CHAPTER VII

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"Um... Gam?" I asked as I followed behind the hunched metal-man. "How exactly did you know my uncle?"

Once we'd finished tea, Gam led me down the only hallway that was not locked. At the time, I didn't understand the gravity of having doors in the mansion being closed. I thought they could easily be opened, kicked down, or destroyed.

The truth was not at all like that.

"Well, the master of the house and I were part of this group of individuals..." Gam said, the last of its words sounded faint, like a breeze rustling branches. "The words... they don't exist in this language. The master's foolish friend had a translation, something rather vulgar, but it escapes me. Unfortunately, my memory is always patchy whenever I wake up."

"Wake up?" I asked, as curious as a child finding a cocoon.

Like curiosity, a cocoon is at first a little thing without motion or reason, but then it continues to grow and move until it becomes something entirely different.

At one time, I had been afraid of Gam, but by then, I was only curious. I wanted to know everything.

"Apologies," Gam said, turning around and nodding. "I forget that there are differences between my people and yours. We sleep... differently."

"What do you mean?" I asked, continuing to follow behind. The hall was long and the walls were decorated with frames, much like the other places in the house. We passed doors here and there, but I was not interested in them; I wanted to know about Gam, about the man made of metal.

"Well, for how long do your people usually sleep?" Gam asked. "At one time, I thought a standard of six-to-seven hours seemed fitting, but the master's foolish friend always messed up the average in my results. His internal engine was absurd, he would only sleep a couple hours and wake in the same state of repair as the master who'd slept seven..." Gam shook its head. "It was weird. And when you first arrived here, when you fainted, I took you to Lady Yggdrasil's room. I thought that maybe it would be a great opportunity to gather newer data, but of course, you had to go on and sleep for approximately forty-eight hours."

I felt my brow tighten.

"Wait, what? I slept for..." I paused as I added the hours in my mind. "Two days?"

"Approximately two days," Gam said, without turning back to look at me. "I stopped monitoring your sleep after the first twenty-four. I began to wonder if this was a common thing for your people, or if the state of shock you'd been under caused the extended sleep. I figured the latter was most likely."

I looked down at the floor, my eyes focused on the rug we'd been walking on. It didn't have any intricate patterns, only a patchwork of purple and cream squares. It was simple, and yet, there was an elegance to it, like a complete set of silver that was perfectly symmetrical and didn't have any engravings...

Simple.

I thought that things had been simple, I thought I'd slept for a few hours, not days. I imagined rainclouds far above us and wondered for how long they'd been raining down on Jaycetown. The sound of water was distant, but it was still strong. I felt it resonating on the floor and the walls.

"Has it..." I said, although more to myself than to the metal-man. "Has it been raining for that long?"

Gam stopped and turned its head to look at me.

"It appears that it was raining long before I woke up," Gam replied. "This is not the heart of the rainy season, usually storms like this wander down south after a couple of hours. By the way," Gam looked at me with its large red eye, "were you expecting visitors?"

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