The pull of Djedi’s hunger was strong within him. Apparently having a metal body had done nothing to curb this human urge. His belly rumbled, his thoughts full of beef, bread and beer-the three Bs of his diet. Karl, who preferred to eat buildings, bridges and bays was at a loss as to where to take his new friend. The first step was to get Djedi off the beach, a task which was costing them both a lot of effort.
Djedi’s last memory of home before he woke up a robot, was the celebration of the Great Pyramid, a festival in Djedi’s honor which had lasted 30 days and 30 nights. Djedi was the only being in all of Egypt who could read the glyphs left by the ancient ones. It was with his help that the Great pyramid had been built. Every night of the celebration Djedi feasted on his favorite meal of a joint of beef, 500 loaves of bread and 100 jugs of fermented brew. But at last he grew tired of the crowds, performed a distraction spell and slipped home unnoticed.
Back in his palace, Djedi watched a magnificent sunset make its slanting way down the wall. Then, just as the sun drained out of the day, the god Ra appeared.
“You learned the secrets of the glyphs and brought them to the people, Djedi. You learned to communicate with man, bird, beast and tree. You’ve used your learning to build a great pyramid. Your work here is done.”
“I’m happy to have served” Djedi replied, “and am grateful for your teachings.”
“You have learned well and may now rest. For when I call upon you again, you will need much strength.”
“When will you need me again and what will my new purpose be?”
“I cannot tell you that now.”
After this Ra disappeared, leaving a purple twilight and a gaggle of stars and Djedi went to his chambers to meditate. That night Djedi went to sleep in a land where few mysteries remained and where all people knew him by name. He awoke, a vast span of lifetimes away, in an alien landscape, knowing nothing, his only friend a bashful bank of fog.
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon, the residents of the normally fog-free Tenderloin district were surprised by the sudden fog, which in uncharacteristic fog fashion snaked along one street at a time instead of descending in a thick all-engulfing shroud. The owner of the Turk and Taylor corner 7 Eleven was astonished to even find it foggy inside his store! He opened the door and waved a newspaper to try and get the fog to dissipate, but it only became denser.
Shrouded by Karl, Djedi wobbled unsteadily along the streets of San Francisco. He couldn’t see more than two feet in front of him, but what he saw boggled his already tired mind. He understood in theory that he was now on the same planet as the one he went to sleep on, but there was nothing in the cement and steel of his new surroundings that reminded him of the place he once knew so well.
Djedi’s recollections were replaced by a full body craving for meat. Karl had made good on his promise by bringing him to a source of food, a bright and garish store with every kind of ware imaginable. A magical smell emanated from a plastic case with a handle. In it, was row upon warm row of little cylinders wrapped in soft bread. Djedi opened the lid and took one. It was warm and squishy. He pulled out another and another and another until the container was empty.
His hunger satiated, Djedi’s gaze fell on the rows of colorful bottles in yet another case, this one cold. He deciphered the glyphs: Racer 5 IPA, Red Stripe, Sierra Nevada. He selected a bottle with the glyphs: “Back in Black IPA”, drank and his heart rejoiced. It rejoiced time and time again as he made his way through the whole case, draining bottle by bottle. He had remained unmolested while emptying the meat case, but the sounds of opening bottles and deep gulpings had attracted the attention of the shopkeeper who had failed miserably at shoeing away the fog.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing you little hipster?” The enraged shop owner bellowed when he found that Djedi had emptied a good 2/3 of his beer fridge. “You better be able to pay for this or you are going to… PAY!”
Full and happy, Djedi was unable to answer, but he did understand that the man was requesting payment. Luckily, a purse full of gold had made it through time and Djedi selected a small, gold coin.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!!!!” The shop owner spat. “You can prance around in your costume all you want, but do I look like a trick-or-treater? I don’t accept chocolate coins as payment!”
Djedi didn’t understand what the shop owner was upset about. Maybe gold was no longer a valuable commodity? But he doubted it. Then he realized that the shopkeeper didn’t recognize the metal. This was strange since at home any child would have recognized the weight, sight and smell of something so precious in an instant. Djedi considered practicing a bit of his decapitation magic, but decided against it. Instead, he took what appeared to be a writing instrument and some papyrus and quickly drew a sketch showing how gold was mined, an explanation he hoped would suffice even for someone so dense. He handed his explanation to the astonished owner and wobbled back out into the street safely engulfed by Karl.
Having somewhat satiated his hunger and his thirst, Djedi turned his mind to important matters. Why was he here? What required his presence now more than ever? Djedi closed his eyes and saw in his mind’s eye a hieroglyph of a blue arrow coming from a square and the name “Gliffy”.
Read Chapter 1: The Return of Djedi