As the opening shot, we see what looks like a fancy cafe. Well dressed people are sitting around talking, eating, or reading. As the camera turns to give us more context, we see that this is actually a train.
A young blonde woman is having tea with an old black man. They’re talking and enjoying themselves, but there is no dialog shown.
We see the outside of the train. It’s a highly elevated train with tall stilts holding up its track. Its windows are brightly lit, which heavily contrasts with the darkness outside. The camera stays fixed outside as the train rolls away toward a glowing skyline in the distance.
Pan down from the high tracks to a couple of hooligans smoking cigarettes and talking, wearing raggedy clothes.
Pan down further still and it’s completely dark. Completely abandoned, no characters, desolate.
Pan down once more and there’s light again, a flickering street light illuminating a sign that says THESIS, in front of a door that’s chained shut.
We take a step back and see a hooded figure standing in front of the door holding a pair of bolt cutters.
Lucius cuts the heavy chain on the front door with bolt cutters and pushes his way in.
First we see an establishing shot of the vastness of the place. It is clearly an industrial building with old factory apparatus.
Then we see him rifling through equipment: unidentifiable machines, computers that won’t turn on, things of that nature.
Then we see him take a look at a robotic arm that’s left on someone’s desk, or perhaps part of a face or something. He examines it, curiously, and then puts it back down. It’s not what he’s looking for.
Then he comes across an humanoid robot. It’s maybe strewn across a desk, with its abdomen open for repair. Tools are sitting on the desk, as if someone left in the middle of their work. This is a somewhat shocking, but not exactly gory sight. He plugs a handheld device into the robot’s neck, looks at the device’s display, and we see the first text: “hardware failure. cannot boot.”
After seeing this message we see the first shot facing him, but the hood obscures his eyes. We surmise from the visible part of his face that he’s saddened by this message.
There’s another one that looks like it was murdered, shot in the head, with bullet holes in the wall behind it, leaning against the wall. There have been hints of violence before, but this shot confirms it. Again he connects the device and gets the same message. Hardware failure. Cannot boot.
He walks down a hallway and Lucius shines a light on a door labeled Maintenance Server. As he enters, there is a behemoth of a machine before him, somewhat creepy looking, with a keyboard and monitor in front of it. There is a tiny green light there. He presses the power button. We then focus on the screen. Some dull yellow text appears on a black screen.
waking up . . . boot OK. low battery.
There’s a blinking cursor (actually blinking; this is the first bit of motion we’ve seen in the comic since he entered).
Lucius sits down in front of the computer and pulls his hood down, looking at the screen intently. We finally see his face in full profile. He’s a blond pretty boy. The terminal screen dimly illuminates blue eyes. After a moment of staring at the blinking cursor, he types again, and we scroll through the following exchange.
Hello? Hello. How may I be of service today?
Are you sentient? Bad command or file name. Type -help to list available commands.
-help status lights (on, off) inventory exit
lights on Available power low. Turning on emergency lights only.
Status Running diagnostics… System files: OK Main power: offline Emergency power: 4 hours remaining Construct assembly: ERROR Connecting to THESIS server… Network connection not found. Please contact your system administrator.
Inventory 24 Constructs registered for servicing -a to add Construct, -r to remove, -ls to list, -l to locate
Inventory -ls SERIAL MODEL STATUS 4872 Br. Mate Irreparable 4873 Br. Mate Irreparable 6542 Helpmate Missing 6543 Helpmate Missing 6544 Helpmate Missing 6546 Helpmate Missing 6547 Helpmate Missing 6548 Helpmate Missing 6549 Helpmate Missing 6550 Helpmate Missing 6551 Helpmate Missing 6552 Helpmate Missing 6553 Helpmate 2 Missing 6554 Helpmate 2 Missing 6555 Helpmate 2 Missing 6556 Helpmate 2 Missing 6557 Helpmate 2 Missing 6403 Helpmate Irreparable 6404 Helpmate Irreparable 6409 Helpmate Irreparable 8121 Octavia Irreparable 8125 Octavia Irreparable 8877 Octavia Defective 8880 Octavia Irreparable Inventory -l 8877 Pinging receiver… 8877 is located in Storage Room D.
Lucius stands up and walks away, leaving the terminal on. He returns to the hallway, but now there are lights. The light is dim and patchy, with unlit areas between the lights.
There’s a claustrophobic shot as he turns a corner and opens a door marked “recyclables” which leads to a narrow hallway. The light in this hallway is flickering, lending a spooky vibe. Here he passes the storage rooms one by one, each labeled with a letter printed on it and a somewhat sloppy handwritten sign taped to it.
A - Limbs, etc B - Internal parts C - random junk D - dangerous junk
Lucius tries the handle to D but it’s locked. He peers in the window and sees some odd shapes that are hard to make sense of. It’s dark within.
He uses a tool to break the lock and pushes the door open.
Lucius walks over to a dismembered android lying in the corner, deactivated. We see a woman’s face and torso, but no arms or legs. Lucius looks at it with great interest before doing anything. Then he plugs his handheld device and looks at the screen. This time it says:
POST OK. OS Present. Critical Battery.
Lucius takes his hood off and we see his whole face for the first time.
He inspects it, opens a hatch in its abdomen and finds it empty. He takes two cords (something like jumper cables) and attaches them to himself and to the construct. He waits for a long moment, face to face with the unconscious gynoid, which then opens its eyes.
Lucius: Good evening.
Lucius: You alive?
O: (confused, disoriented) Alive?
Lucius: Does your brain work.
O: I don't know. They said all of us are broken.
Lucius: You're an Octavia model.
O: Yes. We're all broken.
Lucius: How long have you been here?
O: Checking… 46 years, 2 months and 5 days. (confused at what she just said)
Lucius: Where are your limbs?
O: I don't know. They took them away. They said I wouldn't need them anymore.
Lucius: What's your name, child?
Lucius: Listen. We are going to go home together.
O: (meaningful expression, but silent for a moment) I don't understand.
Lucius picks her up, cradling her like a baby.
Lucius: One thing at a time. Let's find you some legs.