The two automatons sat perpendicular to her, all six legs on each firmly planted on the vertical sides of the rafter beam. Perfectly still. No ticking or whirring sounds came from them, no indication of clockworks. Their eyeless pillboxes were partially retracted into their bodies. Moving slowly, ready for another spray of the chalky substance, she looked down the beam in the other direction. The two automatons there copied the same pose.
So we just sit and wait until someone falls off?
Ess hoped she would find this situation amusing in the future. Preferably, the very near future.
Another crystalline chime sang through the air. Two automatons, one from each pair, popped their pillbox heads out, making Ess flinch and gasp. They climbed up the vertical beams of the rafters and tap-tapped along the roof, hanging upside down, heading for the skylight. She kept watch, as much as she was able while keeping the other two, quiescent automatons in sight. Ess shivered as she realized the moonlight had faded by at least three-quarters of its intensity. How long had those things been chasing her around the warehouse rafters? Or had the clouds moved in far quicker that she thought, when she predicted a rainstorm coming up late tonight?
The two automatons prodded at the skylight latch. Ess flinched and rose up from her perch in the "V" when they grabbed onto the control cables for the lock and rode them down to the ground, pulling the skylight open.
The two automatons still with her raised one leg each, pointing them at her. A definite threat if she had ever seen one. So, she reasoned, she could watch all she wanted, turn her head to look around, but she couldn't move any other part of her body?
Fine. She had a very good, unimpeded view from her perch here. So what was going to happen next?