Punks

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III

“You went to the clock tower… for a paperweight?” Crowe asked, looking at the item in the box.

I rolled my eyes and took the sphere from the box and examined it carefully, prodding it with the screwdriver I was holding. “Sheesh, assuming it’s a paperweight already?” It felt a bit cold and heavy on my hand, same as holding a chilled citrus fruit. As I continue poking the sphere with my screwdriver. As I continue with jabbing the artefact, I felt something hit the back of my head, making my forehead hit the sphere itself. “What the hell Crowe?!” I held the back of my head, glaring at my confidant.

Crowe has her brow raised and took the screwdriver from my hand and loosely pointed it at me. “Remember what I told you about unknown artefacts?”

I pouted and too the screwdriver from her hand. “Not to poke on the unknown. Sheesh, it’s not like I’m new to this, darling bird.” I placed the sphere back inside the box and closed it, shoving it in my bag. “Anyway, since you’re here and I’m here, let’s go and have dinner? I want some pork chops tonight and of course a cup of coffee,” I said with a wide grin, taking my bag and placing my arm around Crowe’s shoulder.

My confidant snuggled closer, carrying my coat, as we made our way out of the workshop.

---

Dinner with Crowe was the same. Awkward and amusing. People still gawk at how Crowe hangs around with me, the labeled ‘wanderer’ in the city. The reason it was amusing was how we merely went along our day and dinner without giving such people a second glance. They won’t dare touch Crowe or me, knowing what the outcome would be.

Who would even harm Crowe? That woman practically controls the city with her factory, mechanics, and machines. Any unjust harm done to her or her employees, they would find themselves at the mercy of a broken machinery or lack of engineering support.

I chuckled at how everyone feared and respected Crowe. And being Crowe’s so-called protégé, her protection extends to me as well. They wouldn’t touch the one they deemed as ‘wanderer’ without feeling the blunt anger of my darling bird.

Back at my own apartment, I sat on my small dimly-lit workspace and carefully checking the sphere I pilfered—err—retrieved from the ruins of the clock tower. I found no buttons or even holes on the said item. It was just a smooth sphere and no matter how many times I poked it, nothing happened to it.

I’m beginning to believe that it was indeed a paperweight.

A sigh escaped my lips as I rolled the piece of metal on my worktable before placing it on the side and picked up a random device with wires spewing out of it. I picked up some of my tools and started tinkering with the said device.

As I continue soldering and fixing the wires of the small device, my eyes kept on glancing on the copper sphere. As much as I settled myself in thinking it was a paper weight, I had a tickling feeling at the back of my head that it wasn’t just a hunk of metal. That the said artefact held a secret—to the universe, to life, heck even the mystery of the disappearing left socks.

I placed my tools on the table and picked the sphere once again, looking at it like a shiny apple. There was nothing new to it. It was still the same sphere that I was prodding on and it held nothing that could make me think it was a contraption.

Leaning back on my chair, my black coat and satchel hanging on it, I looked up to my ceiling and played with the sphere by throwing it up and catching it. With my foot on the table and lazily playing catch with the sphere, I mused on the possibilities of what it could be. With being hidden at the top of the clock tower and why no one ever checked it out in the first place.

“No one wanted to leave the city for raiding ruins,” I whispered, remembering what Crowe once told me. It was a reason why being called as a ‘wanderer’ by the people in the city was more of discrimination than admiration.

Shaking my head, I accidentally threw the sphere a bit off the supposed trajectory by a few inches, making it fall behind me and me ending up falling backwards too, back colliding with metal floor. Groaning softly, I rolled a bit away from the chair, lying flat on my stomach, and checking where the sphere was.

As I adjusted my vision, I saw an unknown tube-like device on my floor. Both left and right sides of the said tube was extended by small rods and the upper and lower sides, curved edges, kept the tube still. In the middle of the said tube was a small gear mechanism and the number ‘3’ on the small screen on it.

“What is this?” I mused out loud, reaching out to pick the said item up. But before my hand could even touch it, I heard several low whirling and buzzing sounds for a few seconds then the sound of ‘tick tock’ coming from the device. I tilted my head curiously, watching how the said number on the tube slowly moved upward and a bright light came from the device and followed it was loud explosive-like sound. I closed my eyes from the sheer brightness of the light and I felt like someone just set off a bomb near my ears.

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