The chamber was so large. Although there really wasn't much to it. It was a large, glass platform, suspended in the air by a golden frame, with an elaborate switch in its center and an old computer off to the side. Most of the room was very much for show, but its large size was necessary to contain the large outputs of energy caused by turning time back and forth.
Apparently it couldn't even do that right.
Inside the room was a small robot. His bright red optics scanned the large room with a seemingly uninterested look. He didn't care much for the room or its abilities. No, that wasn't why he had come here.
He had discovered quite easily that his connection to Clank, that squishy loving weakling, had actually granted him access to this room. When he had heard that Dr. Nefarious had been trying to enter this very chamber to abuse its powers, he couldn't help but laugh. The pathetic doctor hadn't realized that he had thrown away the key to his entrance long ago.
No, being built from Clank's design had made this chamber and its powers his to control. Orvus was dead and Clank had decided he would much rather play backpack to his space rat companion. Two morons in love, he supposed. It seemed the pair had developed such a bond that Clank was willing to surrender his control over this magnificent creation for the Lombax's company.
No matter. He wasn't here to question his doppelganger's choice, he was here for a much more personal reason.
He made his way over to the computer and punched in a short combination of keys before a hologram appeared above the switch in the center of the platform. He began stepping toward it as the image of the Zoni that was displayed before him began to speak.
He listened carefully as the Zoni figure who was ultimately responsible for his creation lectured on protecting the Clock and how its misuse could destroy the fabric of the universe.
He could only listen in wonder to the hologram before him, completely losing touch of why he had originally wanted to hear the recording. Such power he described. Such destructive power. The little robot stepped closer to the switch, metallic fingers grazing the finely crafted handle. It was tempting, to say the least. However, in his months that he had spent here, he had never been this close to the switch, never come this close to dare initiate a time shift.
Why was that? There were many things he would have liked to have been able to correct in his past. And here was the ability to, right here. Here was a bargaining chip to threaten the universe, but he never took it.
It was against everything Dr. Nefarious had programmed in his mind. And yet, it felt as though he had a second consciousness that was programmed to keep away from and protect the chamber that contained this power. The two were conflicting in his mind and it was confusing to say the least. It seemed that here, he didn't feel like he needed to perform some evil act. As though the programming Nefarious had built him with was slowly ebbing away.
He quickly let go of the switch, backing away, knowing it was wrong to use it. It was strange, but since his arrival to the Great Clock, many things had changed about him. He had developed a conscience, something he knew he hadn't had before and that was limiting him in his actions now. He hated it sometimes, when he would do something to upset Sigmund or the Zoni or think of an evil thought, only to have a wrenching feeling telling him never to think it again. Outside of the Clock he would have never had such emotions. Hell, outside of the Clock his programming would have encouraged whatever heinous thoughts he'd had.
But while he had gained a conscience, he had lost other things. He didn't feel nearly as angry or vengeful as he had before his arrival. Strange, since it had been those very thoughts that had pushed him to come here. Those thoughts had made him envy Clank and made him follow his squishy loving twin, to plan to defeat him and continue Nefarious's plans to wipe out all of the organic fools inhabiting the universe. Those angry thoughts were very clear in leading him to the great Clock, once he had discovered that his creator had kidnapped his double and brought him here. But once he stepped into the Clock, all of that hatred had seemingly vanished. He couldn't explain it at all. One moment he had a desire to destroy his double and his space rat friend for ruining everything he would have had, had Nefarious succeeded in destroying the squishies. Then, all he could think of was how at home he had felt when he had arrived at the Clock. How warm it had felt here.
He had thought that the feeling was simply his soul feeling a little nostalgic for its birthplace and had waited for it to go away so he could began what he had started by coming here. But the longer he stayed, the more his original motives seemed to evaporate from his mind. It was as though coming to the Great Clock had taken away his need for vengeance. He had a greater need now.
He waited in the Clock in silence, even after Nefarious and Clank were both long gone. It was then that Sigmund had found him, had wrapped him in a tight embrace and exclaimed how excited he was that Clank had returned to him.
He had immediately pushed the other robot away and screamed at him that he was not that squishy sympathizer. Sigmund had seemed confused until he had noticed the smaller robot's burning red optics. The Clock's Caretaker looked so devastated and the dwarfed robot had felt guilt claw at him for the first time as he watched Sigmund apologize.
Confused by the strange emotion that was dwelling inside of him, he had agreed to stay with Sigmund and the Clock's Caretaker had been so ecstatic it had brought the tiniest hint of a smile to his face. Well, if robots could, then it would have. He hadn't felt so pleased before by such a small thing. It was strange, for sure, but not unwelcomed.
Since then, he couldn't imagine leaving Sigmund's side. Especially since he didn't want to have to fight with his conscience again. He found that he generally liked Sigmund's company, strange as it was to admit. The other robot was painfully annoying at times, either with his puns or his happy go lucky attitude, but they also made him equally endearing. No matter how much Sigmund pestered him he spent an equal amount of time dedicated to trying to make him happy, something no one had ever done for him before in his life.
He had never been happy to have company before. He used to feel like he had to tolerate people's presence. This had caused him to prefer to be alone, the reason he hadn't returned to Nefarious that day that Ratchet had defeated him in Metropolis. He wasn't even able to handle his own creator, the one person he should respect out of principle. Why should he have to bother with others?
And yet, he never felt like Sigmund was someone he needed to tolerate. He truly enjoyed his time with him, even if they were simply doing mundane things like winding the time keepers. It was better to do it with the other robot's company than on his own. They would talk about utterlessly pointless things and it wouldn't feel like a waste of time, but rather a way to pass it.
He stared at the switch in front of him, fully aware of its abilities. Would he even want to go back to being Nefarious's drone? Would he still have his conscience if he went back in time? If he would, then he didn't think he could committing Nefarious's crimes for him again. Even if he despised Ratchet and Clank, he couldn't imaging going back in time to kill them successfully. He imagined how Sigmund would react to Clank's death and stepped even farther away from the shift, knowing how such a thing would upset his fellow Caretaker of the Great Clock. The mere image of Sigmund's upset face was more than enough to deter him from the thought of killing his doppelganger.
"Hey, Klunk, what're you doing in here?" the tiny robot turned at the sound of his name and saw Sigmund making his way into the chamber. He had a confused look on his face as he blinked at the frozen hologram that was still presented above the switch. Klunk looked at the hologram and realized Orvus's message must have finished long ago while he had sunken into his thoughts.
"Reminiscing." Klunk answered with a satisfied sigh as he made his way to the computer console and turned off the hologram of Orvus, causing the still hologram to vanish.
"About how this place has changed me." Sigmund gave the smaller robot a questioning look but Klunk quickly changed the subject, not wanting to have to worry Sigmund with his thoughts of using the Clock to change his history. Those thoughts were irrelevant, he knew that with Sigmund alongside him, he would never act on them. "I believe we need to test the mnemonic station in Sector 2."
Sigmund's expression changed quickly, presenting a much more eager look as he exclaimed, "Okay! Come on!" and made his way out of the Orvus Chamber. Klunk followed at a much more calm pace, locking the door to the Chamber behind him.
He watched as the symbol on the doors turned from an image of Clank's face, his face, into meaningless shapes. He made the correct choice, not abusing the Chamber's power. He turned to Sigmund, who was hovering up and down in excitement and he could not feel anymore assured that he was right.