The wranglers are working hard, overwhelmed by the tags appearing in the Wrangulator. They are tired and hungry, grease-stained and sore. Wrangling wears at both the body and the mind, and the rainy days have brought their spirits low.
Even the Wrangulator herself is off, lethargic and slow.
Some of the elder wranglers urge Jinjur to rest, and guide her into a nook, see her settled and covered with a warm, soft blanket knitted by one of their brethren. She is exhausted and protests only half-heartedly.
Jinjur dreams, and the Wrangulator dreams with her.
Jinjur lies curled in a nook of the Wrangulator, protected and quiet, and sleeps. The gears turn slowly, thoughtfully, here.
She dreams, and her dream echoes and the Wrangulator vibrates in response.
Metatags dance in her dream, vibrantly colored and elusive and alive. She captures one in her hand, flashing rich sapphire blue in the sunlight. It flutters, nervous and uneasy, until she gentles it with a touch and a soft word.
She examines the tag, notes the nuances and subtleties, feels the unexpected heft and weight, marvels at the intersection of form and function. It's sharp-edged and elegant and everything she'd ever hoped for.
It is beautiful, more beautiful than she could have imagined.
She pets it for a moment, smiling at the almost cat-like purr it makes before it floats back into the air to rejoin the other tags, swirling in the gentle breeze.
As the tags circle and sway, dip and twist, she can see the connections start to form, see the pathways flowing smoother, faster. She can feel the knots that have been tangling the energy of the Wrangulator loosen, and feels the knotted muscles of her body relax in response.
The Wrangulator and her crew have been waiting a long, long time for the metatags.
The metatags light the way, highlight relationships between other tags. They clarify layers of complexity, and allow for a deeper understanding.
Every wrangler would give her goggles and her leathers for metatags and here they dance freely around Jinjur, leaving her breathless and amazed.
Jinjur wakens, and the Wrangulator wakens with her. For a moment, she pretends that the metatags were real and not the product of her wistful dreams and constant longing. She sighs.
She has been patient; all of the wranglers have been patient. They will have to be patient a little longer.
The Wrangulator thrums and Jinjur cocks her head at the unfamiliar sound. She climbs out of the nook and onto the polished wood of the deck, gasping at the unexpected sight of the metatags in the early morning sunlight, bright and shining, their jewel-tones sparkling.
She laughs, joyfully, and the Wrangulator laughs with her, a whispering sussuration of mechanical sounds.
Sometimes dreams do come true.