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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Wandering Mine  
  A landmine with legs.  

Wandering mines, you took them out on the edge of the desert, set them down and activated them, like in a sandy wash. And they settled down in the sand and rock, burying themselves, until sand covered them. And then you went away, and the enemy entered the area. And after a preset time, if nothing had crossed them, they dug themselves up, scuttled across the Kalahari on their crab legs, found a new place and buried themselves again. You could preset the range, bury a beacon to keep them fairly close - but the beacon could alert the enemy, so mostly they were set at random, set so as not to wander more then a couple of hundred meters from where they were first buried.
From Half the Day is Night, by Maureen F. McHugh.
Published by Tor in 1994
Additional resources -

Thanks to Bob Yeager for submitting this item.

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