Pilot felt there was something he was supposed to do here that had long been programmed. He wasn’t sure what this was, but he was sure it was Important. At first he was asked to do several different things but none of these things made a great deal of sense.
Carefully, he replaced the bandages and with a heavy heart he stood up. Reaching up to the sink he washed El’s tiny hands as Mother had shown him, rubbing the white bar with I-V-O-R-Y stamped on it, until the bubbles appeared.
While El was damaged, there was little that Pilot could do except wait things out. Locomotion was limited to the least possible lumbering movements. Sure, he could ‘walk’ El, he could crawl too, and he was beginning to get how to compensate for the left-right thing but flight was impossible. He’d tried of course, but those circuits, along with much of his memory banks were either blown or fused. Without extracting himself there was no way to make repairs.
Normally his Elevator would have braked smoothly, banking across the atmosphere at terrific speed but in a controlled and predictable manner. Instead, he could feel himself flipping end over end over end as the Elevator spun out of control, feverishly trying to right itself and brake by using its automatic stabilizers and powerful thrusters. He headed directly for a massive ditch below; and crashed into the earth there, pushing up mounds and masses of red earth in the process. The Elevator’s smoking chassis left a charred trail over a dark, grassy embankment, turning the wet wilderness into a steaming, slippery hell fit only for a fire demon. Not being a fire demon however, Pilot was shaken rather badly.
Prior to this, of course, he added lubrication liberally and did certain exercises designed to flush waste products out of his system. Enthusiastically thus applied, and equipped, Pilot proceeded to redress his entire apparatus, taking time for light documentation as he went. He liberally applied a recent ointment to his fascia, which was visibly in need of attention, he noted
Anyone who knows anything about elevators knows that without roller-bearings, they’re not going anywhere. For whatever reason Pilot had to forge Elevator’s roller-bearings himself. Elevator’s roller bearings either were never there, or disappeared.
Other, interior perspectives interested Pilot most. For instance, whether one was coming at a topic from the point of view of the Blue Hills of Understanding was considerably different than if one was being either an Emerald City Builder or an Orange Anecdote Instigator was, again, entirely different from a Golden Pyramid Architect. Anyone can do this, if one tries.
What of and whether or not people think just could not be controlled by Pilot. Therefore, into the darkness, it plunged. No more or less aware than before but certain, certain under its feet was his own path.
He could still hear that loud ticking, resounding in his auditory canals.