The Heart of the Beast

Lucas —

Welcome to the Orrery! Oba’s inner sanctum … her secret workshop deep in the mountains, surrounded by ancient machines only she understands (or at least, that’s what she would say).

When I was a kid, my dad would spend his weekends in the garage, slowly restoring an ancient truck that he had been working on since — well, since before I was born, for all I know. I’m almost 40 now, and he’s still working on it. 

The garage was his sanctuary, and the truck was an all-consuming hobby. For me though, the garage was no-man’s land. All day, the sounds of muffled cursing wafted out the windows … and god forbid you were ever beckoned into the garage! The prospect of holding a rusting piece of metal in place while my dad swore up a storm was motivation enough to make myself scarce whenever he was in residence.

But! When the garage was vacant, it became my domain. All the tools, all the scrap bits and pieces of wood and metal in the dustbin were mine to do with as I wanted. I once built a helicopter out of old fence wood and a starter motor (it didn’t fly). Sometimes I would even pretend to work on the truck. 

In my mind, this is the conundrum Jea faces. She is simultaneously drawn to the Orrery and horrified by it. It is a place that reeks of frustration, but is also brimming over with history and intrigue. Why does she keep abandoning her responsibilities in the village to seek out her ‘crazy’ grandmother’s company?

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