The Timekeepers had sealed me in their underground vault with the survivors of their Builder race. They were a one hundred and forty-four loathsome, sybaritic invertebrates wallowing in brackish pools of absinthe, barely retaining a wisp of sentience. The Timekeepers' intentions became clear to me far too late. I was imprisoned to be a surrogate caretaker for their Builders, leaving the Timekeepers the freedom to create new Directives of their own.
The only light was the deep green aura from the heating units in the vats. It took me days to unravel the morass of copper and rubber tubing that kept the glass vats at exacting temperatures, and supplied the Builders with the proper nutrients. I will spare you, Dear Reader, from a description of the unending howls of these forever demanding, ungrateful beings.
My own Directives, in the meantime, compelled me to assist these pathetic creatures. The very qualities that made me an effective Fire Captain bound me to their vats for two months.
My droll existence was suddenly interrupted when I noticed the spark and telltale hiss of a superheated ether torch outlining the frame of the vault. I kept my distance as the smoke from melting steel rose to the top of the hemispherical chamber. I held my ground with the Builder vats to my back as the vault door fell forwards with a deafening crash. The howling of the Builders grew so load and shrill I feared my ears would burst.
A huge bipedal construct crouched and stepped through the portal, standing to its full height of twelve feet. I winced as a magnesium lantern placed where the construct's head would be scanned the room, then aimed downwards to focus squarely upon me.