Diggers (The Bromeliad Trilogy #2)

Picking up where the first left off, months have gone by, the nomes lulled into feeling safe, when Winter hits and the “Great Battle” with a Dragon, Big John occurs. Then, as the first, the story backs up to the beginning where a significant storm is described. The Book of Nome relates how confused the nomes were by the change of weather. Masklin attempts to warn how serious Winter could be, Granny Morkie putting in her two cents, but they not hitting home with Gurder and Dorcas, the meeting ending. Then some information on the new government of the nomes, there no longer being Departments, the factions absorbed, and it becoming about who was a Driver and who were Passengers. Masklin then takes the Thing out to update it of current events, he believing it could hear even if it couldn’t talk back for not being near enough electricity. He speaks of Torrit passing of old age and shared how Granny Morkie was now on the Council due to being eldest nome and no one having the balls to inform her she couldn’t since she’s female, so it stuck. One thing he didn’t share was his argument with Grimma, Masklin now thinking she shouldn’t have learned to read since it seemed to be spurring their argument, this about Masklin believing they needing to get married and Grimma uncertain, she not about to do it only for being commanded. Masklin then worried about the nomes getting too comfortable again, but Masklin knowing it was their “density” to get to their ship. He then slowly realizes he’d been watching a truck drive up the road to the Quarry, Masklin berating the two who were supposed to have been handling the watch, they viewing the human messing with the fence, then Masklin sending a nome down to get what was left.

The Book of Nome mentions this note bearing bad news. Gurder, whilst understanding the words on the page, couldn’t decipher the meaning. The part giving him trouble was stating of the quarry’s reopening. Grimma is able to shed more light on the details since she’d become a better reader than Gurder, to his annoyance. She learns the humans planned on extending the highway by the command of Order. Now, nomes were starting to stress over the possibilities of having to leave already, Angalo one of them since he had started a family. Gurder decides a meeting would be the best way to proceed, when doing so, Angalo mentions a back up in case they had to move quickly, being a barn, but when Gurder responds by reminding they shouldn’t get too excited and trust in Arnold Bros (est. 1905), Angalo finally brings up the questioning of his belief, he only remembering how they’d helped themselves and Arnold Bros (est. 1905) hadn’t done anything. His words eventually have the two digressing into a theological argument which Masklin attempts to end quickly, and after resorting to threat, is finally acknowledged. Masklin then has to mediate the two, the meeting breaking up, and he having to refocus the two dopes, Masklin agreeing another look at the barns would be fruitful, the three walking outside, and then as if by way of divine message, Masklin is toppled by a piece of paper relating to Arnold Bros (est. 1905).

The Book of Nome speaks of when the nomes had asked for a sign which signified Arnold Bros (est. 1905) was worth believing in, they getting it, but then debating whether a sign was the same as a “Co incidence”. Masklin was open-minded and tolerant of the belief in Arnold Bros (est. 1905), and so when Grimma read aloud an article about the grandson of the co-founders traveling to Florida, the deciphering of this came difficultly, due to the words used being hard to grasp. Grimma is first to figure out what the article meant, everyone looking for Masklin’s opinion, but he not present for getting the Thing. He puts it near electricity sufficiently enough to wake it, Masklin asking the meaning of “communications satellite”, the answer a bit complicated, but Masklin getting to an understanding of it to where he suggested the possibility of the nomes being able to hitch on a launch to space so the Thing could get them to their Ship, the Thing stating how difficult this would be, especially with how ill-prepared Masklin was, but he says the right response of one not ever truly being ready and ordering the Thing to help.

The Book of Nome relates of how Masklin decides they should go Home, confiding to the Thing and also wanting this to stay secret for knowing how people would find flaw in the task. Masklin had returned to see Angalo and Gurder fighting over the reality of Arnold Bros (est. 1905), when he’s noticed and brought into the argument, he suggesting perhaps they should go to the airport to have a look, surprising Angalo, but Masklin also suggesting they have teams check the barns in the meantime in case those who were staying behind had to move. Grimma confronts him about how wild of a plan he was attempting, he hoping she’d reveal some inner feelings she had for him, but being let down, and staying strong with his potentially deadly plan.

The Book of Nome gives a dialogue between a nome inquiring about frogs, the other stating to the first, he wouldn’t find the description comprehensible, the first agreeing. The hike to the barn would take many hours, and the few foxes around learned to not mess with the nomes due to their numbers. The first trip would be to store some food, Masklin locating Grimma to announce he was readying to go, she then mentioning what a bromeliad was, and she not looking forward to going back to non-electrical living, Masklin seeing the upside of the community togetherness it had brought, and strengthening them, she not giving in to this, and Masklin going off to speak with Gurder about his choice of spiritual leader being a tad untrustworthy for his excitability, Gurder agreeing, but compromising with having allowed Masklin the physical well-being of the nomes, so should allow him control of the metaphysical, the nomes then getting on their way, debating skipped for time-saving purposes. Then two nomes on watch at the gate, after a great lull, saw and heard a human attempt to open the reinforced gate, relaying this to Dorcas, no one understanding the words of the sign left, but sensing the human would return. Dorcas setts off to share the news when the two on watch interrupt, excitedly reporting of the human being back, everyone hearing an engine getting nearer. After the human came into the shed everyone had currently congregated under the floorboards of, and left, Nisodemus, the new spiritual leader, began speaking against Dorcas, and all those who had gotten them to the quarry. He also laying doubt of the Store actually being demolished, no one appreciating the Outdoors, and the barn not having electricity or floorboards, a big concern. Dorcas asks one of the security guards where Grimma was, she being better at debate. It didn’t matter though, after the rant ended, sleet began to pour, putting moods to an even darker setting. Dorcas beginning to hope for Masklin and Gurder to return, it being three days since they left.

The Book of Nome mentions Big John the Dragon. Dorcas having discovered Big John, keeping him to himself. He locates Grimma to inform her of the unrest Nisodemus was causing, she aware of this, and Dorcas admiring her reading and comprehension skills, she then breaking down due to how long Masklin had been gone and how she’d treated him before he’d left, no one ever having stayed out longer than three days. Grimma then discusses the book she was poring over was pretty difficult to understand, it being about human beliefs, then thinking of the possibility of being able to study humans more closely before the alarm bell was rung again, this time by Nisodemus.

The Book of Nome relates what Nisodemus claims of the nomes having been tricked into believing, and they having been abandoned by their leaders right as Winter came, Nisodemus then stating of having a solution, Grimma and Dorcas in time to hear, but Nisodemus’ plan, whilst being flawed, still spoke to the common, as well as the lesser powerful nomes. Nisodemus planned on building a new Store. More details showed Nisodemus meant they’d put up signs, partially erect a Store, and Arnold Bros. (est. 1905), if pleased, would take care of the rest. Some of the nomes weren’t completely buying it now, and Grimma attempts to push people to their senses. In the end though, the nomes were swayed by Nisodemus. Dorcas was unable to calm Grimma with why they’d preferred Nisodemus’ idea. Dorcas soon enlisted to help make the signs since he had paint, the two security nomes informing him of more signs having been left, he instructing them to bring them back to show Nisodemus. He was happy by the signs, everyone setting about making more (misspelled) signs of their own, Dorcas even adding a chain and padlock from Big John’s shed, but when a human came, the signs were ignored, and even torn off, Nisodemus blaming Dorcas for adding the chain. Dorcas then realized Nisodemus was insane and couldn’t be reasoned with, Nisodemus commanding no one would leave when Dorcas suggested they should do so for safety. Dorcas planned on trying to get the nomes to the barn as he left Nisodemus’ presence, he eventually noticing the bad development of the weather getting worse for snow.

The Book of Nome quotes Grimma on the choices they had being between running or hiding, when asked which they’d act upon, she replies, they would fight. Granny Morkie explains the snowfall occurring was only a sign of Winter having arrived. As she demonstrates to the noobs by walking in it, she relates how this wasn’t nearly as bad compared to what she’d seen. This also meant they wouldn’t be traveling to the barn, since the snow barred anyone from entering the quarry. Dorcas is shown contemplating the half luck they’d had by the snow protecting them, Grimma then coming in to announce how Masklin wouldn’t be able to return even if he’d planned on it, this marking eight days, she having spent much time waiting at the gate lately. She states how once the snow fall finished, the humans would most likely set up camp there, she then suggesting they should fight against the take over, explaining how they had the upper hand since “the element of surprise” was on their side. Gulliver’s Travels is again mentioned due to tiny people overpowering a human, Dorcas concern being the humans fighting back, Grimma stating they’d have to prepare for the possibility straight from the start. Dorcas contemplates they should fight only in self-defense, Grimma agreeing, she then partially sharing her idea on how they’d go about it with the help of Dorcas’ group and the requirement of nails. Grimma then offers another piece of odd information of humans writing about them, referring to Nomes as pixies, she then vowing the fight was so Masklin had a place to return.

Dorcas then goes to Big John’s lair to talk over his concerns, he then thinking of repairing Big John (making it sound like he’s gas-powered). The human returns, as expected, with two trucks. When they stop, it’s shared how the nails came to use, the humans still able to break the padlock, and Dorcas sharing how if they do go to the manager’s office to use the telephone, as one of the protégés suggested, the call wouldn’t go through for the cut wires. The humans look around before all returning to their other vehicle, Grimma planning how to extend their traps for their inevitable return. Dorcas then begins having the group set about removing the battery so the truck couldn’t be moved, he having a plan to use it for Big John, as well as the fuel, which continues to confuse Grimma on the reason they were saving the two items. As Dorcas and she walk back to the bush, they moving in time from being squashed by the battery, he suggests she manage the team, but as she reprimands them, she realizes Dorcas was definitely planning something. She returns to Dorcas, whom was looking at the engine, almost explaining his plans for the items, but back pedals when Grimma thinks he’s planning on driving the truck. Then Dorcas notices the door was a little ajar, he deciding to have a look inside. When his team informs him of the fuel close to overflowing, Dorcas decides to let it do so, Grimma giving him a hard time with his excuse of letting the gas hit the road being dangerous, Dorcas having enough and telling her to “shut up”, explaining how he was helping her, not the other way around and getting a please or thank you once in awhile making it easier to want to assist, Grimma at first angered, then turning red, Dorcas demonstrating his point by asking the boys nicely to locate a large stick, they quickly off to do so.

The Book of Nome then relates young nomes asking Dorcas what it was like on the truck, he replying of the fear. When the young nomes and Dorcas see inside this truck, Dorcas has a flash of memory of the first drive, instructing one nome to grab the keys whilst the others looked around, but one nome became too curious whilst mentioning how a knob could be pressed, Dorcas desperately commanding not to touch it, but Grimma could see the results from outside, the truck now slowly moving. Dorcas was shouting at them from inside, they having released the hand brake, and now unable to put it back, the ground looked like the truck was moving a bit too fast to jump, so Dorcas had them all wait for the eventual stop. When it does, the young nomes get out as instructed so they could catch Dorcas, the only girl noticing they could be in some trouble with a light flashing and a rail vibrating, Grimma seeing the train coming down the track and connecting with the truck.

The Book of Nome includes how Nisodemus doesn’t have the verbal support of the nomes about his ability to stop the Order. As other nomes came out to see what had happened to the truck, Nisodemus babbles about how he’d stopped the truck, Grimma setting him straight and making him livid, she sharing the seriousness of Dorcas and groups fate could be, distracting Nisodemus from himself and focusing on the probability of humans coming because of where the truck started from, suggesting the nomes would be able to get to the barn in the current weather. Nisodemus attempts to deflect her words which nomes had trouble ignoring since she wasn’t yelling, like usual. When Nisodemus continued to yell for the nomes to believe and Grimma didn’t argue, they began to look to her for confirmation, she supplying only uncertainty, walking off, and as the car approached, more nomes running away. Afterwards, Nisodemus was the only one missing, they writing of he only being too ashamed to return, what they actually thought divulging a darker, different story. As expected, many humans, including those from the truck turned up, the coming days dark ones since the humans began fixing all of Dorcas’ rewiring and nomes resorted to hiding in fairly plain sight. The nomes started working together again, Grimma suggesting when they could, they needing to move to the sheds, and when it was light enough, hunters needed to be sent out for food for the extreme young and old.

The Book of Nome states of all nomes appearing and the humans regretting this. Then the perspective of a human is given, being distracted from reading by noises coming from the floor and walls, then sees his sammies being transported across the table by little beings, the human showing surprise by getting up, then realizing his ankles were bound to the chair, falling over, his arms getting tied whilst he, at human-speed, determined what was happening. Then nomes feasted on food and drink they recognized from the Store, they then deciding on the fate of the human, discovering a box, and Grimma determining after reading, it was poison. Grimma made clear the box was meant for rats, but they having no conflict with rats because of Bobo, Angalo’s pet rat, deciding to put the box where it’d remain untouched. Grimma then convinces them to show the human mercy, and leave when day broke. The human’s pockets were emptied, the nomes sitting around the human and eating, discussing the possibility of torture, Grimma again resulting to agreement, putting the nome suggesting it on the spot, Grimma then relating how uncivil hurting a prisoner was, the group then feeling sorry for the big lug.

Grimma was considering how unlikely it was for humans to not ever having seen nomes, she then realizing nomes hadn’t attempted communicating before, she being then called to read an article in the newspaper about Grandson Richard, 39 which had to do with a satellite being launched. Grimma then considers this and the unknown messages transmitted, could mean Masklin, Angalo, and Gurder were alive and had gone to Florida, the other nomes sharing looks of skepticism, but no one brave enough to doubt her. Granny Morkie sympathizes and suggest she sleep, Grimma having a dream of Masklin climbing a tree, yellow eyes below him, she then woken (this having to do with Masklin’s gift to her at the end of the story). She was in the middle of planning their next move when Sacco returned, insisting Grimma come with him because Dorcas had hurt himself. Sacco, completely spent, instructs Grimma where to locate the rest of the group with Dorcas before passing out, Grimma then trying to get some nomes to go with her to find them, she working with cowards, but then a few detecting their sense of do-goodery, Granny Morkie among them. By the time they were readying to go out they got more to come through for feeling shame. The group stays together, then decide the most likely place to look was down-wind (or down-A/C if you’re a Store-nome), so they walk to where the field was, Grimma half-seriously praying to Arnold Bros (est. 1905), when noticing a hole in the snow.

The Book of Nome then relates how the nomes realize they had nowhere to stay and must go. Grimma is then shown mentioning to Dorcas she thought his hiding place may be a warren, Dorcas showing appreciation for her deduction, and one of Dorcas’ protégés explaining how he’d noticed the rabbit hole, they believing they’d have to spend the night. Granny Morkie informs Dorcas his leg was only sprained, whilst the other nomes looked around with satisfaction with the quarters, Dorcas group detailing of their rabbit roomies residing further inside, Grimma considering they should leave A.S.A.P., despite Granny Morkie and Nooty smelling fox around. Dorcas then backs Grimma up after Granny Morkie makes going out again sound like a bad idea. They fashion a seat for Dorcas to be carried by four nomes, Grimma thinking how the world did seem the right size for humans, nomes living in their corners. She then thinks of how the nomes may soon have to rough it, giving up electricity, books, and fine dining, she also concluding she’d still wait for Masklin’s return even if they did move. Grimma loses hope and breaks down after this thought, the nomes not knowing what to do, since this was unusual for Grimma, Dorcas the only one trying to show support, Grimma stating how hard she’d worked to keep everyone together and cooperative, but nothing going right, their return Outside not bringing them luck.

Grimma then declares they may as well accept defeat and drop dead, Dorcas bringing to her attention how likely this could happen since a fox, not one of those having seen the nomes before, wasn’t fleeing and seemed keen on eating them, Grimma responding with a growl, she swiping Granny Morkie’s walking stick and hitting it across its nose before it moved, after a second whack and being yelled at, it decides rabbits were an easier meal and runs off. Grimma regains her composure and optimism, the group starting for the office again. Meanwhile, a disk zoomed far overhead, it responsible for the satellite messages and seemingly searching the globe. The nomes waiting in the office were begrudgingly about to send a second search party, they relieved when everyone returned, shouting in celebration. Grimma is distracted by the enthusiasm, even whilst knowing they weren’t safe, yet. She was listening to Sacco’s account of what Dorcas had done to escape being hit by the train, she thinking their bravery was for a useless mission, quoting a Proverb after Sacco learns there wasn’t food left, she having to explain the Devil as best she could, but then Dorcas, looking agitated, confesses they needing to follow him to the dangerous sheds near a cliff where he’d been working on a project. Plus, the sheds themselves lent secluded shelter, but before setting out, Grimma has an idea and asks for paper and Dorcas’ pencil, she proceeding to write a message which conveyed how the human could have lost his life and to stay away from them. Dorcas was now waiting for all the nomes to get safely inside before showing his beloved secret pastime, Grimma getting impatient to learn what was hidden underneath a large sheet. Dorcas finally relents after commanding his workers to retrieve the battery they’d saved.

The Book of Nome then relates Dorcas having introduced Big John and if they must, they should drive. The unknown Narrator (the beloved author) then mentions how books should have soundtracks (Hello, Scott Pilgrim). When Grimma sees Big John’s mouth and convinces herself she wasn’t scared whilst getting over the truck looking like it was going to bite her, Dorcas babbles about Big John’s potential to be driven. After he notices Grimma’s lack of speech, he asks if anything is wrong, Grimma asking what Big John was, Dorcas pointing to the name on the truck: John Deere, he then showing her his teeth, mentioning how it should work, Grimma irritated why he hadn’t told her sooner, he saying it was because there wasn’t a reason, and everyone needed something for themselves. Dorcas then says how he wanted Grimma to warn the others of Big John’s intimidating first impressions before enlisting the others to help get the tarpaulin off. Grimma warns the group and they get the tarpaulin removed, but there was still a panic before two of the nomes climbed atop Big John, everyone slowly coming back to look. Granny Morkie mentions how her father had described a digger, but hadn’t seen one before, she thinking he’d been joking. Grimma began thinking how it was possible the world had been constructed by humans, which was why everything was human-sized for easy use.

As Dorcas is directing the nomes where to place extra bits needed, Grimma is asking him how likely it is he’ll be able to drive them away, he now quite positive, even though he was also uncertain about his assumption about the levers for the mouth getting in the way. He also considered how most would need to hang on where they could due to limited seating. Grimma then offers her help, Dorcas requesting she read the instruction manual since he understood the mechanics, but didn’t know the procedure. Grimma studied the book and wondered if Dorcas actually knew how to drive the digger already and was only giving her busy work, but she got to her task anyways, marveling how nomes banded together when times were likely to become worse. Meanwhile, when morning was breaking the human awoke, freed an arm, and was able to maneuver back into a sitting position, these actions surprising to any nome watching. The human then notices the piece of paper on the floor before calling someone on the phone. Dorcas is now attempting to get the battery to work properly, whilst nomes were designated on steering wheel duty or pedal-pushing. Then Dorcas succeeds to get Big John running, the noise deeply reverberating and loud, until he got one set of the pedal-pushers to stop pushing, then it became a milder vibration. Dorcas breaks to Grimma how she’d be the one instructing the drive since the youngins would have them speeding along, Dorcas wanting the female touch since he’d rather have a leisurely ride. Grimma is thinking of how much better this would go if Masklin were there, Dorcas noting her thoughts after she mentions how they should’ve sent a search party to the airport, he regarding this with the reality of not having nomes to spare, and when Masklin returned, he’d understand. Grimma gets them slowly moving with minor issues at the start, she not caring the doors weren’t open since it was Big John and it could handle it.

The Book of Nome relates of no object able to upset their course, since Big John pooh-poohed all blocks. Big John took down the shed door at six m.p.h. and carried it halfway across the quarry before coming off, Big John stopping soon after. Grimma wonders why they weren’t moving still, Sacco apologizing for misunderstanding the speed requirements, and Grimma attempting to adjust her next order when seeing humans approaching Big John. Grimma commands they drive forward, Dorcas halfheartedly arguing to dissuade her, but Grimma unphased since the human had ignored her note, she ready to show them what a real nome can do. As Big John moves, the humans retreat, Grimma aiming for them and instructing Sacco to use the levers for Big John’s jaws since the humans had gone to the office for shelter, Grimma successfully collapsing the structure, and  the humans escaping to view Big John’s teeth as they ran away, close to nome speed. Dorcas informs Grimma where the last human had run, she aiming there next, Dorcas pleading to leave, but Grimma on a mission to avenge all nomes who had been hurt by human ignorance, more humans fleeing from the truck as Big John smashed it, Dorcas not approving of truck-maiming, anything hard to assemble being held at high value, Grimma using nomes again as being more important, but Dorcas not impressed since nomes weren’t difficult to create. Grimma then directs them to the barn according to Dorcas’ memory. The see a cop car coming up toward them, but their turn gets them out of the way. The policemen walking after them, Dorcas impressed by the area they were going being even more open than he’d seen so far. Grimma had them on a steady course in view of the barn, when another cop car began to approach them, so they change course, heading through the fields, but when reaching another road, more cop cars were aiming to box them in, Grimma having the team stop as the sky darkened, and a humming sound grew louder, sheep running away, stopping the cars, and nomes becoming terrified, Grimma is first to decide the darkness was a shadow and they should calm down and get out of Big John, she sharing how she thought they should make themselves more visible to someone, she smiling happily.

The Book of Nome states how their trek had ended with Big John and the nomes ran away, not looking back. Dorcas looked after Big John’s condition after everyone had exited, since he couldn’t grasp what he was seeing outside. Eventually Nooty and Sacco fetch him so he could hopefully explain the machine they saw, Dorcas unable to say, but believing it was what Masklin had been looking for, Nooty stating how a plant-like thing had exited from the flying machine, Dorcas giving in to having them lead him out. Grimma and Dorcas knew what it was whilst the others ogled, it being a branch with a flower with water in it which contained frogs: bromeliad. Dorcas believed Masklin had gotten Grimma flowers, he now only tired and happy, wondering what Masklin had been doing in their absence.

The story continues to be entertaining, the nomes consistently coming together in hard times being another good learning tool, helping one another, even if uncertain and standing up for those whom need it. Final installment, I approach!

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One thought on “Diggers (The Bromeliad Trilogy #2)

  1. Pingback: Truckers (The Bromeliad Trilogy #1) | Book Fiend

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