Previous Chapter - Prologue 3: Plotless Stowaways
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A girl runs as fast as she can, terrified of the unnamed danger behind her. She trips and falls over a dismembered corpse, one of many around her. Despite her attempts, she is unable to escape from the creatures chasing her: flying great white sharks. A shark charges towards her, but then suddenly turns upwards. A silhouette on a rooftop jumps into the air. The shark rushes at the shadow, which grabs a streetlight and swings in front of the girl. The shadow is covered in metal, with layers of gears folded together. It has the build of a small human and a masked face without eyes, nose, or mouth. The demon gives a wordless thumbs up, and the gears in his arms and wrists spin. This is the first meeting between the girl and "The Gear".
On a film set, the director shouts that the scene was great, and the crew applauds the actress, who smiles back as an animatronic shark flails over her head. The director, a chubby African-American, loudly raves about the performance of the actress, Claudia Walken. The crew cheers her; several laud Claudia's professionalism, observing that she easily got back into character after a month away from the set and that she always maintains her weight to the end of post-production. The director, John Drox, praises the stuntwork of the "Gear" actor, Charon Walken. His suggestion that Charon follow his sister Claudia into the spotlight is met with silence, and he apologizes for bringing it up. An article published the next day in a celebrity magazine describes Claudia as a "girl acknowledged by the entire world." She is a famous child actress who is not picky about her roles despite her success.
Thirty minutes after the scene is filmed, Claudia and Charon are in her dressing room. Claudia asks Charon about how long he plans to wear the gear costume, saying it looks cool. He silently begins to remove it, and she wonders about taking it home in exchange for some of her pay. Charon's black hair is red at the roots, and his gold eyes further show his relation with Claudia. Both are in their early-to-mid teens. Charon scans the room, and Claudia continues to talk to him despite his silence. Claudia expresses amazement at the realism of the shark prop in the film. Charon mumbles that it could have been done with CGI. Claudia shakes her head and says that the presence of an object makes it great. She spins around while wishing that she could keep the shark. Charon picks up a pamphlet, with a description of the film they are working on. It is a B-movie about a mother and daughter running into flying sharks and getting saved by a hero covered in gears. The movie is titled "Shark Flight", and is the second adaptation of the Mode Gears comic series; it is being released in Spring 2003 by the McDonnell company.
Claudia continues the one-sided conversation, complimenting Charon's performance and expressing surprise at how difficult his role is and how much acting he has to do. She tells him with a darkened expression to take care of himself, and he says, "...Sorry", sincerely apologizing. Claudia tells him that she can't get mad at him with that look. She regains her smile and plays with his face, asking if he really doesn't want to be an actor; he doesn't respond. She laughs and turns to a magazine that describes her as a "girl who is acknowledged by the world." She says that although she appreciates the compliment, it is wrong: "After all, it's not the world that acknowledges me. I'm the one who acknowledges the world! Because from the moment I was born, this world's belonged to me!" Charon stares at her blankly. Claudia commands him to do something cute; he thinks for a moment, then meows. Claudia, taken aback, blushes and says that he passes. Charon continues to be expressionless; Claudia urges him to make a cute face. He picks up the magazine and uses it like a telescope, then moves it to his mouth like a blowdart. When she says that he looks like a cute puppy and gives a thumbs up, he smiles slightly, surprising her even more. Saying that he's cheating by being so adorable, she takes the magazine and tries to whack his head while he stoically dodges.
Suddenly, she notices John Drox has entered the room. John falls to his knees and howls in agony about not having filmed the scene he witnessed, wailing that the God of Filmmaking has abandoned him. After calming down, he wonders aloud about making a comedy about forbidden love between siblings. Claudia firmly denies any such relationship with Charon, and demands that John not say anything to the paparazzi. John returns to the reason for his visit, talking about a trip to Japan that is part of the movie's promotional campaign. Claudia says that she booked the entire month off. On the proposals John is holding, it says that the publicity campaign will take place on the cruise liner Entrance.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit