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“If you’re going to pout about it, I’m not talking to you.” Marcel said, his blue eyes turning disappointedly back to his work table.
Next to him a golden cog bearing the mark of Lys on one side and the crest of the Ghostraven family on the other, rolled to the side of the table away from him and lay flat. A tiny set of whip like arms flared from two of it’s teeth and crossed defiantly over the top of it’s surface.
Marcel turned the respirator he was building over in frustration, raised his coffee mug to his lips and then frowned, “and now the coffee is cold.” With a deep sigh he turned to the cog, “I’m going to put on the kettle, would you like a cup or shall I ..?”
The cog fixed its appendages firmly. Marcel shook his head, a dark curl falling into his eyes, the silver hairs of his temple giving him the distinguished look of a gentleman, even in his most base attire. His eyes were ringed from days off tireless work and the coffee was his life’s blood through the countless hours. Without adding more on the subject he took a few steps to his left and started to fix the kettle.
They had been alone on the submarine for two weeks now, it’s lights spanning out in all directions in search of Emily DeLuna. The beams cut through the murky water, particles falling like stars all around them. The massive glass observation deck made it possible to see all the wonders of the Oehn Sea, but the desolation and close quarters were getting to them both.
Marcel carried his steaming cup back to his work area and held it looking out into the endless blue. His thoughts were on Emily and where she might be headed next. He calculated that given their current depth and epoch, she might be heading into a space too ancient to have been Lys, though for the life of him he could not imagine why. He checked the chrono-radar device.
“Were coming to a very ancient depth of this sea, Trixie, and while I appreciate your mood and your feelings, I need your assistance.”
The cog flipped over defiantly and then rolled to the control panel, her dozen whip like arms emerging and disappearing, pushing buttons and tap gauges, setting controls.
“Thank you,” Marcel smiled at the cog, who resumed her place away from him on his work table. “You have become a most skilled pilot!”
The cog did not respond.
Marcel worked for a few moments on the respirator he had been developing, a small piece that could be held between the teeth. The oxygen in the ancient sea of Oehn was plentiful and easily converted and he hoped that being able to explore the depths would help Trixie feel more at ease and less restless for adventure.
“You know -I know that you are capable of many great and wonderful things. You are unique in all the world- and that I played a part in your creation makes me both humble and proud.” He took a long sip of his coffee and stood in silence. The cog, whom he called Trixie, remained unmoved by his words.
He picked up his pipe and caught it in his teeth. “There is no one else in this world I have ever given up my pipe for. Oh how I miss the taste! But you are right,” He sighed setting the pipe back onto his work table, “In these quarters it is not wise.”
A long period of silence passed. Marcel thinking and watching the dials as they carried on obediently.
Eventually, he turned back to his tinkering, still lost in thought.
“It’s selfish you know, I simply could not bear to lose you. It’s far too dangerous what you ask. Darling girl, I have considered you know. I don’t take your ideas lightly.” Marcel looked back at Trixie sadly. He did not like upsetting her, but allowing her to wander off on her own -especially out here in the Oehn Sea – a place at the dawn of time and riddled with unknown perils.. well, he simply could not allow it.
The cog animated then, her surface growing in three dimensions until she was in the form of small mechanical bird. She hopped over to Marcel, and gave a gentle coo.
“Well! Hello, darling. You’ve decided to join me at last?” he gave her a very soft rub under the chin, and she flapped out her tiny metal wings happily.
Marcel continued to work deep in thought. Trixie, who remained in the form of a tiny bird, twittered and pecked, bringing him parts and pieces. He could sense that she was still upset, but thought it best to give her time to think about, and hopefully one day understand, the decision he was having to make. After several hours he sighed contentedly, examined the piece and announced it ready to have a trial. The small bird jumped and twittered excitedly, and Marcel was pleased to have created something that would give her a little freedom.
Marcel put on the last kettle of the evening, opting for a nice cup of tea -and watching the stars drift through the murky water, allowed the quiet of the night and the peaceful lull of the sea to have their way. Marcel Ghostraven nodded off to sleep in his chair.
Seeing that he was resting, Trixie saw her opportunity, with a quick motion the bird collapsed back into a cog and began rolling about pressing buttons, turning dials and adjusting meters. She hurried, concerned that he would again wake, and catch her in the act of sabotaging their vessel. She knew that she would be marooning him for a time, but he was Marcel Ghostraven – so she had every confidence that he would rebuild.
When she was done, she extended two of her whip like arms and snapped them together, creating a tiny golden spark which, with a poof of air, materialized into a sprite like young woman. The automatonic cog that was her sanctuary and friend lay quietly awaiting her return.
She picked up a soft blanket from her bunk, and making sure that the respirator was tucked safely into his watch pocket, tucked it warmly over Marcel.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said kissing him on the temple, “This is something I have to do. It will work. Please believe in me.”
And with less than a thought the girl returned to her cog, and crawled into Marcel’s sleeping hand to wait.