The swarm crests the top of Yesler and rolls down toward the water, a frothing, riotous mass of simple machines, screws stampeding past inclined planes, wedges trampling wheels. They think no thoughts, but coiled in their dim Euclidean geometry they have built a map of the city accurate down to the grit ground between the paving blocks. Lost in the schmutz of their odyssey lies every twisting tartape ribbon mending asphault between the Smith Tower and the hubcap forests of South Everett, every wire counting cars along 99’s fertile wasteland.
No One Individual Knows A Thing
The swarm hits the water and sweeps onward, invisibly down among the oil and the barnacles, past mushheaded octopodes and bullwhip kelp. Each in its own way measuring, tasting, judging; a seafloor knowledge written on their wake. Stony gray sea labyrinths into one deepwater eye above them — with the right kind of patience, you could unravel that image, could plot each separate mindless member within the volume of the Sound.
The swarm is lifting, shifting, widening, making a moveable space for itself. The swarm is striking west, toward sunsets and sunrise, heading out and heading home, always again.