I am not sure what to say.

Why did I begin this in the first place? Why did I feel that my thoughts were important enough to be preserved in this manner? That I should make use of equipment that had been issued to me so I might better care for the Machine, a moloch's highest--no, only calling, in order to engage in the selfish and time-wasting act of self expression?

Thoughts, and feelings! How ridiculous. The fleeting impressions that flicker across a moloch's brain, mere chemical and electrical activity incidental to the existence of a creature made for work. Wasteful. Worthless. Contemptible.

The cape I wanted so badly, the beautiful red cape that moloch17 bought before I could. For a month he wore it everywhere. Flaunting it. Discussing its fine quality with other molochs where I could hear. Some of them caught on that it was a joke on me. Of those, some joined in the game. They would cast amused glances at me as they loudly agreed with him that it was indeed the finest cape they had ever seen. I stood apart and would not look at them. The new moloch tried to befriend me during this time, but my responses to his overtures were short and grudgingly given. Eventually, he stopped trying and joined a more convivial group.

One month moloch17 wore it; and then he put it away. Where is your cape? they asked him. Oh, he said, I grew tired of it. Such an old thing. It bored me so I put it away. One should concentrate on the work and not allow one's self to become obsessed with idle things, don't you agree? Yes, they said, this is very true.

Why should such a simple thing hurt me so badly? We are not complex creatures, we molochs. And yet I do not understand myself.

I am a foolish moloch. This journal is a record of my foolish thoughts, my foolish desires, my foolish anger. If only I could add an image of me, the portrait would be complete: this awkward body, its ugliness thankfully hidden in the perpetual dimness of these Shafts. I am glad they have not replaced my electric light.

I promised myself I would never write in it again. And yet, here I am.

My crawlie is here. It has been ages. Where have you been, little friend? What have you been doing?

I crouch and hold out a small piece of ore. Gingerly, he approaches and takes it from me. We sit together for a time, silent, companionable.

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