A Visit to the Bone Yard

A little something that's been knocking around my head ever since I got the Cr-48 from Google.

He was just a child. Strange and inhuman, but still just a child.
the motors and servos beneath his carapace whined and hummed as he picked his way through the debris field. He didn't know how he got there, and wanted only to leave again.

Though he was small and his limbs short he was nimble in his own way so climbing down the stack of dead servers was only moderately challenging. Somewhere along the way he was even able to forget the desolation of his surroundings and started thinking of it more as a game than being lost.

Then he got to the bottom of the artificial hill; down to a beaten and worn down path between different piles of discarded technology. His eyes dimmed then brightened in an approximation of blinking while he took all this in.

Servers to the left of him. Laptops to the right. Routers and wifi cards everywhere. Broken moniters of all manner of size and make. The child shrank from one horror only to stumble into another. He couldn't even hear the Great Link. His connection was cut and he was in a place full of the dead leavings of technology gone by.

He walked along one of the many worn paths that criscrossed this place in hopes of finding a way out. Everything and everywhere looked the same to him though. Even climbing a pile of broken tvs didn't let him see far enough to find an exit.

It didn't make sense to him though. He ran an internal check. Software said everything was running as expected. His limbs moved as they should and he could find nothing to suggest he was broken. Why was he here when he clearly wasn't broken?

Something nearby moved. First signs of anything doing anything since he'd gotten here. The child ran after it, frantic. "Hello!" he yelled as he ran never once thinking this new thing might be anything other than friendly.

This is where he err'd. When he rounded a corner he felt something small and feral latch onto his carapace with needle-like claws as something heavy clanged against his head.

"YOU!" Shrill voice slightly distorted, almost as if it were coming from a blown speaker. The child swatted and clawed at this thing clinging to it but couldn't quite get it detatched. He felt a wing, a broken lump where another wing was, a pair of limbs dangling uselessly. HE tried pulling at these.

It screamed and let go, only to curl around his hand all needle claws and serrated teeth.

"LEGGO!" The child swatted his hand against this and that, trying to get the creature off of him. Each time caused him pain. The creature managed to get past armored exterior to delicate workings beneath.

"Yesyesnowyou'llbebrokelikemeeee!" Shrill voice warbled in triumph as it, unmindful of the child's frantic attempts at dislodging it, started tearing at these delicate workings.

The child started screaming when something was pulled and couldn't help it. he curled around his attacker, attempts at fending it off getting feeble as pain overrode everything else.

"Enough." Calm voice. Solid blow to the creature with a slender staff. The child looked up to see an older man, grey hair, fashion so out of date it was starting to become stylish again. "The boy did nothing to you. Now leave off."

The creature hopped away from the child, glaring balefully at the speaker. "Hethrewyouawaytoo." Plaintive warble. "Threwusallout. Whydoyousidewithitannywayhuhuhhuhuhuhuh?" It cocked it's head to one side then the other as the man knlet by the child to examine the damage done.

"Nothing too serious. Thank the Engineer for small favors." While he talked the old man unrolled a toolbag and started piecing the broken bits together. "You shouldn't be here much longer I think." A screen was clipped to the child's arm and produced lines of incomprehincable text. "Looks like you're only down for a kernel patch. Shouldn't be long at all."

"Who're you?" Wonder in the child's voice mixed with leftover pain. "Where?"

"Ask your User sometime if you get the chance." Grandfatherly smile from the man even as the creature chittered angrily in the background. "My name is Laz, and you are Crate." Laz packed his things away, tucking the roll into his coat. "You haven't much longer here."

Everything blinked. Laz and the creature were both gone. A note the only hint anyone else had been there.

Blink again.

Update complete.

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