Thursday, May 7, 2015

io9 Concept Art Writing Prompt, May 7, 2015

Hopkins was singing that song again, under his breath. Mulhern wanted to remind him that there wasn't *actually* a South Detroit, but he knew Hopkins would just call him out as being pedantic again. That was the senior patrolman’s favorite word. He deployed it even when it wasn't necessary.

The Angel creaked. Low on hydraulic fluid? They’d been following her since Michigan Ave.

No one knew who built the Angels. Or, how they showed up, in the middle of cities, walking, inexplicably, from place to place. Some kind of proof-of-concept? Some bizarre modern art shenanigans? They wandered, would sometimes congregate and seem to speak to each other, before moving again. Their battery life was something like twenty-four hours. Attempts to break into the shell of the Angel, either before the battery termination or after, fried the CPU.

Chief Brentley thought they were a hazard. And, indeed, a few motorists had struck one of the plodding machines. But they never had bombs, they never had guns, just...strange apparatuses. Different on each one, as though each one were built to a specific task none of them seemed to be going about doing. The writing on the side was sometimes English, sometimes German or Chinese or Japanese or Arabic. It was always poetry, never instructions, which is what made Mulhern and others certain this was some kind of elaborate prank.

There was no pattern to them. They just wandered. Hopkins got tired of the song and asked, as though he was truly the first genius to wonder, just why they were called Angels. “Hell, man, I don’t know,” Mulhern answered, and he didn’t. There were explanations aplenty, whole Internet forums devoted to the guys. This one had shown up all across Michigan in the past few months. Code-named Omael, according to the Web.

Mulhern continued following the machine, uncertain what he would do if he suddenly heard the sound of wings.

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