Pinocchio has his Jiminy Cricket, and Ariel, her Sebastian, but unlike Flit, Pocahontas’s little hummingbird, Trinidad’s Gem is a “bird of a different feather.” Her little friend, a bumblebee hummingbird that can fit into a thimble, vastly contrasts with the talking animated companions of Disney movies. Only Trinidad can hear Gem speak (for the most part) and is a biological automaton.
When I researched the term biological automaton, I found no such thing so thought it a perfect term for a fantastical being. An automaton is a self-operating machine or robot, whereas a biological entity is a living organism. Used in a sentence as a personality trait, someone can be as mechanical or apathetic as an automaton. This particular characteristic I found compelling, but he is more than Trinidad’s embodied conscience. He is the proverbial messenger who brings bad news and whispers warnings in Trinidad’s ear but with a “Sheldonesque” attitude borrowed from the Big Bang Theory.
How an entity can be both biological and robotic is the stuff of science fiction and fantasies. In Daystealer I never explain how Trinidad created Gem in a past life, for she herself doesn’t remember. However, she does recall a memory where pieces of Gem are strewn on a laboratory table. In other memories, we see Gem’s evolution from robot, to caged automaton, and finally to his present state–a freethinking, free-flying bird more biological than automated. To get an idea of who Gem is, here is an except from Daystealer:
I left with Gem chittering before me. “Taking Rick, a dreadful idea, taking Saba, a frightful idea”—he flicked his tongue toward Dom―“taking this guy, slightly above sucky.”
I chuckled at Gem. “Who programed your database?”
“My multifarious vocabulary, I got from Tota, but attitude, all you.”
- Borrowing Tears (stealersaga.com)