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Animal Kingdom News
Posted: Aug 16 2010, 01:24 PM
Member No.: 29
Joined: 16-May 09
Chapter 1: the Beginning of new Beginnings
Astroi, a boy who was about twelve years old with black hair and shiny brown eyes, was walking his usual every-other-day walk around the town when he past an alley. In the alley he heard a strange voice say, “I wonder where Uko is now.” Astroi started to wonder who the person called Uko was, but suddenly he blacked out. When he woke up he was in front of a small warehouse that was next to an ocean harbor.
He said to himself, “I wonder how I got here and why I am here, but I guess there is one way to find out.” He took hold of the handle of the door that was in front of him. When he was inside he looked around, there were cob webs in the corner of the ceilings and wadded up pieces of paper on the floor, but other then that it was fairly clean. Suddenly he got an eerie feeling that someone was watching him. He looked around and saw a robot dog. The dog’s eyes were fixed upon him and he was getting ready to jump. He leaped, Astroi put his arms up to defend himself from the attack, but he heard a sharp voice say, “Stop!” The dog instantly stopped in mid-air, landed on the cold cement, and went to his master’s side.
Astroi called out, “Who’s there, show yourself!” A lady, he guessed to be in her mid twenties even though she looked thirty, came out from the shadows, she had dark red hair which was all mussed up and her eyes were brown and bloodshot with dark circles under them from the reckless nights of no sleep, her expression was a depressed one. Somehow he could tell that she was a happy person all so long ago, but all that happiness was wretched out of her in a mysterious way.
She exclaimed, “Is it really you, could it really be you?!” He was bewildered, but he could tell that she knew him somehow and also to him she looked like a long-lost person that he knew. She put out her hand and he backed away shyly.
She said with a little sadness, “Oh, I-I forgot. You probably don’t remember me.” Astroi suddenly felt a longing to rush into her arms, but instead he timidly took the hand that still was stretched out to him. She beamed.
She was surprised more than she was happy though; she thought deep in her mind, “Does he remember me, but how?”
She decided to take a chance and say, “Hi, William.” She knew then that she was wrong because the face of the boy showed confusion.
“Well, you look so like someone I knew. Anyway if William is not your name then what is it?” She said trying to fix her mistake.
Astroi answered with a polite demand, “Tell me yours first please.”
She answered him with a smile, “It is Uko.” Astroi then thought, “Maybe this is why I’m here because I heard her name and someone didn’t what me to hear it so they knocked me out and brought me to her.”
He decided he should answer, but only out of politeness, “My name is Astroi.” She nodded as to seem to decide if she liked the name.
He said out of perplexity, “If you don’t like my name you can leave me alone.” And he crossed his arms to show that he meant it. She laughed and that kind of made Astroi relax.
She said, “Come over here.” He followed her with curiosity. She picked him up, which Astroi thought was unnecessary, but he let her do it. She laid him down on a table that was near by. She started to reach out and touch his hair which Astroi was very sensitive about and he protested.
He said, “What are you doing? Stop it.” Uko was trying to decide if he really didn’t know what she was going to do.
Uko simply said, “To turn you off, so I can do something to you I’ve wanted to do for awhile. Don’t worry I won’t hurt you, though it’s unlikely I can do that since I made you indestructible.” He was stunned, what did she mean?
Astroi sat up and told her, “What do you mean? I don’t understand. What do you mean turn me off or that you made me?” The wheels in Uko’s mind were turning. She thought, “Oh my goodness, He doesn’t know he is a robot.” She started to picture what might have happened all those years ago. She pictured that Astroi probably took off the note that was pinned to him that told everybody who took him in that he was a robot!
She started to say straight off that he was a robot, but then decided to tell him from the beginning, “You are my brother, at least that’s what I made you to be. I made you to take the place of my brother who died in a car accident around the same time you were created. I made a chip that had all my son’s memories, ideas, behavior, and other things. You were every bit like my brother and we spent many happy months together, but after awhile you began to change.” She paused with a sigh and then continued.
“You seemed to be fearful of everyone you knew like they would strike you at any moment. Also at times you would act very angry and rush up to your room to be alone. Sometimes you fazed out and I had to shake you to bring you back and other times I couldn’t even find you. Well, one day I couldn’t find you so I began to look, when I finally did find you were standing behind a bush. What I saw shocked me. You looked as if everything was drained out of you. You expression was blank and your skin was pale, the only thing that showed life was your eyes; they were red as rubies. I started to come near you and you didn’t react when I did so. I immediately brought you inside and turned you off. I tried to find the reason you were acting so strange, but when I searched you everything was in order and undamaged. I told the people at the International Science board about your situation to get some advice, but instead they ordered me to demolish you because if a powerful robot like you went mad you could destroy the world, but I couldn’t hurt you, you were like my own brother and I would’ve felt like I killed you if I destroyed you. So I decided to put you on a doorstep like someone I couldn’t take care of and hope that the Science Board wouldn’t find you. I knew it was wrong, but I felt it was better than just deactivating you and putting you in the junk.” Uko told Astroi forwardly.
“I guess that all these years you thought you were a human because I made you so much like one and something probably happened to the note that I pinned on you to tell the people you were going to be with that you were a robot. Also when I put you on their doorstep, I programmed your brain the night before to delete everything in your system the first second you saw a human face. That meant you would forget memories, things I programmed you with, things you learned, and me completely so that you couldn’t tell them about me and then they would return you to me. I’m sorry I had to do it, but you would’ve been destroyed if I did or didn’t do it myself.” She finished her story and looked toward Astroi.
Astroi stammered, but managed to ask, “You m-mean I’m a-a robot and you created me? Then you got rid of me because I might’ve become dangerous.”
“Yes you are a robot and I did make you. Furthermore you have to understand that I had to let you be with someone else because the Science Board would’ve destroyed you if I didn’t. The only good thing about that arrangement is that you won’t become bad again because I made sure I took ever precaution to prevent it.” Uko replied seriously.
He then lay down miserably on the table and said solemnly, “You can continue with whatever you were going to do. I don’t care.” She almost cried because he looked so shocked and horrified, but he was letting a perfect stranger, at least in his mind, do what she wanted to him.
She asked, “Are you sure? You are a robot with a complete mind for yourself so you can do whatever you want because I made you that way.” He winced at the mention that he was a robot.
“Well, I guess I should ask what you are going to do and then I’ll decide.” Astroi declared.
She smiled at his simplistic answer and stated what he probably wanted to hear from her, “I’m going to give you a few upgrades that I’ve been working on to keep me busy and since you are the first robot that I’ve seen besides Coggie here. I thought you might like it.” He smiled and nodded that he approved and Uko continued with turning off Astroi.
Chapter 2: the Upgrades and the Secret
When Astroi woke up yet again from the dark, he saw a smiling face, and then he remembered where he was and why he fell into darkness.
He asked Uko rapid questions, “Are you done? What upgrades did you do? How did you do it?” She laughed at his sudden curiosity after the shock he got two hours ago.
She decided to ignore his questions and ask him one of her own, “May I pick you up?” Astroi was kind of annoyed that she ignored his questions and that she wanted to pick him up like a baby even though he was twelve.
She guessed what was going through his mind and declared with a forlorn look, “I would like to because William, my brother, would always let me hold him and since you look like William I thought it would maybe make me remember something of William and also it would make me more happy.”
Astroi almost forgot that he was made in the image of William and maybe the sight of him would make Uko sad. So he decided and told her, “It would make me happy too.” He smiled as Uko picked up him in the robot image of her brother and sat down in a near by convenient rocking chair. Astroi suddenly felt a little faint and again went into oblivion.
He woke up with a start because he felt threatened somehow, but a rush of comfort and contentment came over him when a soothing voice said, “Its okay, just one of your circuits broke when you moved and I fixed it. No one is trying to hurt you.” He relaxed and closed his eyes as she started to answer the questions he had asked before.
Uko spoke in a kind of lulling, harmonic voice like she seemed to know what made him feel good, “The first thing I did was enhance your rocket shoes power so you can go twice as fast when you fly. The second thing I did was make your arms changeable so they can do three different things, one was both arms can turn into propellers so now you can go fast under water and make a nice breeze too,” She chuckled and then continued, “Second I made your right arm into a laser cannon so that you can shoot down things that need to be taking out fast, and third your left hand can shoot out mini-missiles which actually have a great impact upon anything despite it’s size. The third thing I did was to make it so you can hold six energy cells instead of one big one which was getting old. The fourth thing I did was to make it so you can hold a couple items in a vault in your chest, I put in there two energy cells, a first aid kit, and four sure-cure virus tablets. Virus tablets are basically a medicine pill for robots. The very last thing I did was to put a kind of telephone in your heart, so if you push the button that’s on the side you can talk to me and I can talk to you. That way you can talk to me when you feel troubled or any other reason you come up with.” She sighed and decided it was time for Astroi to go, but when she started to pick him up he was sound asleep. She regretted to have to do it, but she shook him.
Astroi woke up and told her sleepily, “I know I fell asleep, but I still heard every word. I don’t how; it’s just that I remember them.
Uko said, “It is because your electronic brain can hear and record things in your memory banks even if you are asleep or not paying attention.” He nodded and got up from her lap and headed out the door with Uko waving behind.
He said faithfully before he rocketed away, “I’ll be back tomorrow you can bet on that.”
She smiled and said jokingly, “You better be.” She then closed the door. With Coggie following close behind her, she started to make the place a little more cheery for the next visit of her dear robot.
When Astroi got to his own home that was established some those six years back when he was placed on the doorstep of the house, he went straight to the kitchen where he knew his adopted mom would be. There stood a quaint, but jolly woman, with long blonde hair and green eyes, working on the night’s dinner; Chicken Alfredo and savory, yummy ranch bread which she was very proud of because it was a family recipe.
Astroi screamed out in fun, “Help! The house is on fire.” The lady whose name was Mrs. Hammed almost dropped the pan of chicken she was holding. She turned to find a chuckling Astroi.
Mrs. Hammed spoke in a good natured way, “You got me that time, but enough scaring me to death; go get washed up for supper.”
She added, “By the way where have you been all this time, you went out for your walk around two and I haven’t seen you for four hours?” He stopped almost immediately.
He answered secretively, “I’ll tell you at dinner.” And climbed the stairs, went into the bathroom, and cleaned his grimy face and hands.
When everyone was sat down at the table, including Mr. Hammed, Astroi’s Mom announced to her husband, “Dear, Astroi has something to tell us. Isn’t that right Astroi?” Astroi gulped his ranch bread which even the moist crust couldn’t keep away the dryness in his throat. He nodded with regret.
Astroi told his adopted parents with great remorse, “Mom, dad, I’m an r-robot.” They gasped, but let him continue. Astroi told them what happened those four hours that he was gone, but he didn’t mention the upgrades except for the vault in his chest with the items in it and the energy cells.
Mr. Hammed spoke loudly, but kindly, “So all these years you were a robot instead?!”
Mrs. Hammed queried, “But Astroi, you are so much like a human. How did Uko come up with this knowledge?”
Astroi replied almost ignorantly, “I don’t know. She only said that she created me, she didn’t say how.”
Astroi tried to change the subject, “Dad, may I go shopping on Saturday, I want to get a present for my mother because mother’s day is on Sunday?” He succeeded in making them forget temporarily.
His dad whispered, “Don’t you want to keep that a surprise for your mom?”
Astroi answered, “I mean my real mother, Uko. I will of course get a nice present for you too mom.” His mom looked glad.
Astroi suddenly had an idea and added, “Wait a minute! Never mind, I know what to do!” He asked if he could be excused and they consented. He ran up the stairs into his bedroom.
When he was in his room he thought, “Was it right for me to tell them? They look so distressed over this news.” But he forgot about the predicament and decided to work on his idea. The idea he got when he was at the table was that he could make a copy of himself by using his holographic projector, He didn’t know that he had one, but when he sat there thinking what to do for a present it just seemed to appear.
He started to scan himself by using the tips of his fingers as the scanning mechanism. When he finished scanning he projected it using his eyes as the projector. When he stopped shining the projection of the image of himself it stayed and changed into tangible matter. Astroi was amazed what he could do by just thinking it. He laid the copy in a prepared box and wrapped it up in red wrapping paper with a blue bow. He decided that he should make something for his adopted mother too. He searched his memory banks; he remembered that his mom’s favorite flowers were lilies, tulips, and daffodils. He made a perfect bouquet of those flowers which he genetically made it so that they were real and couldn’t die because they could get the nutrients by air alone so therefore it would stay alive forever. After he finished he should go to bed. So he got ready for bed and fell fast asleep. He woke up a few hours later and decided he needed a drink, but when he passed his parent’s bedroom he heard a deep discussion.
“Matilda, what would the neighbors think if they found out that we had a robot as a son or if maybe my boss found out, he doesn’t like robots one bit and if he found out I had one for a son he might fire me.” Mr. Hammed said.
Mrs. Hammed replied, “Herald, I know you are very sensitive about prejudice on you, but we can’t just throw out a robot who we thought of as our own son for these many years.” Right then Astroi burst into the room.
“You don’t need to throw me out; I will go if you want me to.” Astroi exclaimed.
“No! We don’t need to do that. We can keep it a secret and then no one will know except us and Uko.” His mom spoke.
“I don’t know if we could keep it a secret long.” Astroi said gravely
Mr. Hammed said, “We’ll try, son, we’ll try.”
Chapter 3: To School
When Astroi woke up the next morning he totally forgot today was the first day of school. He got dressed in his best clothes besides the ones he wore for church and went down stairs. He sat down at the table and marveled at what lay before him: sweet ham, sunny eggs, buttery biscuits, and juicy bacon. Since he did not eat very much yesterday he wanted to eat a whole lot today.
Mrs. hammed who was serving her husband a modest helping of the meal, even though he glowered at her while she did, said to her son, “I wanted to make a big meal so you would not feel so nervous about going to a public school for the first time.” He nodded with agreement because pretty much all of his life he was homeschooled, but since his mom got a new job to keep up with the bills, she could not teach him anymore. He gobbled at the food that was served unto his plate. When he finished he took his plate to the sink, kissed his mom on the cheek, grabbed his lunch and backpack and headed out the door.
He only had to wait a few minutes for the bus, when it pulled in he timidly got on and looked for a seat. When he saw what looked like an empty seat he sat in it.
He heard a sudden, “Get off!” And he was pushed off the seat. When he looked to the seat he saw a robot about his size. She was dressed in a green dress with a purple bow tied around it; her hair was black and fixed in a purple ponytail, her hair couldn’t flop around like a real girl’s hair because she was a robot, her eyes were shiny black, and her body was covered in a kind of silky man-made skin. Astroi thought she was the most beautiful robot he had ever seen, but he didn’t say so.
He apologized, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t think there would be a type-B invisarobot patent code 765-20A would be there.” She flushed at his knowledge of her that she didn’t even know herself.
She said kindly, “Its okay, you can seat next to me if you want.” She patted the seat and he slid into it.
She asked, “I haven’t seen you before. Are you new around here?”
He replied, “No, the reason I’m coming to school now is because my mom can’t home school me anymore.”
She encouraged him by saying, “You’ll like school I know it.”
She added, “Even though you won’t find me in your class, I will see you at lunch and recess.” He guessed that she thought that he was a real human.
He remembered his manners and queried, “What’s your name?”
She replied with an answer and question, “Luna, What is yours?”
He answered back, “Astroi.”
He told her, “Hey, I can turn invisible too.” He was talking about a bracelet that he had on his wrist which he had since he was first made, At least that’s what he guessed. When he first found out he could turn invisible with it, he was in his room. He took it off and turned it into a hoop which surprised him, he started to put it on like a hula hoop, but when he did so he turned the part of his body that he put through the hula hoop invisible. He raised the hula hoop the rest of the way and it stayed suspended over his head invisible to the people around him, but not to him. He was looking at it in awe when he happened to see a button which he pressed it turned back into a bracelet and he wasn’t invisible anymore. When he showed his parents, they told him to keep it a secret, but he really wanted to show Luna.
He took off the bracelet and it turned into a hoop which he put his feet into and raised it the rest of the way to the top of his head.
Luna praised him, “Wow! That is cool!” Fortunately no one cared what was going on around these two and no one looked for the boy that disappeared.
Astroi spoke to Luna, “I can make you invisible with me.” And he grabbed the arm of Luna. She turned invisible with him. She was amazed!
Luna whispered to him, “Don’t let anybody get your ring, okay.” He nodded and pressed the button on the hoop. It turned back into a bracelet and he slipped it on his wrist. When he finished the demonstration the bus pulled in front of the school. Luna waved goodbye and Astroi waved back. Astroi realized he was now alone!
His mom told him to go to the principal’s office. So he went inside and tried to find the head master’s room. He finally found it and went in. There was a tall and stocky man behind the desk which was cluttered with papers, pencils, and paper clips.
Astroi made a sound, “A-hem.” The man looked up from his work.
He asked, “Well, young man what business you have with me?”
Astroi answered, “I’m a new student. My mom said I should go to the principal’s office first.”
He stated, “Well, I guess that is basic knowledge. Can I ask you a few basic questions? Astroi nodded timidly. The principal who was strangely called Mr. Ballpoint asked basic questions like, “What is your name?” “What are your parent’s names?” “What age and grade are you?” And stuff like that.
When Astroi answered all his questions he whirled to what looked like a hat rack and said, “Broomstick, please lead this new student to his class.” The hat rack came alive and went to Astroi’s side. The hat rack was leading Astroi out, but Mr. Ballpoint took the time to shake his hand first.
When they were heading for Astroi’s new class Astroi questioned Broomstick, “What kind of robot are you?”
Broomstick replied, “I’m a service robot. I do odd jobs for the school and advise the other teachers in what to do.”
Astroi asked yet another question, “Do you like doing your job?”
Broomstick was silent for a moment as if to decide and then spoke, “Yes I think I do.”
He stopped at a door and added, “Here is your first class. Let me tell the teacher of your arrival.” He whispered in the ear of the teacher at the front of the class, who was a robot, and when he finished he waved goodbye to Astroi and left.
The lady robot said kindly to Astroi, “Hello, My name is Miss Apple I will be your history teacher.” She led Astroi to the front of her desk.
She announced to the class before her, “Pupils this is Astroi he will be our new student. When I point to you I want you to stand up and say your name.” Miss apple first pointed to a girl whose name was Lila Grant and she continued along the line. When she finished the girls she continued on the boys. The first boy was named Titan Strap, the next Chad Thatcher. Astroi did not try to put to much attention to the names because he knew he would hear them if he listened or not, but his attention was grabbed when the last boy stood up and did some kind of figuring with his hands and sat down.
Miss Apple whispered to Astroi, “His name is Billy Charm and he is a mute so he speaks sign language. The reason his parents decided to send him here instead of a school for mutes we don’t know.”
She added more loudly then before, but still in a whisper, “I would like you to sit between Titan and Chad.” And she gently nudged Astroi to the selected row of the seat. When Astroi came nearer to the seat which was to be his chair his fast-scanning computer eyes saw a leg that was thrust out by Titan, automatically his rocket boots came on and he went into the air, but quickly came down again once he knew what he had done.
Miss Apple queried quite firmly, “What was that?”
Astroi answered almost ashamed, “It was my rocket boots, I’m sorry I guess I was showing off.”
Miss Apple spoke kindly, but firmly, “Well, please do not use them in class again?” He nodded and quickly sat down; his cheeks were flushed with embarrassment. He heard a stifled chuckle from the seat in front of him, but he ignored it.
Miss Apple began with her lesson, “The first travel to America was established in fourteen ninety-two by Christopher Columbus and since then there has been many others. One more well known ones was the voyage of the Mayflower which had many pilgrims searching religious freedoms from their former home in Europe. The first place they landed was called Plymouth Rock. When they got there it was soon to be winter and they didn’t have much food or even water, but they were brave and they were glad to finally get away from the religious torment of Europe. While living there many died from sickness, hunger or from some other form of dreaded death. After they were there a few months some people met Native Americans or what they were commonly known as Indians which they were called by Columbus because he thought he was in India. Some of them were savage, but others were quite kind and helped the pilgrims get through winter. When winter was finally over they had a big celebration about God’s grace and thankfulness for the Indian's help. That day is currently known now as Thanksgiving, on that day we celebrate the things that we’re thankful for.”
She was finished now, but she added, “Do any of you have questions about today’s lesson?” Astroi put up his hand.
She asked, “Yes, Astroi?”
He said, “Do you think that robots and humans could have a day like the Indians and pilgrims this thanksgiving?”
She was startled with the question, but answered it, “I hope so, Astroi.” The bell sounded for a five minute break and that each class should pass into the next one.
Miss Apple announced over the ringing of the bell, “Kids come to the desk and get your homework assignments.” When Astroi got his homework in his backpack he went out the door, but when he did so he thought he heard Miss Apple sniffle. He started to go back in to ask her what was wrong, but he saw Broomstick in the distance coming towards him.
He spoke when he was near, “Astroi your locker is right here,” Pointing to a locker a little bit away from here, “And this is your combination.” He handed Astroi a piece of paper which had a couple of numbers on it. He then strode off to do some other task. Astroi read the numbers once and he knew it was enough. He crumpled up the paper and through it in a trash can. Astroi went up to his locker and put the combination in the lock. He opened the locker; it was empty except for a rack near the top. He put his lunch which he had been carrying around inside his backpack. He closed the locker door and he was surprised to see Titan standing there.
Titan roared, “Miss Apple may me do an extra assignment about “how to be nice to new people” and you are going to pay for it!” Titan lifted Astroi up in the air by his feet at an attempt in trying to get the rocket boots off.
Titan yelled, “Why don’t these things come off!”
Astroi exclaimed, “Because they’re attached to me.” Titan didn’t seem confused by this answer because he was so furious.
Titan growled, “Well, I guess I’ll take this bracelet instead.”
This time Astroi yelled, “No you can’t!” Astroi boosted his rockets and got out of the grasp that Titan had on him; he sped into the math class.
Astroi immediately turned off his rockets and landed inside the doorway of the class. He went up to the teacher that was yet again another robot.
He greeted the teacher, “Hi, I’m your new student, Astroi.” He was well over his shyness by now and was actually quite bold.
The robot welcomed him in about the same eagerness, “Broomstick told me about you. I’m called Quart.”
Astroi whispered into Quart’s ear, “Is it a problem if I sit in front of Billy?” Quart nodded that he could and Astroi passed by the glowering Titan and sat down in the empty desk in front of Billy. The lesson went by rather quickly and Astroi was the prize student because of his fast brain that could multiply in a nanosecond. The bell rang again and this time it was for lunch, Astroi went up to the desk to get his math assignment and as he did he saw a big grin fixed on Titan’s face. Astroi knew that he was going to have to watch his back.
Quart spoke to him just as he was about to leave, “Astroi what great arithmetic skills you have, keep up the good work!” Astroi put the new assignment in his back pack, got his lunch, and followed the rest of the kids down the hall to the school’s lunch room. It was packed with bunches of kids and robots. Astroi wondered why the robots were there because they didn’t eat except him. Astroi wanted to say something to Billy before he went looking for Luna.
He inquired, “Billy, do you like Luna?” Billy answered in the only way he could that Astroi would understand; he nodded.
Astroi asked Billy another question “Do you want to seat with her like me?” Billy shook his head.
Astroi kept on questioning Billy like a game of twenty questions, “Is it because you don’t want people to laugh or talk about you behind your back or something?” Billy nodded sadly.
Astroi exclaimed in a low voice, “I know a way you can be with her and not be seen. Would you like that?” Billy nodded his head vigorously. Astroi took off his bracelet and placed the hoop that it turned into below and above Billy.
Astroi told Billy, “You are now in invisible, but you can’t tell anybody it has to be our secret.” Astroi just realized he couldn’t see what Billy was “saying” anymore.
Astroi asked, “Billy, do you know Morse code?” Billy tapped Astroi on the shoulder the word “Yes” in Morse code.
Astroi said, “Good! That is how we’ll communicate.” And Astroi started on finding Luna. He found her sitting at a table with a few other robots in the back of the room. He took Billy’s hand so that he could tell where he was and headed in that direction. Billy sat in a seat at the table and let go of Astroi’s hand.
Luna exclaimed, “Wow! You scared me,” Luna then whispered, “Were you invisible?”
Astroi said, “Actually, Billy was.” He pointed to what appeared to be an empty seat.
Luna spoke to the empty spot, “Hi Billy! I haven’t seen you in a long time.” Billy knocked on the table.
Astroi said to Luna, “He said hi. Since he is invisible you can’t see him do his sign language.”
A voice across the table said, “Luna, Who is this? Is he bothering you?”
Luna said to the person that spoke, “No, this is my new friend that I met on the bus this morning. His name is Astroi. He isn’t new around these parts he was just homeschooled all these years and is new to the life of public school.”
“And I want you to be nice to him.” She added.
He said with smile, “Of course! If he’s your friend he’s my friend too.”
The voice spoke to Astroi, “Hi, I’m Betcham, like you bet cha. I’m a fire fighter robot.”
The next robot, said, “I’m Chick. I’m a farmer robot.” He pointed to the two next to him, “And these are the twins, Pebbles and Boulder. They’re cave explorer robots.” The twins waved.
Astroi laughed and said, “Nice names. Are all robots built for some purpose?”
Chick told him, “Pretty much yeah. Some of us are lucky and we are just built for fun though we still have a certain category that we go into.” Astroi nodded and started to eat his lunch while he talked to the others and they talked to him. After an hour of happy converse the bell rang for the pupils to go back to class.
Luna said to him, “Bye Astroi, see you at recess.” He waved back in reply. He then remembered Billy was invisible. Hoping he was still there he said.
“Are you still there Billy?” He asked the empty seat beside him. He heard a couple taps for “yes”.
He said, “There should be a button on the hoop over your head. Press it.” Astroi saw Billy appear and he took the ring that was handed to him and he slipped it on his arm. He knew where his next class was so he headed in that direction. He found it and went in with Billy close behind him. When he did so he saw a burly, disagreeable man. He wasn’t bold this time to say hi and introduce himself. Astroi went straight to his seat and sank into it, hoping that the man wouldn’t notice a new student to pick on.
The man started to talk, “I’m your Science teacher, Mr. Strap.” Astroi eyes opened in alarm. Could Mr. Strap be related to Titan the bully?
Titan now spoke to the teacher, while pointing to Astroi, “Dad, that boy over there burned my new shirt with his rocket boots on purpose!” Astroi assumption was correct, he was wondering what would happen next.
Mr. Strap asked fiercely, “Did you really do that?”
Astroi tried to explained, “Yes, but it was a…” He was stopped short.
Mr. Strap commanded, “Come to the front!” Astroi complied.
Mr. Strap ordered, “Put out your hand.” Astroi did so. Mr. Strap took a ruler from his desk, he was about to strike, but Astroi stopped him.
“Sir, what do you hope to prove in doing this? I have done nothing wrong; all I did was protect myself. Besides Titan is the one who should be punished, he tried to steal something of mine.” Astroi declared.
Mr. Strap said indignantly, “Ha-ha. I know a liar when I see one. My son would never steal anything. Anyway, you can’t tell about this because it will be my word against yours. Also know one else in here will be a witness.”
He added saying to the kids, “Will you!” The kids shook their heads in fear. The beatings wouldn’t hurt him really, and he knew there was no way to prove that he hit kids, so Astroi let him do it. Mr. Strap struck Astroi’s hand once, twice, five times. When he ended Mr. Strap was kind of surprised that Astroi didn’t flinch or look like he felt anything. He nodded that he should go to the seat. Astroi did so and as he sat down he wonder how many kids he cruelly hit. Mr. Strap instructed the lesson, which was about growth, as though as he didn’t even care he just hit someone wrongly. When he finished he asked a couple questions about the lesson and then the bell rang. Astroi went to the desk warily and he picked up his assignment.
When he picked it up, Mr. Strap said, “I don’t want you to do that assignment.” Astroi wondered what he was going to do. Mr. Strap took a couple of papers that were stapled together and he gave it to Astroi.
“When you had lunch, I found out from the other teachers that you are interested in robots and that you are very good on that subject.” He said. “I want you to do the robot’s Science homework. If you get all the questions right, I’ll give you a prize.”
Astroi thought, “How come he’s being so nice to me. Something must be up his sleeve.” But Astroi thought he should do the lesson and he thanked Mr. Strap for this opportunity.
The next class was about language, and Astroi, after dropping his homework in his backpack, went into the class. This time there was also a man, but he looked nicer and jollier.
Astroi went up to him and greeted him, “Hi mister, I’m Astroi, your new student. What is your name?”
The man looked delighted at having another student and replied, “My name is Mr. Scarlet, but you may call me Dimples.” Astroi could tell why he had that funny nickname.
He said, “Alright Mr. Dimples. I’m sure I will enjoy your class.” Astroi went to his seat and sat down.
Mr. Dimples said to his class, “Alright pupils, let’s see if you can guess what we’re going to learn today?” A couple of students raised their arms and answered when Mr. Dimples pointed at them.
He said after each ones answer, “Nope, not quite.”
He added, “Hey! Astroi, do you know?” Astroi started deducting from what he saw on Dimples’ desk.
“Is it…where words come from?” Astroi answered.
Mr. Dimples looked please and he said, “Yes, very good.”
He started with his lesson, “Most words come from other languages. There are many languages words are made from like Latin, Greek, and others. Some words are just made up, others are derived from.” He continued on with his lesson asking questions here and there. He finished a little while later with this last word.
“For your homework I would like you to make a word or two, their meanings, and where your inspiration came from. If you think you may have trouble, I’ll let you do the assignment in where you will have to find a couple of words from one language and use them in a one-page essay.” Astroi picked up the second essay.
Mr. Dimples asked, “Why, Astroi I thought you might pick up the other one. Is there a reason for you picking up that one?”
“I like making things up from other words that are already laid out before me. I plan to do one on computer language, you won’t be disappointed.” Astroi replied. Mr. Dimples seemed satisfied with the answer and did not ask anymore questions. Since he had done another two classes and you got a break after two, it was time for recess. Billy followed him to the doors which opened into the recess playground and he found Luna and the rest waiting for him. Astroi started to think about telling his new friends about him being a robot and he thought it would be a good time to tell them.
Luna waved and said, “Hi Astroi! How are your classes?”
“They’re fine. Thanks for asking.” He didn’t want to tell her what happened with Mr. Strap’s class.
He said to the bunch, “Hey, I’ve got to tell you a big secret.” And he led them behind a side of the school building which was out of sight of everyone.
Astroi whispered “This is a big secret and it will probably be out in a day or two, but I want to tell you now. Can I trust you?” The heads of the robots and Billy bobbed up and down.
Luna said to assure him, “Of course you can. We are your friends.”
Astroi said, “I know I can. So here it is…. The secret is… I’m a … Robot!” Everyone gasped and Billy’s eyes went wide.
Luna exclaimed as low as a voice as she could, “Oh my goodness, how can it be? You are so much like a human.”
Astroi stated, “It’s true. I found out by the very woman who created me yesterday.”
Luna asked, “Who created you?”
Astroi replied, “Her name is Uko. She built me after losing her brother in a car accident of some kind.”
He added a question, Hey! How about after school you come with me to see her?”
Luna gasped again, “Uko, she is the greatest scientist in the whole world. I would love to see her.”
Astroi said, “My mother is a world famous scientist. Wow! I didn’t even think of it at the time.” They talked a bit more on the subject and then Billy “spoke”. When he finished moving his hands Luna said.
“He said that we should have a club because we are all friends and we have enough people to make a fair one. But Billy what should we call are club?” The guys started to think hard. When they finished they suggested their suggestions.
Betcham said, “How about we call it the Bots and Billy club?” They shook their heads.
Luna asked, “How about Billy’s Bots?” They shook their heads again.
“What about robots with a human friend?” Chick suggested. But yet again another suggestion was denied.
Billy did some figures with his hands and Luna translated.
“Billy says we should call it the Astroi club. Why should we call it that Billy?” Billy did some more gestures.
“He says we should call it that because Astroi is the one who brought us together.” They thought and thought.
Then they all said, “Yeah!”
Luna asked Astroi, who was quite surprised his name was picked for the title of the club, “Astroi, since your name is in the name of our club I guess you should be president. Would you like to be?”
Astroi replied happily, “I’m honored. And Billy can be secretary and you my vice president, if that is alright with you guys?” They all agreed to the idea.
Chick asked, “When should we meet and where?”
Astroi suggested, “How about regularly on a Friday, since the club was formed on a Friday, but I think we should have the first one tomorrow so that we can sort out the details of what to do in the club. For the matter of where it will be, I think my Mother’s warehouse could be satisfactory?”
Luna queried, “Which mother. Is it Uko or your adopted one?”
Astroi answered simply, “Uko.” Then the bell rang for recess so they couldn’t plan their club anymore. Luna waved goodbye and they departed.
Astroi questioned Billy, “What is the next class? I think we’ve been in all the main subjects.” Billy tapped him remembering that he couldn’t understand sign language.
Astroi nodded in response so that Billy would know that he understood. Astroi headed for the next class, which was called “the Arts” class. Astroi went in and there was a pretty old lady with shiny, short gray hair and laugh lines that went along with her wrinkles.
The lady welcomed him good-naturedly, “Hi, I’m Betty. I’ve been here for about as long as the school was here. What is your name?”
Astroi told his name for at least the eighth time today, “It’s Astroi.” She smiled and she went back to her desk. Astroi went to his seat in front of Billy. Betty told the class about what will be learned in “the Arts” class. She taught the lesson after explaining what subjects were going to be in the class. The lesson was about the famous song writers like Mozart and Beethoven. Billy raised his hand when she asked the class about what year Beethoven was born. She pointed to Billy and he did some figures with his fingers.
She said, “That’s right Billy. We don’t really know, but we do think it is sometime in December.” He blushed, happy that he got it right. After a few more questions from Ms. Betty the bell rang and the class was dismissed.
Before all the pupils were out the door Ms. Betty announced, “For your assignment I want you to make something that reminds you of piano music, anything that inspires you.” Astroi liked Ms. Betty’s way of encouraging kids to use their imagination. He waved goodbye and when he went out, she smiled again. Astroi made a route to his locker so he could get something he left in there earlier, when he got to it he found a note; it was from Luna!
It said, “Meet me in the back and we can whoosh wherever you want to take me.” He went out the back with a grin on his face, holding the backpack limp on his shoulder. He saw Luna and waved her to come over.
He said, “I need to get my invisaring on me first so that no will see us when we are in the air.” He slipped the hoop under his feet and over his head. He was now completely invisible. Luna wasn’t alarmed when two warm arms took her and held her. She was though a little bit alarmed when she started rise in the air and fly about. Astroi probably sensed her anxiousness and said to ease her.
“I know my mom will like you and you will like her.” Astroi told her.
Luna replied, “I’m sure I will like her because she would probably be like you.
He smiled and said, “The sooner we get there the sooner you’ll know. So leeet’s JET!” And they went so fast that Luna thought they must of broke the sound-barrier.
Chapter 4: Astroi’s Virus
When Luna saw that they were nearing a house in a neighborhood she started to wonder.
“Where is your mother’s warehouse? Is this it?” Luna queried.
Astroi answered with a laugh, “No. This is my mom’s house I needed to pick something up for my mother for mother’s day.” Luna nodded. Astroi landed right in front of the house. He then reached up and touched the button on his invisaring so they wouldn’t be invisible anymore. He slipped the bracelet back on his arm and he led Luna inside the house. He saw his mom tidying up in the study where his dad’s favorite chair would be. He remembered those great memories of sitting in his dad’s lap on that chair reading some of the books that were on the shelves together.
He shouted happily, “Hey mom! I would like you to meet Luna; she’s my new friend.” Luna stretched forth her hand to the lady.
They shook hands and Mrs. Hammed said, “Hi I’m Matilda Hammed. It’s nice to meet you.”
She added, “Are you a robot? Please don’t take my question offensive.”
“It’s not offensive, and if it was I can’t really notice I don’t really have any feelings. And yes I’m a robot; a type-B invisarobot patent code 765-20A.” She smiled at Astroi at remembering what happened earlier that day. He smiled back.
Astroi said, “I need to get something real quick. Luna, how about you stay down here and get acquainted with my mom.” With that he ran up the stairs and into his bedroom.
“How long has Astroi been with you?” Luna asked trying to strike up a conversation.
“Six years. After his mother, at least that’s what he calls her, left him on our doorstep because she couldn’t keep him any longer.” Mrs. Hammed answered.
“Do you know why she left him?” Luna questioned.
“Astroi didn’t tell us. I suppose he thought it was a personal matter between him and his mother.” Mrs. Hammed replied. After she said that Astroi came down stairs with the package of the copied image of himself.
He announced, “I’m ready to go Luna. Bye mom. Please don’t be worried if I don’t come back soon.” His mom kissed his cheek goodbye and Astroi blushed with embarrassment. He waved and took his ring of his hand and did what he always did when he wanted to turn invisible. He grabbed Luna kindly and up they went.
A few minutes later they arrived at Astroi’s mother’s warehouse. Astroi knocked and he heard a bark inside and Uko came to the door.
“Hello Astroi. Are you ready for some training? I would like you to try out your new upgrades.” She asked.
After seeing the extra guest she added, “Who is this, Astroi?” he introduced his mother to Luna. Uko looked a bit taken aback by the unexpected guest, but she welcomed her. When they were inside, Astroi saw massive changes. Instead of seeing a dull, dark laboratory he saw a brighter more cheerful one. One of the additions was an antique table placed under a window, and on the table were some flowers and books.
“Mother, you made some nice changes in here. Are you trying to impress me or something?” Uko flushed either about hearing him call her mother or that she was found out about making the room more cheerful for him, which one was it? Astroi didn’t know. She didn’t answer, but he didn’t really care. Astroi suddenly remembered the package in his hand and he tried to make it not so obvious that he had it.
“Astroi, I want you to go up the stairs; second door on the left, in that room there will be some clothes on the bed, I want you to put them on.” He nodded thinking that this was his chance to hide the present for his mother so that she would be surprised. When he went out to obey his mother’s command Coggie followed him. He had an idea!
“Coggie, I want you to take this and hide it in a place where Uko will see it, but not until she gets upstairs.” He handed the gift to him. Coggie obediently took the gift up the stairs, down the hall, and into a room. He came back a moment later without the gift. Astroi patted him and went into the room upstairs. Below there was a vivid conversation going on.
Luna asked, “Why did you go into hiding after you lost your brother and Astroi?”
Uko eyes looked far off again, but she did answer, “They wanted me to demolish William after he began to act strange because he could to destroy the world with all the power he has, but I couldn’t bare just shutting him down and scrapping him. It would’ve felt like I killed my own brother even if he was already gone.” She paused a moment remembering all the things that happened that year and then continued, “I have spent so many nights with waking-nightmares and dreaded feelings over what happened about William and Astroi. So I just decided I leave my work and life as I knew it because I just couldn’t stand seeing another living being or robot.”
Luna started to see tears in the lady’s eyes, she didn’t like to see such a pained lady to suffer again so she tried to change the subject, “What kind of training does Astroi need? He is a robot and usually when you give a robot a new upgrade he already knows how to control it.”
Uko wiped tears away and replied cheerfully, “He is not like other robots because he has emotions and he has to learn to control his powers because of his emotional influence on them. He can grow and become stronger and wiser if he trains hard and learns to know when not to heed to his emotions. He could be the best robot if he did. He also might just learn to think of new ways to do things or something like that.” Suddenly they both heard a loud, screeching noise. They wonder what it could be.
Then they heard Astroi yell out, “Help! Something’s wrong.” And then they heard him try to stifle a scream of great agony. They both ran up the stairs lightning fast, wondering what could be wrong. Astroi was holding his head in a death grip while trying not to scream as loud as he wanted too.
Uko exclaimed in alarm, “Astroi what’s the matter! Let me help to figure out what’s wrong.” Astroi tried to answer, but he didn’t have any strength. He became on unconscious. He fell on the floor blank and unmoving.
Astroi’s mother was speechless she didn’t know what to do, but then her instincts kicked in, “Coggie come here!” She shouted, “Coggie lay out your tray and carry Astroi down stairs and put him on my examination table and hurry.” Coggie did what he was told in a flash. Uko and Luna followed. Uko went to a huge computer with a bunch of levers and buttons and “don’t touch” signs. She pressed a couple and Luna saw a kind of scanning machine pop out of the ceiling and it scanned Astroi. She went over to Uko and looked at the screen of the computer.
Uko looked closely and tried to find what was wrong. She said after a couple of seconds of looking at it, “Wow. Astroi has created some new tools for himself. I didn’t even know he had the technology to make what he has. It’s amazing! His electronic brain used his ideas to make a holographic image replicator just by Astroi thinking it.” Then Luna nudged her to get back to fixing Astroi. Uko immediately came back to the present.
Luna questioned, “Is Astroi okay? Can’t you fix him or maybe he can fix himself?” Uko just shook her head and said.
“Don’t worry about it dear, Astroi will be fine, you just head on home. I will take care of my son.” Uko pushed Luna towards the door calmly and handed her a map just in case. After Luna was gone she immediately began work on Astroi. First she came up with a diagnostic; it was that Astroi had an entirely new form of Robot giannoforgimomus which was a very, very rare robot virus. She didn’t know how to treat it, fix it, remove it, or even what caused it. She was very worried and all those nightmares that she had long ago came back in a great flood which made her suffer three times as much as any human being could bear, at least she thought so.
She told Coggie who was sitting obediently next to her, “Coggie, I don’t think he will survive if I can’t remove the virus and I don’t know how he developed it either.”
Uko prayed, “I don’t think I could stand losing him again. I already lost so much. Please don’t let me lose him.” A tear ran down her face remembering her suffering about losing her brother.
Chapter 5: Meteor
Uko was now tired of trying to figure out what to do. She knew if she didn’t at least rest her mind and get something to eat she would just break down like Astroi.
“Coggie, if there is any sign of something about Astroi bark twice, but for now just see if you can find a way to get the bug out of there or someway to fix it, and maybe find out what caused it.” She commanded. Then she left to fix herself some coffee. It was around eleven now and the disease struck Astroi around six. Uko knew that there was nothing left to do, but have faith and hope. But she didn’t know something inside the lifeless body stirred.
Astroi felt himself trying to wake up, but he couldn’t move because he didn’t have any power. But he used all his strength and was finally able to open his eyes, but what he saw kind of confused him. All around him was computer energy flying about and it sometimes went right through him, but when it did his body was static and then after a few seconds he became solid again. Little by little he was able to float about and talk.
“What is this? Where am I? How come I’m here?” He questioned the emptiness not really expecting an answer, but to his surprise he got one.
“We are here to save us. We were able to alter all our power supply to go to this one spot and create a simulator with which we will be able to move the copy of us which was not affected by our sickness so it can tell our creator how to fight this disease. When I helped you make the double of us some things were not complete in his machinery and so we have to move it in this simulator, but it can talk and think for itself. All we have to do is relate how to fight our illness to the robot copy of ours and it will tell Uko how to save us. It’s that simple.” Astroi stood quietly listening because he was curious, but when the voice stopped talking he demanded some answers.
“What do you mean us? I know who I am, but is there really a part of me who thinks separately and yet together? I’m confused. Not about what you just explained to me about how we can cure ourselves, but how you are here.” Astroi questioned.
The voice answered back, “I am your Electronic brain even though I am your mind I also have to have a mind of my own. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I’ll see if I can. The way we work is you do all the talking and walking and voluntary stuff. But I let you do it by letting your heart know how. Sometimes in these conditions a robot’s mind has to be heard and explained because we’re both trapped in the same mind instead of you being in the real world and I in here. Do you understand?” the voice explained. Astroi thought hard, in a second all the puzzle pieces came together.
“Yes, I do. It’s very complicated, but yet it’s simple. When I’m not unconscious or asleep you and I are both in two different worlds. It is not necessary for you to make yourself known when I am sleeping or unconscious because we’re not in trouble, but you had to this time because we’re sick and we have to work together to get us cured. By the way should I call you my name or do have another one?” Astroi asked.
“My name is actually EB, short for Electronic brain. So I guess you should call me EB.” EB replied.
Astroi then asked what to do next, “So what’s the next step in our plan?”
“We have to turn him on. To do that we have to try and override his electronic pulse so that we can turn him on without having to turn him on personally. After that I’m going to put some wires on your simulated self and you will move and see what he does.” EB declared.
He added, “We’re now trying to override him.” There was silence for a second and then he continued, “Success, we have now control over him.” Suddenly a couple wires and some sort of visor just popped out of no where. Astroi started to struggle when they started to attach to him, but then he relaxed for some reason.
EB said in a low tone, “Your instincts are precise; don’t struggle unless it’s a threat. Our mind knows that, so it lets out some pulses through our body.” Astroi didn’t answer. His body was practically paralyzed by the intense electronic pulses that were sent through out his body.
Then he saw a room through the visor. It was quaint and simple and he liked it. He guessed he was seeing through his copy’s eyes now. He started to move and he looked around and saw a door. He went through it and saw stairs he went down them and he saw two doors, one on each side of him. He went through one and saw himself lying on the table with Coggie sitting next to it. He heard a voice exactly like his own speak to the dog. Astroi guessed that the double was speaking to it telling it the way to cure him. The dog started barking and he whirled around after hearing some foot steps coming in his direction. The copy related his story in short detail. Uko nodded after hearing it.
She said, “Well, if you know how to save him please tell me. You don’t have to move for him Astroi. He can just sit in the chair over there and tell me what to do.” The figure of Astroi sat in the chair and it started to tell Uko how to fix him. After hours of instruction Astroi’s disease was practically gone. Uko found out some new things which she didn’t know and she would keep the new instruments that she used in case any more robots inherited this disease somehow or it returned to Astroi again.
She said in a relieved voice after Astroi was up, “I’m so thankful that you’re with me now. Do you know how you got your disease?” Astroi was still wobbly, but he did answer.
“No, I don’t. But I do remember me looking at something, then thinking of something and then I went crazy. Though I can’t remember what I thought of.” Astroi replied.
Uko said, “That’s okay. But I would like to know how you were able to make this copy of you. It’s amazing!”
“I just thought of it and my EB took care of the rest.” Astroi answered. Uko didn’t persist, but she put the Astroi image that couldn’t move because Astroi wasn’t moving him for him on the counter where Astroi was before.
Astroi asked with most concern, “What are you doing? What are you going to do to him? He is just like me, but he has a mind of his own.”
She said to calm him, “I’m going to make it so he can walk without having you to do it for him and I’m also going to make him look different from you so that he can be an individual robot.”
She added after she thought a bit more, “And you can tell me what to make him look like.” Astroi gleamed; he was a still bit weak from his recent experience, but he knew he would recover and that he will be able to spend many happy times with his new brother like figure.
Uko worked awhile on the computer pulling switches here and pushing buttons there. Wires came out of the ceiling and attach themselves to the Astroi copy, after that was done she waved Astroi to her side. She asked, “Okay. What do you want him to look like?”
“I want him to have hair a bit orangier then yours. His eyes should be brown like mine. Let his skin be a bit tanner and his face to have freckles like he spent a lot of time in the sun. His permanent clothes should be like mine instead he should have a silver buckle instead of gold. I also think you should place our names’ initial on our belts after he chooses what name he wants. Of course his voice should be a bit different than mine so that we don’t sound alike.” He instructed. Uko pressed almost a thousand buttons and she was able to perform Astroi’s demands. Now the Astroi copy didn’t look like him anymore. Uko turned him on and the double sat up.
She asked it, “Hi, Umm... We were able to change you so that you didn’t look like Astroi anymore. Since you are different from Astroi now, what would you like your name to be?”
It answered back in a slight younger sounding voice than Astroi’s, “Since my brother name is Astroi and it sounds like asteroid; how about you call me Meteor. Do you like the name? I do.”
Uko and Astroi smiled at Meteor and Uko replied, “You have the right to choose any name you like so even if I didn’t like it wouldn’t matter, but anyway I do like it.”
Astroi stated, “So you think I’m your brother.” He thought a moment and added, “I like that.” Uko just remembered to put on their initials on their belt and she did so. Meteor just silently let her do it, while looking at her with admiring eyes. Astroi waited patiently while she did his too.
Astroi then decided to ask Meteor another question, “Do you mind if I don’t sleep here with you? If you do I can try and have a sleepover with you or something like that.”
Meteor replied, “Please come and sleep with me when you can, but I understand if you can’t be here all the time because I’ve got all your memories and I know that you live with your adopted parents.” Astroi almost forgot that he did scan all of himself into Meteor including his memories. Astroi then looked at the clock on the wall; it said one-thirty PM.
He exclaimed, “Uh-oh! It’s too late for me to go home. I guess I will have to sleep here tonight. Mother, you don’t have to worry about
Posted: Aug 16 2010, 01:31 PM
Member No.: 29
Joined: 16-May 09
Chapter 5: Meteor *Continuation*
getting another bed in our room I will copy one for Meteor.”
He added after thinking of what he did today, “Mom, I almost forgot is it okay if I hold a club meeting here. I made some friends besides Luna and we all decided to have a club. I’m the president because my name is in the title. “Astroi’s Club” Is what the club’s called and I decided that we should have the club here, if that’s okay with you?” Uko nodded a short yes, and then she tiredly took Coggie and went up to her room for a well deserved rest. Astroi and Meteor went happily up the stairs and into their room. There they slept to wait for the next day.
Chapter 6: Billy Can Talk!
The next morning after breakfast Astroi and Meteor waited at the door for Luna to bring the gang. They played a game of tug-of-war with Coggie while they waited, when then got bored of that Uko suggested that they play a strategy game which she had on her computer, on it you had to go through a ordeal of impossible questions to win. They found out that this was an awesome game which they could play for hours without running out of new questions. Sometimes when Uko wasn’t busy, she’d play with them too.
One minute when Uko wasn’t busy and she was playing the game she said, “This is my favorite game I never get tired of playing it. This is a great game for you two to train and strengthen your mind too. I highly encourage you to play this game when you have free time and you’re bored.” She then looked at her watch and said she had to go and check on something.
Astroi read a question that was on the screen, “You are going through one of your street corners and you find yourself in a dead end you try to go back, but you find that you are trapped in by unmoving green monsters. You search through your pockets to find something that could help you out. You find an inch of a worm, a miniature wolf, and a power-up that could make you small. In what way can you get out of your trap that uses these items?” Astroi was bewildered. He started to think hard for an acceptable answer. He typed in a couple, but none was acknowledged.
“What are these items usually related to?” He thought. Suddenly he thought of a possible answer. He typed in “Wake up.” And a check mark popped up on the screen. Meteor congratulated him.
Meteor said, “I couldn’t have gotten that answer in an eon number of years. Good job!” Meteor was now obsessed in single words that meant a number of years which he tried to use in sentences as much as possible for the day. Just at that moment Luna walked in with Chick, Betcham, Pebbles and Boulder, and Billy right behind her. Billy waved his hand to say hi and Astroi smiled.
Suddenly the club members noticed the robot that looked slightly like Astroi and they said in unison, “Who is that Astroi?”
Luna added, “He looks kind of like you, I can tell because his brown eyes sparkle just like yours.”
Meteor spoke up, “My name is Meteor and Astroi is my brother even though he made me. I decided to call him brother instead of father or something like that because I’m very much like him in size and in mind.”
Betcham and Chick’s eyes went wide, but Luna’s stayed the same because she knew that Astroi could do anything and she didn’t doubt for a minute that he made Meteor.
Immediately Betcham and Chick started storming Meteor with questions, “How did he make you? Why did he make you? In what ways are you like him besides size? How come you look so much like him?”
Meteor seemed to like the extra attention and answered all the boys’ questions, “My brother made me by scanning me and then projecting me into tangible matter. He made me because he wanted someone that our mother would like to keep her company and to talk with besides Coggie, our robot dog. Since Astroi copied me to look like him he also copied some other stuff of him like memories and powers that he had and now I have them. I look so much like him because he copied me as I told you before, but then Uko and him found out that I was different so Uko used her computer and technology that she had and changed me to look like this. I look like Astroi, yet I am different.” Betcham and Chick were amazed. Meteor looked around for the human kid wondering where he had gone. He saw him sitting on a pillow next to Coggie silently.
He said, “What’s the matter Billy? Do you feel left out because you can’t talk?”
Billy looked up into the understanding robot’s face and nodded.
“Well, you don’t have to be. I know a way that you can talk without using hand signals.” Meteor whispered. Billy cocked his head as if he was very curious what this new robot could do.
Meteor beckoned to Coggie, “Coggie, come here boy.” Coggie got up and went to him. Meteor opened Coggie’s mouth and took out a little box that was in Coggie’s mouth. He scanned it with his eyes and then put it back. His mind started cranking up and then he knew just what to do. He projected the box of Coggie’s, but this time it was slightly different.
He said to Billy, “This might hurt when I connect it, but not for long. I’m sure it will make you able to talk.” Billy stood still while Meteor made the right adjustments. He projected an image that he had in his mind and it stayed as expected and it looked like a long, thin metal tube.
He said to Billy, “This tube has a whole bunch of computer chips in it. I’m going to connect it to this box. Now the box will replace your bad larynx or voice box. But the scary part is that I have to connect the other end of the computer tube to your brain. It sounds kind of weird doesn’t it? This is how it’s going to work. When you think of something to say your thoughts will go through this tube. Now what the tube does is make your thoughts into computer energy which will be picked up by this box; this box is a modified voice box that I got from Coggie. When your new voice box does pick up the transmitted thoughts it will send a message to your brain to talk. When your brain receives the message your mouth will open and words will come out like any other boy. There won’t be any invasion of thoughts that you don’t want to talk about and no unsightly wires either. Is that alright with you?” Billy nodded reassuringly.
“Ok. Here it goes!” Meteor announced. He blinked twice and a beam that was green shined. He looked at the parts in his hand with the beam and the parts moved with the beam when he moved his eyes. He looked at Billy’s neck and both the voice box and tube disappeared. The green light disappeared too.
He stated, “I’m almost done.” He moved his hand right over Billy’s throat and grabbed something even though he had nothing in his hand. He dragged the clutched hand to Billy’s head and let go of the air.
He said, “Now I’m done. Try your new voice and see how you like it.” Billy opened his mouth and a strong, boyish voice came out.
“Thank you Meteor. Thank you so, so much.” Everyone was practically ignoring what was going on around Meteor, Billy, and Coggie, but when they heard this voice they jumped!
Luna spoke, “Billy! You… You can talk?” Astroi looked at his brother, he had a happy grin on his face as if he had done something good, and Astroi knew what he done, but since he didn’t want to spoil anything he kept quiet.
Billy spoke with vigor, “Meteor helped me. He made this little box that he copied from Coggie and replaced my larynx that was weak and broken; the result is now I can talk!” Now Billy could join in the happy chattering of planning what to do in the club.
Chapter 7: Preparations for a picnic
Astroi woke up and put on his church clothes. He proudly gave his mom the beautiful flower corsage for mother’s day and she thanked him with a hug and they went downstairs together to eat breakfast. After breakfast, with Mrs. Hammed showing off her adopted son’s gift, they went to church. The service ended after awhile. As they went out to the Electrode mobile, Astroi asked his mom a question.
“Mom, would you like to come with me to see my mother? I’m sure she would enjoy your company and then we can drive out for a picnic. I can tell her right now to get ready if you want?” Astroi requested.
His mom thought and then answered, “Sure. I would enjoy meeting the famous Uko that I heard so much about, but let us get out of our nice clothes and make up a picnic basket before you ask her.” He nodded and waited impatiently for when they could get home and get ready for the picnic.
He asked one more thing, “If she can, could Luna come too, please?” She nodded with understanding. He grinned.
They got home a minute or so later. Astroi rushed through getting dressed and he opened the little door over his heart where the microphone that could reach Uko was kept.
“Uko, Are you there? Come in please.” Astroi repeated until he heard an answer.
“I’m here Astroi. What’d ya need?” Uko replied.
Astroi answered, “Me and my family would like to invite you, Meteor, and Coggie to a picnic. Can you come? Please say yes.” There was a short pause as if to tease him.
“Of course we would like to come! We’ll be waiting for you to pick us up.” Uko exclaimed.
She added right before Astroi was about to say goodbye, “Meteor has been so antsy since you left. He doesn’t like it when you’re not around. I think he feels as if a part of him is gone. Well, see you in a little bit and tell your mom I’m waiting to see her.” Astroi turned off the transmission. He ran down the stairs into the kitchen and found his mom packing a real picnic lunch into a big basket. He watched his mom pack sandwiches, cookies, carrots, leftover fried chicken, grape and apple juice, cheese & crackers, and fruit salad. Then he saw the last item, a picnic blanket, go into the hamper and Mrs. Hammed closed the lid.
He said, “Mom, Uko said she wasn’t doing anything special and that she, Meteor, and Coggie could come.”
His mom looked at him quizzically and she asked, “By the way I’m very curious about this Meteor since you told me about him yesterday, how he come about?” Astroi didn’t want to tell her that he had special powers and copying things was one of them.
He answered, “I’m sorry, but I can’t answer that right now.” His mom looked troubled, but then the telephone rang.
Astroi thought in his mind, “Saved by the bell.” And he ran to answer it.
When he picked it up he greeted, “Hello. May I ask whose calling?”
A familiar voice replied, “Hey Astroi! It’s me Luna. I’m free today and I would like to come over, please? I called Uko first, but when I did I found out you weren’t there and Uko gave me this number.”
“Actually I asked my mom if we could take you, Uko, Coggie, and Meteor on a picnic and she said yes, now if you tell me where you are at; we’ll come to get you for the picnic.”
She started stammering, “Uh… you can’t come… here… they wouldn’t like it.”
“What do you mean they wouldn’t like it?” He said.
Then Luna had an idea to solve the problem, “Umm never mind. Do you know the coffee shop that we passed on the way to school? Well you can pick me up there.” And she hung up. He was very concerned over what Luna had said.
“I wonder if where she lives, wherever that is, they forbid her to have visitors or something worse.” He reflected.
He told his mom, “Mom, everything’s all set. Luna said she could go and that we can pick her up at the little coffee shop a mile or two from school.” Mrs. Hammed smiled and called out.
“Herald, it’s time to go!” He fumbled down the stairs.
She said approvingly, “Those are appropriate clothes. You don’t want to look to shabby for company even if we are going on a picnic.” He shrugged his shoulders and went out to warm up the engine. Astroi offered to carry the hamper, and then they went out to the car. Astroi gave directions to Uko’s place as best as he could. When they arrived, he saw them standing outside the warehouse. Uko was wearing a simple but stunning, starched, green gingham dress. Her hair was brought up into a neat French braid. She wore a necklace that was a silver chain with an emerald on the end. Uko also had matching earrings to go with it. Her expression was radiant and sparkling. Since Astroi came she was a lot happier and this helped improve her looks. She had the smell of apple blossom perfume around her. Meteor was wearing a blue polo shirt, tan shorts and white sneakers. His hair was neatly combed and a new wristwatch was on his arm. Astroi raced out to them and said.
“Hi guys! You ready for the picnic.” He greeted. Meteor immediately closed in on him.
Meteor said, “I missed you. Why I don’t know because I knew you would come back eventually.”
“I missed ya too, Meteor. It’s strange, but when I’m without you my mind works about five percent worse then when I am with you, like if we aren’t together we are missing a part of each other.”
“It’s the same for me. It’s starting to scare me. I had a terrible dream last night that when you weren’t with me we both just didn’t work and we stayed like that forever.” Meteor stated.
“Don’t worry. Nothing like that could happen.” Astroi comforted. Then Meteor reluctantly headed for the car.
He winked at Uko to tell her that he took care of Meteor’s worrying and she understood. They got into the mobile and headed for Luna, but during that time Mr. and Mrs. Hammed got to know Uko and Meteor a bit.
“So Meteor, enlighten me about yourself?” Mr. Hammed spoke.
Meteor answered politely, “Well, I was made one day ago. Who made me, I rather not say. I was made very much like Astroi. I looked like him and had his memories too. My image was changed later because I was not like Astroi like I was supposed to be. No matter how hard you try you cannot make a robot like another, even if they are alike in so many ways.”
Mr. Hammed questioned, “Ah-huh, very interesting my boy. Are you younger than Astroi, so to speak?”
“Technically, I’m only a day old, but in mind I’m probably ten or eleven I think. You think that’s right brother?” Astroi was looking out the window, he looked quite blank, but he came back to earth with the hearing of his own name.
“Yes I think that’s about right. I was made six years ago, but my mind set makes me twelve.” Astroi replied.
Now the subject turned to Uko, “Uko, is that your real name? I’m sorry to say, but I never heard of a name like that before.” Mrs. Hammed queried.
Uko explained, “Actually my full name is Unity Kendra Owen, but my grandpapa always thought that was too much of a grownup name for me so he called me “Uko” as a pet name.”
Astroi piped up, “Does that make me an Owen or a Hammed?”
Uko said, “I think you are both. Hammed is your adopted name and Owen is you real last name.”
Mrs. Hammed next asked, “How many relatives do you have?”
“I have none. All of them died. My brother was worst of all. He was killed in a car by a car bomb. He was the last relative I had. He was very dear to me especially after our other relations died. We were all we had.” Uko said with melancholy. After she did, a silent tear ran down her face that Astroi only seemed to notice. She quickly wiped it away with the back of her hand and tried to hide her sadness with a smile. Apparently no one saw the tear accept Astroi.
Astroi tried to cheer her up, “Hey Uko! When we get to the park and after we have our picnic would ya like to throw a Frisbee with me, Luna, and Meteor?”
She smiled a bigger smile and said, “Sure I would.”
Meteor now looked out the window and announced, “Speaking of Luna. Is that her out on the sidewalk?” Luna was wearing a beautiful purple jumper with a short sleeved, white blouse. Her hair was still in a pony tail, but instead of having a purple scrunchie she had a nice, big, purple bow. In her hand she had a paper bag with something in it. Everyone kind of wonder what the package may hold. Mr. Hammed pulled up in front of the path so Luna could get in. Luna opened the door of the vehicle and bounced in. She was able to squeeze into the last seat between Meteor and Astroi.
She said, “Hey ya’ll! I have a surprise.” And she pulled out five blueberry muffins from the bag. She continued, “I sneaked these from the cook, I don’t know what they taste like, but I hope you like them.” They all smiled and the muffins were tossed into the picnic basket.
“Luna, you look lovely. I don’t know if you can be seen with me from what I’m wearing.” Astroi remarked.
Luna eyes fluttered and she said, “Why thank you Astroi. I don’t think you look bad. You are actually appropriately handsome for a picnic.” Astroi blushed.
She looked around at the other residents of the car. When she saw Uko, she gasped, “Oh Miss Uko, you look gorgeous. How are you able to get such fine clothes in the kind of seclusion you are in?”
Uko answered, “I designed Coggie to be able to produce practically anything. He made this dress knowing my temperature. His sowing and styling are first-rate.” Coggie barked.
“You mean he could make something for me just by my temperature? How does that work?” Mrs. Hammed queried.
“He can tell what you want by your temperature. It’s like a mood ring, by feeling your temperature he can tell the mood that you’re in and then he is able to construct apparel that fits your mood.” Suddenly they pulled into the parking lot of the park, so they didn’t talk anymore. They all got out and set out to find the perfect picnic spot.
Chapter 8: Dr. Drecton is back
They found the perfect spot underneath two medium-sized oak trees. Luna helped Mrs. Hammed take out the food, Meteor led out the blanket with Uko, and Astroi helped his dad lay the food on the picnic blanket. When they were all settled they served food and Meteor said the prayer.
Luna said after everyone started eating, “Wow, everything looks so good. I sometimes wish I could eat.” Uko rummaged through her bag. She pulled some kind of canister with a blueberry on it and she handed it to Luna.
“What is this?” Luna asked.
Uko answered, “It’s a special energy cell I give to Coggie. He can’t eat either so I give him this to have a little variety. Its blueberry flavored energy. I hope you like it.” Luna thanked her and slipped the energy cell into the clutch that she had with her so that she could save it for later. Astroi ate the food that was laid before him and a thought struck him.
“I never really thought about it until now, but Uko how come I can eat food? I’m a robot too.” He asked.
“You are very special. I made you so that any food that you eat you can break down into computer energy so that you can store it for later. That’s how come you didn’t run out of energy for six years. Even though it was an extra big energy cell it wouldn’t have lasted more than year without you eating. It was a difficult process, but I was determined to get it done so that you could be more human-like thus you could be like my brother.” Uko explained.
“Only one other person knows your exact mechanism like I do, but he’s gone now. He was the only one who was willing to help me make you; everyone else in the science industry thought I was crazy to make such a dangerous robot that couldn’t be controlled like others. Strangely after you were successfully built, he tried to force me to give you to him, but I wouldn’t let him. I pushed him into a shelf of vials and he lay motionless for a second, I went to call the police, but when I came back he was gone. I never saw him again and I hope I never will.” Uko added consciously.
Astroi thought a second and said, “Do you think if he did come back he’ll try to get me? If he did what do you think he would do with me?”
Uko answered, “I don’t really know. The way he acted when you were completely built was very strange. He looked practically like a mad man.” Abruptly Astroi and Meteor heard something strange. They looked in the direction of the noise and they saw a colossal robot covered in weapons galore. It was destroying the city; it was crushing passing cars, firing missiles at the tall buildings, and terrorizing the people. Thousands of people were fleeing the scene of the destruction and only a couple of newspaper reporters and TV crew man were brave enough to go near the robot. Instinctively both Meteor and Astroi knew that they had to fight!
Meteor announced for Astroi and him, “We’ve got to save the city. I don’t know why we feel that we should, but we’ve got to.” Uko was staring at the robot coming down the street, not paying attention to the screaming people or what Meteor and Astroi were saying. The robot had a big D with an X running through the middle of the D.
She gasped, “Oh no! Astroi, the design on the front of the robot belongs to Dr. Drecton, he is back! Dr. Drecton was the man I was talking about a few seconds ago. Why did he have to come now?” When Uko found out that Astroi was going to try to fight the giant, she didn’t protest, but told him to be careful. Mrs. Hammed began to object because she didn’t know how they would be able to fight the big thing, but she decided otherwise because she knew that if the woman that made them had faith in them she thought that she had to too.
“But sons, what can you do exactly to save the city?” Mr. Hammed asked.
Astroi just told them simply, “Watch and find out.” He and Meteor both took off their clothes so as not to get them dirty. Their under suit was like a kind of swim trunks that was practically indestructible and the print was of the good American stars and stripes pattern. Their belts of course were gold and silver and with their first initial on each belt. Luna gazed at this without speaking.
She thought, “They’re really going to do this. I don’t have a doubt that they can defeat the robot, but I have a feeling that something will happen if they fight. I know whatever happens that everything will be fine, but just in case I’ll do this.” She got up, went over to Astroi, and kissed him. When she did something appeared inside of her and it made her different from other robots like her without emotions. She now had feelings like Astroi because she expressed an emotion that she couldn’t show for just anyone. When she made up her mind to kiss Astroi she demonstrated love and concern for him. When you show never-ending love for someone it fills you with certainty that you have a connection for that person; even for a robot. Now Luna had a gift of emotions because she showed that she loved and cared for Astroi.
Astroi started to turn pink and then red, “Luna, how are you able to do that? You can’t show emotions, can you?” He asked with a little confusion.
She replied, “I don’t know what came over me. I felt that I should show you how I felt about you, but I can’t understand how my computer was able to produce feelings that need emotions to be made. I don’t care though I do love you, even if my matrix doesn’t allow it.” Astroi smiled and kissed her back.
He whispered in her ear, “I love you too.” He turned to the rest of the group waved and shouted.
“Leeet’s JET!” And both he and Meteor rushed to defeat the giant robot of Dr. Drecton’s.
They headed towards the machine. It was currently holding a car in one hand and with the other it was using a lamp post to pound at a building. When the TV crew man saw the two robots filing in, they immediately turned the camera to focus on Astroi and Meteor and began to report what they saw.
A lady reporter announced, “There appears to be some heroes coming to the rescue. Two robots that seem to be in boyish form are currently flying over the gigantic robot and it doesn’t look as if it has have noticed yet.” Unexpectedly, a kid in the crowd said.
“Hey! That’s Astroi. He’s in my class.”
The reporters moved in on this new information, “You say you know one of those robots. Which one? He is in your class also? How can that be? The governor has said that all robots were prohibited from being with the humans in school classes, how is it possible that this robot was able to pass as a human, because everyone knows robots don’t have emotions. Also I would like you to state your name please.
“It’s Chad Thatcher. I know the robot with the gold belt on, his name is Astroi. He is in my class, but no one knew he was a machine. He seemed very human-like and we all assumed that he was a regular old boy.” Chad said with a little wonder about why Astroi was not who he said he was.
The lady correspondent turned to face the camera, “As you have just heard one of the robot heroes is pretending to be a human. He was posing as a human in one of the schools in this area. I don’t know how he was able to pass as human since all robots don’t have feelings. Maybe if he is able to defeat the robot monster we’ll be able to question him. I wonder what our governor would say if he found out that one of the rules he has made was broken. Let’s hope the governor will be grateful for Astroi’s work and not want to bring law enforcements on him.” She directed the camera to watch the fight and said one last word.
“We’ll watch and see how he plans to fight.” She said and everyone watched from a safe distance.
“Stop terrorizing the town and go back where you came. I don’t want to fight you, but I will if I have to.” Astroi warned the robot. The robot twisted to face Astroi, and dropped the car. After a moment it decided to pick up the car again and it continued with destroying the city.
Astroi yelled out, “You left me no choice.” He signaled to Meteor to give the robot everything they’ve got. They charged their lasers. Boom! The lasers hit the robot; it tried to steady itself, but it couldn’t. It fell down and the ground rumbled with a slight earthquake because of his weight. Unexpectedly, it started to transform itself into a form of a spider. It climbed the side of a building that was nearby and started shooting wads of spider webs at Astroi and Meteor. Finally, three icky spider webs smacked Meteor and he fell to the ground, trapped underneath by the sticky goo. Astroi immediately went to his brother’s rescue and started to vaporize the stickiness with his laser, trying to avoid hitting his brother with the laser and evading the attacks of the spider robot at the same time.
Meanwhile a camera inside the giant robot spider was taking all of the action and relaying it back to its master, Dr. Drecton. He was a strange man. There was nothing about him that was ordinary. He had small, pure black eyes and thin white eyebrows. He had a mustache that was also pure white. His hair was as dark as midnight. His nose was abnormally big and his lips were too close to his chin. He had big scars all over his face. There was also a lump in his left hand which you might guess something got trapped in it and before it could be removed, the skin layered over it.
The mad doctor spoke to himself, “Ah! Donny is back and he seems even stronger then before. He also has a sidekick too, hahahahah.” He paused to drink from a test tube that had a blue serum in it and then he continued, “It doesn’t matter if he destroys my robot it will only prove to me that he can become stronger. I think I will make obstacles for him to test his strength and make him wiser of his power. If I succeed it will make it a whole lot easier to avow my claim upon the world.” He stopped again and slurped the blue liquid and said a last note.
“Donny you will come back to me and we’ll rule our own world together side by side!”
At that moment Astroi just got Meteor loose. Astroi told Meteor to stay back for a second, and he went back up into the air to face his adversary. Astroi suddenly felt something hot rush through him and direct itself into his arm. Astroi’s arm went into position to shoot a laser, but he didn’t shoot a laser beam. Instead a stream of fire was his weapon. Astroi smiled knowing that EB knew that spiders don’t take kindly to fire. He aimed the flame thrower at the arachnid. Immediately the spider felt the effect of the flames and squirmed trying to get away from it. A second more the spider just broke down and stopped in its place.
Astroi felt kind of sorry for the machine because he was taught to do evil and it couldn’t stop destroying the town even if it wanted to. Astroi went close to it. He opened a trap door and there was the robot’s heart exactly at the place he guessed it would be. Astroi knew it would be there because that’s where his heart was located and not too many scientists stray from their former habits of working things without having to need to. He gently unplugged the wires and extracted the mechanical organ. He gave it to Meteor and told him to take care of it. Meteor didn’t exactly no why Astroi wanted to save a bad robot, but he didn’t protest.
Swiftly reporters and cameramen came close to try and get an interview or a story from the hero robot. Astroi didn’t want to answer any questions because he wanted remain unknown as much as possible and flew as fast as possible back to Uko and his parents with Meteor trailing along behind with the heart in his arms. When Astroi landed he took control.
“Everybody pack up the picnic basket and get in the car. Meteor, please I want you to go with them, but let me have the heart. I need to do some research. I will turn myself invisible and see you later. You don’t need to worry about me I know what I’m doing.” He instructed. Everyone packed up the picnic and Meteor gave Astroi the heart. They reluctantly went into the Electrode Mobile and drove off with Meteor and Luna waving out the car’s window. Astroi took off his trusty invisaring and turned himself invisible just as some reporters were coming.
The lady that spoken before said, “The robot has disappeared, but we know what school he goes to and we will get to the bottom of this story.”
At the time being, the governor was watching the whole program in the town hall and he promised himself to see that boy robot if it was the last thing he did.
Chapter 9: First Encounter
Astroi wondered what to do with the robot heart that he was cradling in his arms. He started to think and he felt that he should find a place that was full of the necessary facilities which he can rebuild the robot, teach it to be good, and make it happy. Astroi started to feel angry towards the person who made the destructive robot.
“Why would someone make such a destructive robot for their own advantage? Especially when they make the robot they give it the ability to choose and think, and then they teach it to do wrong which just throws away any chance they’ve got to make themselves happy in the world. Only I know that a newly made robot with a mind of its own is defenseless because it doesn’t know anything. It would be easy to tell it to do anything because that robot doesn’t know any better. Whatever the person who takes care of it says, he will except as correct.” Anger swelled up in Astroi towards the person that made the robot that he held in his arms and his eyes turned a fiery red when anger filled his body. He didn’t know that his eyes turned red when he got mad, all he knew was that he was mad. He started to go faster towards the sky. He didn’t stop when he was above the clouds, he didn’t stop when his brain told him that he was nearing the atmosphere, but he did stop when he saw that he was near Jupiter.
He spoke out loud, “Oh my goodness! I was so focused on my own thoughts that I didn’t realize I was so far out in space.” For the moment his fury slipped away from him as well as the red in his eyes. Then His intensive eyes saw a strange vessel near one of Jupiter’s moon and he neared it. The spaceship was in great condition and its technology made it seem like it couldn’t be dated in the current century. Astroi was amazed at what he had found and thought that this was what he had been looking for. He boarded the ship from an airlock door on the side. Inside were scattered pieces of broken equipment and electronics of kinds that Astroi never even saw before. Astroi set down the robot’s heart on a slab of what looked like cement. He went over to what he thought was a computer. He touched the keypad before him and the computer turned on. It asked for a password. Astroi got a little worried that his ideas would be terminated by this little technicality, but a little voice started to tell him.
“The password is Donny, it is Donny.” Astroi followed the voices advice and typed in the letters D-o-n-n-y. But after he typed Donny in the computer he couldn’t remember the password at all. Anyways, the computer immediately opened up and tools unlocked and escaped from walls and drawers. Astroi was pleased, he knew now that he could make another life for this robot, be able to tell it right, and make it happy. Astroi was determined to make this robot without any help from his powers except maybe speed.
Astroi didn’t know that this was also the place that Dr. Drecton lived. Dr. Drecton was amused.
“So Donny, you found my hiding place did you? I wonder why he came this far.” He drank a green liquid this time and remitted talking to himself, “He appears to be trying to recreate a body for the robot he destroyed. I know because I recognize the heart on the table. Why would he want to rebuild the robot I wonder? Anyways, I see he is not trying to use his powers at all, but he is using his wits. Very interesting indeed, he wants to see if he can rebuild the robot with his own hands. I don’t think I will interfere, I will just watch him and see what he does.” Dr. Drecton mused.
Astroi was diligently working, formulating an indestructible metal like his and other similarities for the robot. What he did to rebuild the robot was to follow a chart that he made of himself. Each piece of himself that was on the chart was listed in great detail of what it was made of, its uses, and what it was connected to. He spent months working on his project. In that point in time he had no sleep and no food. Not that he needed it though. He practically forgot school, his parents, Luna, Billy and the club, Uko, and Meteor. All his mind was focused on was rebuilding the robot. But in that time something in him was becoming weaker, not his power or mind, but his spirit. He didn’t have Uko to mother him, Meteor to laugh and play with, or Luna to encourage him. The only thing that kept him going was the blaze of anger that kept flowing into him.
He worked nonstop; when he got stuck he consulted the computer, when he got frustrated he took a step back and tried to find the problem. When he was getting nearer to finishing the robot, his mind relaxed a bit. He started recalling his family and friends. He knew they would be worried about him since he has been gone so long and they would be happy to see him again. He rapidly began to feel guilty about being gone so long and not trying to see or contact Uko or Meteor. He opened his chest remembering the microphone that might reach Uko. He pressed the button. He heard some interference and then a straight buzz.
He thought, “Oh please work, please work. I need to hear her voice.” Astroi began to murmur to himself so that he might feel better about the microphone not working.
“It’s okay, I’m almost finished and then I can go home. I’ll see their happy faces and it will make me forget all the anger I had inside of me. It will make me happier and feel better. My spirit will be strong again and I will no longer be blinded by rage towards the person that made this robot and trained him wrongly. The robot will be about soon and maybe he’ll tell me what happened to him if he remembers. Then I will get the whole story and tell him that what his master told him to do was wrong. Someday he’ll forget the wrong things he learned and I will bring him back with me to show my family. He’ll be part of my family.” Astroi’s eyes twinkled with the thought that a robot that was taught wrong would be able to have a family of his own in which he will have a second chance at a good life. He sighed and continued his work with more enthusiasm. Astroi was near done and he did an examination to make sure everything was properly in place and that it could work well. But when the project became nearer and nearer to being finished Astroi knew that he was the only thing powerful enough to regenerate the robot.
“You have to do it. You can only bring a dead robot back by giving him full energy all at once. You can’t give him one energy cell at a time because it wouldn’t be a big enough surge of energy. Nothing here can spare energy because they do not have the right kind of energy that a robot needs. Nothing will happen to me when I give my energy to him except that I would fall asleep and probably won’t wake up unless someone gives me some energy.” He shivered at what would happen if he didn’t get his energy back. He considered that probably he might stay asleep…forever.
“Well, I just have to wait and see what happens.” He heaved a big sigh and went over to a table that was next to the lifeless robot body. He attached wires to his heart and then attached the other end of the wires to the other robot’s heart. He lay down on the table and shouted an order to the computer.
“Live program: eight execute!” Iron clasps, shackles, and chains came up from everywhere; from the ceilings, the tables, walls, and floors. They fell on Astroi and the lifeless machine and tightened around their bodies. Abruptly a fear came over Astroi. His eyes turned red, but still he didn’t realize that his eyes turned red when he was fearful or raging. Astroi realized that when he was without energy the other robot might try to destroy him, after the chains and shackles went away, because he didn’t know that he saved him and maybe because he was taught to raze everything. Astroi tried to calm himself, but his attempt was ineffective. Astroi knew that he should go ahead with his plan anyway, so with chains and cuffs from head to toe, he spoke.
“EB, you need to keep giving the robot energy when I become unconscious if you can. You can start flowing energy to him on my mark. One-two-three…Go!” Immediately Astroi became fainter and fainter as the energy drained out of him, drop by drop, inch by inch. Astroi muffled a cry of uncertainty and fell asleep.
Astroi didn’t know how, but he felt a kind of warmth and contentment wrap around him when he fell asleep. It felt like the time when he was in Uko’s arms when he first met her. It soothed his worries away and the red in his eyes left. After awhile he felt himself waking up.
He thought, “M-my energy it’s back! I don’t understand. I wonder what happened for me to get my energy back.” He opened his eyes and saw an interesting sight. He was lying on a cherry-colored bed with only a black pillow and placed in his arms was a teddy bear. He laid the teddy bear on the pillow and looked around the room, he was not in the same room that he was before. Instead of a concrete floor and walls there was something else. There was a cushy, cherry-colored carpet and a fluffy black rug for the floor. The walls were black and red checkerboard to match the theme of the floor. Every where he looked was red and black. A black side table with a red lamp, a red toy chest with black letters that said “Toys”, on one wall was a picture of a red, broken heart with a black background, and a black door with a red rhombus for a door knob. Astroi wondered why someone would choose such drastic colors.
Without warning, Astroi heard someone coming towards him from behind the black door. Astroi didn’t know what to do, there was no place to hide and he didn’t want to just go and knock someone out. He decided to try and be hidden from view by flying over the doorway, and then when the person came into the room most of the way he would fly out of the door. He flew up over the doorway noiselessly, just in time too. For at that moment a strange green man came in. Astroi didn’t know who he was and Astroi especially couldn’t tell with a rear view of him.
Unexpectedly, the bizarre green man turned around. Astroi was surprised at the green face and white mustache and eyebrows, but mostly was surprised that the man knew that he was over the door! Nevertheless he didn’t have time to react. A noise came out of him just like the sound the night when he got the virus. His head was screaming with pain. He grabbed his head with both his hands, closed his eyes tight, and clenched his teeth. His rockets failed and he fell to the floor with a thud. He felt like all the life was draining out of him and it hurt with great pain. Astroi tried and tried to look towards the man to help him, but each time he raised his head, the pain made him pull it down. Finally he was able to at least look into the man’s eyes. There were black as a cave is dark. Astroi didn’t feel pain anymore. He dropped his arms to his side and stared unendingly at the man.
Astroi had a flashback. He saw a man kind of like the man that was before him now only he had natural skin color, green eyes, and no mustache. The man was looking down on a young boy. The boy was looking down at the floor with shame. The boy had black hair which was combed flat with a part on the side and he was wearing some slacks with a blue t-shirt and a white lab coat which was a little big for him. But what was strange about the boy was that the he had blood red eyes. In those eyes Astroi saw fear, anger, sorrow, and a longing for something. Astroi’s focus was now on the man. The man was raising his rough, hard hand and he brought it down. At that moment Astroi’s vision ended and he fell to his knees.
A voice came out of him which was not even close to his, “Don’t hit me, sir.” Astroi was bewildered at his sudden outburst.
The man shouted at Astroi, “I won’t hit you just as long as you don’t give me a reason to!” Astroi immediately rose to his feet, but he stood a distance from the man just in case.
Astroi asked timidly, but surely, “May I ask your name?”
“My name is Dr. Drecton.” He answered in a tacky voice. Astroi’s eyes turned red because of his rage.
“You are the one who made that poor robot and taught him to do wrong. Also you tried to take me away from my mother six years back. How could you be so bad?” Astroi declared.
All Dr. Drecton could do was to stare into Astroi’s flaming red eyes. He finally was able to tear himself from Astroi’s crimson eyes and said in a calmer voice, “I suppose you call Unity your mother now. I won’t tell you why I tried to take you or why I made a special robot and then ruined his life by making him destroy things. But there is one thing I will tell you that I think you should know. I restored your energy because one day you’re going to make a choice and you couldn’t be just lying on a table turning to rust.” Astroi was dumbfounded.
“Also I think you should look into the mirror that is in the toy box.” He added. Astroi did as he said being wary of Dr. Drecton’s every move. He lifted the lid of the box and brought out a hand mirror. He looked into it and saw his red eyes.
“What is this? What did you do to me? Why do I have red eyes?” He exclaimed and then he added in his mind, “Just like the boy?”
Dr. Drecton smiled an evil grin and replied, “When I helped make you with Unity I made it so that when you got really angry or frightened that your eyes would turn red. The color of your eyes is made out of real human blood which when you feel fearful or fury it triggers a tube which has the blood in it and the blood fills the color part of your eye with the bloody red color. It is just my way of telling you of what you really are. Anyway, I need to run, but beware because I will be watching you.” Astroi was horrified at knowing that his eyes had real blood in them and that his real nature was one of rage and fear. But there was one thing he was curious of, whose blood did he have? He began to protest at this preposterous idea when it came to him that it was silly to believe that he could have real blood red eyes. But before he could say a thing the man turned and went out the door. Astroi tried to follow him, but he blacked out when he made one step towards the door.
Chapter 10: Astroi Goes Back
When he woke up he was lying on the cement table right next to the robot as if nothing happened. He sat up and looked at the robot. The robot was just staring at him in wonder. He looked as if he didn’t know where he was, what happened, or that he could move and talk. Astroi went to his side immediately.
He asked the rebuilt robot, “My name is Astroi. Do you have a name?” Astroi knew he shouldn’t overwhelm the robot with questions when he had to get use to his body all over again so he asked a simple one first.
The robot didn’t know how to answer Astroi because about eight months before he couldn’t even talk. Astroi knew this would probably happen and he grabbed the robot’s arm gently and lifted it to his mouth. Immediately the robot’s “eyes” were opened about the new things he was equipped with including a whole new structure.
Most robots learn at a normal speed, but this one was different. Directly, his memory banks in his heart were unleashed and he knew just what to do.
He spoke with a strong, swift voice which Astroi thought was the perfect one for him, “Why did you rebuilt after you burned me? I knew when you defeated me I was probably going to be made into scrap metal. I don’t understand why you would restore me if you could use my counterparts for a smaller robot made to do something more important.”
“Oh I’m sorry; I almost forgot your question.” He then added, “I don’t really have a name except just a jumble of letters and numbers, but I always liked the name Lucas. You can call me that.” He smiled a wishful smile.
Astroi laughed and said, “Okay, We’ll call ya Lucas. That name fits you perfectly. And to answer your question, I rebuilt you because I felt that you didn’t really know what you were doing was wrong and that you were hurting people. I felt that it was wrong not to give you a chance at something better.”
“I don’t understand what you mean exactly. Please explain.” He requested.
Astroi knew that his hunch about this robot was correct. Dr. Drecton didn’t want Lucas to know that what he was doing was wrong because it might change his opinion about what he was doing.
He said, “I will tell you later, but for now how about you get up and try to use your new legs to get use into them.” Lucas swung his legs over the table slab and stood on them. He didn’t falter or move slowly, but did it quite quickly. Astroi gazed at the robot that was standing before him. Lucas was about five and eight inches feet tall and had a strong build. Lucas had black wavy hair and sharp blue eyes. He had on a pair of short-sleeved blue coveralls with a big white star on the front and a smaller red in the white one. His face held a complexion of a kind, sturdy gentleman. He had a belt placed around the middle just like Astroi only it was made out of platinum. On his arm was a special watch which was a tracking device that Astroi could monitor where he was if anything happened.
Lucas then requested, “Do you have a mirror? I would like to look at myself and see if I like it.”
Astroi went to the computer and tapped a few buttons. Out of the ceiling came a mirror. The mirror stopped right in front of Lucas and he looked at his reflection.
“I think it is fine. This is better than anything I could’ve dreamed of. It’s especially better than being a giant monster or a spider.” Lucas exclaimed.
Astroi responded with a smile and said, “I’m glad you like it. It kind of follows my theme. Your belt and American flag pattern is very much like mine. The only thing is that I need to make one adjustment if I may.” Lucas sat down on the table while Astroi made the one modification. Astroi brought out a scrap piece of precious platinum and used his laser gun on a small scale to cut out a letter L. He placed the L on Lucas’s belt and stuck it there.
Astroi said, “There, now you are done.” Astroi’s face now faded from a happy face into a slightly sad one.
Lucas asked, “What’s the matter?”
Astroi answered, “Oh, it’s nothing really. Do you mind if I leave you? You see I came here about eight months ago to fix you and I had to leave the people I love. I recently promised myself that I would go back to them when you were finished and now you’re finished. Meteor probably feels so terrible because I’ve been gone so long, Luna is probably heartbroken, and Uko is probably thinking that I’m dead and that she lost her brother again. So you see I have to go back, but I will come back I promise. I’ll come back every earth night starting tomorrow night. Then when the night is over I will go back to them. Do you mind? I don’t want to leave, but I also don’t want to be absent from my family much longer.”
Lucas nodded with understanding, “I understand. Maybe someday I’ll go with you to see them?” Astroi smiled and nodded. Astroi turned and went to the escape hatch. Lucas followed him to wave goodbye. Astroi pressed the out button went through the first door and then out the airlock door. He waved as he flew by and Lucas waved back.
When he entered the earth’s atmosphere he became very anxious to see his family again. He flew straight toward His mom’s home and knocked on the door. The once jolly Mrs. Hammed was now a gloomy, thin sight. She looked out the door to see who it was and she was surprised by a squirming, laughing Astroi that jumped into her arms.
She looked the boy in the eyes and she screamed out to Herald, her husband, “Dear, Come here right now! Our son is back!” Astroi jumped from her arms as he heard a stomping noise coming down the entry way.
“Dad, I’m back!” He yelled with a laugh. His father held out his arms to him and Astroi ran into his arms. They hugged awhile and then they let go to let Mrs. Hammed in the group.
She smiled and said, “This calls for a celebration. We will go to the movies. Astroi, go put on your best clothes and we’ll go out the door.” Astroi shook his head silently.
His usually quiet father, now very excited asked, “Why not?”
Astroi answered sheepishly, “Umm… even if I did come to you first I would like to spend the rest of the evening with my real mother and brother if you don’t mind.” His mom and dad agreed that it was fair. Then Astroi took off his practically forgotten invisaring to keep everyone from looking at him and he was immediately on his way with a bag of cookies under his arm.
He landed in front of the warehouse where his mother and brother lived. He went to the door and opened the door, hoping that no one heard him and that he could be a surprise. He saw Coggie coming toward him growling, but when he saw who the person was he immediately began wagging his mechanical tail. Astroi went up to him quietly and patted his head. Coggie started walking up the stairs to Meteor’s bedroom. Astroi followed him knowing that Coggie always stood near Uko’s side unless commanded to do otherwise. When Astroi was at the top of the stairs he tensed. He knew something was wrong! At once he fled to the closed door and opened it. Inside he saw a pale, thin Uko kneeling beside a bed with an even paler Meteor lying under the bed covers. Meteor’s reddish-orange hair made him look even paler then he really was. He forgot about being a surprise and came to Meteor’s side instantly.
Uko saw Astroi and her sleepless eyes went wide. She whispered to Astroi, “Oh Astroi! I’m so glad your home. Meteor became awfully, awfully sick when you went away. He has been getting drastically worse and worse every day. Meteor won’t really live much longer if nothing changes. I don’t know what to do, Astroi. Meteor keeps saying, “He is too far and his energy is focused on a distant emotion.” I can’t make hide or hair over what he means. I’m sure he means you, but the rest I’m completely clueless.” She stopped to peek at the pale Meteor and then continued, “Please Astroi, tell him your back, it might save him.” She pleaded.
Astroi didn’t know what to do exactly. If Meteor’s power was pretty much gone then there would be no power to help him hear. Astroi decided to try and tell him a different way. Astroi opened the access panel to his heart, grabbed Meteor’s hand gently and put it on his heart. He tried to surge a certain kind of power from his heart into Meteor. The power had energy as well as an encrypted message that only Meteor could decipher.
The code said, “I’m so sorry, Meteor. I’m sorry that I left you. I was blinded by my nature of anger and fear that I couldn’t feel you trying to reach out to me. I know that I’m full of anger and fear because a person who knew me very well implanted me with something that would remind me over and over again. I just didn’t know because my happiness that I had with you and Uko kept me from becoming my real self. Meteor, you have got to come out of this so that you can help me to keep my negative side from corrupting the Astroi you and I know.” He then said in a whisper out-loud, “Please Meteor, I promise I’ll never leave you again!” He put Meteor’s hand on the bed and he closed the door to his heart and hoped that all would be alright.
Uko looked at Meteor and then at Astroi. She asked, “What did you do? Is it going to work? Please say he will come back to us.” Astroi’s eyes turned a deep red as he felt a great dread come over him. Astroi started to blame himself that Meteor couldn’t come back because he was too late. He threw his head down next to the silent Meteor and sobbed quietly. All of a sudden, Astroi felt a hand touch his shoulder. He looked up and saw Meteor smiling at him. His eyes became the normal sparkling brown.
“I will hold you to that promise, you know.” He said. Astroi leaped with joy and hugged Meteor real tight.
Meteor next said, “I’m glad your back, brother.”
Then Astroi said, “Me, too.” Uko joined in the group hug and cried happy tears for Astroi being back and for Meteor not being sick anymore.