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Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go,
Life is a barren field,
Frozen with snow.


[His Story]

His furry form lay curled up beside the giant willow as he surveyed the autumn morning. The vast plain before him was like a grassy ocean spreading out as far as the eye could see. Behind him, the autumn colors of the forest stood, an orange-and-yellow barrier between the plain and the world beyond.
A ghostly mist cloaked the icy green landscape, hanging over the frozen grass like a specter. The grass beside his brown paws sparkled in the first rays of morning sun spilling out from over the horizon.
He lifted his vulpine head towards the pastel-tinted sky, inhaling deeply. He got up slowly, carefully, his hind legs creaking ever so slightly; the metal limbs gleamed in the golden sunlight.
As he stepped into the mist, it floated away from his paws. The grass was frosted over, and it crunched as he stepped down, sending a cold shiver down his spine.
The fox was a wanderer. He had nowhere in particular to go, but loved to find new places; his eyes absorbed beauty like sponges. He was grateful for every little aspect of life.
Life. He pondered the word, thinking of how lucky he was to be alive. His thoughts began to wander back to the past... back to when he first woke up.

-------------

There had once lived an old, retired doctor at the top of a tall, scraggly cliff. As a pastime, this man loved to fiddle with trinkets; especially those made out of metal. He was renowned for his skills at tinkering with clockwork, old gears, and wires that he found in various places over the years. Often, he would create clockwork toys, which he often gave to the children of the little town below the huge hill he lived on.
But eventually the old man got bored with making tiny moving toys out of scrap metal. He ran out of ideas, and began to get lonely; he longed for something more, something new. And the more he thought about it, the less he wanted to make clockwork.

It was mid-August when the old man got the remedy to his loneliness. The air was hot and sticky with the first signs of morning rain. He walked past the bent, knobby trees by the cliff on his hill, listening to the birds twittering around him and looking up at the cloudy sky. He knew it would rain soon, but still wanted to relish in the last bits of warm weather before autumn.
The old man stopped in his tracks when he heard an unnatural noise. He leaned on his cane for a minute before he was able to hear it again. The eerie noise caught his attention abruptly; it was a creaky moan, and it came from the bottom of the cliff.
The old man walked cautiously toward the edge and looked down into the shallow ditch at the bottom. There were a number of sharp-looking grey rocks, which made it easy to locate the shivering bronze-and-crimson ball of fur that had made the ghostly moan. The little bloody fox lay there with its mouth open for a moment, looking up at the Inventor with pain-filled green eyes. It shivered, making one last, feeble attempt to get up; the little creature's legs refused to work. It moaned once more before its eyes rolled back into its head, which in turn drooped onto a nearby rock.
It began to rain. The slight, cold drizzle was a nice contrast to the warm air. Carefully, the old man shuffled down the hill to the ditch and gingerly picked up the fragile, wounded fox. He had no idea why or how the little creature had come to be at the bottom of the cliff, but, being a kind person, he intended to help nurse it back to health.

Unfortunately, before the old man could arrive at his house, he realized that the tiny creature was already dead. By the time he got back to his workshop and set the fox's cold body on the table, it was merely a wet, furry corpse.
A spark of inspiration came into the Inventor's mind. This fox was just the thing he had been waiting for. He had no idea how he was going to achieve it, but he would somehow find a way to pump the life back into the little creature.
And so the work began.

The retired doctor had once worked in the office attached to his house. Now, he was able to work in the sterile, white room that he had once done operations in. He had recently converted it into a laboratory, in order to create his clockwork and experiment with metal. His equipment had been kept out of nostalgia, and he was now sure it would come in handy for stitching up the little corpse.
He washed the fox's fur and set it down on a shiny metal table to examine its lifeless body. The creature's hind legs were broken beyond repair in whatever accident it had been in; they were fractured in hundreds of different places -simply shattered- in the x-rays that had been taken. Its right shoulder was also crushed; small, tender gashes covered both his right and left sides, the largest being a slash from the base of its ear going across its left eye and down the creature's muzzle. He gingerly stitched the wounds up, making sure the stitches were nice and even.

The old man had done a biopsy of the fox's clearly deficient heart, and had come to the conclusion that it had a bad case of cardiomyopathy, a heart disease in which the heart muscle begins to deteriorate; It needed to be replaced. Fixing up the little fox would be quite a challenge... A challenge the old man felt that he needed.
Months flew by while the Inventor assembled new parts for the creature. Its legs were no good, and making new ones was a difficult thing to do; getting the anatomy right kept the old man busy all through the cold months of winter and into spring.
Then, there was the issue of getting the fox's heart to pump blood throughout its body. He didn't want to do a heart transplant, as the fox's body might reject the new heart, and putting in a new one would be an extremely messy procedure.
After a few days of monotonous pondering, the inventor got an idea. He would have to make the fox a new heart, just as he had been creating it new legs and a shoulder. The creation of the creature slowly became an obsession as he formulated ways to create the new heart. When he finally came up with a superior plan, he realized how simple it really was. The answer had been right under his nose the whole time.
Clockwork.
It was the answer to all his questions. It was what he was best at; making things out of it would be a lot easier.

It took him several months to construct the new heart. Once finished, it was round and smooth, with tiny pipes protruding from its sides and an electrical wire poking out next to one of them. The heart was not only what would pump blood into the old parts of its body, but also send electricity to the mechanical, clockwork legs.

It was mid-summer when the Inventor finished building the fox's new parts. He would need to amputate the creature's legs in order to put in the new ones, and then insert the new heart into its chest; even having gone to medical school, that would be a nasty business. The old doctor took the corpse from where he had been preserving it and began the long process of amputating the old legs and attaching the new heart to the veins and arteries. When he was finished with the tedious operation, the doctor sewed up the fox's limp body and washed it again. Its new legs were made of a mix of titanium and scrap metal. The doctor had wanted to make sure that the fox's legs wouldn't get rusty and were lightweight, so he had melted together some of the metal in his storeroom and a good bit of titanium he had found with it.

The Inventor stepped back to look at the finished product. The creature's new metal legs gleamed silver under the bright fluorescent lights, and its bronze-colored fur stood out from the white-and silver surroundings. It lay, good shoulder down, on the metal table. Sticking out of its left, metal shoulder was a key.
The doctor had wired the left shoulder to spur the heart into motion. Protruding from it was a metal key that was designed to be wound by hand. Winding it would activate the gears inside the shoulder to turn together, sending an electric pulse to the heart and causing it to start pumping blood and electric pulses throughout the fox's body. Its brain would then be able to send signals to the artificial nerve endings that were complicatedly wired inside the metal limbs, causing them to move in whichever direction the creature wanted.
It was a cold, autumn evening when the old man turned the key. The sun was beginning to set on the horizon; the brief spell of twilight had just fallen upon the little house when the old man's hand rested upon the fox's metal shoulder. The door to the old inventor's workshop was open to let a bit of the stuffy air out; the incandescent lights inside seeped out onto the grass outside the door. The lights inside blazed down upon the metal work-table, on top of which the still, lifeless body of the fox was laying.

The moment that he had been waiting for was finally there. The old man bent down to the little fox's metal shoulder and slowly twisted the key; there was the sound of clockwork beginning to start up, and then another, muffled sound.
Tick, tick, tick, tick...
The heart had begun to pump the blood throughout the creature's body. The old inventor had finally accomplished what he had been working towards over the past year. He had put his whole heart and soul into fixing up the little creature, and would finally be able to twist the key and fill the creature's body with life.
It seemed as if the fox was sleeping. Its sides were rising and falling steadily, and every once in a while it would flick its tail from side to side. Seeing the peaceful emotion on the fox's face, the old inventor stole upstairs to get a bit of sleep.

.................

He had woken up on the shiny, cold table with fluorescent lights beaming down upon him. He squinted as he looked up at the ceiling, puzzled. Where am I? The room was bright, and it hurt his sensitive eyes. He stared about the room, brow furrowed, until his eyes began to burn and he closed them, laying his head on his front paws.
Ah. I see you're finally awake.
His eyes shot open and squinted in order to focus on the shape in front of him. The lighting in here sure does make it hard to see, he thought. As his eyes adjusted, he found himself looking at a man.
The man's silver hair grew both on his head and on his face in the form of a short mustache; underneath the facial hair was a little smile. His hands fiddled with the top button of his white shirt, above which he wore a blue argyle sweater vest. The khaki pants he wore were just the slightest bit dirty, but well pressed. He stood up proudly in a way that made the cane leaning against his leg seem like a mere decoration.
Well? What does it feel like? Are the legs comfortable?
Legs? He looked down at his legs with one eyebrow raised, and then gasped in astonishment when he saw that they were made of metal. He moved one experimentally, and as it reacted to his command his eyes opened wide. Legs... He muttered to himself. He moved his leg one more time before trying to get off the table.

Once off the table, he stared up at the old man, confused. ...Where am I? he asked. I don't remember this place. The old man looked at him, a glitter of amazement shining in his eyes. He muttered something to himself before saying, You're in my workshop. I took you in from outside - you were all beat up from some accident. Don't you remember?
It was then that he realized something: he didn't remember anything. His name, his past - nothing. It was all gone.
No. I... I don't remember anything. He furrowed his brow. Who are you? And... he hesitated for a moment before continuing. Who am I? The old man looked at him with sad eyes before explaining to everything to him. After the end of the old man's story, the fox looked at him admirably. This man had brought him back to life. But am I the fox that he found? Or am I merely another person inside this body? He pondered this for awhile until the old man spoke again.
You must be hungry, the man said. Come on upstairs and I'll fix you something to eat.

After a wonderful meal of some leftover steak, the fox sat back in his chair and sighed.
So, fox... do you remember anything now?
The inventor had asked it in a hopeful voice. The fox replied by nodding his head from side to side in a sad no.
In that case, I believe you need a name.
They began brainstorming; after awhile the conversation began to wander, and the old man started explaining how the clockwork legs worked.
And I made sure to oil the sockets-
That's it! the fox burst out. Socket. I like how it sounds.
The old man caught on quickly, and began rolling the word off his tongue. Socket. Socket... Hmmm. The man's hand reached up to stroke his chin gently. I like the sound of it. Socket it is.

Upon an attempt to write his new name, the fox began to chuckle. I think I spelled it wrong, he said. The old man peered over the fox's shoulder and laughed as well. Sokket. I think I like that spelling better than the original!

The two were talking when suddenly Sokket asked a rather random question.
Do you have a mirror anywhere? I... I want to see my reflection. The old man winced at the question, but got up and led him up the stairs and into a bedroom. A glossy, clean mirror hung on the wall; looking in the mirror, Sokket had also winced.
The face reflected in the mirror was perfectly intact on the left side. Underneath the sparkling green eye were three mossy-green spots. On the right, however, ran a huge scar. The naked, bumpy line of skin shone pink in the lamplight. It ran from the base of his ear, through his eye, and down to his nose. The set of shiny green eyes stared back at him in the mirror.
Ouch, was Sokket's first comment. That looks painful.
That's what I thought at first, too, the old man mused, But it doesn't seem to have caused you any pain.
It's rather... The fox seemed at a loss for words. Well... It's just not very friendly looking.
I agree.
Is there anything I can maybe... cover it up with? A mask or something?
Let's see what we can do.

The two descended into the basement, down to the storeroom. The room was filled with shelves; the shelves were lined with cardboard boxes labeled in black pen. Some contained clothes, some blankets, some held glass bottles, and another was filled with papers. One row stood out from the rest, though; these were filled with shiny metal gears and scraps.
The old man walked down the aisle, his head turning from side to side to read the scrawly handwriting on each cardboard box. After a few minutes of searching, He pulled one of the boxes off the shelf and began looking through its contents. Ah. How's this for a cover-up?
The man was holding up a shiny metal gear. Its shape was slightly elongated, and it had a hole in the middle. Best of all, it looked like it would fit over Sokket's scar.
Perfect.

The old man found a sheet of scrap metal and replaced the boxes on the shelves. They walked out in satisfaction.
Now, Sokket, the old man said, I want you to go upstairs to my room and get yourself situated in bed. I'm sure you're tired, and would enjoy a bit of sleep. Sleep... Sokket smiled up at the old man happily, suddenly realizing that he really was tired.
Before you go upstairs, however, I need to get an imprint of your face.

Sokket patiently stuck his vulpine head in a block of clay. It felt odd and sticky, and the clay was cold, but he knew it was for a good reason. Once finished, the inventor smiled. That-a boy. Now, when you come back down, I'll have the mask finished. Off to bed with you!
Sokket had gone obediently upstairs and gotten in bed as directed. Meanwhile, the inventor began to create the mask.

He started with the mold, filling it up with plaster. Once it was dry, he took off the surrounding clay and set the bust of the fox's face on the counter. Next, he took the elongated gear and shaved off some of its prongs before welding it to the other metal pieces; he had cut these into long triangle-shaped strips. He got the combined metal pieces warm and began forming it to the Sokket-bust's face and smoothing out the rough edges. Once finished, he had a smooth metal half-mask that he was sure would fit the fox's face.

When Sokket came down the next morning, he asked to see the mask in a tone that the old man said reminded him of a child asking for candy. Alright, alright, the old man said, chuckling. He pulled his hands out from behind his back, holding out the little metal object in front of him.
Wow.
The little fox stared at it in amazement. This old man had created the piece in one night? It was so simple, yet so beautiful to Sokket.
I'm glad you like it.


More coming soon! Back to top



[About him]


[Name] Sokket
[Pronnounced] Sock-et
[Alias] Sokk, Sokkie
[Gender] Male
[Species] Fox
[Age] Unknown
[Family] Unknown
[Pelt] Brown
[Markings] Moss-green spots
[Brush] Ghost
[Eyes] Green
[Accessories] Green scarf
[Metal] Half-mask, Clockwork hind legs & shoulder
[Ears] Large
[Personality] Curious, grateful, kind, optimistic
[Strengths] Graceful speech, optimistic attitude, able to see the good in everything, kind towards everyone
[Flaws] Metal legs, scar across face, often over-enthusiastic, rambles


Ref sheet for Sokket
Sokket's temporary ref sheet; Please drag to address bar to view.

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[His Legs]

Sokket's legs are made of a mixture of titanium and and bits of scrap metal. The titanium is to make them rust-free and lightweight. An artificial nerve ending is inside each metal component of his body, enabling Sokket to command his legs to walk just as any other fox would. The old man who built his legs put the indentations on them in order to mimic his markings- three circles that get smaller as they go down. His legs creak just a bit every once in a while, such as when he sits down. Sokket's right shoulder is also made of metal, and has a tube coming out of the side of it in order to let the blood flow to his real leg.

[His Heart]

Sokket's heart was replaced due to a severe case of cardiomyopathy, a disease in which his heart muscle deteriorated. Sokket's old heart was replaced with a new, metal heart that was made in order to both pump blood around his body and send electric signals to his metal limbs. A muffled ticking noise can be heard when it's really quiet, just as you would hear a heartbeat.


[Shukumei pumpkin carving event]

apple!Please note that the event is for Shukumei members only. Thanks!
The event: We're having a pumpkin carving event in Shukumei especially for the Fall season! Come up with a fun design, get out a knife and a spoon, and get carving!
Details: The design you carve should be hand-drawn and then carved onto your pumpkin. After it's carved, two pictures should be taken: one with the lights on, the other with the lights off and a candle (or other form of light) inside. You should upload your pictures and put them on one of your pet's pages. Lastly, you should then send Liz a neomail with the link to your pet's page in it!
Design Limits: Your pumpkin design should be derived from an image created by you. It should not have any "mature" content. You may only enter one pumpkin.
Deadline: The event deadline is November 2. This is in order to give people time to upload the pictures of their pumpkin.
Judges: So far, our judges are Kennon, Rod, Mehae, Karson, and Von.
Judging: Liz will put all of the pumpkin pictures up here on Sokket's page for the convinence of the judges. The judges should then send Liz a neomail nominating their top three choices. c:

Pumpkins so far: 3 (drag to address bar to view!)
Liz's pumpkinChloe's pumpkinTaa's pumpkin


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[Half-Mask Award]

Have you worked hard on your pet's page and think you deserve a little credit for it? If so, go ahead and neomail Ecw321 to apply for Sokket's Half-mask award! Please note that Liz (Ecw321) might stumble across your page and send you a neomail, too!


Gold:
In order to recieve the Half-mask award, you need to have an outstanding, finished petpage with pictures drawn by you. It should contain your pet's story and other information about it and present it in a creative, organized way. Music, adoptables, and other goodies are an extra bonus! Your page should reflect the time and effort that you put into it!


Gold winners: Emsohl, Atroctia, Abra's Inflicts, Kennon's Evoi.

Pick-up: Please replace "PETNAMEHERE" with either the name that Liz told you to put in or your pet's name.

[Leaving?]

Care to link back or trade links?


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Link back?

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Link back?



Counter started on Oct. 18, 2008.





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