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Jul 05, 2020 5:09 AM
Circa OUATIS, the Mechanisms pick up some doofus who it is inconveniently difficult to kill. His name is Honey.
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"Ah—no, I don't think so." 

He shifts a little, the movement letting Honey glimpse his exposed chest. It's the same shining brass as Martin's face—and presumably the rest of him—with a strange protruding plate in the centre that doesn't show through his clothes. From this angle, the front of the plate isn't visible. 

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Fair enough. Honey finds himself curious, though, so rather than running off, he probes further. "Alright. Can I ask what you were up to?"

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"Well, I—I was doing some maintenance, and I thought I'd—try something out at the same time."

Martin fiddles with a small screwdriver in one hand; his gloves are off, revealing more gleaming brass and delicate metal joints. He hesitates before continuing.

"Would you mind coming in, and closing the door?" 

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Honey does as instructed, before returning his inquisitive gaze to Martin.

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Martin, in turn, shifts on his chair to face Honey. 

The protruding plate turns out to not quite be in the middle of his chest, but instead a little to the left, over where his heart...apparently still sits, and can be seen pumping away through a clear window.

He sits very still, watching Honey for a reaction. 

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If he's honest, Honey wasn't expecting that, but at the same time, this doesn't really seem to change anything. He had already been figuring that Martin was flesh on the inside somewhere, he just hadn't really bother to think on where. He quirks an eyebrow. "So, what were you trying?"

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"I've had this body—" he taps his chest, making a sound like a bell— "for hundreds of years, but I still don't fully understand how it works. I don't think any of us do, really; I don't know if it bothers me more because I'm younger than most of them, or because more of me was replaced, but the older ones seem...at peace with it, for the most part." 

He runs his fingers lightly over the dials and gears on his chest, not quite touching, until he finds the one he was looking for. "Every so often, I...try something. Turn a dial, flip a switch, and see what happens. And today—" he twists something, presses in, and the rhythmic clanging starts up again. 

Now that Honey's watching, he can see that it's in time with the beat of Martin's heart. 

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The idea that Honey is maybe butting into something rather personal finally catches up to him, and he visibly retreats into himself a bit. He's still curious, though, and also he gets the feeling that just splitting immediately would be worse somehow, so he follows up. "What did that...do?"

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"I'm not sure." Martin picks up the screwdriver again, turns it over in his hand.

"I'd like to open up my chest, so I can see what's going on behind the plating, but I can't see what I'm doing very well at that angle, and I've...always been wary of doing it on my own, in case I take apart something that isn't meant to come apart." 

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Target acquired. "Could I help with that?"

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"Only if you're sure you're up to it. Opening up someone's chest can be a little disturbing, and I imagine that's still true even if the person in question is mostly made of metal." 

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This is not the first time Honey has seen someone's chest be opened up. It's not even the hundredth. "I'll be fine. Can you tell me what to do?" He approaches Martin cautiously.

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"Of course."

Martin talks Honey through it, and together they open up the panels that form the front of Martin's torso to reveal the cogs and gears and pistons beneath. It doesn't look very much like a human chest, other than the heart which...seems to be pumping something through the copper tubing that's wound around everywhere. It's anyone's guess whether it's actually blood. 

They end up propping the main chest plate on a chair, shiny side facing out, so Martin can use it as a mirror. Through it all, the steady beat continues, although it's sped up a little since they started. 

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Honey is a steady and consistent pair of hands. More so than when he was glassblowing. There's less room for doubt when he's got guidance.

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A steady and consistent pair of hands is a good thing to have, especially when they accidentally uncouple something that shouldn't have been uncoupled and Martin stops being able to move his right arm.

"Well. That wasn't meant to happen. Could you just reconnect that—"

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Honey does so with a smooth, quick motion.

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"Thank you." Martin flashes him a quick smile. "It's much easier having a second pair of hands for this." 

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That's good! Honey cracks another smile. He could get used to smiling more. "I'm happy to help."

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"Glad to hear it." 

With Honey helping, they manage to find what's producing the noise and figure out how it's all connected up. The beat does turn out to be keyed to the pump of Martin's heart, and there seems to be a sort of metronome he can use to change the speed, making his heart beat faster or slower. The rhythm changes to match. 

"I...have no idea why this is here." 

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"Do you know...who put it there?" Honey asks, hoping it may help lead to answer but not really if this is even the right thing to ask?

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"—yes? I thought Kolya...nevermind. Apparently not." Martin shakes his head. 

"All of our mechanisms were made by a scientist called Doctor Celestine. ...I would suggest not mentioning that name around the others, especially Kit." 

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Honey nods, careful to not let the motion cause him to deviate. With a similar uncertain tone, he asks Martin another question. "Can you imagine why Doctor Celestine would put it there?"

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"Of that, I am less certain. I suspect they thought it would be ironic somehow." 

Now that they've found the source of the noise, Martin turns it off and they start putting everything back in place. 

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Honey follows along with equal precision as before. A part of him wonders what this Doctor Celestine was like, but it is a small part. After Martin's all put back together, Honey asks a different question. "I ran into a guy earlier, while I was getting something to eat. Jumpy, shot me and ran without so much as a hello. Is he's familiar to you, or have you got a stowaway?"

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"Hmm? Oh, that could have been Mac. Dark hair, metal arm, looked like he hadn't slept or bathed in the last year?" 

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