Work Header


Work Text:

The new wranglers are just finding their feet, learning the workings of the great machine. Spuffyduds tentatively moves her first tag, sighing in relief when the Wrangulator adjusts smoothly to the new position. Rana finds a hitherto neglected area and digs in, bringing order where there was none.

Sometimes, the new ones make mistakes. But the experienced wranglers are always there, Jinjur stopping by to give a helping hand, Cesy shouting down advice from the heights, where she hangs in her leather harness, attached by ropes and carabiners to the framework of wood and brass.

And the new ones learn--they need not be ashamed of their mistakes, and nothing they do can bring lasting harm to the Wrangulator. She is larger than they are, she will grow and learn and heal herself under their care.

Soon, the new ones can help others in their turn.

Luzula has her hands in deep, tags up to her elbows. She is connecting the tags in her chosen area, weaving them together in a pattern that surprises her with its beauty. On the other side, subtle changes appear.

A light summer rain begins to fall, and she straightens, wiping the sweat off her brow. The wranglers gather under a canopy of oiled canvas, laughing and talking at the opportunity of a break. Vera cuts off pieces of bread and cheese with the knife she carries at her hip, and hands them out. Laylah and Betty are deep in a conversation about ambiguity and the proper application of beeswax. Akamine_chan ducks under the canopy, returning from her work deep in the machinery. She squeezes in beside Luzula, who hands her a rag to wipe the grease from her calloused fingers.

"Oh, look what I found!" dizmo says from outside the canopy. Her hair is wet, but there's a wide grin on her face.

The wranglers crowd around her. She's pointing at a new flow of tags, and the wranglers gape as they see their own names, their own experiences now woven into the Wrangulator herself. Jinjur grins slyly, and the others congratulate her in delight. Others will follow her words, and the tag flow grow larger.

The rain lets up, and the wranglers go back to their work. The sky is clear and blue, and larks sing high up in the air. Sometimes they land on the machine, and the wranglers feed them crumbs of bread.

Luzula checks for new tags, then leans back against a piece of polished curved wood. The Wrangulator makes surprisingly little noise when she runs smoothly, and there is only a light hum in the air, and the occasional flicking sound when a tag is reassigned close by.

She puts a hand to the wood, feels the vibrations from deep inside the well-tended machine, and smiles at the thought that she is home.