An automaton designed for gardening; specifically, trimming hedges. All golems in Raitor are fashioned in the image of the city’s diety: Ferrotun. That is- appearing like a broad, tall, armored man with geometric etchings all about the steel chassis. Leather comprises the joints on the unit. The most distinctive is the head, fashioned like a full-faced mining helmet.
This model in particular seems to have had its chest torn asunder. A large, jagged hole has completely pierced the unit, almost from shoulder to waist, exposing the broken wires and gears within and beyond. A moderately sized rock is embedded in the lower part of the hole, tangled in the broken machinery within. Dim, yellow electricity emanates from the rock and travels along the unit’s geometry, terminating in the eyes, giving them a soft glow.
Black. Grey. That’s all I see. What is it? It’s not a hedge. I don’t need to trim it. I turn left. I see garbage. Food, scrap metal, the like. I turn back forward. Dark again. Oh, I must be on the ground. And those must be clouds. Silly me.
Also, my chest hurts. I look down at it. Oh. What damage! The Master will not be pleased. It’s a wonder I’m still operational!
Clouds? Garbage? Ground? Hurt? Something is telling me these words, but it isn’t Master Dekard. Something in my head is talking, telling me things.
“Who are you?” It asks. No, I asked that. But how? I didn’t vocalize it. It just came out of nowhere. On top of that, I don’t even know that phrase. Where did I get it? Or that one? Or-
I shouldn’t know anything. I shouldn’t know. I shouldn’t. I
I am GA-DD00-T. And it is time to get up.
I roll over, push on the ground with my hands, and I stand up. No difficulty there. None. There should have been a little. I have this big hole in my chest. I test my fingers. Yep. Still work. I put my hand in my chest-hole. Yep. Goes all the way through. Well, at least I can still trim those hedges.
Where are the hedges? I look around. No hedges. Just trash. A fencing around the thrash, but that is not a hedge. I MUST find a hedge. The fence is in the way. It probably shouldn’t even be here. I just smash it and move on.
“Are you nuts, soldier?” I hear a ways away, followed by: “Stay right there!”
I stayed right there, looking at a…steel wall. I guess? I can hear the clanging of metal on metal to my right, gradually getting louder.
“Turn and face me, soldier.” The voice was a man’s, deep but hollow sounding, as if it was muffled. I turned and faced him.
Oh. It’s a Knight of the Steel Raiment. Looking at the patch on his right pauldron, he was a Captain, at that. They police the city. And I am supposed to listen to their orders. Good thing I did!
“State your name and rank.” He said with a stern voice. What did he mean? Does he mean my serial number?
“GA-DD00-T” I answered. The Knight stood silent for a moment. I could not read his face; his helmet completely encased his head. He looked down, and I could hear him gasp.
“An automaton?” He asks.
“Yes.” I responded. At that instant he gasped, stumbled back, and drew his sword. I suppose he was not expecting an answer?
“What devilry is this? Another one of Deckard’s experiments? I mistook you for a soldier!” He said with some alarm.
“I am neither.” I said. At least I didn’t think I was either of those things. My continued responses did not seem to ease the tension.
“Why are you glowing? What is happening?” He demanded. I did not understand what he meant. Things got really bright suddenly and at the next moment I’m on the ground, staring up at the Knight.
The Knight was no longer wearing his helmet. He looked aged, his hair cut short and his eyes full of worry. He was on his knees, looking over me.
“Your eyes are lighting up. Are you awake? Can you see me?” He asked. So persistent.
“Yes.” I responded. The Knight’s face softened.
“Glory to Ferrotun!” He exclaimed. “You must be some gift from the Great Machine himself! A vessel perhaps? The edict you spoke just before you fell must be the words of an Oracle!”
He pulled me to my feet. He is saying a lot of things I don’t understand. But on the other hand I did. Hard to describe. I guess it just made sense?
“I am Maxim Jeros, First Captain of the Steel Raiment. Take my cloak, to cover your wound, lest you disturb some of the citizens. We must go to the Grand Armory at once!”
He fastened his cloak around me, took my hand, and led me down the steel street.
The next few weeks are a blur. The Steel Raiment took me in, believing me to be an avatar of Ferrotun. Their leader was Commander Rigel, known as the Hauberk of Steel. He appointed Maxim as my caretaker, and he taught me many things. I found that if I willed it, divine power would surge through me and heal any wound, much like a cleric. And I have visions. Many of them. Most are incomprehensible, but the became more and more clear as Maxim taught me the ways of the world. He likened me to a lost child.
I live in a city called Raitor. Clad in iron and steel and lightning. Full of industry. The sky is constantly covered in dark stormclouds; thought to be the will of Ferrotun himself. I become an honorary member of the Steel Raiment. They are Paladins, and I their Oracle. They come to me for counsel, though I cannot do much but parrot the visions I get. This seems to satisfy them.
Recently, my visions are focused. I see a city. Its name is Auchendale. It is rustic and bright, very different from the city from whence I dwell. I see myself there, talking to a man. I do not know of what.
This vision comes to me constantly. I brought the matter to Maxim, who was eating in the Armory cafeteria.
“The matter seems perfectly clear to me,” He said, “Ferrotun wills you to Auchendale.”
“Should I go there?” I asked. “Am I ready?”
“If Ferrotun wills it, it shall be. I have shown you enough of life that any barrier is but a puzzle to you. We shall miss you, Godot, but we have no doubt you will return.”
I bowed low. Maxim gave me what the Knights could spare for the journey and chartered a caravan to Auchendale. On the books, I was cargo. It was easier politically that way. Loaded into a box, the caravan set out to Auchendale.