The nets had become entangled in the reef again, keeping me out on the swells far later than I would have wished. The grave black of night closed in around me as I cut the last of the ruined cords free and gathered the tattered remains back into the boat. I did my best to clear the nets of broken corals and the bones of scavenged fish before turning my back to the darkness to return to the soft glow of burning oils which illuminated the shore.
I paused briefly to peer into the night, searching and hoping that I would not detect the baleful red glow of a distant beacon.
I was suddenly reminded of my youth, my father and his grim telling of that ancient tale:
We humans know little of the true nature of this reality in which we find ourselves. We cannot be blamed for our ignorance for our lives are short and difficult. We cling desperately to moss covered rocks on the shores of the sea of infinity, whose waves pound relentlessly against our weakened bodies and whose winds howl and taunt us.
It is only the Robots, having been blessed with lives eternal, who are able to perceive the threads of truth as they occasionally untangle themselves from each other and reach out and into our world. The Robots, who at times seem of one mind, pursue those threads on great, tall ships across the vast expanse of the Endless Sea.
And we should pray as we cling to our rocks that those infernal threads shall never unspool from the ethereal in such a way as to lead the Robots to us.