Town of Living Gears, Part 3

Hello once again, to all those that are following, and to those that aren’t… Well this isn’t a good place to start, that’s for sure. There’s plenty of other short stories that are actually short, and starting at something called Part 3 probably isn’t your best bet to get a grasp of my style, since this isn’t a slice of life series, but one that follows a continuum. For now, at this part, many of you will notice that this series although very science fiction isn’t actually garnered towards an action paced genre but rather is more psychological and focuses more on dialogue and the narrator’s inherent reactions to everything. It’s supposed to be entertaining in that I try to move the plot with short events that happen through talking. This will definitely show in the coming chapters and its not until after this section or arc that we get to more action and faster moving chapters, so for now, be ready to think. Here you go, “Part 3”

 

It had been quite some time until Wren had finally been relieved of any work, and his well attuned day of rest was ascertained. Wren told me that the people he was bringing me to see were all well aware of my true identity, and as thus, I would not have to worry about keeping my identity as Marianne. I had not met many people in the town, and only had a few interactions, but from the people whom I have met, I could match their faces with the faces of those who had long past. This town in many senses was a ghost town, and the remnants of not only the people, but the structure and layout was also something very long forgotten in history. Even I have forgotten much of what I had seen when I was with Klover. Sometimes I begin to fear that I may forget my origins all together. Though when I do, those memories become ever more vivid. A humanistic feature I suppose.

We weaved our way to the crevice between two buildings and Wren brought me to a door well hidden from any prying eyes. He knocked once, and then a voice asked us in a whisper, “Your occupation?” Wren cleared his throat and said, “A soothsayer”. The door opened, and we entered. The establishment was nothing more than a bar, however the contents of it was very minimal. The counter had a plethora of bottles lining the walls behind it, and the tables and chairs seemed seldom filled. Only a few patrons looked at us as we entered, each eyeing me with alacrity. Upon leading me to the counter and sitting me down, he told the bartender, “Something light. And I guess a glass of oil for her.” The bartender was a tall man with slicked back black hair and sunglasses that hid his eyes. He had small arms and even smaller hands, but his work with the drink and glasses was something new to my database. He showed a masterful use of technique, wherever thereof. Upon receiving our drinks, a rather eccentric woman sat next to me. I say this because she had strange hair, something very unaccustomed to this town. Her hair was green all over, and had only reached just below her shoulder. She smiled upon seeing my inquiry and then said, “So you’re Klover’s old gear. Must have been quite something if he spent his entire livelihood making sure you were snuff.”

“Not must have been, she’s sitting right there,” another woman said as she came to another open seat next to the green haired woman. She had a pipe in her mouth as she sat, and had brown messy hair that seemed as if it had only been combed the previous month. She had much darker eyes than the green haired woman, and was rightfully more demeaning in nature.

“You have that old iron pipe Wren’s been talking about?” The smoking woman asked. I took out the leather casing and handed it to her. She took out the iron rod and then began inspecting it closely, almost having the end of her pipe scathe it. She laughed and then said, “Klover would have a kick out of this if he saw it. Thing’s a piece of work I tell you.” He placed the leather casing on the counter top and then pulled out another smaller casing from her pant leggings. She placed this one a little closer to me, to which I picked up and unsheathed what seemed to be a small knife. There were engravings on the side of the blade, in which it read “Klover Tore”.

“I’m going to fix this up if you don’t mind. Old man Klover wouldn’t want you using his stuff in such piss poor conditions.” She took the iron rod’s casing and placed it on her seat. The knife was certainly cleaned and sharpened from the looks of it. The material seemed to be the same as the rod, iron. I could not put why Klover would have created armaments for my using, but I placed it in the spot of my rod.

“If we’re in the make of giving welcome presents then don’t count me out.” Another woman, whom I didn’t notice approach us, stuck out what seemed to be a key towards me. Klover’s name was also engrained onto it and the key seemed to be cleaned. It was a surprise to me that Klover had made these upon his time of living, as most of his artifacts seemed freshly made. The woman had streaks of red hair that flew beneath her shoulders. She had large eyes and a large smile, but her posture and muscle mass made it apparent that she was much tougher than the other woman here. I came to learn later that she was the informant of the group, who also doubled as a body guard of sorts as she was the most well versed combatant.

“Oh and by the way, we’re still working on trying to figure out Klover’s will,” the woman with red hair said.

“Did Klover leave any written mementos to serve as clues?”

“He did. A bunch of notes about how you were made, about his time living in the city, some of his philosophical ramblings, but nothing directly linking your purpose.”

“If you do not mind, would you be able to give me transcripts of those notes?” The woman laughed and then said, “Glad at least you can read. I’ll have them by Wren shortly enough. Say, how’s it like coming back to life?”

“Coming back to life?” The notion I had preconceived was not if as I had been reborn, but as if I had awoken from a long slumber. In fact, being stuck in the clock tower did not feel as if I had fallen asleep or had died and came back, I was well awake, and rusted in the clock tower. It was as if I stuck in a strange ongoing thread of time that didn’t seem to care what my condition was. I had not come back to life, nor did I have or will have life within me.

“You know, being stuck in that old clock tower for so long.”

“It did not feel as if I was reborn. Rather, when Wren had found me, it was as if my time was forcefully pushed forward.” The woman with red hair smiled and then said, “Come with me, I have something to show you.” She then turned and began heading for the door. I looked over to Wren, who nudged me forward as he took another sip from his drink.

“By the way, the name’s Kloe Miro. In town I’m nothing more than a simple librarian.” Kloe did not use a mask either, despite walking and wafting in the streets. I did not hold onto my hood as tightly as I did before, but I was still wary of any strange inquiries. I followed tightly behind Kloe, matching the streets we walked with the map I had made in my database.

“Where are you bringing me?” I asked.

“The library. My library.”

“Why are you bringing me to your library?”

“Because there’s something I want you to see, something that could help us push this mystery forward.”

“I see.”

“Do you remember anything about Klover?” My memories were slowly becoming devoid of anything from that period. I was losing grasp of all the times I had, and all the things Klover had made me do. However, the one thing that still vividly crosses my mind is when I had first called out to Klover. For some reason, recalling that memory gives me a sort of strange joy, or I would so think that’s what humans would feel. It makes me smile, and my body begins to exude a sort of warmth.

“He was a very kind man who only thought of others,” I said.

“What kinds of things did he make you do?” Of the time that I remember taking orders from Klover, he made me do simple things. I picked up loads of iron and steel, I placed metals into the furnace, and on occasion he had me cut firewood. In times of shortcoming, he allowed me to gallop in my own free time, to explore the world and do whatever I wanted. In those times, I believe I had been a topic of ridicule among some, perhaps because of my make. However, I cannot recall whether people actually physically harmed or attempted to harm me. Despite the hatred that seemed to circle around me, I was left rather at peace.

“Simple things. Things that having a companion around would suffice one to do. Nothing too strenuous, and he even gave me time to my own. It was during a time when we used to live in sanctity.”

“During a time when you used to live in sanctity?” Kloe smiled, despite me being behind her, I could still feel Kloe smile. Her gait slowed and something about her became solemn.

“Did you like that time?” She asked. I had no right to dwell in human emotions, such a thing was far beyond my reach at the time, but I would rather enjoy that time again, I thought. Such a time when the streets were beaming with activity, when children laughed and played with robots. Such a time has long past, and the streets as we now walked were empty. Children looked away when they saw us, and adults fear those with higher power. This was a time where oppression and apathy policed the populace.

“It was a time where I wish to go back to, if that suffices an answer.” Kloe smiled at that too,  “I’ve only ever experienced those times through photos and journals, but such a time does seem more pleasant than ours.”

“Do you wish you could have been born at that time?” I asked in an attempt to understand Kloe. Though, something else within me also sought to help Kloe and to make her a great friend for the future. Something within me, found joy in talking to Kloe, in talking to anyone other than Wren. Though, Wren was still suitable. I just had a strange urge to meet others. Something humanistic I thought.

“I don’t know if I would have preferred to have been born at that time, but it certainly does seem like a tempting idea.” After a few more streets, we finally made it to the library. It was brightly lit for all to see, and brandished glass windows and doors, something characteristic to specific buildings. We entered, and I instantly felt the difference of atmosphere of the building and the outside. My senses took a few seconds to adjust, but it was evidently much more cleaner and cooler inside. She led me towards the front desk of the library, where two workers stood. She nodded as she went her way, and opened a door with a key from her pocket. We stepped in, and despite the darkness of the corridor, I could still make out the stairs leading to a basement area. After descending the stairs, we arrived at a room filled to the brim with papers and ink. Stacks of books and loose leaf pages lined the perimeter of the room along with ink stones and quill pens. Only a few candles were lit in accordance to giving light to the room, which were placed on a large table in the middle of the room. Kloe walked over and pulled out a chair for herself, and motioned for me to sit as well.

“Welcome to my library.”

Grey Ashton, the bartender.

Gale, green haired woman who specializes in explosives.

Jordan Smokes, smoking woman who enjoys metal working.

Kloe Miro, the informant of the group, who has streaks of red in her hair and also very aggressive.

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