Tepic had been wandering the street late in the night, searching out where the Halloween treats were hidden, knowing it was always a good idea to be ahead of the game, when the green lad Scald approached from one end of the street and a large clockwork rat from the other. Scald was always interesting to chat with, and Tepic was curious about the clockwork, as he had seen it around a few places but never really knew anything about it. He greeted Scald and the clockwork, and was surprised to receive a response from the mechanical marvel, which said
“Hello Mission objective Tepic”
Well, that was different, thought Tepic, it talks proper, though a bit strange, an it thinks i’m a Mission objective! After a bit of chat, it became clear that the clockwork, belonging to Miss Avareil, had been charged with looking after the people mentioned in the Writer’s Book, and had been given a voice to help it along. It was odd, as it seemed to like being able to talk but didn’t like being given the voice without being asked first… Tepic could see what the clockwork, who could now tell them it’s name was Unit 3, meant – sometimes the non-clockwork people in New Babbage tended to treat the clockworks not quite as people. To a small fox boy this was a bit strange, as he tended to chat with anything that moved, and some things that didn’t, as people….
Still, he reasured Unit 3 that even though the Book suggested he was in danger, he had taken precautions and was quite sure he would be alright. The three of them chatted about the goings on in New Babbage, what the Writer was writing, who it was they were not to believe, and whether the strange machines were eggs that would hatch the crab creatures!
Unit 3 didn’t think the idea of sealing the machines in iron boxes was a good one, something about pressure and volcanoes, but then Tepic pondered if anyone had put one of the Reality Enforcers near to one of the machines. Scald seemed to think this was an excellent idea, and at the suggestion of Unit 3, they all agreed to pass the idea on to the grown-ups. Tepic was a little disappointed, as he would have liked to try it out himself, but he didn’t know where he could get one of them anyhow.
It was time to check the vole traps, so he cheerfully waved goodbye to his friends, and dashed off. It was not til some time later that he had a rather disturbing thought…. Maybe putting the Reality Enforcer by the machines would cause the disaster, and it was HIM they should not listen to! Of course, the message had been for Mr Tenk, so as long as he didn’t hear of the plan then all was fine…. Perhaps, just maybe, it would be better to get everyone NOT to tell Mr Tenk anything, then he couldn’t believe the wrong thing? Hmmmmmm…..