"I admit to feeling strangely guilty when the schildbok bounded
so desperately away from me."
“It is my belief that the blood of a beast is something like a rememory engine of old, storing every cruelty committed against the animal’s ancestors and reminding it to run from men. I admit to feeling strangely guilty when the schildbok bounded so desperately away from me. To the antelope I was, apparently, surrounded by the ghosts of long-dead hunters.”
“Hidden under moss stood a marionette drone..."
“Hidden under moss stood a marionette drone, great red ape of Murnican machine clay, inert for centuries. The drone would have been a fearsome thing in its day, its slave nodes glowing like coals and the clay screaming to match the operator’s movements. It proved exciting to me, romantic even, imagining that this place was where the kingdom ended. The last doomed soldier holding back the hordes with his drone, striking the paladynes down from their dromedaries with the strength of fifty men. A single operator finally overrun, taking a sword through the heart and dying along with civilization. But even as I pictured this last hero's last sacrifice the caravan moved on, and an hour later I did see another marionette standing mossy and cracked by its fort. Like the first one: not frozen valiantly clutching its heart or throat but left behind in an indifferent pose, forgotten like an old cart moldering in a barn. In these observations, I think, lie some of the truth of the fall of Murnica.”