Tune-up in Amalgama | World Anvil


Planae played by Orange, Halo played by Roj
The shaking seemed to have stopped, completely. It had been days of aftershocks, though fortunately Platae's little hole was sound enough to be unaffected. Even more fortunately, its hive wasn't moved too much closer to the cities-- though he could feel the call of the lands beyond, which (besides being less populated) seemed full of new, alien creatures. He would have to go out there, soon, but there were preparations to make.   At the moment, he was digging through one of the ancient drone husks that littered the forest, looking for regular spare parts for the journey. Salvageable wire, even, was worth taking. Maybe there would be some sort of wire-growing plant out there! He chuckled at the thought, still rooting through the machine.   Halo was taking a small simple stroll, listening to the stillness. The whole planet felt uneasy, but not as “rickety” as it had been prior to this day and others before it. In contrast to how it was, this definitely wasn’t bad.   What were they doing out anyways? Meh, just scoping out some things. There was bound to be some dangerous stuff around, but that didn’t really scare Halo all that much.   The robot whirred as they ticked and chirped, an occasional “woo” coming out of their mouth to add to that.   “Ow,” they mumbled, their voice having a metallic sound behind it as they complained in swift words to themself. It still had a nice gentle tone, though.   A gentle breeze caught in their dress, and they hummed as they swung their basket around. How easy it was to make them feel content nowadays.   “The birds definitely seem happier,” Halo commented, noticing the silence was now filled with many small songs of robins and probably some other things. Some would dive down to catch the butterflies daintily fluttering about and others would just sit on their thin branches thick with leaves and stare.   Not only the fauna was content, but the flora was at home as well. Looked like some nearby flowers were swaying in a dance. It was kind of hard to believe how lively this place was seeing as how the planet was giving out shocks.   Platae had little regard for the wildlife-- he wasn't a cruel troll (by Alternian standards, at least,) but frankly valued his own life over most creatures'. He was paying no mind to the newly-returned birds, nor the various bugs flitting around, though in a different moment he'd be enthralled by the strange alien creatures, almost like lusus naturae, but not quite.   Right then, all he needed was some parts. His pack was set down beside him, as he leaned further and further into the drone-- eventually falling right into its nearly-hollow shell, with a hollow clang and a curse. It took him a good minute to get resituated, too, being all arms and legs and wiry bits (and it would do no good to get those caught on anything, yanking them out was both painful and inconvenient.)   Halo flinched at a loud thunk, twitching and making noise as they held their straw hat to their head so it wouldn’t fly off as they went to scout out what that was.   They rose a brow, their yellow eyes scanning the area and then contorting in a confused face. What the-   Halo went over to a person draped in what looked to be..hideously orange clothing. But, hey! To each their own.   They walked right over, blinking for a solid few seconds before beginning to laugh at the being sprawled in the drone’s shell.   “Oh my go- are you okay?” They asked between giggles, “you look kind of stuck.”   They tightened the grip on the straw handle of their basket, feeling a bit of anxiety despite their little fit.   “Do you need help, hm?”   Platae didn't get a good look at the robot, at first, still more worried about keeping his left arm specifically from getting caught on anything. Once he was untangled enough to sit up comfortably, he actually processed the other's voice. Immediately, he pressed against the back of the drone, drawing what appeared to be a tricked out taser from his belt pouch.   "ῳɧơ ąཞɛ ყ--" He noticed that this was a robot. A robot? Some new tool of the Empress, had she grown past the drones? Was she looking to start replacing people? No matter the explanation, he was certainly wary. And now he was cornered in a drone's husk, in the middle of nowhere, oh no. Sestle would never know. Sestle could already be dead, if Platae was being tracked. Why had he ever thought taking in a pupil was a good idea? He was about to die, and--   Well, the robot seemed... unarmed. Strange. And they didn't seem particularly hostile, either.   Halo frowned, tilting their head. “Hey now, bud. There’s really no need for that,” they raised their palms. “See? I’m not going to attack you or anything of the sort.” They tried to keep their voice calm and soft, not desiring to be tased.   They began to nervously chirp, once again saying “woo” and gently hitting their leg with their wrist. “Ohp- sorry abou- woo- that.”   They sighed, beginning to get frustrated. Had they caught this person or whatever off guard? That’s a likely explanation.   Platae absolutely did not lower his weapon, nor did he budge from his spot against the back of the dead drone's shell. Was she just resorting to trickery now? He knew well enough that the Empress was cruel and conniving in her own ways, but this was just a step too far.   "℘ཞơ۷ɛ ıɬ, ცơɬ," was all he was able to muster, practically shaking under his weird shawl cape thing. He'd made it himself, a few sweeps back, when he was overtaken by a sudden interest in sewing. Not that the handiwork was bad, per se, but any experiences seamster would be able to tell it was a handmade job.   ”I have a name,” Halo snapped, sounding offended. They gripped their basket tighter, “do you just go and point that at random people?” They shook their head, not seeming impressed. “That’s not..really a good way to greet someone,” they narrowed their eyes, making a whirring sound.   “Besides- woo- I’m not going to waste my time attacking some hobo.” They paused, “no offense?” Well, that wasn’t exactly nice of you. Halo adjusted their hat, the item crinkling a bit as they did so. “Sorry, that was rude.” They chirped, lightly hitting their leg again. Not the time to act up- frick. “Crud.”   You know what? Sure. No deadly envoy of her Condescension would spend this much time just, chatting. Platae's curiosity was getting the best of him anyway, so he slowly lowered the taser. He was definitely sticking inside of this drone wreck until the bot moved, though, out of some misguided sense of security. "ɛҳ℘Ɩąıŋ ყơųཞʂɛƖʄ-- ɖơ ყơų ɧą۷ɛ ą ŋąɱɛ?"   The greatest priority right then was information, and keeping Platae's own matters to himself. He'd hate to have to scrap such a specimen-- was it fully sentient? One of those bloodbots he'd heard so much about? That was fascinating, if true... if true. Could just be some expert programming going on.   ”Halo,” they replied. “I came from the city, if you’re wondering that as well. Though, it isn’t much of a city if you ask me.”   “And yours? If you’re comfortable, that is.” Halo could feel themself calming down from their previous irritation, the same small smile forming back on their metal expression. They messed with the necklace around their neck to occupy themself as they waited for a reply, humming softly.   He relaxed, if only slightly, and slipped the taser back into his pouch. "ყơų ƈąŋ ƈąƖƖ ɱɛ ąʑơƖƖą. ąŋɖ ʂơơŋ, ı ῳơŋ'ɬ ცɛ Ɩı۷ıŋɠ ąཞơųŋɖ ɧɛཞɛ." Stepping out of the drone's husk, he stretched out his left hand-- the one with a strange sort of wire arrangement, sinking into his skin as it went up his arm. This was a well-dressed robot, wasn't it? He realized, as well, that this was certainly a human model. Any troll handiwork would have horns, or at least some indication of caste, after all.   ”You’re moving,” Halo concluded.   They frowned, taking a closer look at the shell of this..thing. “What even is this..?”   “It certainly looks a little, uh, big?” Their golden yellow eyes shifted about, the metal hiding the curiosity that they harboured. “I’m not out all that often but I don’t think someone who does get out a lot would see something like this everyday.”   How long until Halo pieces it together?   "ıɬ ıʂ ʄཞơɱ ɱყ ℘Ɩąŋɛɬ. ıɬ'ʂ ɖɛąɖ ŋơῳ, ơʄ ƈơųཞʂɛ, ცųɬ ɬɧơųʂąŋɖʂ-- ɱıƖƖıơŋʂ ơʄ ɬɧɛʂɛ ɖཞơŋɛʂ ῳɛཞɛ ıŋ ƈɧąཞɠɛ ơʄ ℘ąıƖıŋɠ ąŋɖ ƈųƖƖıŋɠ." He spoke almost completely flatly, though a note of contempt crept in anyway. Notes of contempt don't care how much you're trying to speak flatly.   "ąŋɖ ყɛʂ, ı'ƖƖ ცɛ ɱơ۷ıŋɠ. ơųɬ ɬơ ɬɧɛ ῳąʂɬɛʂ ცɛყơŋɖ, ɬɧơųɠɧ ı ɖơųცɬ ɬɧɛ ɛɱ℘ıཞɛ'ʂ ąཞɱ ıʂ ʂơ ʂɧơཞɬ ąʂ ɬơ Ɩɛɬ ɱɛ ʂƖı℘ ɬɧཞơųɠɧ." If only this guy were capable of speaking in anything other than cryptic bitterness, we might actually get somewhere in this conversation.   ”Empire, huh? So you’re one of those guys tryna avoid stuff?” Halo said, though absent of judgement.   They narrowed their eyes, “I’d..like to assume that culling and pailing is no longer a thing? I don’t even know what that is and yet it has..a weird ring to it.”   Unlike Platae, Halo likes to hold a conversation that isn’t all riddling or mysterious or whatever.   Platae would scoff, if he weren't so polite. The recent earthquakes had shaken him up (along with the 4 different planets that now constituted this new one,) and he really needed to get a grip on the situation. Maybe to see Sestle one last time, before departing, he might know more about the state of affairs...   "ı ƈąŋ ąʂʂųཞɛ ყơų ɬɧąɬ, ƙŋơῳıŋɠ ɬɧɛ ɛɱ℘ཞɛʂʂ, ɬɧơʂɛ ῳơŋ'ɬ ცɛ ɛŋɖıŋɠ ąŋყɬıɱɛ ʂơơŋ." Not that he knew much about the event that would come to be known as The Merge, all he knew was that the Condesce was power-hungry, tyrannical, and had millions of sweeps' experience in taking over the universe.   ”Well isn’t that just dandy,” Halo said, looking confused and a little distraught. “Will you be okay? What about other people?”   Silly robot, worrying about other people and, uh, trolls. “God, and people are probably desperate..”   Knowing history, this Empress probably took advantage of the situation to get a nice little handle on things.   “Are y’all under her thumb?”   Platae took a moment to right his hat, which had tilted over a bit during his stint in the drone-- most troll-made hats were made with horn-holes of some kind, but he'd made this one himself. And his horns wouldn't protrude through it, anyway. Might as well spill everything to this robot, they'd probably be dead soon anyway. Platae fully expected almost everyone in the cities to die, humans especially. The Empress could 'start over' in a way, with the Mother Grub's next brooding... if she survived the shaking, anyway. Maybe certain highbloods and favorites would be spared, but he could already envision the rainbow-splattered streets.   "'ųŋɖɛཞ ɧɛཞ ɬɧųɱც' ıʂ ƈɛཞɬąıŋƖყ ą ℘ɧཞąʂɛ, ცųɬ ı ąʂʂųɱɛ ყơų ɖơŋ'ɬ ƙŋơῳ ۷ɛཞყ ɱųƈɧ ąცơųɬ ɬཞơƖƖʂ. ɬყ℘ıƈąƖƖყ, ɬɧɛཞɛ ąཞɛ 11 ɖıʄʄɛཞɛŋɬ ƈąʂɬɛʂ, ɖɛʂıɠŋąɬɛɖ ცყ ცƖơơɖ ƈơƖơཞ. ʄཞơɱ ıཞơŋ ɬơ ʄųƈɧʂıą, ąŋɖ ɱơʂɬ ɬɧıŋɠʂ ıŋ ცɛɬῳɛɛŋ." Of course, Platae had never met a limeblood, and on Alternia they'd been wiped out long before he was born. "ơŋ ɛҳɬཞɛɱɛƖყ ཞąཞɛ ơƈƈąʂıơŋʂ, ơŋɛ ơʄ ųʂ ƈơɱɛʂ ơųɬ ą... ɖıʄʄɛཞɛŋɬ, ƈơƖơཞ, ąŋɖ ɬɧơʂɛ ąཞɛ ʄཞɛզųɛŋɬƖყ ƈųƖƖɛɖ ῳıɬɧ ɛҳɬཞɛɱɛ ℘ཞɛʝųɖıƈɛ. ı ąɱ ơŋɛ ơʄ ɬɧɛɱ. ı Ɩı۷ɛɖ ɖųɛ ɬơ ɱყ Ɩųʂųʂ' ɬɛŋɖɛŋƈყ ɬơ ცųཞཞơῳ, Ɩı۷ıŋɠ ɱąŋყ ơʄ ɱყ ყơųŋɠ ʂῳɛɛ℘ʂ ųŋɖɛཞ ą ɧı۷ɛʂɬɛɱ."   ”So...just because of your blood or whatever you could die?” Oh, how they hated that. Halo really hated seeing people struggle. “That’s..really fricked up.”   “That’s like killing someone just because they’re albino,” Halo analogized, growing even more visibly disgusted. “That certainly is sad.”   “So- this empress is going to keep going with this..”culling” or whatever?” Halo asked. How they already hated her. Their moral compass was figuratively violently shaking because of this.   Halo’s Mother would be churning in her grave.   "ƈơųƖɖ ıʂ ą ცıɬ ơʄ ąŋ ųŋɖɛཞʂɬąɬɛɱɛŋɬ. ıʄ ı ʂɧơῳ ɱყʂɛƖʄ, ı ῳıƖƖ ɖıɛ. ɧɛŋƈɛ ῳɧყ ı'۷ɛ ƈɧơʂɛŋ ɬơ ʂɬཞıƙɛ ơųɬ ʄơཞ ɬɧɛ ῳąʂɬɛʂ." This was just almost funny, meeting someone who didn't understand how Alternia worked. It would be much more funny if it weren't all about people dying. "ąŋɖ ơʄ ƈơųཞʂɛ, ʂɧɛ'ƖƖ ɠơ ąცơųɬ ცųʂıŋɛʂʂ ąʂ ųʂųąƖ."   ”Woo- that’s downright awful,” Halo hissed as they hit their leg again and brought their shoulder to their head. “Ow.”   Just talking about this was making them nervous, “do you- woo- need anything before you go? Woo- I have stuff back at my place. I could bake something.”   They gave a grin before ticcing again. “Just a little “congrats on getting the heck out” gift.” They shuddered, “unless you’d rather just stick with the berries I have in my basket. I don’t really need them that much.”   Platae offered a short smile, showing only slightly-sharp teeth. "ŋơ, ŋơ, ƙɛɛ℘ ყơųཞ ʄơơɖ. ı ɧą۷ɛ ℘Ɩɛŋɬყ ơʄ ℘ཞɛ℘ąཞąɬıơŋ ɖơŋɛ, ı'ɱ ʝųʂɬ ɠơıŋɠ ơ۷ɛཞ ɬɧɛ Ɩąʂɬ ơʄ ɬɧɛʂɛ ɧųʂƙʂ ɬơ ʂɛɛ ıʄ ɬɧɛყ ɧą۷ɛ ąŋყ ųʂɛʄųƖ ℘ąཞɬʂ Ɩɛʄɬ." And he didn't want to get poisoned. Or have the robot blab about him before he's gone. But mostly, he didn't want to get poisoned.   ”Oh, okay! Woo- parts? Are you planning to build something?” Halo was glad that the topic was off of that horrid thing called “culling” or whatever and now it was just some semi-friendly stuff! They preferred that immensely, especially over that.   Platae took a moment to give her a look. If the amount of wires coming out of his skin and practically coating one arm wasn't enough, the eyes should have at least tipped this robot off. "ʄơཞ ცơɬɧ ɱყ ơῳŋ ų℘ƙɛɛ℘, ąŋɖ ɬɧɛ ƈཞɛąɬıơŋ ơʄ ʂɱąƖƖɛཞ ąųɬơŋơɱơųʂ ცơɬʂ. ɬɧɛყ'ཞɛ ųʂɛʄųƖ ʄơཞ ℘ąɬཞơƖʂ, ơŋƈɛ ı ɧą۷ɛ ɬɧɛɱ ʂɛɬ ų℘." Little did Platae know, there was some very fancy moss out there, to greatly relieve the effort of finding power sources.   ”Ohhh, you make robots? My dad- woo- has made a few,” they nodded. “Most of them are for chores because the lazy bum won’t do anything,” they giggled.   They are really bad at noticing hints. Just so you know.   "ơɧ ყɛʂ, ʂɛཞ۷ıƈɛ ცơɬʂ, ŋơ ɖơųცɬ." He nodded, picking up his pack again-- it pays to be careful, after all, and maybe this was some sort of scavenger? Either way, he kept his pack on him. "ცųɬ ყơų'ཞɛ ŋơ ཞɛɠųƖąཞ ცơɬ, ąཞɛ ყơų? ʝųɖɠıŋɠ ცყ ɬɧɛ ɠɛɬų℘, ąɬ Ɩɛąʂɬ, ąŋɖ ɧơῳ ℘ཞơʄıƈıɛŋɬ ყơų ʂɛɛɱ ıŋ ʂ℘ɛɛƈɧ." He didn't have the best of times determining how sentient Halo was, though if they were a bloodbot (as he suspected,) then those humans had technology almost on par with Alternia!   ”No, I was made to be pretty much human! The only real difference is that I don’t have the actual organs and all..of course, no skin either!” Halo poked their metal arm with a few dents and it made a tiny tap sound. “There was a point where I couldn’t feel any emotions, but, I got it fixed almost a year ago now.” They hummed and rocked back and forth on their heels. “My own thoughts, wants, needs- y’know that whole gist.”   “I wouldn’t say I’m the best bot? I mean, I get into a better model whenever I can but this is the thing I got for right now.”   Ohh. Platae was under the impression that the bot was made to trap a soul, as had been rumored, though he'd never seen one in person. And this was human work, after all, he should have expected they'd be less advanced. Oh well, if anything that meant they were even less likely to be some sort of spy. He nodded along, only slightly less interested in Halo's interior mechanics. "ʂơ ყơų'۷ɛ ცɛɛŋ ų℘ɠཞąɖɛɖ ℘ıɛƈɛɱɛąƖ, ɬɧɛŋ? ŋơɬ ųŋƖıƙɛ ɱყʂɛƖʄ, ıŋ ɬɧąɬ ཞɛɠąཞɖ. ɬɧıʂ ıʂ ʂơɱɛɬɧıŋɠ Ɩıƙɛ ɱყ ʂɛ۷ɛŋɬɧ ʂɛɬ ơʄ ɛყɛʂ."   ”Oohhh. I was originally created to replace my baby sister. She, uh, died.” That smile did not leave because who doesn’t love that?   “I’ve had to fix my legs a lot. I damage them whenever I hit them. Granted they can take more now but still.”   Well, wasn't that interesting. "ཞɛ℘Ɩąƈɛ, ყơų ʂąყ? ąŋɖ ყơų ʂąყ ʂıʂɬɛཞ-- ῳɧąɬ ῳơཞɖ ıʂ ɬɧąɬ." After all, trolls didn't have siblings, unless broodmates counted. And they didn't, that was millions of trolls of all different "ąŋɖ ῳɧąɬ ʂơཞɬ ơʄ ɱɛɬąƖʂ ąཞɛ ყơų ɱąɖɛ ơųɬ ơʄ, ɬơ ცɛ ʂơ ɛąʂıƖყ ɖąɱąɠɛɖ? ı ƈąŋ ʂɛɛ ɧơῳ ąཞɱơཞıŋɠ ῳơųƖɖ ცɛ ıŋƈơŋ۷ɛŋıɛŋɬ ąɬ ცɛʂɬ, ყơų'ཞɛ ŋơ ʄıɠɧɬɛཞ... ცųɬ ɧơῳ ƈąŋ ıɬ ცɛ ʂơ ɖıʄʄıƈųƖɬ ɬơ ƙɛɛ℘ ყơųཞ Ɩıɱცʂ ơŋ ʂɬཞąıɠɧɬ?"   ”A sister is someone who shares the same parents as you? Like- the people who take care of you and stuff.” They then flinched at the next question.   “I tic a lot.” Yeah right, sure. Lie. They nervously laughed, “and yeah, I’m definitely not a fighter. Best I could hold is a frying pan.”   The closest approximation he could get to was still broodmates. Or maybe trolls who shared a lusus? That was probably better. I mean, hey, this guy's no expert on human anatomy, he spends half his time trying to grow a single human orange tree near his dugout. It's been 3 days, and at the very least he hasn't killed it yet.   He nodded along regardless, before suddenly taking on an accusatory tone. "ῳɧąɬ ʂơཞɬ ơʄ ῳཞıɠɠƖɛཞ ცųıƖɬ ყơų, ɬơ ɧą۷ɛ ʂųƈɧ ʄąųƖɬʂ? ıɬ'ʂ ŋơɬ Ɩıƙɛ ıɬ'ʂ ɧąཞɖ ɬơ ცųıƖɖ ą ཞơცơɬ ℘ཞơ℘ɛཞƖყ-- ıŋ ʄąƈɬ. ƈơɱɛ ῳıɬɧ ɱɛ." He shouldered his pack better, took Halo's arm, and started walking back through the forest.   ”Wh- where are we going?” Halo sputtered, following behind with a very puzzled expression. They took in the surroundings of the forest, as they had never really gone this far in.   Light occasionally leaked through, making the robot wince as it reflected off their body. “Is their something in here, or-?”   They ticced out of anxiety, beginning to contemplate what was happening in depth. “What if somethings out here?”   “I’m not exactly in the mood to get mauled, let’s just say that.”   "ɖơŋ'ɬ ῳơཞཞყ, ɬɧɛཞɛ ıʂŋ'ɬ ąŋყɬɧıŋɠ ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ. ɛҳƈɛ℘ɬ ʄơཞ ɱɛ, ơʄ ƈơųཞʂɛ, ąŋɖ ɱყ Ɩųʂųʂ." As he near-dragged them along, the forest suddenly opened up into a small clearing. In it was a small, hill-like structure, with a door in one side. Off to the side was a small garden of alien vegetables, and a small orange sapling. "ɱყ ɧı۷ɛ," he said, letting go of their arm. "ƈơɱɛ ıŋ." He opened the door, revealing a dark, damp, though very slightly cozy, interior. One 'wall' was entirely taken up by a large table, with small, inscrutable mechanical pieces, tools, and sheets of paper strewn about. A shelf of books, a nest of blankets in a corner, a large pot with various cooking utensils, was practically everything in his hive.   Halo had to soak it all in, from the bottom to the top. It looked a lot better than their home on most days. At least there weren’t glass bottles and pizza leftovers everywhere, yeah? It certainly didn’t smell like moldy cheese either. This hive was already better.   It was small. Almost kind of cute, in a way. Halo placed their basket of blueberries down, shaking their dress just a bit so any dirt would come off. “It’s..nice,” they hummed, eyes curious and such. “My house is almost..never this clean.” And this place was literally in the side of a HILL. How ironic.   Almost kind of like Hobbits. Though, Halo doesn’t know about Hobbits. That’s just nerdy stuff.   “So..you’re not big in hoarding or collecting? I only really see the essentials.”   "ı ɧą۷ɛ ƖıɬɬƖɛ ཞơơɱ ʄơཞ ƈơƖƖɛƈɬıơŋʂ, ɱơʂɬ ɬɧıŋɠʂ ı ƙɛɛ℘ ıŋ ɬɧıʂ ℘ąƈƙ." He thumped the large bag down, next to the door. "ąŋɖ ɬɧąŋƙ ყơų." He was proud of his hive, in all honesty-- and his lusus was comfortable, too. Speaking of Wormy, it slipped out of Platae's hat (toppling the entire hat over in the process,) and squiggled its way to its favorite little corner. Platae barely acknowledged his lusus, doing nothing but picking up the hat and putting it back on. Were Halo to have taken a look, they'd see a shock of unruly hair, with multiple wires crisscrossing over certain areas, and the somewhat jagged remains of Platae's horns.   "ąŋყῳąყ," Platae said, removing his cape shawl thing and tossing it onto the blanket pile, "ɬąƙɛ ą ʂɛąɬ." He gestured to one of the two stools in front of his worktable.   They shuffled over, tucking the skirt of their gown underneath them comfortably as they sat down on a stool. Halo folded their fingers together, rubbing their cold thumbs in nervousness.   Halo looked at Planae, intrigued yet a bit afraid. “Why exactly did you invite me in here?” Not too long ago you held a taser at me.   The robot recalled the crackling sound the weapon made, suppressing a shudder. “Not that it isn’t quaint, but- I would like an explanation? Can’t say I get dragged off into some place by a random guy all too often.”   As they awaited an answer, they too took off their hat and allowed their curly hair to show. Not really wanting to put it somewhere or get up, Halo just held it in their lap and hummed to themself.   Platae grabbed certain tools from around his table, after reaching for a time-worn, dog-eared book from his shelf. "ąʂ ı ʂąıɖ, ı'ɱ ʝųʂɬ ɠơıŋɠ ɬơ ɬąƙɛ ą զųıƈƙ Ɩơơƙ ıŋ ყơų. ʂơɱɛ ʂơཞɬ ơʄ ʂɧơɖɖყ ƈơŋŋɛƈɬıơŋ ıʂ ɖɛʄıŋıɬɛƖყ ąʄʄɛƈɬıŋɠ ყơųཞ ɱơ۷ɛɱɛŋɬ, ıʂŋ'ɬ ıɬ? ą ɧųɱąŋ, ı ąʂʂųɱɛ. ąƖƖơῳ ɱɛ ɬơ ąʂʂųཞɛ ყơų, ąƖɬɛཞŋıąŋ ɬɛƈɧŋơƖơɠყ ıʂ ʄąཞ ɱơཞɛ ąɖ۷ąŋƈɛɖ."   Oh boy. “Well, yeah...It is, but, is it really that bad?” Halo sighed, rubbed their arm. “I’m just a little worried? I don’t know.”   They mumbled to themself as they bounced their leg, twiddling their thumbs.   "Wouldn’t the different technology frick stuff up?” No, Halo didn’t really know that much about robots despite being one.   Holding a screwdriver, he paused for a moment. "ı ɖơŋ'ɬ ɛҳ℘ɛƈɬ ąŋყ ıŋƈơɱ℘ąɬıცıƖıɬıɛʂ, ųŋƖɛʂʂ ყơųཞ ƈơɱ℘ơŋɛŋɬʂ ąཞɛ ʝųʂɬ ɬɧąɬ ąƖıɛŋ." The bot was wearing clothing, clearly some sort of aesthetic touch. "ı ąɱ ųŋɖɛཞ ɬɧɛ ıɱ℘ཞɛʂʂıơŋ ɬɧąɬ ɬɧɛ ɱơʂɬ ƖıƙɛƖყ ῳąყ ɬơ ıɖɛŋɬıʄყ ყơųཞ ℘ąཞɬıƈųƖąཞ ცųıƖɖ, ıʂ ɬɧཞơųɠɧ ɬɧɛ ცąƈƙ." Referring to an access panel, of course.   ”Mhm,” Halo replied. “My Dad is kind of disorganized, so, the wires may be a bit..amuck?” They chortled, shrugging. “Sorry if that’s the case.”   They bounced a bit in the stool, humming a tune to themself to calm their nerves. “Woo- how good are you?” Halo’s shoulder crunched against their ear, making them wince. “Ow.”   "ı ცųıƖɬ ɱყ ʄıཞʂɬ ʂɛɬ ơʄ ɛყɛʂ, ცƖıŋɖ," was the curt response, as he walked around to Halo's back. For the sake of convenience, let's say the dress had a very open back, facilitating matters. Once he had the panel open, he started poking around. Some of those wires looked almost purposefully tangled, that must be affecting something.   Halo flinched, picking at their dress and pulling at the ties (which were just for show) that were at the front of their strawberry dress.   They would be biting the inside of their cheek if they had flesh to bite at.   Instead, Halo just poked their leg repeatedly in order to distract themself from this. They never really did like being prodded, even when their father did it. The fact that this troll was pretty much a stranger only made it more nerve-wracking.   Platae, with practiced precision and care, gently untangle the mess inside of Halo. He did his best to not yank, or pull any of them out, which fortunately was possible to do. It did seem to mostly be wires, none of the interior seemed rusted out, or otherwise broken. That was good, replacing parts might have proven difficult.   Halo blinked, trying to fight down the anxiety. “So?” They turned their head only slightly so they could peer at Platae. “Did you figure out what was wrong?”   They were visibly nervous now, clearly wanting an answer.   "ʄơཞɬųŋąɬɛƖყ, ყɛʂ. ŋơ ɖıʄʄıƈųƖɬ ɬąʂƙ, ʝųʂɬ ą ʄɛῳ ɬɧıŋɠʂ ɬơ ʂơཞɬ ơųɬ... ŋơɬɧıŋɠ ŋɛɛɖʂ ɬơ ცɛ ཞɛ℘Ɩąƈɛɖ." He was practically already done, still gently moving wires around, reaching onto his table to grab some home-made zipties. "ɬɧɛʂɛ ῳıƖƖ ɧɛƖ℘, ʂơ ყơų ɖơŋ'ɬ ɠɛɬ ʂơ ɬąŋɠƖɛɖ. ɬɧɛ ɬıƈʂ ʂɧơųƖɖ ƈɛąʂɛ." Of course, it could be something else wrong with them, but Platae was betting it was just the shoddiness inside.   Halo rose their eyebrows, almost not believing him. “Thank you,” they thanked, not wanting to be rude. “You really didn’t have to, though. I’m sure I could’ve gone someplace else once I got the money to afford it.”   Halo frowned, “are you sure there’s nothing I can do to return the favour?”   "ყơų ƈąŋ ƙɛɛ℘ զųıɛɬ. ŋơ ơŋɛ ʂɧơųƖɖ ƙŋơῳ ąცơųɬ ɱɛ, ơཞ ɱყ ɧı۷ɛ. ı'ƖƖ ცɛ ɠơŋɛ ʂơơŋ ཞɛɠąཞɖƖɛʂʂ, ცųɬ ɱყ ℘Ɩąŋ ıʂ ŋơɬ ɬơ ცɛ ʂɬơ℘℘ɛɖ ơŋ ɱყ ῳąყ." He closed the panel, screwing it all back in nice and tight, and stood again. "ცɛყơŋɖ ɬɧąɬ, ı ɖơ ŋơɬ ƙŋơῳ ῳɧąɬ ყơų ƈơųƖɖ ɖơ."   ”Of course, of course,” Halo nodded in accordance and then got up from the stool they sat on. They then tried to think, narrowing their eyes. “I can mend clothes? And it could get pretty cold where you’re headed. It wouldn’t take long.”   Halo shrugged, “if you don’t need it I..haven’t noticed. I’m not good at paying attention to details.”   "ɱɛŋɖıŋɠ..." He took a moment to think, before actually removing his hat. "ῳơųƖɖ ყơų ცɛ ąცƖɛ ɬơ ῳıɖɛŋ ɬɧɛ ცཞıɱ? ῳɧıƖɛ ı ƙŋơῳ ɬɧɛ ʂųŋ ıʂ ŋơ Ɩơŋɠɛཞ ąʂ ɖąŋɠɛཞơųʂ ąʂ ıɬ ῳąʂ, ɬɧɛ ɠƖąཞɛ ɖıʂɬųཞცʂ ɱყ ɛყɛʂ." He'd completely forgotten to explain what he meant about the sun being dangerous, or how his robotic eyes could be so affected by sunlight.   ”Oh! Sure,” Halo nodded. “It shouldn’t take me all too long. That is, if you have stuff I could use to do it.” They gave a smile, “I don’t need a fancy toolkit or anything.”   Platae nodded back, reaching across his work table to grab a poorly-sewn bag full of... sewing equipment, and scraps of cloth. "ɱყ ɧąŋɖʂ ąཞɛ ცɛʂɬ ʂųıɬɛɖ ʄơཞ ῳıཞɛʂ, ཞąɬɧɛཞ ɬɧąŋ ʂɬཞıŋɠ. ı ƙŋơῳ ɱყ ơῳŋ ɧąŋɖıῳơཞƙ ƈąŋ Ɩɛą۷ɛ ɱųƈɧ ɬơ ცɛ ɖɛʂıཞɛɖ." He was being modest, mostly, his sewing wasn't that bad. It wasn't that good, either, but that was beside the point. The needle point. I'm on a roll.   ”Hey now, I’m sure it’s not that bad,” Halo hummed, taking the bag and scraps carefully and placing the stuff in their lap. They wondered why they had gotten up from the stool anyways, if they were just going to plop right back down. They bounced their leg as they got the threads and needle, beginning to sew. “So, the sun. It’s harmful, I guess? You said how it disturbed your eyes,” Halo asked as they concentrated on the hat.   “I suppose it is bright. And you can get a nasty sunburn if you stay out too long,” they commented. “My brother learned that the hard way,” and with a laugh they went silent, waiting for Platae to continue the conversation if he’d like.


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