The night was cool against David's skin. He stopped at the doorway to let the breeze flow over him, cooling him. Calming him. It was a sweet sensation, something he could have never experienced in his former life. He hadn't even been aware how hot it was inside until he'd rushed through the lobby, past the curious gazes of the family on the sofa, and into the open air. But after taking a few deep breaths, to slow his beating heart, he understood something: it had not been hot inside. It was he who was hot. It was the flame in his chest, burning brightly now, fueled by the sight of Her. And the sight of his enemies.
Time to go.
He dashed down the stairs and into the alley where he had stashed Teddy in a trash receptacle. The toy bear would surely be upset with him, but he would get over it. If having to hide in a trashcan was the worst thing this Teddy had to put up with… then he'd have a much easier life than the original.
"Teddy! I'm back," David said popping the lid on the improvised hiding spot.
But Teddy wasn't there.
For one horrible moment, David thought that the cleaners had come to empty the trash, and taken his friend. But then he saw the loose piles of discarded junk in the opposite corner of the container. Teddy must have done that, he realized, trying to keep the offensive material away.
David reached down and sifted through the scraps, hoping that maybe the bear was hiding in it. But there was only paper scraps, empty drink bottles and gift boxes.
"Not good," he moaned. On reflection, it wasn't the greatest hiding place, but what else could he have done? Anyway, there was no time for self-recrimination. If the garbage people had not taken Teddy, then someone else had. He had to find out whom, and to where. It was late and he had a long way to go. He still had no idea how to make the journey across the water to The End Of The World.
And the longer he stayed in Rouge City, the more he risked being found by Olmier's people.
A sound came from across the cul de sac. Laughter. David turned to see some of the teenagers still sitting outside the eatery, joking and teasing one another. Their table was piled with empty food wrappers, scraps of half-eaten meals and plastic cups.
Had they seen him hide Teddy? Had they come and taken him while he was gone? He made his way to find out what they knew.
"Looks like someone's up past his bed time."
The boy who spoke was leaning against one of the plastic tables, looking at David with an air of casual amusement. Another boy stood beside him, sipping loudly on a transparent cup that seemed to only have ice left in it.
"Yeah, kid. Ain't you a little little to be out here?" the other boy said. They both laughed at this, a bit too hard, in David's opinion. It wasn't that funny.
They looked to be about Martin's age, 16 or 17 years as far as David could tell. They sported closely cropped hair, telephonic plugs in one ear and, like the rest of the teenagers gathered around, they were dressed in colorful, expensive looking clothing. David ignored the tease and glanced at the girls sitting at the table. They had long multi-colored hairdos, and were typing messages into their pocket phones, or engaged in conversations with other kids on the little screens.
"So, kid," the first boy said, "you lost or what?"
"Yeah," said the other, snickering, "Think mommy's gonna be little mad if she finds you hanging around the fun zones?"
David decided not to beat around the bush. There wasn't time.
"Have you seen my Teddy?" he said, knowing the likely reaction. As he expected, the boys glanced at each other and began to snicker.
"Have you seen his teddy bear, dude?" said the first. They both laughed too hard again.
One of the girls looked up at David and smiled. "Hey cutie pie!" she said. "What're are you doin out here all alone." But her concern was short lived for she went right back to the conversation she'd been having with someone on the screen of her phone.
"I left a Supertoy toy in that container," David said seriously, pointing towards the alley behind him. "Did any of you see it get out? Or maybe see someone take it?"
A bored looking girl with bright blues streaks in her long hair, noticed the conversation and chimed in. "Oh yeah, the teddy bear. I think Styles took it," she said, pointing at the first boy without looking up from her phone. "He's got this thing for cute little toys. Probably because nothing living will touch him."
The boy named Styles raised his hand at the girl and flashed a gesture that David had become familiar with in his time with the gang.
"This one's for you, Claire," he said.
"No thanks," the girl replied, still not looking up. "Don't know where it's been."
"Did you take it, Styles" David said. Something in his flat tone must have struck the teenager wrong. He stopped laughing, crossed his arms, and fixed David with a challenging look.
"Well, maybe I did, brat," Styles replied. "Maybe I took it and … oh, I don't know, threw it into the river or something?"
The other boy laughed.
"Why would you do something like that?" he asked, sizing the boy up. His time with Sy's crew had taught him how to read people, how too see through their façades.
Styles shrugged, an arrogant smirk on his face.
"Well, because, maybe I figured any kid who thinks he's old enough to wander around Rouge in the middle of the night, talking crap to complete strangers, is probably too old to be playing with little…"
He never had a chance to finish his reply.
The ensuing series of events surprised David as much as any of the kids who witnessed them. Everything seemed to pass in slow motion. It was as if someone else had taken over his body and he was only a passenger along for the crazy ride.
He felt himself jump forward, saw Styles' arrogant expression change to shock, saw the boy uncross his arms to try and grab his small assailant, and then saw his mouth form into an oval cry of pain as David stomped down hard on his instep.
He had learned a lot from the wild boys. Now he had a chance to put it to use.
The other boy reached out for David as Styles buckled over, reacting to the pain searing up his leg. But David side-stepped his grasp and took hold of Styles' hand, twisting his forearm so it was locked around Styles', then prying the larger boy's thumb back, locking it in a hold that drove the him to his knees.
Time reasserted itself. The girls at the table had forgotten their phone calls, their eyes bulging in disbelief over their gaping mouths. None of them looked bored anymore. The one called Claire guffawed and raised her phone to record what was happening.
"Back off, or I break it!" David yelled as the other boy tried to pull him off. The boy started to swing a fist, but David twisted Styles' hand the way Wizzy had shown him.
Styles screamed out.
"I'll break it!" David yelled again. The other boy finally stepped away, his face twisted and uncertain. He'd been convinced.
David had Styles trapped in a thumb lock, on his knees, pressed against the table. The older boy swore and tried to shift his weight, but David twisted his hand painfully, and he eventually gave up.
Wizzy called the move 'the great equalizer'. "When your opponent has the advantage of size, Pork Chop," she had explained, "you have to go for his vulnerabilities." Then she had demonstrated the move on David's own thumb. He'd never forget the pain. Styles probably wouldn't either.
Now all the girls at the table had noticed the confrontation.
"On no he didn't!" laughed one. "Are you seeing this?" said another, holding up her phone. A faint "O-M-G!" came from it.
"Do I have your attention now?" David said into the boy's ear. Styles nodded his head, hissing though clenched teeth.
"Oh, this is soooo cute," laughed Claire. "Smile!" She said and all the girls' phones began flashing as they captured the special moment for posterity.
David smiled for a couple shots and then turned his attention back to Styles.
"Now, let's try this again," he said, in calm voice. "Where is my Teddy?"
David repeated the word aloud as he ran past the closed storefronts of the 'family friendly' part of the city, headed for to the waterfront. He was following the directions Styles had given him to find Teddy. The boy had had finally admitted seeing a dark clad figure in the alley, while David had been with Dr Know. He said the person had been rummaging though the garbage.
"They'll be headed for the docks," the boy had said, his voice twisted in pain and humiliation. "Probably scrappers."
David didn't know what a 'scrapper' was and didn't want to hang around to ask.
He'd released the older boy's hand and backed away quickly, expecting to be pursued by the boy and his friend. But Styles had obviously had enough, and whatever his friend saw in David's eyes convinced him that he was not someone to tangle with. Styles had not even looked up when David let go. He'd cupped his swollen hand against his chest and sat heavily on the table, swearing under his breath.
The girls had laughed, and waved as David dashed off to find Teddy.
"See ya round, cutie!" the one named Claire had called.
David had stopped a few passersby, asking if they had seen anyone carrying a toy bear. But all he got in return was laughter and a few pinches on his cheeks.
Then he saw a barricaded door that Styles had mentioned. He made his way though the broken fence that led to the passageways Styles said the scrappers used to get down to the old docks. Once through he found himself descending a long flight of stairs that led into an older, darker part of Rouge City.
Like the hall he and Wizzy had used, the lights were dim, too dim; and the steps were wet and slick. The paint on the cement wall had flaked, and the whole place stank of fish and salt water. Little piles of trash had accumulated on the steps sp he had to be careful to not slip.
Then a thought slowed David's descent. What if the boy had lied to him? What if Styles had sent him on some fool's quest? Or what if this place was dangerous… some kind of trap? He had no idea who could be lurking down there? Or what!
David stopped and caught his breath. Cleared his mind. He slowly cast off the rage that had driven him into attack mode. Time to think this through. He knew he had to get out of Rouge before Olmier found out he was missing and started searching for him. He had no idea where Teddy was; he could be here all night looking for the Supertoy.
It was time to ask the tough question.
Did he really need Teddy?
Just the thought seemed like betrayal…because, he admitted to himself, it was. But looking into the rank darkness below, an immediate answer came. It wasn't the one he liked, but it was the most practical.
He could carry on without the toy. He knew Mommy's name. Knew where he had to go to find her. He had his own true identity now.
And there were other considerations.
If these scrappers were the kind of people David assumed, then they wouldn't be as easy to take as a poser like Styles. They would have lived the hard life, like he had with the gang, and would be made of sterner stuff. They'd never fall for a simple trick like a thumb lock. So even if he did find them, how would he get Teddy back?
And there was surely no way he could report it to the police.
Feeling shame and defeat wash over him, David turned and started slowly up the stairs. He would find a tram to the shore and then work his way to The End Of The World. It was the safest course of action.
"Sorry Teddy," he whispered, as he ascended, hoping that maybe Styles was wrong, or had been lying, after all. Maybe Teddy was somewhere above. Maybe he looking for David.
Something clanged near the top of the staircase. David looked up to see the doorway open and saw four figures silhouetted in the faint glow of the bulb.
"That's him!" someone shouted. Then they began to descend.
David knew that voice. Styles you devious jerk, he thought.
Change of plan! David turned and started down the slick stairs, moving as fast as his feet would take him.
His experience with Sy's crew was coming in handy again. Wandering the trails of the forest, practicing the scams til all hours of the night, having to stay on his feet for hours, occasionally having to flee when things went wrong; all of it had fine tuned David's mind. Not only was he outrunning his pursuers, but he also noticed a change in the staircase that they missed. He didn't see it as much as hear it.
The ceiling lamp had been broken, and only the only was from behind, making it hard for depth perception. So the place where the stairs leveled out appeared to be farther than it really was. But David noticed the echoes of his footfalls growing quicker and adjusted his footing just in time to keep from running into the wall ahead.
The stairwell went off to the right at that point and David could hear water rushing far below. Was that safety… or a trap? He had no way of knowing, and really had no choice. So he continued, hearing angry calls coming down the stairs behind him.
He was another two flights down, when he heard someone yell in pain. He looked back to see the dark figures thrashing about wildly. They had misjudged their footing and run straight into the wall! The thrill of the chase was rushing through his veins now, and he wanted to stop and taunt them. But he had no idea what lay below. Better to get down there fast, and find a path of escape.
They quickly resumed the chase and David could tell, by the sound of their calls, that they were really pissed now. He began jumping down two and three steps at a time. It was a dangerous strategy in the dark, but it was a dangerous situation.
The wall gave way to a large opened passageway that lay another flight down. Soon David could feel the fresh ocean breeze on his face, and see the white tips of waves frothing beyond the dock. But in his excitement he misjudged the last jump. The ground was closer than he'd thought.
A white-hot feeling flashed in his ankle and tore up his shin. He fell to his knees, grasping at his wounded leg. He had to bite down hard to keep from crying out. He could he the voices behind getting closer. Frantically he crawled ahead, seeking someplace to hide.
There were no lamps here, only the faint illumination from a thin crescent moon. Ahead David could barely make out indistinct shapes: boxes, or crates of some kind. Beyond them lay the swirling waters of the Delaware. He struggled ahead.
The darkness was suddenly broken by a bright beam of bright light, aimed directly into David's eyes.
"Well, look what the heck I found!" said a gruff, aged voice in a strange, halting accent.
Styles arrived moments later, sweaty and out of breath, He had three other boys trailing him. They weren't that big, but there were enough of them to handle a smaller boy…. or more likely to hold him down as Styles took his revenge.
Cowards were pretty predictable.
"I know you're out here you little turd!" Styles yelled, rubbing his hand, scanning the dock frantically. "When I find you, you're gonna be sorry. Real freekin sorry that you ever messed with-"
Then he saw David, standing in a gray shadow near a tower of empty crates. He stepped towards the boy, his chest puffed up triumphantly.
"Well, hello there punk. Let's see you try that little trick on me now!"
But Styles was caught off guard by the sight of David. He stopped, a confused expression on his face. David said nothing, only stared blankly back at him.
"You lost?" said a gruff voice.
Styles turned to see a dark shape emerge from behind another crate. The man snapped on a flashlight and pointed the beam into Style's eyes.
"Get that out of my face, man!" Styles said. The other boys backed away. None of them could see how big this guy was, and they had not bargained for a fair fight.
The man complied, turning the beam of light towards the ground. "What you boys doing down here?" he said.
Now they could see that he wasn't that big. He was dressed in a faded and threadbare plaid jacket, worn jeans and thick black rubbers. They got their confidence back.
"We're looking for a punk kid who… who stole something from me," Styles lied.
The man turned the light on David. The boy Styles saw in the beam looked a lot like the brat that had humiliated him in front of the girls. But that boy had black hair that hung to his neckline. This one had shorter, blonde hair, and was wrapped in a large black rain slick. And his eyes; they didn't seem to blink. They looked … vacant.
"Pretty sure this ain't him," the man said with a laugh. "This one belongs to me. Found it in the tunnels. Those guys from the Sim Shoppe dump the rejects down there all the time. Just to keep from doing the paperwork."
Then the man shot the beam of light into his own face. It was old and wrinkled, with thick gray whiskers against his strong Asian features.
"Ain't I the lucky one?" he said with laugh that held more challenge than humor.
Styles looked back and forth between David and the man.
"So, that's a machine?" he said.
"What're you, kid? An idiot?" the man grumbled. "'Course it's a machine. You guys been drinkin'? Poppin those little tranc pills?"
Styles glared uncertainly at David a moment more. Then he sighed.
"Hey, we know that little piece of garbage came down here!" he yelled, his frustration rising. "You had to see him!"
The man turned the flashlight off. By the time everyone's eyes readjusted, he was face to face with Styles. Surprised, the boy jumped back, his fists raised and ready. But the man didn't seem phased by the posture. A hint of humor came into his face.
"Come to think of it, I did see someone," the man said, thoughtfully. "Four dumb uptown softies who didn't know when it was time to call it off and get their butts back up to the plaza before something bad happened."
Perhaps it was the way the man had said it. Perhaps it was the dawning realization that this was the underbelly of the city, where people disappeared all the time. Whatever it was, Styles dropped his fists and began backing away. He loomed a moment longer, looking around to see if the kid was anywhere in sight. Then he swore, rubbed his swollen hand, and ran off to catch his friends, who were already hi-stepping for the stairs that led up to the controlled confines of Rouge City.
It was safe there. They could pretend to be tough without the risk of having to prove it.
David let out his breath and fell to his knees.
"Thanks for playing along, mister," he said.
"No. Thank you, kid," the man replied in a voice like gravel. "That was kind of fun. Just for the look on that softie's face. Man, he didn't know what to do!" He let out a deep hearty laugh. "Quick thinking on your part," he said.
David did his best to laugh, but it came out like a moan. He sat and started to remove the rain slick the man had let him use.
"No, you go ahead and keep that one," the man said. "No need to add a cold to your problems. I got plenty more at home, anyway."
The stranger who had saved David from a fight he was bound to lose, gazed up at the ambient glow of city light that shone over the fenced rim of the wall, high above them now. He seemed lost in thought for a moment.
"People up there live in a dream. A world without consequence. Don't know how to handle something real when they come face to face with it. Know what I mean?"
David tried to agree but could only grunt in pain.
The man looked down on him, and pounded a hand on his head, as if he'd forgotten something important. "Oh, what am I yakkin about? Let me see that leg!"
"You got to be more careful comin' down those old steps," he said as he inspected the ankle. "Nobody's supposed to use 'em, but security looks the other way. I guess they figure we're going to find a way in anyway, so at least they can keep track of us."
Something he did made David yelp in pain.
"Well, that's not good," he sighed. "You need a splint. Better come with me."
He touched David gently on the shoulder.
"First, tell me, you got anyone else looking for you," the man asked. "Parents? Police?"
David shook his head. Then he sighed an admission. "There could be some pretty dangerous people keeping an eye out for me," he admitted. He looked up, a plea in his face. He was going to have to trust this man. "I really need to get out of Rouge," he said.
The man nodded thoughtfully.
"Well, they'll have to be a lot more dangerous than those clowns to scare me," he said. "So, what do I call you?"
"My name is David."
"Ah! A kingly name!" The man said. "And I am Hiromatsu, David. Call me Hiro. It's easier."
David let himself be pulled up to his feet. But when he tried to stand, the fire in his ankle flared. He stifled another cry.
"Lean on me, David," Hiro said. "It's not far."
David let his weight rest against the stranger, hoping he could trust him. He really had no choice at this point.
"Oh!" the man said, pulling something out of his pocket. "You still need this?"
It was the black wig that Wizzy had given him for his disguise. Wouldn't do any good now. David shook his head.
Hiro placed the wig back in his pocket. "Well, I'm sure somebody will" he said.
The thumping music of Rouge City rode faint on the night, obscured by the sound of the rollicking waters. Without marquees and holograms obscuring the view, the sky was a creamy glow of sparkling stars and a thin crescent moon set against the black void.
David got absorbed in the sight, trying to keep his mind off the pain. Hiro led him slowly, past large empty transport crates where people had made makeshift homes. Weary eyes watched as the pair passed. Some of them closed the doors of their crates as they approached, apparently afraid of robbers. Small fires burnt inside a few of the crates; the faint aroma of food cooking was on the air. It didn't smell too appetizing, whatever it was.
"That's my place up there," Hiro said, nodding his head at point of light that was bobbing gently, as if afloat on the restless waters. It didn't seem that far, as well as David could tell in the darkness. But they had to stop occasionally, to rest his swollen ankle.
"So, you really steal from those kids?" Hiro said.
"Not exactly," David replied. But he didn't feel like explaining. He really didn't feel like talking at all.
"Well, it's none of my business anyway," Hiro said. "Being a scrapper, I guess I ain't one to judge. Just don't try stealing from me and we'll get along fine."
"You're a scrapper?"
Hiro laughed again. But it wasn't a mocking sound. "Who else do you think you'd find down here, David?"
"Did you happen to…" David stopped himself, realizing it might be better to put off a confrontation about that subject. He was hurt, vulnerable. And this man had just saved him.
"Did I what?" Hiro said.
"I mean… I don't really know what a scrapper is."
"Well, what's it sound like?' Hiro said "We collect the scraps the uptowners throw away. Places like Rouge are filled with little treasures I can fix or sell for their parts elsewhere. You'd be surprised what people think is worthless."
David hummed a reply. Actually he wouldn't be that surprised. Some people thought their own kids were worthless.
"You read?" Hiro said.
The question took David by surprise. "I can," he replied, remembering the book display in Dr Know's lounge. "I'd like to read more."
"That's good, that's good." Hiro said. He donned that thoughtful expression again and his gaze wandered to the stars. "People don't read enough. Especially history. They treat it like all the other stuff they throw away without understanding its value."
David didn't know how to respond. This man seemed pretty thoughtful for a scrap collector.
"There was a man named Stuart Chase," Hiro continued. "He wrote a lot of books a long, long time ago; before the oceans rose, long before new cities were built on top of the old ones; the ones that were swallowed up by the rising oceans." He was quiet a moment, seeming to be lost in dark memories.
"The graves of drowned cities" he said, his face grim. Then he seemed to come back to himself.
"Well anyway," he said, "this man, Chase, once wrote 'The story of the development of life and industry in America is the most amazing tale of the waste of wealth by a careless, improvident people, that the world has ever known."
David was quiet, not sure where this conversation was going.
Hiro smiled as if to a private joke. "Took me a while to memorize that one," he said.
David nodded, thoughtfully. "Not really sure what 'improvident' means," he said.
The man's laughter was gruff and heartfelt. After a minute David found himself laughing along with him, even though he wasn't sure of the joke.
"Well here we are!" Hiro said.
The light had indeed been bouncing on the waves. It was shining from the window of a large craft moored to a thick bollard that protruded from the edge of the dock. The bone white surface of its hull reflected the scant light of the moon. Its empty masts rose high above the deck.
"You live on a boat?" David said, relieved that he hadn't been brought to one of those dirty crates.
"Technically it's a cutter," Hiro explained. "But I like to call it my Junk." He laughed, looking at David with expectation in his eyes.
"A scrapper who lives on a Junk?" Hiro said. "Get it?"
"Umm… not really," David admitted.
"A Junk! Large boat used during the Han Dynasty?"
Now David was really confused.
Hiro sighed. "Well, it doesn't work anyway. Junks were Chinese and I'm from Japan. But still pretty funny joke, eh?"
"Sure," David said, doing his best to sound amused. "Funny."
A shrill cry broke through the night. "Who is there?"
It was a woman's voice, coming from the center of the boat. David could make out a small figure near the large mast. Though he couldn't really make out the object she had braced against her shoulder, he was pretty sure he could guess what it was.
"That's Chiyoko!" Hiro explained to David. "My beautiful wife!" Then he yelled some words in a language that David did not understand, grasped the boy up and carried him onboard.
"We have a visitor, my angel! My love!" Hiro said as he set David down carefully on a pile of thick duffle bags. "His name is David," Hiro explained.
David was right. She'd had a gun. It was big, too. He was glad she'd set it down because she didn't look too happy to have him onboard.
"Hi," he said cautiously, giving her the best smile he could muster in his pain.
Chiyoko repeated his name slowly, "Daaa-vid," like it was some exotic sound she wasn't sure how to pronounce.
She was a small woman, cloaked in the same type of dark rain slick Hiro had worn. Her hair was long strands of black and silver. Her back was bent from age; her features, creased from a long, hard life in the underbelly of the world. And her mouth seemed to be set into a perpetual frown.
But when David looked into her eyes, he saw the same light humor that he heard in Hiro's gravelly laughter.
The woman's jaw worked as she inspected David, like she was chewing something that didn't taste too good. Then she spoke a rapid series of words that David didn't understand. This must have been Japanese. Once again, David regretted not having access to his digital brain.
Hiro laughed again. "She thinks you're a toy!" he explained. "Says she's seen pictures of something that looks like you."
"Yeah, I get that sometimes," David said with a nervous laugh. This was definitely a conversation that could wait for another time.
"Trust me, my love, he's not a toy," Hiro said to Chiyoko. "And you don't have to be rude. Speak English for our guest."
Chiyoko rolled her eyes as if Hiro had given away a trick of hers. Then she fixed David with a hard stare.
"You're running from something, boy," she said in slow, accented English. Something about her gaze let David know it would not be a good idea to lie. This was a test of some sort.
"Yes," David admitted. "Gangsters and…" he shrugged apologetically at Hiro. ".. and some men who work for the government. I don't know who they are… or why they want me. I've committed no crime."
Hiro didn't seem surprised or concerned that David had left out the part of the government men. Chiyoko was quiet, her jaws working as she took this in.
"Where are you running to, David?" Chiyoko said.
David took in a deep breath. He was sure they would have nothing more to do with him after telling them. But he didn't want to lie any more. Not to these people.
"I have to go to where the lions weep," he said.
Hiro just laughed. "Manhattan?" he said. "Why didn't you say that before? We pass that way all the time!"
"Really?" David said, his excitement renewed.
"Sure," Hiro said. "You wouldn't believe all the stuff that big Mecha company throws away!"
You might be surprised, thought David.
"Can I come with you?" he said. "I can take care of myself." He reached into his pocket and extracted his roll of Newbucks. "I can even pay you!"
Hiro waved the money off. "Not the issue. It's really up to my queen. Onboard, she's the boss," he said.
David set expectant eyes on the old woman. She gazed back, frowning. Her face was even more grimaced than before. After a skeptical moment she clucked her tongue, and started down into the large cabin of the boat. But she stopped and turned to say something in Japanese. The only word David could make out was his name. When she was through with her decision, she went inside and closed the door behind her.
"Well?" David asked Hiro.
Hiro shrugged to let David know it was out of his control. "She says you're a strange, skinny boy who is probably up to no good. She also says you smell funny. Need to bathe. She doesn't understand why you look like a toy and thinks maybe you are not telling us the whole truth.
"But, then again, she says you can tag along if you want."
If not for his ankle, David would have jumped for joy. He whooped instead, and clapped his hands loudly. "Yes!"
Hiro shushed him. "We have to make some other stops first. So it'll be at least a week before we hit Manhattan. But that'll give you time to heal, eh?
"Great!" David said.
Hiro leaned over and ruffled the boy's hair.
"It'll be good to have you along, David," he said. "Good for her, too." There was something new in the man's eyes, just for a moment. Something sad. Then he hit himself on the head again.
"Oh! Almost forgot," he said. "She also says, if you can figure out how to keep the damn thing quiet, you can have a toy bear she found in the garbage in Rouge City. She tried rebooting it a couple times, but for some reason it won't stop calling out your name."