With thanks to the inimitable David Bowie:
The boy sprinted into the dusty, desolate village, yelling.
“The saviour machines are coming,” he said, terror and exhaustion cracking and squeaking his voice like a broken child’s toy. “They’re coming!”
As if to emphasise his statement, the clanking roar of the machines could suddenly be heard in the distance. Everywhere, people dropped what they were doing. Children were scooped up by wide-eyed parents and corralled at the other end of the town. A few teens started to lead them away towards the town’s secret enclosure.
The older members of the community stared, resolute, toward the approaching cacophony, and several headed out into the dust bowl without a word. They had seen it all before, and knew it was their turn. The machines came on relentlessly, mindless missionaries of a false idol. The god must have it’s pound of flesh.