now what boy? We might be able to fix this, or at least plug up this leak. Then if we can activate it, well, who knows what knowledge it might have, what it might be able to tell us about its creators and how it was made? See this detail on the casing? Incredible? The craftsmanship…” the old man trailed off, gazing at the robot head as if it was a precious jewel.
Edward’s eyes widened slightly. “Do you think we can get it working?”
Cratchett looked at the youth and grinned. “Well there’s only one way to find out. Let’s get back to the workshop and see what we can do, eh?”
The pair made their way carefully back down the precarious mountain of rusting machinery and spare parts, and started walking back to the junk yard gates. When they were halfway there Edward heard the skittering of claws on the hard packed dirt, and paused.
“What is it boy?” asked the old man. “Is it one of the dogs? Don’t worry, we’re old friends. Victor, is that you?” he called out.
There was more skittering, and a large black rottweiler appeared, eyes gleaming in the afternoon light. It stopped when it saw the boy and the old man, who smiled and called out to it again. “Victor! Come here! Heel!”
The dog ran over, muscular legs pumping and jowls rippling over its powerful jaws. It skidded to a stop before Cratchett, then jumped up at him and pawed at his thighs and belly as he fussed over the animal and tickled behind its ears.
“Hey boy, hey!” cooed the old man as the dog snuffled and lapped at him before dropping to the ground and sniffing more cautiously at Edward. “Where’s Ben? Eh?” The dog paused, tensing slightly, staring at Cratchett intensely. “Where’s Ben?” he asked once more, and the dog turned and ran ahead, then turned and looked back at them. Cratchett followed at a more leisurely gait.
“Come on Edward, let’s see how much Ben wants for this thing, and then lets get it back to the workshop!”