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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 10

Chas was already home when I returned that evening.
How could I convince him to allow me to use his computer?
Chas’ computer went with him wherever he went.  It was like an extension of his hand.
He rarely left it where I could just freely access it.  I would have to ask to use it directly.
As soon as he realized that I was home, he came to greet me.
“Hello my love!  How did you spend your day off?”
“I went to visit Noela.”

Chas pulled me into a hug.  “Oh!  I was so worried.”

“Worried?  About what?”  I asked slightly amused.
“These morts are going crazy.  Did you hear Martin last night?  They are now wandering freely around our neighborhoods… 
It will be a matter of time before they begin attacking.  We have to keep you, our future president, safe!”
“Future president?  Chas…President Aron will be in office for decades.  No one will ever elect me over him.”

“Nothing lasts forever,” Chas said in an odd distant voice.

Wha… what do you mean?”

“Nothing.  Join me outside?”

“Chas, we are made of metal.  How could the hu… uh, morts harm us?”
“There are ways,” Chas said before clearing his voice and changing the subject.  “I would like for you to join me in a little star gazing,” he said in a voice that indicated that he was no longer interested in continuing our previous discussion.
“Sure Chas, but is everything OK?”

“Of course.”

“I should actually be asking you that question, ” Chas continued.
“Everything is fine Chas.  Why would you think otherwise?”

“Let us go outside,” he said instead of answering.

Chas and I went outside and sat under the stars.  Chas stared at me expectantly.
“You have been behaving strangely,” he said suddenly.

He noticed! Is the response my shocked system fed me.
I played it off.  “How so?” I asked.

“Well…you seemed a bit strange at the party last night.”

Did he see Noela and I talking secretly? I wondered to myself.
“Strange?”  I asked nonchalantly looking up at the stars, as if it were no big deal.

“Yes, a bit distant,” Chas answered following my gaze.

“My circuits have just been busy calculating.  I have to draft a new law for President Aron,” I said hoping that Chas bought my excuse.
He did not respond.  Instead he pointed, “Look at the Earth…”
“So beautiful.  Too bad it is overrun with those filthy morts,” he said.
“Chas, our creator is human.”

“Seems impossible does it not.  Sometimes it is so hard to believe.”

Chas thought about it for a while.  “He is an exception,” he said as if to settle the matter in his mind.
I pointed to a shooting star.  “ Do you still communicate with him regularly,” I asked as if to just make conversation.
“Yes once a week…look,” Chas said directing my attention to another star.

I wondered if our creator was aware of the living conditions of the humans here in Lunar Lakes. 

If he was aware, why has he not done anything about it?
Just then, Chas directed the conversation back to our earlier subject.  “So…the law that you have to draft…is it to punish the human who tried to steal from our account?”

“Yes,” I said softly forcing a smile; trying hard to not allow my internal response of sorrow to show on my face.  “He wants her punished to the full extent of the law.”

“Good!  It is about time Aron steps up and gets tougher with these morts!  I hope he executes her…I hope he executes them all!” 
 I had to really control my responses.  Again, I forced a smile on my face.  “Executes all of them? Who Chas?  The criminals?” I asked afraid of his answer.

“Yes, yes…the criminals.  Who did you think I meant?”

“All humans.  Last night you said-” I began, but my words were interrupted by the flash of a camera. We looked up and saw that the flash belonged to the camera of one of the paparazzi.
“We are having a moment right now,” Chas said to the reporter.
“I just had a few questions,” the reporter said before snapping another picture.
“Not right now,” Chas said turning away, attempting to ignore the reporter.
“The price of fame,” Chas said to me with a chuckle.

“Right,” I said with a smile.

“We have been informed that Vice President Ardis tried to release a human from jail,” the reporter said pulling out a notepad. 

Chas and I jumped up shocked as another reporter showed up and started snapping pictures to our left.

The second reporter snapped shot after shot…
While the first reporter began throwing out question after question.  “Vice President Ardis, why were you at the jail yesterday? Why did you visit the human?”
“No, I –”

The reporter interrupted, “Did you in fact give the human permission to use your account?”

“How dare…where are you getting this information?” Chas asked.

I stood, careful not to give anything away with my expression. 

“We have witnesses!  A witness saw Vice President Ardis giving the mort a piece of paper at the scrap yard,” The reporter said.
Witnesses?  Now I could not hide my worry. 

“What witnesses?” Chas asked in his most demanding voice.

I was glad that the cameraman was behind me as not to capture my reaction with his camera.
“A  group of humans at the scrap yard saw her give-”

Chas interrupted,  “How dare you accuse my
bot mate…your Vice President… of such a thing at the word of a few dirty morts! Ardis, go into the house…I will take care of this!” Chas directed.
I obeyed. Once I was alone, I was flooded with emotional responses.  Chas did not believe the reporter because the witnesses were human…but everything he accused me of was true.  And it would probably be a matter of time before Chas and every other bot found out.



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