-I think we should go, the storm will come soon, the tide is already covering much of the island, -commented Victor, pointing to the coast, where the sea level had already reached the trees that were more than twenty meters from the beach.
An intense wind violently swayed the top of the high pines and the waves began to reach the hill on which Paula and Victor were waiting for a phenomenon that occurred only once every decade.
-We can't, at any moment it will pass, we can't leave here, we're right on the road, - replied Paula, who was watching the horizon.
Far to the east, clouds of purple and brown shades twisted violently, dropping hundreds of flashing lightning amidst deafening thunders. The storm was the most violent on record in two hundred years, and having crossed most of the warm waters of Selene's ocean had contributed to its intensification.
At a distance one could see how trombas rose from the surface of the sea to release it into the clouds, dragging in it small fish and mollusks that had been introduced centuries ago, just before the terraformation had to be stopped.
-It will literally rain fish on the continent when the storm arrives, -commented Victor, seeing the thunderstorms that, like rhythmic columns, were moved by the intense winds.
-Here they come, it's happening! -Paula shouted suddenly, as she watched the western horizon, just away from the storm.
-Damn it, I see them, is it safe to be here? we are right in their way, -exclaimed Victor alarmed, as before his eyes a lead grey cloud began to take shape, becoming darker and darker and bigger over the sea to the west of the island.
-Yes, we're under the ship's deflector, here we'll be fine, - answered Paula.
The strange cloud that grew as it approached more and more, moved in a strange way, it was as if fingers or columns were projected from it, turning and twisting, approaching the surface of the water and then rising again, it seemed to have life, as if it were some kind of gigantic creature, extending its multiple and terrifying appendages, trying to catch its prey.
-This scares me, I can't believe we're here... seriously, we should go... - said Victor stuttering in an almost drowned voice, as he advanced a few steps toward the ship's gate.
-I told you that we are not in danger, if we rise we will probably catch up before we leave the atmosphere, they extend almost forty kilometers high, - answered Paula, without taking away the view of the cloud that was about to reach where they were -. Now it's coming, look how the tentacles touch the sea just off the coast of the island.
From their position at the top of the hill, they could see how the monstrous learners of the cloud began to touch the trees of the island, they were like tornadoes that moved diagonally and almost horizontally, sweeping and trapping everything they touched, in their path, only unpopulated land of life was left, as if an excavator pulled pieces from the soil of the island, taking with it everything in its path.
Then, as if from an enormous hand, with multiple fingers, it were a point rising from that gigantic grey wall that was approaching, a fragment of it was projected on the hill where they were, darkening the whole sky above them. Before such an overwhelming vision, Victor lowered his face and his eyes tightening his eyelids, as if waiting for something to inevitably hit him; while Paula, almost hypnotized, watched with attention as those fingers, which seemed to be formed by infinity of particles that moved quickly and agitatingly approached, falling from all directions on them, as if trying to grab the whole hill, as if it were a simple pile of earth.
Recovering his lost courage, Victor again opened his eyes and lifted his face, to see how the turbulent fingers collided with the invisible deflecting barrier, producing intense blue sparkles, to be repelled and dispersed in all directions, as if from the jet of water that hits the base of a spoon.
Around the barrier, countless tiny devices the size of small insects devoured everything in their path like locusts. The cloud was formed by hundreds of millions of these tiny robots of scavengers, that in the times of the terraformation were in charge of getting rid of the dead organic matter, accelerating its disintegration and return to the ecosystem; but now, due to a bad operation of the AI that governs the adaptation of this planet, which was the cause of the abandonment of this world, every ten years, they were generated in mass in a short period of time and thrown to the environment with the strange instruction to devastate all organic matter that they found in their path.
Minutes later, as quickly and violently as they had approached from the continent beyond the horizon to the west of the island, they moved away on their unstoppable path to circumvent the planet. Soon they would encounter the storm that was approaching to the east; they would probably cross it without paying much attention to it, perhaps even subtracting a good part of its intensity from its passage.