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Complete There Be Owlbears

Discussion in 'Pandopolis' started by C.A. Rotwang, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    September 18th, Year 108
    Rocket Town
    Participants: @Amy Wellard


    Rocket Town was the perfect place for an engineer to live, what with its many junkyards filled with scrap metal as well as the odd can-shaped machines which would occasionally emerge from the giant rocket in the center of the district. Rotwang was fortunate that he’d been conveniently placed in the shabby little town after the reconstruction of Pandora because he, of course, was an inventor and he hated to go too far away from home with the exception of when he went to work or to a couple of his favorite bars.

    Now that he’d found himself settled with a house and a job at TroYA X, Rotwang wanted to start up a side project to occupy himself with while he wasn’t at his workplace in Centria. He was happiest, or rather not as miserable, when he was putting his mind to something that was at least a bit of a challenge. Commissions had hardly come his way since he’d starting living in Rocket Town, possibly due to the scale of Pandopolis in comparison to Misty Hollow and because of that, he had less to do in the later hours of the day.

    Perhaps, the inventor thought, it was time to construct another Machine-Man. While he had GLaDOS to keep him company which she did well, there were a lot of mundane tasks that she wasn't able to perform. Due to her lack of mobility, GLaDOS couldn’t make him tea, nor was she fit to cook meals for him or clean the house. Wheatley, on the other hand, was useless when it came to most things. It seemed that what he was in need of was a robotic manservant. Aside from that, building a butler was a task which would take up a lot of time, and that was was precisely what Rotwang wanted.

    Once he’d decided on his project, he headed to the nearest junkyard to search through the heaps of trash for anything useful. There appeared to be plenty of springs, gears, and other metallic scrap in the dumping ground that he could work with. It also turned out that he wasn’t the only one on the site. While he was in the midst of filling the sack he’d brought with useful mechanical parts, a guttural growling noise sounded off nearby. Rotwang jumped, turning to face the direction that it came from. In the distance he could see a strange creature alongside a woman approaching the location in which he stood.

     
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  2. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
    Gender:
    female
    Occupation:
    Mechanic
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    25
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Pandora was weird; Amy had picked up on that pretty quickly. After everything was destroyed only to be put back together again, she wasn't sure what to think. The only saving grace was that she woke up after the apocalypse to see the world suddenly a little bit nicer, and her own life becoming rather nice.

    There wasn't anyone just running up to her, acting friendly. Instead, she was seen as a shy girl who was slowly coming out of her shell. Seeing how that was actually accurate, she found it a little liberating. It was like she was letting all of her history flow off of her back.

    She still had the good parts, though. Her electricity powers were slowly becoming manageable, and Denby was always right beside her. All in all, she started heading out of the house more and more as time went on. She would probably never lose the instinctive skittishness that her life had forced upon her, but it was becoming less intrusive as time went on.

    That wasn't to say that everything was peachy keen in her life. Denby was still a little annoyance when he wanted to be. He would get into things pretty often, breaking either the objects or himself on occasion. Fortunately, as a robot, he didn't need to worry about it too much. Amy could always patch him up.

    On one such occasion, Denby had gotten into Amy's tools and had caused a pretty intense dent in one of his back legs. To Amy, it was obvious, but most people weren't looking very close at him, so she didn't think it was a problem to bring him along to get some spare parts to help fix him up. She knew she probably had what she needed already, but exploring junkyards was actually pretty fun in her opinion, so they headed out anyway.

    Walking on a bum leg wasn't Denby's favorite thing, so as they walked, he let out a low growl of protest. It was surprisingly deep for his cub-form, but Amy wasn't intimidated or anything. Denby was a total sweetheart to her.

    Oblivious to whoever might be with them, Amy started searching almost immediately. She was careful and methodical, since she was very used to sifting through garbage. Denby, since it was his job, kept a lookout for anyone he deemed a threat. The other human in the junkyard was calm, so he didn't find it necessary to try and scare him away. Yet.
     
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  3. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    Rotwang leaned forward and squinted so he could get a better look at the two who were approaching him. The woman appeared to be young, petite and blonde, though from what he was able to tell her face was not as pretty is his Hel’s. Why she had ended up in a junkyard was beyond his imagination, as he never associated women with mechanics or engineering. Perhaps the reason she’d come to this place had something to do with the pet she kept by her side.

    The animal was large and lumbering, and possibly had a limp from the looks of it. Rotwang thought it had the appearance of a bear at first, but as the two came closer, what he was looking at started to confuse him. The bear’s head had an odd appearance, as if it didn’t belong on the body at all. Where there should have been ears there were none, and instead of a nose it had something more like a beak.

    The inventor took a couple steps closer so he would be able to see them better, in case he had misunderstood what he had gazed upon. However, as they closed in on him and their figures became less blurry, his suspicions were confirmed. The creature had the body of a bear but the face of an owl. Quite strange, indeed! Rotwang assumed that it was the result of an experiment gone wrong, or perhaps very right if that was what its creator was aiming for. Of course, it had piqued his curiosity and he intended to understand how it had come into existence.

    Rotwang knew, however, that the only way to find out about the creature was going to have to be through the girl. The animal looked pretty dangerous and he wasn’t about to approach it on his own. Positioning himself next to another pile of scrap, he pretended to search for various bits and bobs inside it. When the young woman had finally started to look through the same pile, he poked his head out from behind and watched her curiously.

    “That animal over there,” he began, making a gesture towards Denby. “It is your companion, yes?” He picked up an old pipe and examined it casually. “One can only imagine what that monstrous fellow might eat. Does its diet consist of metals, and metals alone? Is that why you are here? To feed your pet?” While he doubted any creature would want to feed on debris, Rotwang figured questioning its owner about that sort of thing would be the simplest way to find out exactly what it was.

     
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  4. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
    Gender:
    female
    Occupation:
    Mechanic
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    25
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    It was a good thing that Amy had been in Pandora a while, and was able to shed some of her more panicky instincts. The sudden appearance of a stranger would've caused her to lash out physically back in the destroyed world she used to call home. Not in Pandora, and not while Denby was still completely calm.

    She did jump in surprise and let out a soft gasp in surprise, but otherwise didn't seem anything other than slightly startled. Once that was over, she started processing the stranger's questions, which were coming very quickly. They were almost overwhelming with how much the guy was talking, but Amy managed to at least pick up on the gist.

    Remembering the time when she'd been kidnapped because someone managed to disable Denby, she very certainly decided that letting some stranger know what he was would be a bad idea a long time ago. She may have calmed down slightly in Pandora, but that didn't mean she let her guard down completely.

    So, once she managed to find her voice, she answered, "he's my pet, yeah. He's not going to attack if you don't, so don't worry about that. And pretty much, yeah." Sure, he didn't have to swallow the metal, but he did need to have his components switched out when they were getting old, so that was close enough that Amy didn't mind stretching the truth.

    In the hopes of getting the attention off of Denby, she tried to redirect the conversation. "So, are you looking for some metal yourself?"
     
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  5. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    Rotwang dropped the rusty pipe immediately and gave the young woman an expression of puzzlement. Her first answer was as he'd predicted, of course, as the animal appeared to act tame as it had walked beside her and showed no sign of threatening her. However, he hadn’t expected her to confirm his assumption that she had in fact come to the junkyard to feed her pet. Either she was a terrible caregiver, he thought, or there was something more to the creature than what met the eye. Though he disliked nearly all animals, he knew full well that no decent owner would ever purposely fed their furry companion scrap metal.

    “Will he not become ill by consuming that?” Rotwang pondered aloud, turning his head in the direction of the owlbear. It really was a bizarre looking animal and its movements looked vaguely robotic at times. Its cry, too, sounded a bit off, almost mechanical if it was to be described. Returning his gaze to the female person again, the inventor leaned in just a tad closer and said in a slightly quieter voice. “What sort of creature is he, exactly?”

    To the woman’s question he nodded. “Hm, yes. It is my plan to build a mechanical servant. A Machine-Man, if you will. One which is able to perform the mundane tasks that I do not have time for.” He shot another curious look at Denby. “Your pet is most peculiar! A sort of fusion of two entirely different species.” There was a short pause before he decided to hazard a guess but it was one which he wasn't entirely convinced with. “He is the result of a genetic experiment, yes?”

     
    #5 C.A. Rotwang, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  6. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
    Gender:
    female
    Occupation:
    Mechanic
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    25
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    It didn't occur to Amy until he sent her a bewildered look that she'd said something strange. Really, she just wanted to not be interrogated by a stranger about anything. Even though she was gaining a little bit of confidence in Pandora, that didn't make her more comfortable around strangers who were interested in her stuff. Especially Denby. If anything happened to him, she wasn't sure what she'd do.

    "Well, he's not exactly a normal animal," she hedged, really hoping for some way to get through this without getting Denby EMP'd again, "he's an owlbear. A friend was worried for my safety and m- got him for me. He's been by my side ever since."

    The idea of building a machine capable of simple tasks was intriguing, Amy had to give it that. "I see. That'd be pretty useful, I'm sure. You'd need to account for a lot if it's going to be human-shaped, though. A lot of our dimensions can be seriously tricky for a robot to stand and move around on." Her eyes flitted back and forth as if she was staring at some blueprints right in front of her.

    Before she could finish that thought, the topic of conversation was brought back to Denby. Well, time to play dumb. "I think he's actually a normal species in my friend's world. Like I said, she got him for me, so I don't know all the specifics." As she was speaking, the bear in question (bored out of his mind) started nosing at the pile of junk in front of them.
     
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  7. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    Rotwang turned his inquisitive gaze back to the young woman, listening intently to her description the of creature she called Denby. His assumption that he was a genetic experiment was starting to seem more likely, but something still seemed a bit off, such as when she stuttered on a word mid-explanation. While the case had probably been that she had just jumbled her words out of nerves, the inventor could only wonder that she was trying to hide a certain detail from him.

    “An owlbear?” he echoed, another puzzled expression crossing his features. “This friend of yours, is he a scientist? Might he have genetically engineered the creature, giving him the best of both species?” This, he thought, seemed like a likely possibility if not for the mechanical growl. Of course, that could have been caused by some sort of implant to repair damage done to its vocal chords, but he wasn’t ready to settle on that theory yet.

    The woman did sound intrigued by his work-in-progress, though her lack of confidence in his skill slightly offended him. “It isn’t as if I’ve not done this before, you know!” he said, pouting almost childishly. “Once it is finished, this Machine-Man will be the second humanoid machine that I have built!” He paused, hoping he wouldn’t be prompted to explain the details of his first.

    Thankfully they had gotten back to the subject of Denby. If the lady mechanic was to be believed, every theory that Rotwang had held in regards to the owlbear was wrong. Of course, seeing was believing and now that the curious animal had made its way towards them, it looked as if Rotwang could get a better look at him before making any judgement. “He has decided to join us, hasn’t he?” the inventor exclaimed, standing upright and turning to face Denby, who towered over him. He extended his mechanical hand out to touch the creature’s fur, instantly taking notice of the rock-hard skin beneath it. “Quite sturdy, isn't he? Why, it’s as if his body is made out of steel!”

     
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  8. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
    Gender:
    female
    Occupation:
    Mechanic
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    25
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    "Well, she was definitely a scientist," Amy replied, "she had a lot of experiments lying around before she got sent back." Even though Cagliostro was also dealing with magic, she was doing experiments. Really, Amy didn't think she'd ever understand her old roommate and how she managed to weave the two together, like with Denby.

    From what she could see, he was nothing more than a robot. Cagliostro had only ever explained the mechanical components she'd made so that Amy could repair and upgrade him. From her position, Amy had to guess where the magic came in, and settled on supposing that it was what powered and gave him a personality. Or maybe magic was just woven into everything in a way she didn't understand, helping him do everything without her knowledge.

    She practically flinched as the weird guy started getting indignant. She'd seen enough people start fist-fights over spare change to know that this wouldn't end well. What she really wanted was to call Denby back over, but that probably would've made her look too childish and an easy target.

    Instead, she took a more defensive position, though her voice was still calm as she replied. "I was just thinking out loud. I didn't mean to insult your intelligence or anything." It sounded like an interesting idea, even though Amy had more experience fixing than building.

    Before she could even react, the guy was putting a hand on Denby and obviously noted the difference between his skin and a regular animal's. "Ah, well, you know... he's supposed to be a protector, right? A lot easier when he's... strong like that." Lying wasn't really in her nature, so her stuttered attempts at salvaging the situation probably weren't helping.
     
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  9. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    He scoffed at the correction, still finding it slightly difficult to believe that a woman scientist could be capable of such greatness. Pandora seemed to be full of them too, so that was something he figured he’d need to become adjusted to. The new world he lived in was nothing like Metropolis in that way, after all.

    Despite his little mishap of wrongly assuming her friend’s gender, he still was curious about a couple of things and made no delay in asking about them. “And what sort of experiments would those be? Genetic engineering? Robotics?” His eyes narrowed suspiciously after throwing in that second guess. “Perhaps she had experience in both fields?”

    If the young mechanic was attempting to hide the truth about Denby’s species, she wasn’t doing too well with it as Rotwang was beginning to piece together the information he’d been given. The owlbear certainly appeared to be a cross between two species as it showcased elements of both it had been named for, but skin as tough as a brick was not one of those traits.

    As he continued to stroke the creature, or rather pretended to as he was actually examining its front leg, he took notice of another feature embedded in its rock hard skin. If he wasn’t mistaken, which he rarely ever was when it came to these kinds of things, he’d found a bolt on the animal’s elbow.

    “Your pet,” he began, arching a brow as he turned back to face Amy. “Does he wear a prosthetic, by any chance?” It seemed like a reasonable explanation for the beast’s very solid outer covering, especially as she’d described him as a protector. Perhaps he’d gotten into a fight and needed a limb replacement afterwards.

     
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  10. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
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    female
    Occupation:
    Mechanic
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    25
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
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    Amy couldn't stop herself from taking a deep breath when the stranger guessed Cagliostro had been working with robotics. It wasn't true, but given Denby's existence, it was too close to the truth for her to be comfortable.

    "She was a bit eccentric," she tried to deflect, "always claimed she was working on something different when I asked. Sometimes it was genetic engineering, sometimes it was medicine, sometimes it was robotics. Not sure if she was lying to me or just had a lot of projects going on." It was true that the alchemist's job seemed a little all over the place.

    Denby stayed quiet as the stranger messed around, but he glanced over at Amy, silently begging for the chance to get him off with force. One glare from Amy was enough to lure a huff of annoyance from the owlbear as he let it go without a fight.

    "Yes!" she replied, almost too quickly, "I mean, yeah, a prosthetic. He's gotten into a bunch of fights, so there's a lot of... you know, metal and stuff on him. From getting patched up."
     
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  11. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    "She prefers keeping herself occupied, it seems!” Rotwang said with a nod, completely able to understand the idea of toiling away at many projects simultaneously. As he was an inventor himself, he’d been in that situation plenty of times before. In fact, he was currently working on several inventions at home but he’d set them aside for the moment as he wanted to focus on the most important one. That of course, was the new Machine-Man.

    Despite his intentions, however, he’d become sidetracked by the owlbear, studying it’s supposed prosthetic leg with a certain curiosity. Only once Denby let out a breath of frustration did he take a step back, slightly alarmed by his sudden gesture. “Ach! He is impatient,” Rotwang grumbled as soon as he was over the surprise, beginning to circle the animal shortly after. He stopped in his tracks when he found himself standing in front of Denby’s feathery head and looked him straight in the eye as if to warn him to behave.

    Once he figured he’d gotten the point across and was unsure if staring much longer would be a good idea, he turned to Amy. “Hm, yes. He and I are similar that way.” Rotwang flexed his right arm, allowing her see his own prosthetic hand. “Though is not just the right leg - the vocal chords were damaged in battle, weren’t they?”

     
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  12. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
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    female
    Occupation:
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    Race:
    Human
    Age:
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    Neutral Good
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    Amy had gotten very good at reading Denby's little facial expressions. She could tell that he was relieved once the strange man stopped messing with him, which she couldn't help but chuckle at. Even as a robot, he was very expressive.

    Of course, she had her own thoughts on the weirdo who was bothering her beloved pet, she just wasn't sure if he'd get violent if she tried to stop him. Some guys thought being told no was a declaration of war, and she didn't want to be responsible for another death.

    At least he got the hint and moved back, which let Amy get closer herself and place a calming hand on Denby's back. Unlike the stranger's pets, Denby reacted to this almost like an eager puppy, immediately pushing into the hand for more petting.

    "Oh, what a coincidence," she replied, obviously surprised at the sight. No one she knew would've ever been able to afford prosthetics, no matter how necessary. She was still getting used to things she always considered impossible for her to ever have to be taken for granted in Pandora.
     
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  13. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    While Rotwang understood that the owlbear probably disliked being examined just like any pet might at a vet’s office, he couldn’t help but feel slightly offended by his instant change of tune once the young woman went up to him and gave him a pat. He shot one last glare to the creature, hoping that he would notice and Amy wouldn’t. He hated to think of what Amy would say if she caught sight of him giving her beloved companion a dirty look.

    The sneer on his face vanished as soon as he sensed her gaze fall on him. As anyone else usually would, she had showed interest in his prosthetic. “It is coincidental, yes. This hand is of my own creation, you know! And I was able to attach it in a moment of crisis!” He wriggled his fingers as if to demonstrate that it worked quite well too, though it was somewhat bulky when it came to carrying out certain tasks.

    Rotwang did wish he could carry out a further examination on Amy’s furry-and-feathery friend, but he could see that doing such a thing would be difficult with the animal’s temperament. Besides, he had come to the scrapyard for a reason and that was to begin gathering parts for his new creation. “Denby has proved to be quite the distraction!” he remarked, picking up the burlap pouch he’d brought with him. “It is well into the evening and I’ve yet to sort the pieces which I’ve collected!”

    Rotwang was just about to leave when he peeked into the sack and saw he was short of the last piece of scrap he’d accumulated. “Ach! The motor for the Machine-Man! It has gone missing!” He hadn’t noticed that it fell out onto the ground and laid out right in front of Denby’s nose.

     
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  14. Amy Wellard

    Amy Wellard Shardlight

    Posts:
    323
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    female
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    Amy watched with interest as the strange man flexed his prosthetic. A sudden wave of curiosity overtook her, and she felt the need to examine it further. She wanted nothing more in that moment than to take it apart herself to figure out how it worked.

    Immediately, she shoved that thought aside. It would've been wrong to treat him like he was treating Denby. Everyone had their limits and their boundaries, and Amy knew better than most that crossing them was a bad idea. Still, she couldn't help but feel her hands twitch with the urge to tinker.

    Fortunately, she was jarred from that thought by the man suddenly announcing that he had been to distracted. She could sympathize. The guy looked ready to head back into the junkyard, and she was ready for the conversation to be over.

    "Right, I hope you found what you were looking for," she muttered as she turned back to Denby, only to stop at the sudden cry. She blinked and glanced back over, then glanced back at Denby, who was already opening his mouth to take the motor for himself. Or, in this case, Amy.

    "Hey, put that down," she ordered, stomping up to him as if he was nothing more than a big dog, "that's not ours." If she had known they were going to be meeting someone with similar goals, she wouldn't have told Denby they were just looking for scrap. He was a bit too eager to be useful for her.
     
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  15. C.A. Rotwang

    C.A. Rotwang Metropolis
    Archetypal Mad Scientist

    Posts:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Inventor
    Location:
    Pandopolis
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    52
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link

    Rotwang glanced up from the sack immediately as he’d heard the young woman instruct the owlbear to put something down. That something, it had turned out, was the very same piece of scrap he’d lost! “That is it! The motor!” he exclaimed, scurrying over to the large mechanical animal who had unfortunately taken interest in it. “Oh, let go of that at once!” He shot one last look of disapproval at the creature before quickly tugging the object out of its jaws.

    “Yes, I suppose that I have found it now,” the inventor said with a sigh as he began to give the motor a fairly lengthy inspection. If Denby had done any real damage, it wasn’t visible and would likely need to be tested out. A couple of teeth marks on the surface were unlikely to affect how it operated, or so he thought.

    By the time he had finished studying the motor, the woman looked as if she was anxious to go elsewhere. Rotwang couldn’t exactly blame her as he was starting to feel similarly. He had plenty of mechanical parts to sort out, and there was a chance he’d be needing to collect more in the case that he’d misplaced anything else. Besides, he preferred to work in silence and the girl and her pet were only becoming a distraction for him.

    Figuring that it would be the best way to be rid of the two, Rotwang began to rummage through the sack of junk he’d gathered without adding another word to the conversation. Occasionally, he muttered the names of the parts to himself as if he was trying to form a list of what he'd found in his head.

    Eventually, his actions came to an abrupt halt as he'd realized that he'd forgotten to collect another specific piece of machinery. This was his opportunity to leave, and he made sure to take it. Turning on his heel, he headed off towards a distant pile of scrap so he could search for what he was missing.

    It was doubtful that either one of his acquaintances would have enough of a desire to follow.

     
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