“It’s blocked,” grumbled Copper as she put her weight into the door. “OK, we can go around.”
Copper led Iron back down the corridor and into the math classroom. Iron paused and read an equation on the chalkboard. At the top was the word ‘Seven’. Following that was a series of plus and minus numbers. Underneath read the line ‘make seven even.’
Iron clamped her claws around the board rubber and removed the S.
Home, at last, Copper pulled a tin of WD-40 off the shelf and started giving the creature a clean. Wondering what this robot was for in a previous life. A faded red rectangle with an indigo cross suggested it was built in Norway. Although its front legs were burnt black, she could make out bird decorations on them.
Copper slid the creature into a bathtub filled with oil and let it soak. She figured this Norwegian robot could have been created to study remote bird life. So it Scandinavian.
She tried a switch to turn it on. Aside from a click, there were no
signs of life. The metal creatures appearance pleased Copper. She
wasn’t sure why. She dragged it out of the earth and gave it a
brush, removing the loose soil.
Copper noticed the creature contained magnets as she struggled to
release her grip of it. Despite the rust, it looked to be in good
condition. A few minor repairs and a battery charge might have it
working again. She knew better than to get her hopes up. But she
found the idea of a new magnetic friend in these decaying lands quite
Copper reached down and clawed at the dirt around the metal lump. The soil around it was dark, both burned and stained with oil.
Stones came up in her claw. Underneath, a cracked bulb glinted up at her. She dug her talons in around the metal casing and lifted it out. A long and narrow head, similar to her own emerged. A rigid body and four legs followed. Its stiff tail coiled like a spring. A rusted patina browned with age and dirt.
Who or what-ever this was, she knew it wasn’t evil. After all, there’s no rust for the wicked.
outside when she heard a rumbling from up the road. She could see the
supermarket had collapsed in the distance. The rot of this human-made
world was decaying faster by the day. No change there.
As she started the
long walk home, she noticed the storefronts had rotted in the short
time she’d been in the hardware store. Buildings creaked as the
timber frames gave.
A clunk came from below her, as she stubbed her toe on a lump of metal protruding from the ground. Something was afoot.
Copper pulled a few lengths of wire off their reels. Electrical work wasn’t her speciality. Despite needing some electrical work, she’d repeatedly avoided repairing herself. A lot like the lady used to avoid going to the dentist.
She picked up some
fuses and looked around for some rubber matting and safety gloves.
Her inability to repair basic faults had been called into question
People were frequently shocked when they realised what a bad electrician she was.
Copper made her way
up the paint aisle. She loved the rainbow of paint pots. Racing
Green, Warm Sand, Yellow Sulphur and Deep Violet.
realised there was no blue paint. She backtracked along the aisle
reading the names on the pots. Copper saw labels that read Royal Blue
and Ultramarine Blue. They both appeared to be green. Her heart sunk.
Was she going colour blind?
The hardware stores
door had fallen off its hinges since she was last here. On the
counter was a display stand filled with maps. She gave it a spin,
browsing the locations.
She’d heard early
on that the East was uninhabitable. To the West, out on a peninsula
was Brass. A massive city but with only a handful of roads leading to
Copper took the map for Brass out of the stand. Her curiosity piqued by maps for North and South poles. A mild confusion washed over her. The maps presented both poles as covered in ice. But the maps also said they were both ninety degrees.