A Spark in the Manufactory by MollyFootman ()
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"Yeh mean to say this personage 'tis a human?" Sonja Steelsinger queried her diminutive clank companion as she descended to meet the little party entering the manufactory.
"Fer certain, Miss!" the little clank replied. "'Twill be fine though. I knows teh big bloke and he's reliable." The little clank waved to the Guardian who returned it's cheery wave.
At a far enough remove that this conversation went unheard Lilja Darkstar turned to Fat Bob. "I thought there were no humans employed by Darkstar Engineering, Bob? That appears to be a human being on the ladder by the big clank."
"Ehm. Ehm. Well, yer ladyship, Sonja ain't employed by yer enterprise." Fat Bob hesitated and added. "An' she's not strickly 'uman, as such."
"That puzzles more than clarifies, Bob. Let's start with her presence here if she's not my employee." Lilja frowned.
"Ehm. Well. Ehm. 'Tis us clanks what employs 'er. Teh Weasel (of ooze acquaintance you 'ad teh unfortunate experience at teh Aereo 'arbor) arranges odd jobs fer us outside o' Darkstar ter raise a bit o' capital teh pay her. I think she beds down 'ere at teh manufactory."
Lilja nodded tersely. "Alright. She's your employee apparently; in essence a subcontractor of Darkstar. That will likely change. Now, tell me about 'not strictly human', Bob."
"She's a spark, yer ladyship," Fat Bob replied. "Yer Uncle 'twas as well. Us clanks needs a spark to keep us runnin' and able to chat and such."
"I see," Lilja replied. She looked at the young woman with renewed interest. "She's surprisingly common looking."
Molly's art notes: Set up and rendered in Poser 12.0.500 with the Superfly Cycles 2 rendering engine. Some buildings and other surroundings are by 1971s as is the little clank. The main setting is inside the Clockwork Factory by Meshbox. Sonja Steelsinger, is based on La Femme modified with morphs and textures by Afrodite-Ohki who also made her hair. Lilja Darkstar is also based on La Femme with morphs and textures by Tempesta3d; her hair is by Afrodite-Ohki and outfit is Dark Aurora by Ravenhair. The Guardian is by Jonnte and Fat Bob by Simon3d. The two partially dissasembled clanks and the big one are by Cybertenko.
It's easiest to follow the story (if you like) at DeviantArt. It begins here: https://www.deviantart.com/mollyfootman/art/Lilja-Darkstar-ponders-875997592
I loves me some Steampunk!