information about ‘crazy fruit’.”
And with that, I could feel the pulse in the side of my skull again. I need to finish this fruit.
I bit in, staring at this robot. It’s almost too good to be true. A Third-Eye.
Why isn’t this headache stopping?
In any case, it’s time to get moving again.


This is the junkyard. This is the path.
This is the way back to luxury.
These metals, these alloys. These are hundreds of years of hard work by humanity, mining and melding.
This journey, though it seems to have only begun, has left me wanting.
Now I envy the past. Until this point I could only speculate on what the world might’ve been like before but now it is all in front of me.
Pieces of mechanisms and devices that have no practical use for human survival- if they did I’d take them, but most of what is here is indistinguishable to someone of my generation. All of it luxury.
This is part of my journey. I needed to see it. It all seemed normal to me before- this world I live in. Painful, but normal nonetheless, though looking at this junkyard and everything in it, I feel cheated. I was born into this world. I didn’t have a choice.
Suddenly I feel as though I have a broader purpose. Cid can help this. The robots- they can help this.
I’m not out here just to save them, I’m out here to save myself.
The restoration of luxury. That’s my purpose.
Humanity evolved. We earned these luxuries, yet we’re living well below the standard.
I don’t even know what enjoyment I’d get from these things, but I at least want the choice. I want to chose to say “no” and not be forced to.
I didn’t think I’d be able to find my way back to Cid’s shop, but now I question if I’ll even be able to navigate out of this junkyard.  It’s a dungeon.
But I suppose every adventure has its dungeons.
This will be my first.
Or maybe my last.
I wish I didn’t still smell like that vile stream

A Sore Sight

No more than five minutes later my wits begin to return.
First I sit up…
Another five minutes or so and I stand…
How? Surely I was near death.
Five more minutes and I feel almost perfect- at least as perfect as I’ve ever felt. Absurd.
It must be in the fruit.
Complete rejuvenation.
The pungent smells persists, but alas, I can see it. I’m only about a hundred feet closer than I was on the bridge, but it is clear:
That is a junkyard.
A sore sight for sore eyes.


I wake to the stench.
Putrid. Noxious.
I gag a few times before I realize where I am.
I reason that I cannot be. Whatever death is, it won’t be as bad as this place.
I can’t stand. I struggle to even sit.
Face up, I reach for my pack and extract my canteen and a fruit.
First the water, then the fruit.
It seems like hours before I can swallow.
A faint memory tells me it’s not good to eat while lying down.
Something about digestion…I wake to the stench.
Putrid. Noxious.
I gag a few times before I realize where I am.
I reason that I cannot be. Whatever death is, it won’t be as bad as this place.
I can’t stand. I struggle to even sit.
Face up, I reach for my pack and extract my canteen and a fruit.
First the water, then the fruit.
It seems like hours before I can swallow.
A faint memory tells me it’s not good to eat while lying down.
Something about digestion…

The Bridge

The Bridge

Here it is.
Not a metaphorical bridge as I anticipated.
Instead, just a bridge. Plain and simple.
I’ve been walking for hours and just as a potential location for robotics graced my view, a massive bridge did as well- stretching across the murkiest contamination I have ever seen.
Of course the middle of the bridge is bombed out.
Briefly I consider swimming across, but the smell alone is enough to warn me against it. Forget engulfing myself in that fluid.
So what now?
I walk out to the unstable edge. The other side must be at least forty feet away. Not even close enough to throw my pack over.
I can see what looks like a junkyard in the distance, although admittedly everything looks like a junkyard around here.
I sit down and stare down at the infested water, layered with a thick film of some unknown substance.
A piece of driftwood bobs rhythmically below.
I stare for a minute.
I can build a raft… Maybe.
With what?
Ahead there is nothing…
To my left there is nothing…
Ditto to my right…
Behind me…
Behind me stand four husky, unfriendly looking men.
How did I let them sneak up on me? Stupid. How long have I been staring at this river?
“Drop the gun.” One says.
Instinct grabs hold of me and I squeeze the trigger on the submachine gun.
“That was a mistake.” Another says.
Cid, what kind of a fucking engineer are you?
A brick smashes the side of my head and I hit the ground
“Get his bag.”
Luckily I’m still conscious after the blow. Barely.
Only one option.
I slide of the bridge.
Malicious laughter as I drop.
I feel blood slide upwards across my forehead.
“He’ll be dead soon anyway.” I hear, “If that water doesn’t kill him the infection will.”
I panic and swim frantically to the other side.
Infection? I can’t remember what that means…
First I smell the blood, then the sewage, then the vomit as I pull myself onto the shore.
Then I collapse…


A part of me wishes I was home…
That ruined excuse for a house in the wasteland suburbs. At least it was safe. Familiar.
Yet, I feel obligated to carry out my search for new life.
“Life”, as I put it, is artificial. Robotics which, in fact, have little life left in them.
It’s what I wanted after all- to help them.
To save them?
I look around my new landscape and question for the first time what I could possibly be saving them from.
Their time is short and I will likely only prolong the inevitable.
I know death will take them as it will me.
But it’s not fear I feel, it’s quite distinctly hopelessness. As of this moment I know where I am, that is, my location, however, in perhaps an hour or two I will surely be lost…
I suppose it’s not worth my energy to worry…
Everything is so strange here. New, but nevertheless, expected. New words on wrecked signs in characters unrecognizable.
Will I be capable of finding my way back to Cid once I’ve recovered these machines?
The answer is obvious:
But I will cross that bridge once I get there.

New Features!

Some vertical images can now be viewed horizontally by clicking them!

Any bold and underlined text will now take you back to past corresponding posts for quick reference!


I feel like a ghost.
Caught halfway between here and there and I know there’s a chance I won’t be back for a long time.
I am nervous yet ready for a new adventure- My first real adventure.
I’ve packed what I hope to be a year’s worth of Sweaty Squid Jerky and the special fruits, along with the necessary tools I’ll be needing for the job at hand.
Cid hands me the gun.
A vulgar weapon of brutality.
“A sprayer of sulfuric acid and a machine gun combined with a bayonet. For the extinguishing of all forms of organic and inorganic materials.” Cid cites.
“Is this necessary?” I ask.
“Maybe not. Do you want to find out without it?”
He gives me a brief tutorial on the usage of the weapon. Quite advanced for such an ugly thing.
“Who made this piece of shit?”
“I did.”
“Oh… Sorry… But it’s just pretty heavy for a knifegun, don’t you think?”
“It’s not a ‘knifegun’.” Cid tells me, annoyed. “Just take it. And please do not break it. I only have one.”
He shows me to the door and draws it open into the dusty ruins.
“Will you take care of my birds while I’m gone?”
“Yeah… Sure…”
I sense slight sarcasm in his voice, but it doesn’t matter.
“I suggest heading south. I’ve had the most luck there. If you get lost, remember the big triangle mountain will always be north of you.”
“What mountain?”
“You’ll see it.”
“Well… I’ll see you… When I see you, Cid…”

And here I was thinking all luck was good…


After a few weeks of recovery Cid made me an interesting proposition. Being nothing but a vagabond, I was offered a sort of employment. In exchange for me venturing out in search of scrap metals, computer parts and destroyed robots, Cid would let me live with him and feed me regularly. At first a bit reluctant, I was soon accepting at the prospect of saving Sally’s life.
The food could save my own life.
Or at least keep me alive…
“How do you get the food?” I asked?
He promptly led me downstairs into a storage room…
“I found boxes of them when I was searching an old factory for parts.” He said, handing me a plastic package of something called “Sweaty Squid”. Inside appeared to be dried, stringy tentacles. I wasn’t sure what a squid was but it the most delicious thing I had ever eaten- the taste was so new and flavorful. I could get used to this stuff.
“How much of this do you have?” I asked.
“Enough to keep you alive. Don’t worry about that. You can take as much as you need when you go out collecting too. Who knows how long you’ll be out there.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, in case you get lost or encounter any problems. Have no fear- I will give you a gun.”
A gun…
What am I getting myself into?



“Sorry about this Sally.” The engineer said as he pried the chest piece open on my robot friend.
Gin started intently on some wiring inside. Sally’s face twitched.
Her expression was unmistakable.
“Cid, is she in pain?” I asked.
“Yes” he answered coldly.
“But why would you program her to feel pain? That’s just cruelty.”
“No. You don’t understand. In order for them to learn and develop their minds and memories they must be able to feel pain. Without it they would remain sterile, gargoyle drones not fit for humanity’s companionship. Humanity’s needs.”
Sally withered back and forth. The sting of electricity intensified. Her arms and legs rattled on the table. Cid held her down and proceeded with the repairs.
I waited near, watching every jolt through the body of the bot.
“It’s no use.” Cid said.
“What’s wrong?”
“She’s missing too many parts. Parts that I don’t have. Expensive parts. I’ll figure something out in the morning. I’m burning out.” He said.
“Yeah, I should get some sleep too. I’ve been hallucinating lately.”