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The family stood in silence inside the wooden shack, the mother’s hand pressed tightly on the baby’s mouth and nose. It was turning blue and gurgling, but they knew that if it cried out, they would all be dead. So she squeezed it, and it stayed silent.

Then they heard the wheels of the robot turn and move away, and they relaxed. It could not hear too far, they knew that.

She let go of the baby and it started a frantic, panicked wail, flailing and reaching out the same mum that had almost suffocated it.

Their 6-year old son stood there silently and palely. He was born in this world, and he knew how to be quiet. He actually barely said anything. Nobody knew what he was thinking if he thought at all. He could not read, he had never played with toys, he had never even met another kid. His entire life had always been about hiding and being quiet.

They ran out and followed the robot up the road. The robot was rolling down the road, far away. It was predictable. They knew it would not turn back, and it could not hear them. In about an hour, it would turn and patrol backward. Till then, it was safe to follow it.

Then one of the Taweret suddenly stepped out of the bushes where it was hidden. They stopped abruptly, the mum grabbing the kids. It looked at them, big and sweaty. It stood like an extra-large human, a long snout with a spiked tongue dangling out. Its hair was braided, and the small beady eyes shone with superhuman intelligence.

It screamed in that strange alien tongue, and the robot immediately flipped around. It saw the humans and started heading for them at extreme speed. The Taweret smiled gleefully.

It spoke raspingly and haltingly, the same thing they always said: “Humans should never have played at being God when we have been here all along”.

The dad fell to his knees, his hands clasped in tearful prayer. He begged and begged. The baby started crying, oblivious to what would happen. The mum looked straight ahead, tears running down her face.

The 6-year-old buy looked to the ground, drawing circles with a stick. As the grinding of the robot got louder and louder as it rushed towards them, he smiled, probably for the first time in his life.

This is finally going to end, he thought to himself.

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