Bella (Clockwork Cyborg, Sea Captain and Explorer)

“I thought that the Deep Sleeper was a myth,” Lucid said, eyebrows raised about as far as they could go on his high forehead.

“She is,” replied Bella, not in the least perturbed. “She is a myth… a legend… a monster to scare children, telling them tales of the big bad creature that swims deep in the Dwam.” She leant forward, resting her elbows on the table. “And she is also the single most real thing in the whole of Reverie. The greatest adventure of my life has been searching for her. I have caught up with her twice in all those years.” She paused, flexing the brass fingers of her right hand. “One of those times cost me my arm, the other my leg.”

“And also your eye I suppose?” Grimble cut in tersely.

“No,” Bella smiled back at him, apparently quite used to her comments being met with disbelief. “That was the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding with a bar full of rather rowdy Sornette traders, who seemed to think I owed them money… which I did as it happens. Their mistake was thinking that I was going to pay them back.”

“Why do you keep looking?” Adam asked her. “Sooner or later you’re going to run out of bits you can spare.”

“Sadly, I can’t really help myself.” Bella turned her attention back to Adam as she spoke. “I have always looked for adventure, generally on my own. No offence to you and your friends but most of the time I can’t really be doing with other people. They are always so… disappointing.”

(Excerpt from ‘Where Dreams End’)

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