We light the fires in the early afternoon in hopes the People of the Forest will see the smoke and heed our warning.

The day is cloudy. The rain falls on and off.

Sometimes the rain falls a lot, sometimes not so much. When is does fall a lot, I hear the hiss of the water drops on the fire. I put on more wood. I fan the fire. I work hard to prevent the rain from extinguishing the flames.

Although I doubt this will do any good.

The People of the Forest tend to leave, almost evaporate into the forest, during times of strife. This is one of those times. When Ezekiel returned early this morning from his advanced scouting far away from our mountaintop dwellings, he told us he saw the Metal Man down on the plain near the wide River.

There’s something dark coming. I feel it in my old bones. For the first time in long, long time, I grow frightened of what Ezekiel’s encounter heralds for us. We’ve been at peace and undisturbed for so long, I’ve forgotten the warrior in me.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to revive that warrior if events necessitate his resurrection. My body is weary and worn. This challenge is coming at the failing half of my life. But, it was only a matter of time before they would come again.

So, I dutifully tend my fire and try not to concern my thoughts with the Metal Men or what their appearance foretells of the future. My future.

From news that reaches us in fragments, the rockets are still leaving from the North Country. They take their cargo of people to a place far away from here.

I didn’t make the cut.

“Too old,” they told me.

And that was it. No escape for me.

Until we learned of the promise of the Slipstream and the fabrication of the Airfoil by the last of our intelligent machines. This offered the hope of escape, of departure from this place. But, with the reports of the Metal Man, the assumption we’ve been operating under for the last few cycles is all for not. Before long, we will be compromised. We will be overrun.

Still, we will continue work on the Airfoil. Earnest told me at last Council that she was making a few last-minute alterations to the instrumentation.

The Slipstream awaits. Let’s hope there’s still time for us