Metallic Heart II
A human girl raised on the moon by a simbot must now figure out how to live among humans on Earth.
Unknown to us here on Earth, a secret project was started a few years back on the moon. A group of humanoid simbots were sent to an area of the moon called Lunar Lakes, where they were programed to build up a new society and test whether Lunar Lakes was habitable for humans.
Josephina Gates is an eccentric, fortune telling witch who is on a mission to save a mysterious man that she has never seen nor met.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Dr. LB was finishing up dinner when I walked in the door that night. He was dressed in long john pajamas…which looked extra comical and awkward on him because he always seems so serious.
“Hey there Leah. How was your day?” He asked as he started toward the kitchen to put away his empty plate.
“Fine,” I answered, not sure if he really wanted to know or if he was just asking to be polite.
I sat down on one of the barstools and watched him place the leftover food in the food synthesizer. The plates were sucked back up to wherever leftover food goes in this strange technologically advanced planet, where almost everything is automated.
Dr. LB must have sensed that I had something on my mind…or maybe he just felt obligated to spend time with me, but he sat down on a stool next to me once he was done cleaning up the kitchen.
“What did you do today?” He asked after we sat in silence for a few awkward moments.“I met a boy in town named Aaron… and he showed me around the wasteland. We went to the crash site-” I started.
For some reason, that set Dr. LB on edge, “The crash site? No Leah, promise that you will not be going back there!” He insisted before I even had a chance to finish telling him about it.“Why not?” His reaction had me curious.
“It’s a dangerous place! The radiation exposure there is off the charts!”“Why wasn’t there any warning signs then?” I asked; feeling that Dr. LB wasn’t exactly telling me the truth.
“Please do not challenge me on this Leah.”
“It was boring anyway,” I lied to appease; knowing that his reaction made me even more likely to return to uncover whatever it was that he didn’t want me to know about the place. I dropped the subject for now.“Anything else?” He asked as if we were in some sort of business meeting.
“I need to contact my mom. You said that I could once I settled in,” I said.“Ah… about that, honestly Leah…I hoped that once you had been here for a period of time, you would forget about Lunar Lakes and everything there.”
“She’s my mother. Lunar Lakes is my home. I could never just forget,” My tone was defiant; indicating that I was insulted by his suggestion. “I need to be in contact with her,” I insisted.
“Not a good idea… not right now anyway,” He answered.
“Why not? Why does everything have to be on your terms?”
“Because I have the most at stake,” he said with a bit of finality in his tone.“What if I agree to be your heir?” I asked; hoping that giving him what he wanted would lead to me getting what I asked for.
“Just what I was hoping you would say!” Dr. LB said; clapping his hands together in excitement.
“So, I can contact her then?”
“After you are tested and I see how quickly you learn the things that you have been assigned.”
“What? What do you mean?” I asked frustrated that he was placing yet another hurdle between my bot mom and me.“There is a process to these things. I cannot just pass my whole legacy to you without first determining if you are capable and more importantly…worthy.”
“Worthy!” I couldn’t believe that Dr. LB was holding contact with my mother hostage, while he determined whether or not I would become his heir. Angered, I got up from my stool.“Why would you even bring me here if I’m not worthy?” I asked as I walked away; feeling more insulted than I’ve ever been. How dare he imply that I may not be worthy…as if me just being his daughter wasn’t enough, I thought to myself.
“I did not mean to say that you are not worthy. There are just a lot of things I would need to-”
“Forget it, I’ll find another way!” I interrupted without bothering to turn around.I couldn’t make it to the elevator fast enough. I wanted to be as far away from my so-called father as possible.
I didn’t know what to do. I felt helpless and alone…with no way to contact the one person who was always there for me. Just when I felt a mini panic attack coming on, I decided to take action.
I would prove to Dr. LB that I was more than capable of being his heir. He said that I was smart…well, I was about to show him just how smart. I would hack into his accounts and find a way to contact my bot mom myself.
I tried a few passwords, but found that his accounts were protected by a very sophisticated encryption system.
It was almost like trying to translate a language I had never seen before, but I was determined…with one goal in mind.
I would find a way to contact my mom, no matter the consequences…it didn’t even matter to me how Dr. LB would react if he found out what I was attempting to do.
Every time I felt I was getting closer to cracking Dr. LB’s code, his encryption system totally changed the coding language on me.
Before I knew it, I was back to the very first screen where I started…
…then my whole computer system shut down, indicating that I would be locked out for 48 hours. Dr. LB was indeed the smartest person I’d met; successfully building an encryption system that was virtually hack proof. The only way I’d be able to crack it, would be to find some information in his office or lab to help me…
The problem was… I didn’t even know where Dr. LB really worked. I doubted that he would just tell me if I asked him. I’d have to follow him to find out. But…I didn’t feel brave enough to try and follow him and find out where his real lab was.
All I could do was get ready for bed and learn as much as I could during the days to come.
As a small act of rebellion, I took my hair down from the “modern” style that Dr. LB insisted that I get when I first got here.
If I was going to be forced to go through whatever he was going to put me through to deem me worthy, I was going to do it on my own terms…while being myself.
I quickly took a shower; relieved to feel the cleaning waves envelope my scalp that was now free from the restrictive, headache inducing braids that supposedly helped me fit in around here.
The only thing left to do after that was to go to bed and rely on my dreams to bring me closer to feeling like I was back home in Lunar Lakes.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Despite my best efforts to finish my school work quickly, I was still over an hour late to meet Aaron.
He was right where he said he would be when I did finally get there.
He didn’t even address the fact that I was late, he just seemed happy to see me.
“I have something cool that I want to show you!” He said as soon as he walked over.
“It’s a surprise…I think you’ll find it interesting, but we have to go to the other side of town,” Aaron said, pointing toward the direction we’d have to go.
“The other side of town? What’s over there?”
“You don’t exactly get the term surprise, do you?” Aaron asked; amused and anxious to show me what ever it was he wanted to show me.Before I had a chance to tell him how much I hated surprises, Aaron turned on his heels and started running, “Follow me and try to keep up!”
I was curious and I saw that if I wanted to see the surprise, I had no choice but to hop up on my hover board and follow him across the park.By the time I had caught up, Aaron had stopped and flagged down a hovering taxi.
I put my board away and walked around to the other side of the taxi. “Where to?” The driver asked.
“The site,” Aaron answered quickly; which didn’t exactly give me very much indication on where we were going.
I couldn’t resist asking, “The Site? What’s that?”
“You’ll see,” was all Aaron volunteered.Finally realizing that Aaron wasn’t about to give up any information on our destination, I sat back and enjoyed my mini tour of Oasis Landing. Luckily, Aaron didn’t mind answering questions about the buildings that we passed along the way.
“What’s that building? I asked as we passed a very strange building that looked as if it had an unfinished train track coming out of it.
“It’s the Wasteland ZEPHYR Station,” Aaron answered as if I’d already know what a ZEPHYR was.
Rather than risk asking more questions about something that every earthling should know, I decided to do my own research on what a ZEPHYR was later.Soon after we passed the Wasteland ZEPHYR station, the landscape around us changed drastically; turning into a desolate, barren landscape which perfectly reflected the name given to the station.
“I take it this is the wasteland,” I said as more of an observation than a statement or question.Aaron hopped out and started running again. “Follow me!” He once again called out. I hoped that his running off wouldn’t start to become a habit, but I was willing to ignore it for now because I was very excited to see what had him so lit up.
Once again, I was on my hover board; trying to keep my balance and keep Aaron, who had already made his way down a small hill, within my sights.
This part of Oasis Landing reminded me a lot of my home, Lunar Lakes… so much so that if I had time to stand and really take it all in, I could almost imagine that I was actually back on the moon.
Still having a difficult time controlling the hover board, I ended up passing Aaron. “Where am I going?” I asked realizing that I didn’t know how to slow the board down very well.
“Follow the path… it’ll be obvious when you see it!” Aaron called out from close behind me.I went around a bend in the narrow path that we were following and saw that Aaron was right…it was obvious where we were going, because right in front of me was a big aircraft of some sort. I hopped off the board and waited for Aaron to catch up; ready to bombard him with a ton of questions.
Knowing what I knew about Lunar Lakes and the experiment there, I wondered if this was one of the failed rockets created by Dr. LB and his team of scientists. However, knowing that the whole moon experiment was supposed to be kept secret, I knew that I couldn’t ask Aaron about it…so I was forced to act dumb and keep the questions that I really wanted to know to myself.
“What is it?” I asked.
“A space craft obviously,” Aaron said managing to sound amused and in awe at the same time while staring at the big circular door of the craft as if he were looking for a way in.“I know that!” I said, trying not to sound offended. “I meant… how do you think it got here?”
“That’s exactly what I’m determined to find out! Let me show you something…” Aaron said.I followed Aaron around the back of the aircraft… happy that for once he wasn’t running.
He stopped at a pile of debris that I assume came from the crashed craft. Aaron bent down low and began to study the pile… “I believe that there’s a key to opening the door to the craft in here somewhere.”
“Do you think that’s a good idea – trying to open the craft?” I asked, but Aaron ignored me and started digging through the pile as if it were the answer to my question. “What are you looking for?” I added.
“There has to be some clue here. If this is in fact an alien craft like it’s rumored to be… there has to be something here to tell us more.”“An alien craft…I seriously doubt that. I’d bet it’s from here,” I said without thinking, with a little more conviction than I intended.
That got Aaron’s attention and he immediately stopped digging and stood up to face me. “Wait… do you know something about this?”I attempted to backtrack quickly, “No… just a guess.” I hoped it would convince Aaron and he’d stop asking questions about it.
“A guess? No… you sounded way too sure of yourself! You know something about it, don’t you?”
“Uh…no,” I answered in a tone that was far too weak to convince anyone.“You do… don’t you? Does it have something to do with you being here?”
I knew that I couldn’t keep denying it, because I wasn’t very good at lying, but I also knew I that couldn’t tell him.“Maybe,” I finally answered before turning my back to him. “But I’m not supposed to tell anyone.”
“Are you serious?! I’ve been wondering about this thing most of my life and I finally found someone who knows something and you can’t-”
“What's that noise?” I asked while hopping on my hover board; totally interrupting Aaron’s rant.I followed the tweeting sound that I was hearing until I discovered it’s source… a small bird. Plenty of animals were brought to Lunar Lakes after it was founded, but birds were one of the animals that never fared well on the moon. Most of them died off, so kids that grew up on Lunar Lakes never saw a real bird in person.
“Oh my gosh!” I said as Aaron walked over; unable to hide my excitement. Luckily I didn’t scare the bird away. He stayed in place and continued chirping. I couldn’t resist mimicking its musical chirping sounds.
Aaron walked over. “It’s just a bird… is it hurt or something?” He asked, obviously puzzled by my excitement at seeing a bird.
Suddenly I was embarrassed; once again facing the fact that I was supposed to lie about being from the Earth… while finding it difficult to mask my excitement at the new things that I was discovering.
“Surely there are birds where you’re from in-” Aaron stopped as he realized that I never told him where I was supposedly from.
“Sunset Valley,” I filled in for him, right before walking away from the fascinating tiny winged animal.“I just never saw this type of bird in Sunset Valley is all,” I said sounding defeated as I told yet another lie.
“Not even as someone’s pet? It’s a parakeet… almost everyone has a parakeet!”“Can we go now?” I asked just to stop him from continuing to point out how not well thought out my lie was.
“Sure… follow me.”This time I was grateful that he ran off. It gave me time to process how I felt about deceiving him. I even tried to justify in my mind why my lies were necessary, which was hard to do considering the fact that Dr. LB never explained why I couldn’t tell anyone where I was from.
Aaron and I entered another taxi. Aside from me giving the driver directions from my phone’s GPS to Dr. LB’s house, we were mostly silent.
“You live here… with Dr. LB?” Aaron asked when we got out of the taxi. “I figured you lived in community housing or something.”
“He’s my father,” I answered quietly.“What! Your father? I had no idea!”
“Yep…” was all I could think of to say.“Why haven’t I seen you before? You should be all over the news if Dr. LB is your father. Who even knew that he had a daughter?”
“Please don’t go around telling everyone Aaron. This is all new to me too. I lived in…Sunset Valley with my mother all of this time. Dr. LB just found out about me… and he wanted me to live here with him for a while,” I say; relieved to be able to tell Aaron at least a partial truth.
“So you’re still going to tell me that you’re from Sunset Valley? I saw the way you were looking at that bird…like you’d never seen one before. I know for a fact that there are birds like that in Sunset Valley.”
Again, I chose to avoid answering Aaron’s question. Instead I turned to head inside the house.
“See you tomorrow…same time?” Aaron asked. I was shocked that he’d even want to see me again after my obvious deception…
… but I was glad. I realized that I really liked hanging out with Aaron… although I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to keep my secret of being from the moon.