the_spine: (Dramatic lighting)
Continued from here...

The trip across the ocean had been, for The Spine, a slightly nerve-wracking one. Not that he technically had nerves to wrack, whatever that meant. While his new friends had been kind enough to help him work up a fleshy disguise, but the fear of somebody revealing him as a robot and then causing panic over it was an old one. The Walter robots had learned from a very early age that people who accepted them for themselves were few and far between, and they needed to approach the world with some caution. None of them had taken that lesson as deeply as The Spine had, perhaps because he was the only one of them who harbored a quiet desire to be human.

On the other hand, if he hadn't had practice disguising himself in secret so many times, he never would have been able to pull it off now.

After the boat came the train, and he'd almost forgotten how very far away from Europe California was, back before airplanes were the standard method of travel. The last time he'd come home from overseas was decades ago, now, and he'd been in pieces that time... But these weren't good memories to linger on. Every time his new friends found him quietly brooding somewhere, they pulled him into songs and stories, and he found himself glad for both the company of Francœur and his guitar. By the time they did reach California, he'd told his new friends about how Colonel P.A.Walter had built the robots for a woman he loved, only to have her die of illness before they could perform for her. He'd told them about the rivalry between the Colonel and Mr. Becile, and the 3 day war against Becile's creations -with the gory details very much glossed over. He'd told them about the other automatons; The Jon, Hatchworth, and his oldest and craziest sibling, Rabbit. There were others of course, but those three were the ones he was closest to, the ones who formed Colonel Walter's Steam Man Band.

After the train, they'd have to all cram into a cab, but when it finally brought them to the tall metal gates of the Walter Manor, there wasn't much further to go. The Spine was out of stories, full of worry of what his family would think of him now, and filled with a confused homesickness like he'd never felt before. While Raoul and the driver got the bags, the big robot leaned slightly against Francœur, and stared at the already slightly run-down mansion, and had no words left at all.
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The Spine

February 2015

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