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Monday, August 20, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 26

 I found Priscilla right where I thought I would; standing near the headstone of her bot mate Aron.  This of course being the first burial of its kind for a bot.  In the past, bots that were destroyed were turned into scrap metal.
 But, somehow that fate did not seem fitting for President Aron, so like deceased humans, we buried him. 

Priscilla just stood there as I approached.

 She stood so quiet and still at first that I did not think that she heard me walking up. 
 Suddenly she began speaking, “ I never thought I would miss him this much…”
 She continued, “He could be such a jerk at times; unyielding, unreasonable…”

We both laughed at the truth of her words.

 Priscilla paused briefly before continuing,” …but he was my jerk…my bot mate.”
 “You know…as stubborn and controlling as he was, I am surprised he allowed himself to die… I could imagine his own system shorting out and him demanding his circuits and fuses to stop over-firing and they would actually respond.”  Pricilla said laughing out loud.
 She laughed until the laughter suddenly began to trail off.
 Then her shoulders dropped in defeat.  “But alas, he did die…and he left me here alone…”
 “Why did you leave me alone Aron?”  She said in a voice so soft, it was almost inaudible to even my bot system.
 Pricilla sighed one more time…a sound that was filled with so much sorrow that it was hard to believe that it did not come from the depths of a mourning human soul.
 Finally she turned and walked over to me.  “What may I do for you President Ardis?”
 “Well, I have taken it upon myself to find out who took your bot mate away from you…” I said with a smile to reassure her that I was going to give it my all.
 “I am glad to hear that, but what do you need from me?”
 “Well…based on President Aron body position when he died…I suspect that the last person to see him may have been someone that he was fairly close to.  Do you have any idea of who that person could be.”
 “No,” Priscilla said so quickly that I suspected that she was not telling me the truth.

“Please Priscilla…whoever is responsible for President
Aron’s death needs to be off the streets.”
 Again Priscilla sighed, but this time the sigh had an entirely different meaning. 

“It is okay Priscilla.  I will make sure that they will not harm you.”

 “It is not that I am afraid…it is just that…”Priscilla stopped mid sentence.
 “He…um…he grew pretty close to Lily.”
 “How close is close?”  I asked wondering why Priscilla was acting so strangely.
 “Well…I never told anyone this…but I once caught them having an emotional exchange.”
 “A what?” I could not believe what I was hearing, so I sort of laughed it off which I suspected is what Priscilla was afraid of.  “You mean like…they were having an affair?  But how is that possible? Are you sure?”
 “I saw it with my own eyes.  I walked into his office unannounced one day…and there they were…leaning on his desk connected.”
 “Are you serious Priscilla?” I asked not expecting an answer. “ But…only bot mates are capable of being connected that way,” I said more to myself than to her.

What Priscilla said seemed impossible to me, until I remembered the virus that tried to infect my system.  What if President
Aron and Lily were infected by a virus that made them behave that way?  I definitely needed to have a chat with Lily.
 “I thought so too.  I did not think anyone would believe me, so I never mentioned it to anyone.  But, if anyone was close to him…it was Lily.”
 “Will that help you with your investigation?”
 “It definitely lets me know who I need to question next.”
 “Can you do me a favor?  Please do not mention what I told you to anyone else.”

“Of course not Priscilla.  Of course I will need to mention it to Lily, but other than that, your secret is safe with me,” I assured her.  “Thank you Priscilla.”

 I turned to leave and Priscilla walked back over to President Aron’s headstone.  But before I could leave, she turned suddenly, “Oh and President Ardis…I am going to hire that human I told you about.”

 I knew that she was not asking, but I did not object.  Although the
bot community would dislike Priscilla’s decision to hire a human in a high position, I knew that they would pity her enough to not be too vocal about it.
 And as I walked away and sounds of Priscilla’s grief rattled my emotional system…
I knew that I had to do whatever I possibly could to find President Aron’s killer.



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