A search for meaning
The steady, rhythmic thumping of Exordium's heavy footsteps broke through the quiet of a country path, worn down by the occasional traveller but still too young to be called a road. He - for Exordium had decided to go by "he" - was on his way to Earthwall. He didn't know what he expected to find there. In fact, he wasn't sure of any kind of objective at all. His creator merely wanted him to be independent, to think freely, which of course prohibited her from giving him any kind of objective of her own creation. But that had left him feeling aimless. He had come to the conclusion that if gained some life experience, which at present he sorely lacked, he might begin to want something. Thus, he sought out the elves. It was ironic really. His goal had become to look for a goal.
It was after some time walking that Exordium made out the distant shapes of what appeared to be a group of elves, gathered around some indistinct shapes on the ground. Interested in meeting other mortal beings for the first time, Exordium hurried forwards, but was soon disturbed by the realisation that the shapes on the ground were also elves - or rather, their bodies. At this point, the living ones had already seen him, so there was little point in backing off now. Still, Exordium slowed his pace.
It was abundantly clear now he was close enough to see in detail that the casualties were not the result of any accident. The surviving elves were a rough bunch, wearing pieced-together armour and wielding weapons that looked like they had once been farming implements. Most had one scar or another, and they had probably cut their greasy hair by their reflections in puddles. The two on the ground, on the other hand - a man and a woman - were finely dressed and had probably been clean before they hit the dirt. One of the living elves had been crouching over the body of the male one before he'd noticed Exordium approaching.
Well, well, well. There was barely such a thing as a highway yet, but already there had been a robbery.
Exordium came to a stop a short distance from the bandits. One of them, an elf with long hair on one side of his head, but hacked close to the scalp on the other, stepped to the front of the group. Judging by the looks the others gave him, he was probably the leader. He looked Exordium straight in the eye sockets, and said "What the fuck are you?"
Exordium hesitated. "I- my name is Exordium," he said.
The group began to faintly murmur among each other. The leader told them to shut up.
"That's all I needed to hear. You've seen our faces, and you're smart enough to talk." He took a few steps forward. "Do you know what that means?"
"I understand your point. However, I don't advise you follow that course of action."
"What are you gonna do?" the elf laughed, and spread his arms wide to indicate his brethren. "There's five of us, and one of you."
Exordium knew exactly what he was going to do, but he wasn't about to tell them that. So he just shrugged. The elf laughed again, and impressively quickly, hefted the woodsman's axe he had been carrying, and swung it at Exordium's face. To his credit, it was a powerful swing. But he was still swinging at solid bronze. The axe blade bounced off Exordium's face with a sonorous dong, leaving a wide scratch diagonally down from his left eye. The pain was much worse than Exordium had expected - one thing he would take up with his creator if he ever saw her again - but all in all the damage was cosmetic. So Exordium just sighed and punched the elf full force in the face.
Something in the elf's head audibly cracked, and he dropped instantly. Dead or unconscious, Exordium wasn't sure.
The rest of the bandits collectively took a step back. That exchange had taken place too quick for any of them to react, and seeing their leader fall clearly scared them.
Exordium took advantage of that. "Leave," he said, intentionally dropping his voice about an octave.
The elves hesitated for just a moment, then obeyed.
Exordium relaxed. He didn't have a breath to hold, nor a heart to beat faster, but internally he had been holding a tension caused by the dangerous situation he had found himself in. At some point, it had begun to gently rain, but only now did he notice. There was something else he only noticed now, a sound. It was a child, crying. Exordium followed the sound to the body of one of the murdered elves - the woman. He gently rolled her aside, and beneath her found an elven baby, crying. Exordium went still for a few seconds as he realised she had probably been defending the baby beneath her when she was murdered, and that had he been even a few minutes earlier that might never have happened.
"Don't worry, little one," he said at last. "You, at least, shall live."
The robot boi from my last post is walking to Earthwall when he finds some elven bandits. He gets into a scrap, scares them off, and rescue a baby from among their victims.