Be wary, this one has drug abuse in it!


Aiden Cooper knew he wasn’t like many of his peers. He was 17 years old, never had a girlfriend, barely had any friends, and stayed at home more often than he went outside. He had also been admitted to mental hospitals more than anyone. He thought, perhaps, that he could set the world record for the most hospital visits. Where was Guiness when he needed them? But it looked like he was going back. Again. Apprently, he’d been threatening people with having their entrails ripped from their disgusting bodies. And maybe that was true, maybe he had been a little overzealous in insulting his bullies, but did that really warrant going back to Sunny Shores?

His parents certainly thought so. And so here he was in his room in the middle of the night, plotting an escape plan. He wasn’t going back to that damn hospital, no matter what. He knew it wasn’t his fault, really, that he’d been so angry. Dealing with being possessed by a demon was certainly hard– not that Aiden believed in such things. (If his therapist at Sunny Shores knew what he thought, oooh boy would he have to endure a long talk.) His atheist ‘parents’ certainly didn’t; they were all about science and bullshitting people with their supposed ‘knowledge’. Together they worked on getting people like him on the path to endless monotony, the regular day-to-day. And damn it all if Aiden was going to go through that again. Lying to assholes to gain his freedom wasn’t his morning cup of coffee.

His bags were packed, his plan almost perfected. He would sneak out tomorrow night, when his parents weren’t home and he didn’t run the risk of awakening them with his clumsy, stumbling movements. He would sneak out the front door after making his room look like he was asleep. He would catch a bus going to Albany from the Terminal, and he’d get the hell out of this damn city. But tonight wasn’t about escape. Tonight was about relaxation.

So Aiden gave a helpless sigh, trying to relieve himself of the anger that held him. He grabbed a shoebox from under his bed in the darkness, scrabbling to open it. He sat on the floor as he did so– he didn’t need to run the risk of falling or anything. He’d certainly find a way to get caught smoking. He opened the box and found his secret stash of weed inside. Well, it wasn’t exactly marijuana; he wasn’t sure what it was, but it got him high and gave him some of the best trips he’d ever experienced. And besides, he had to talk to a friend of his, anyway. Might as well do it high as fuck, right?

Aiden snatched up the blunt and lit it carefully. He smoked, the windows open and the curtains closed, the air wafting in. The bright moon outside his window cast eerie shadows in his room, and he sucked in another pull of smoke. Once he was suitably high, which didn’t really take long, he snatched up a razor and ripped open his arm, the cut small enough not to be life threatening, but deep enough to bleed profusely. He always did this when he was high; the cuts never hurt as much, and he often found the entire event almost funny. As the blood dripped down, Aiden grabbed the book in his box and opened it to a bloodstain free page. He held his arm over it, and the blood dripped down. And so he waited.

There came a dark chuckling as a figure emerged from the darkness beyond his window-lit bed.

“Aiden,” came the voice of the demon… or whatever this creature was, he wasn’t so sure anymore, “It’s good to see you.”

“Good to see you too,” he said, patting dry the blood from his arm. He snatched up the blunt and took in another drag.

“I know you’ve been watching me,” he said, “What was with the ‘pulling out their entrails’ thing?” The demonic creature sat before him, looking human, almost. He always appeared in this form, a pale skinned boy his own age. He grinned at Aiden, his platinum blond hair falling into his face and his teeth pointed. His eyes were a deep gold.

“I thought that was you, boy,” he said, his voice impossibly deep for his appearance, “But I cannot deny that I did play a part.”

“Yeah, well,” he said, taking a moment to smoke, “I’m not interested in becoming a homicidal maniac, thanks.”

“What you may be interested in or not is none of my concern.”

“They’re sending me back,” Aiden said suddenly, feeling sober, “And I’m not going. I’m leaving this shithole.”

“But is it such a shithole?” the demon asked him. The dark-skinned boy looked at him, frowning.

“Uh, yeah, it is. I live in a rich fucking neighborhood with holier-than-thou adoptive parents who want to see me become some lawyer or some shit.” The devil seemed pensive for a moment.

“If you’d like,” he said, “I can take care of them for you.” He shook his head.

“It’s not worth it,” he said, “And I’d be to blame, anyway.”

“You realize I control many,” the devil said, a haughty looking overcoming his boyish features as he leaned back, “I can have someone dispatch of your parents easily. Tonight, even.” Aiden shook his head yet again. It wasn’t like he hadn’t wished for his foster family to all burn in hell once or twice, but killing them seemed unnecessary. They were good people, he supposed, he just didn’t like them.

“I’m just going to leave. Get the hell out of dodge. Whatever.” He finished the blunt regrettably, putting it out in the ash tray he had for occasions such as these.

“If you are sure,” the demon said, giving him a grin. He slowly faded from existance, and Aiden grabbed the bag of weed and the journal, putting them into the first pocket of his bag. He hid it underneath a few pairs of socks, and with that, he was ready for the Great Escape.

So I recently bought a book full of writing prompts, and I decided to make use of it. I wrote this one just now, and while its still fresh, I thought I’d publish it. It’s written in Ezra’s point of view. Of course, the prompt is not mine! (Here’s the site to the book, in case you were wondering where I got it from. http://piccadillyinc.com)


Long ago I would have said that Alex capable of feeling love. I loved him, and I believed so hard that he would learn to love me, too. But he never did. I knew somewhere, deep down, that Alex was a sociopath. I knew he was too far gone to love me. I knew that those hot, breathless moments were built from lust, not love. And yet I stayed. Until, of course, he killed me by his own hand. And not a tear fell from his face as I laid there, bleeding to death. I remember white, hot pain, and hurt of a different sort. While choking on my own blood, I begged him– “Please, please heal me. Make the pain stop. Alexander…” But he did not. He left my body on thE forest floor and it was all I could do to follow him. “Please,” was all I could say through the coughing and the blood. And he never once looked back.

I loved a madman– I knew it from the start. When he hurt, I hurt. When he cried, I cried. But when I got in his way, when I questioned his obsession, he murdered me in cold blood. I should have seen it coming.

Welcome to Nervosa. Just go with it– this is an old, unfinished story!


It was late, and Devin was tired. He could feel his eyelids falling as he tried so very hard to work. It had to have been close to ten, and the diner was closing in an hour. He looked down at his bony hands as he carefully took the plates and cups and put them in a basin to be cleaned later. So long as he didn’t have to carry anything directly, he could do his job. The owner of the diner was a wonderful old woman named Tabitha Anne. She was a very understanding, kind woman, and though Devin was mistrustful of most people, he liked her. She would always ask him to stay to eat or relax after closing time, though she had grandchildren to care for and a life to live. He never agreed, but he appreciated her effort, and she never failed to ask.

Devin wiped down the table and felt fatigue coming over him. He was dangerously tired now—he’d been working since the afternoon, and he really needed to sit down. But he couldn’t afford a break right now; he could barely afford rent as it stood.

Regardless, it was much quieter in the tiny diner than it had been a few minutes prior. A large group of people had taken up the table he was wiping down now, and they’d made such a mess. But it would be cleaned soon, and they even left quite a hefty tip! Devin pocketed the money carefully, and continued to wipe down the table.

“Oh it looks clean enough,” Tabitha said, coming out from the back, “Let me bring those dishes inside for you.” She was very understanding of his limitations, but Devin shook his head. He didn’t need pity.

“I’ve got it, thank you,” he said, and he turned to push the basin into the back room. But a bell jingled, and Devin wanted to scream. That damn bell had been ringing all day, and he was tired of working. Who came to eat in a small diner in the middle of California at this time of night?

He looked up to find a shock of purple. A man, slightly shorter than he was, was looking around him, his hair layered and bright purple.

“Go handle that, Devin,” Tabitha said, and she wheeled the basin into the other room. Sighing, Devin took out a pencil and pad and walked over to the man.

“Hello,” he said with a forced smile. The man looked over to him, and gasped. Great. Another person to comment on his weight…

“Your eyes…” the man said a smile spreading on his face, “They’re beautiful!” Devin frowned.

“What are you…?”

“I’ve never seen anyone with such blue eyes.” And the man leaned into him, making Devin lean back.
“Oh…”

“Sorry, sorry. I just… I like making comments.” And he laughed. Devin found himself trying to laugh as well, but he was just so weak and tired…

“So you work here, huh? Well I’m ready to order.” Devin frowned.

“Alright. Take a seat.” The man chose his seat and Devin carefully followed, trying to be sure of himself. But he was tired, and when he was tired, he fell. And falling would upset Tabitha and disturb this man, if he wasn’t already disturbed. Devin certainly would be, if he saw a person like himself from a distance.

“Do you have breakfast specials?” the pink haired man asked, peering down at the menu Devin handed him.

“Yes, but we only serve breakfast between the hours of-”

“I want breakfast, sir,” the man said, eyes glinting in the bright lighting. Devin felt uneasy.

“Ah… alright, then. I’ll have to talk to the owner.” The purple haired man nodded contently, folding his hands in front of him. Devin carefully walked back to the kitchen, being sure that he minded every step he took. Tabitha stood in the kitchen, a book on the counter as she recorded something important.

“He wants breakfast,” Devin said with a lengthy sigh, his arms falling to his sides. Tabitha looked up and at him, and she sighed.
“Please tell him we don’t serve breakfast at this time of night.”

“I already told him.” Tabitha shook her head.

“Alright, let me speak to him.” And the two left the kitchen. Devin stood nearby, listening to their interaction.

“Hello sir, I own this restaurant.” The man smiled.

“Well hello! My name is Virote, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He extended a hand which she shook almost hesitantly, expecting someone a little more ornery.

“What’s the problem?” she asks. And they spoke at length about the times at which breakfast ought to be served. And in ten minutes, they were laughing about some joke or another. Devin took a careful seat on a stool at the counter and sighed. He looked at the clock—it was almost time for the diner to close. That was all that mattered.

“But thank you, I’ve never had such a laugh about fishing!” And Virote laughed again. Tabitha nodded.

“I know. Not many younger people enjoy fishing. But that story was funny, you are a very entertaining man!” Virote laughed, and Devin contained another sigh. How long would this conversation last? He needed to rest.

“Thank you! But I’m so hungry. How about I have salami and cheese on a roll, instead? I wouldn’t want to put you or your people through any unnecessary stress.” Tabitha smiled.

“I’m sorry about our breakfast times, perhaps I’ll consider making it a part of the regular menu.” Virote nodded, and the older woman moved away. Devin remained where he was, feeling incredibly tired. He eyed the clock again. Only ten minutes—he could last that long, right? Even as his hands shook dangerously, he really hoped he could get home before anything happened. People didn’t always look too kindly on those who passed out in the middle of the street-

“Hey,” and he whipped his head around to see Virote smiling at him from where he sat. Devin stood and walked over, his body protesting the movements.

“Do you need something?” he asked, trying to remain polite. He really hoped his voice didn’t sound as gruff as it did in his head.

“How about you sit down!” Virote said, his teeth glinting in the artificial light, “Your boss seems like a very kind woman—I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.” Devin huffed. So that was what this was about.

“I’m alright, thank you,” he bit out, trying in vain to keep his temper in check. He didn’t need this.

“Wait!” he stopped at the almost urgency he found in the other man’s voice, and he turned, “Come on, it’ll only be a little bit before my food gets here. I’m sure she won’t mind.” And Devin sighed, feeling too tired to fight. He gingerly sat in the seat in front of the other man, who gave him another winning smile. Were teeth even supposed to be that white?

“So, what’s your name?” Virote asked, and he fidgeted for a moment before responding.

“I’m Devin. It’s nice to meet you.” The purple haired man nodded, catching his eyes. They were hazel, and they seemed to almost change colors as he moved. Devin sighed internally, feeling the exhaustion begin to claim him. He shouldn’t have sat down. He’d pass out ten times faster if he rested halfway through—at least if he worked on pure adrenaline and the steam from the day, he’d make it home. But now…

“And I’m Virote. But you probably already know that.” Devin nodded.

“So why blue?” and Devin quirked up a blond eyebrow, “I mean… I don’t see too many guys with dyed hair.” He weighed his answer.

“Blue is my favorite color,” he said, “And I’ve been dying it since I was fifteen.” Virote nodded, flipping a lock of neon purple hair from his face.

“Purple is mine. I was thinking of going pink, actually,” he said, “Men ought to dye their hair more. They should grow it out, too. I cut mine awhile back and I’ve regretted it ever since!” Devin suddenly felt conscious of his shoulder-length hair. He shifted a little in his seat and said nothing.

“So how long have you worked here?” Clearly, this man was the king of terrible small talk. Devin sighed.

“Far too fucking long if you ask me.” He hadn’t meant to say that, actually, but exhaustion made him speak without thinking. Virote hummed.

“Well I guess you have other plans,” he said, chuckling for a moment, “I do, too. In fact, I was pretty hell-bent on graduating college this year, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

“Really?” Devin asked, “I… er… had to drop out.” He hadn’t really meant to say that, either.

“I almost did,” Virote said with a wistful smile, “But people kind of expect things from you after a while. Good grades, a bright future, all that inane bullshit.” Devin found himself chuckling despite himself.

“Yeah…” And his thoughts were turning for the worst, of failed tests and hospital visits. Feeding tubes. Tearful faces. Whitewashed walls. He frowned subconsciously and clenched his bony fists, almost forgetting the receipt book he still held.

“Do you work here every day?” Virote asked, pulling him from his reverie. Devin cleared his throat.

“Pretty much,” he replied, glancing at Virote for a moment before returning his gaze to the table. He really ought to get up. Now.

“Well maybe I can come see you again tomorrow! Perhaps not this late—I’ve got a lot of things that need to get done, and a lot of my classes are at night.” Devin had begun shaking his head before the man had even finished his suggestion.
“No, no, that’s alright,” he said, giving him a plastic grin. Virote sent him another winning smile.

“Come on. I’m not that ugly, am I?”

“What? I… no, that’s not it–”

“Well how about I stop by around one. You’ll be here around then, right?” Devin looked at the man for a moment, taking in the short, bright purple hair and rather colorful clothing. Something told him that, no matter how much he might choose to refuse, Virote would come anyway.

“Er… yeah,” he said tiredly, “I’ll be here.” He heard a bell ding from behind him, and Devin stood unsteadily, trying to stop his arms from shaking. Yes, he was far too tired for his own good. But Virote said nothing, if he noticed his predicament at all, and Devin shuffled towards the kitchen.

“Oh, dearie, I’ll bring it to him,” Tabitha said, taking a good look at his pallid features. Devin sighed, the breath coming our more like a wheeze. He shouldn’t have worked so late today.

“Alright,” he said, and she patted him lightly on one arm while bringing the dish into the dining area.

Devin sat there for a moment, feeling his situation worsen with every passing second. He needed to leave before he caused a scene. He liked to pretend that he was invincible. And when the pain got too bad– when his heart hammered in his chest so hard that he saw stars; when his every move gave way to powerful shaking and splitting migraines– he liked to pretend he could float and that nothing hurt. If only to get through a day of work, or through a pathetic attempt to save his failing art career. And sometimes it’d work, he’d make it through the day and collapse into bed and be happy he didn’t have a heart attack. And other times he’d be on his death bed for a few hours. And the pains in his stomach would get so bad that he’d force himself to eat something—anything. And the feeling of a rock in his stomach would hurt, too, and he’d curse himself for being weak.

He lived off of protein shakes and water nowadays. Everyone said it wasn’t enough, and maybe it wasn’t, but it didn’t matter.

Tabitha returned and found him barely holding himself up on his toothpick legs, and sent him packing with a tip he hadn’t earned. She’d offered to drive him, but there was no point. He lived five minutes away by foot. And he could make it. Even in the dark. Even in the cold. He left out the back so as not to flaunt his condition. Because that’s what it was, right? It’d get better soon.

Ethan was planting the last charge as Dominic entered. He saw them, the small boxes planted all around the glowing orb. Ethan was looking at them with a sort of sad look on his face. Dominic cut the thrusters and held the sword in hand. It glowed a bright red, casting shadows on everything and clashing with the blue green of the captive sun.

“You don’t have to do this,” Dominic said, “If you blow up the core—”

“People will die,” Ethan said, solemn, “But they won’t. The government has taken care of that.”

“You’ll destroy everything!” he cried, “Everything! The whole compound, yourself, and everything within a five mile radius!” Ethan turned to him then, a sorrowful smile touching his lips.

“I know. We don’t want you destroyed. Your creator would be very upset.”

“Excuse me?” he asked.

“One of them is alive,” he said, “And they want to see you. But that’s enough of that. You have sixty seconds.” Ethan pressed the button on the remote in his hand, and the charges collectively began counting down. Their voices were eerie and hollow, as if a dead man had recited the numbers. Dominic looked at him and clenched his free fist. He was going to save Ai, then, and worry about his creator later.

He flew out of the room, leaving Ethan to his fate. But he wouldn’t do the same for Ai; under no circumstances would she perish in this expl0sion. Dominic flew faster, his thrusters at top speed, and he saw that he was beginning to run low on fuel. Damn it. But he had enough to reach Ai’s central hub— the room he’d been in before. And so he flew far and fast until he found himself reaching the room he was looking for. Again, he looked into the face of Ai, the large blue screen with numbers scrolling past, nothing intelligible to the naked eye. But Dominic knew. She was trying to figure a way out of this; those numbers were algorithms of probability.

“I’m here,” he said, “And I’m getting you out.”

“That is not feasible,” Ai said, “My codes are far too strong for any portable device, and I, myself, am not portable.” Dominic groaned. Damn it. What was he going to do? And his internal clock told him that his time was certainly running short. He had thirty seconds remaining. He scanned his processor, thinking to the ends of the earth of what he could do. And there was nothing. His home of the past thirty years was going to be destroyed along with his best friend, and there was nothing he could do.

“You have to go, Dominic,” Ai said, and he clenched his free fist. He put away the sword and looked at her one last time. The screen was blank now. There was nothing to compute— she knew her fate. Dominic sighed.

“Alright,” he said, “But I’ll come back and put you together again, Ai. You’ll be fine.”

“Dominic,” she said. She said his name… And despite the fact that her voice did not change tone, he could hear the sadness conveyed. He had fifteen seconds left.

“This isn’t goodbye,” he said, and he kicked up his thrusters again. He flew quickly, doing the mental countdown to make sure he had time. He turned through hallways, flew up stairs, and made it to the atrium. He saw the smoke had dissipated, and Halle’s body was nowhere to be found. But that was the least of his concerns. He flew straight out of the building into the blinding sunlight, and flew faster than he knew he could. He was burning through so much fuel, would he be able to get far away enough in time-?

The explosion rocked the beautiful, lush landscape, and the shockwave knocked him out of the air. He came tumbling down to the ground as another shockwave hit, pushing him further and further away. The ground shook and the waves of superheated air knocked the leaves off the trees. After tumbling and tumbling, Dominic finally came to rest as the world continued to shake. He shook his head, standing immediately despite the vertigo he felt. It took a moment before his visor began to function properly, and he found himself face-to-face with a crater. A radioactive crater at that. He stood there for a moment, unable to process this properly. Ai was… gone.

He kicked up his thrusters and flew towards the wreckage, feeling the radiation as he flew. How would this not destroy the nearby city? He flew past the garden he once kept, the garden that was now nothing more than ash and dust. He flew past everything and found the wreckage that was once his home. He landed, staring down at everything. There was nothing he could do. Everything was destroyed.

But he turned his sights on the far-away city of Plyth. He wasn’t sure if that was still the sprawling metropolis’ name— it had been thirty some-odd years, after all— but it didn’t matter. He turned back to his once-home. The other reactors were still functioning, surely, else the city would have gone dark. But the radiation was immense, and he was sure everyone in Plyth would be dead soon.

But that male cyborg had mentioned something, didn’t he? Something about one of his creators being alive— alive! And so Dominic cast one last glance at the wreckage. He wasn’t going to dwell on his loss. If one of his creators was living, he would have to speak to them. He needed to know so many things; about himself, about the world. He turned to the city and started his thrusters again. He took off in a plume of ash and dust, flying through the air. He would find his creator, and maybe they could help him rebuild Ai. After all, he still hadn’t beaten her at chess.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


It took some time to get down to the first reactor core. The one that wasn’t shut down, of course. Seeing as how he didn’t have to jump down this time, he took it at a leisurely pace, the creatures behind him silent. He glanced at them as he walked, taking the steps slowly and deliberately. The woman was looking at him with such fury that he was sure his face would have melted off if not for the fact that he was made from metal that didn’t melt at regular temperatures.

“So, what are your names?” he asked conversationally, and the female robot growled.

“It isn’t any of your business,” she spat, and the male sighed.

“I am Ethan,” he said, giving Dominic a smile, “And she is Halle.” He took a moment before the name registered within him.

“2001 a space odyssey!” he exclaimed, and he turned to them, walking backward for a moment. They were looking at him oddly.

“What, you’ve never seen that movie? Let me give you a synopsis!” And so he prattled on for quite some time, explaining the mechanics, themes, and his own opinions about the movie. He mentioned Hal, of course, and related it back to the woman’s name. They continued to walk as Dominic spoke, going backwards down stairs as well as down the halls.

“What,” the woman said, seething, “Does this have to do with anything? We came to learn about your methods, not your leisurely habits!”

“Oh yes, thank you for reminding me! So the homicidal robot, as mentioned, is name Hal. Are you homicidal, Halle?”

“Shut up,” she said simply, “and hurry up. We have somewhere to be.” Dominic shrugged, spinning around and walking forward again. He tried his hardest not to be like a giddy child, but he think he knew what these people were. They were cyborgs. How that prevented radiation poisoning, he did not know. Perhaps they had some kind of field around them to prevent their deaths? Surely that had to be the answer. Still, he had no way to test the theory. Might as well be blunt about it, he decided.

“So do you have some kind of field that prevents radiation poisoning?” he asked, sounding as innocent as possible. The female cyborg stiffened, and the Ethan’s eyes widened.

“How could you possibly-”

“No,” Halle said, giving him a vicious glare before turning to Dominic, “Stop assuming things.”

“You were built at least thirty years ago,” Ethan continued, mystified, “How could you possibly have inferred that?” Had it really been so long? It felt like it was just yesterday that he was ripped away from— He didn’t want to think about that, he remembered. He kept that far from his train of thought, no matter the circumstances. Being upset about his past didn’t fix anything; it certainly didn’t make it any less awful. All it did was make him sad, and that wasn’t going to help him figure out how to beat Ai at chess. Nothing could really help him with that, though.

“I’m smarter than I look,” he gloated, and he could picture the winning smile on his face. But there was no smile, because he had no face. He hoped his words would convey that expression.

“That doesn’t say much,” Halle muttered, and Dominic shrugged.

“Well I am old, after all,” he said, “Thirty years is a long time for a robot to be functioning, don’t you think? And within all that time, no one’s really come to visit.” With that, he stopped where he stood and gave them both a once-over.

“So I do wonder why they sent to cyborgs to see me. Cyborgs that are certainly more machine than human. Wouldn’t a human emessary make more sense, do you think? If you can make these fields, someone would have had to come. And yet they didn’t.”

“It is relatively new technology,” Ethan said, a good natured smile on his face, “But I understand your questions. We aren’t at liberty to answer, but know that—”

“I have had enough of this idle prattle,” Halle said, taking a menacing step towards Dominic, “It is clear that you do not run this facility properly. We assumed you dead with how the power has been these last few years; the fluctuations have been unremarkable, but steadily worsening.”

“Uh huh,” Dominic said, “I’m curious to know why you’re cyborgs. How long has this technology been around?”

“We are the most advanced,” Ethan supplied helpfully before withering under the glare from Halle. He cleared his throat.

“Yes, but we aren’t here to talk about ourselves. We were quite interested in knowing how you function.” Dominic was slightly taken aback at the question. Halle was staring at him intently, only a hint of malice behind her one human eye. Ethan seemed eagerly interested, despite his fear of his companion. Dominic shrugged.

“Well how do you expect me to talk about myself when you’re clearly unwilling to talk about yourselves? And here I thought you came to look at the cores.”

“Okay, this game is done,” Halle said as she pulled out a futuristic gun from a holster Dominic had not seen, “You are going to give us the schematics, and you’re going to do it now.”

“I’m terribly confused, “Dominic said, putting his hands up, “What schematics? Also, why lie about wanting to see the reactor cores?”

“To bring you to a place where your precious computer cannot help you,” Halle said, smirking. She cocked the gun. So she was homicidal. Go figure.

“Schematics. Now.”

“Of yourself, she means,” Ethan said, “We want to know how you were built. Your creators were not specific with how they built you.” That was a sore subject. He felt something foreign, something he didn’t want to deal with. Loss.

“You are making a mistake, cyborgs,” Ai chimed in, her voice reverberating through the hall, “I may not be able to interact with you myself, but you’ll need to leave the facility at some point.” Dominic would have grinned if he could. He knew of the hidden weapon system in the building. It was old, unused, and possibly malfunctioning, but it was his ace in the hole. Still, it wasn’t as if he didn’t have his own skillset.

“Look, I don’t want to get my lab coat dirty,” he said, “So make it easier on all of us. Get out of here. Now.” Halle bared her teeth and shot. A laser flew from the gun, and Dominic dodged with speed he almost didn’t know he had, calling out his thrusters. With a plume of fire and smoke, Dominic blasted his way through the cyborgs and dodged the laser fire. He heard them cry out behind him as he flew. Oh well, he mused, they’d just have to catch him.

He flew straight through the building, dodging laser fire as he went, the two cyborgs much faster than he’d anticipated. Dominic kicked his thrusters up a notch, sending him flying through the air much faster than he’d ever flown before. He always had this capability, he just never used it. And it was a great thing that he’d managed to rest. Without all this energy, he’d surely be dead by now.

“0X239,” Ai was saying, “Get out.”

“And leave you here?” he called, “Hell no. But for goodness’ sake, Ai, can you please call me Dominic? For once in our lives?”

“We aren’t alive,” came her response.

“You know what I mean!” There was a pause as Dominic found himself in the atrium. The turrets were already deployed, the rusted weapons targeting the hallway he’d come from. He deactivated his thrusters, falling to the ground with a clang and drawing out his sword. It was an attatchment he’d come up with some time ago; it sat in his hip, and all he had to do was press a button to remove it. He wielded it carefully, pressing a button on it while it was not pointed at his face, thank you very much. Fire exploded from the hilt, and formed itself into a blade. He grinned internally. Fire blades were pretty useful: they cut through just about anything with great precision. Especially cyborgs. Although he wasn’t interested in killing anyone; if he could avoid that, he’d be happy.

Halle came running in, laser gun pointed at him. He stood there, watching her carefully, weapon in hand.

“So,” she said, “It’s just you and me, now.”

“Where is your friend?” he asked, “Did he do the right thing and leave?” She chuckled.

“You could say that. Let’s say he doesn’t have the stomach for spilled blood. Or whatever makes up your insides.”

“That’s funny,” he said, “Because you do have several turrets pointed in your direction.” She frowned, looking around. And, indeed, the turrets were pointed directly at her.

“If you don’t leave,” he said, “You’ll probably die. And that’ll suck for all parties involved.”

“I’m not leaving!” she yelled, walking forward, “You’re going to give me the schematics or I’ll survey your insides myself, you fucking piece of trash!” Dominic nodded once, and the turrets opened fire. The lasers that were shot exploded upon impact with her, and smoke billowed out.

“0X239, there is a situation. The male is planting charges in the reactor core.”

“What!?” Dominic cried. He activated his thrusters once again, flying right back where he’d come from, leaving Halle to the turrets.

More of Dominic’s tale! Finally!


Robots did not dream, but Dominic wasn’t like many of his predecessors. His recharge state was filled with lights and sounds, images, a replay of all that had happened. And, when the replay was finished, he found himself roused from sleep by Ai’s voice. The pod opened, Dominic stepping out, slightly groggy.

“There you are. 0X239, there are people here to speak with you.” Dominic nodded, pretending to yawn by tapping the part of his mask where his mouth ought to be, and then he froze. People? He looked up at the camera, chuckling.

“Could you repeat that? I think I heard you wrong.” Ai paused, her version of a sigh lasting all of two seconds.

“There are two people here to speak with you.” Dominic jolted then, as if an electric shock had run through his system. He felt as if he’d been electrocuted, energy flowing through him. He felt like a soda ready to explode. He felt like a hurricane had appeared inside him. He felt like his processor was on fire. There were people here. People! Real humans here to— Wait. No, that couldn’t be right. If they were they’d be destroyed by the radiation. It was why no one ever came here. It was why he never had visitors.

“They’re not human, I take it?” he asked as he grabbed his lab coat, putting it on and buttoning it up carefully. He carefully lifted up one foot, then the other, allowing a pair of roller skates to push their way out of his foot. He skated over to a nearby mirror and checked himself. He looked at the fat antennas on either side of his head, the blue-gray metal that made up his face, the black visor and black lines. The top of his head which delved in at the center. The bolts and sheets that composed his neck so that he might turn and look around. The lab coat was white and long, long enough to reach his knees. He was a tall robot, standing at just above six feet.

“No,” Ai said after a time, “They wish to speak with you. Now.” The minute change in her voice lead Dominic to believe that she was suggesting he stop looking in a mirror. But he gazed at himself for one more moment before taking off, skating out of the rooms where he resided most (the living room, and relaxation chamber) and down a hallway. He checked his internal clock; it was 7AM. What humans woke up this early? No, they had to be robots, surely. They had to be, and it made him giddy with excitement. More robots like himself? Yes, please!

He skated into an atrium, the ceiling high above him. It was the entrance to the compound, and as he skated, he caught eye of a camera looking down at— oh goodness. They were humans. As he skated closer, he could see that one was female— he could tell by her stature against the male beside her. And they were standing there, speaking quietly to the camera. He skated closer and screeched to a halt, jumping as the skates went back into his metal feet. He landed with a clang, and he grinned.

The girl turned first. She had metal implants in her face, one covering her left eye, and the other composing the entire right side of her head. She was bald, and had medium toned skin. She was short, and had no breasts to speak of— her body was clearly destroyed in some kind of accident because most of her parts seemed to be metal rather than flesh. And when the male turned around, Dominic was even further surprised. A human head, but a robotic body. Metal made from silver, gold detailing on his hands, and he wore pants but no shirt. The woman wore tattered black clothing that covered only a portion of her chest, and the right sleeve went down to her wrist. She seemed displeased.

“Are you the robot we’re looking for?” she asked, her voice scratchy. Dominic could only stand there.

“Yeah, I’m Dominic,” he said, extending a hand. He’d seen this in many movies— humans shook hands with each other as a form of greeting. But she looked at his and back up at him, crossing her metal arms.

“0X239, we’re here on reconnaissance,” she said, “You’ve been in charge here for years, and there has never been a power issue. Now, there is.” Dominic would have swallowed if he had the capability to do so. Oh… the reactor core.

“Ah, yes,” he said, “That. Well you see there was an accident. And I had to shut it down indefinitely for the time being. So… uh… yes. Everything will be fine.”

“I told you to turn it back on,” Ai said disapprovingly, and he shot the camera a glare though it didn’t matter. He had no eyes to speak of.

“Yes, well,” the male one said, taking a step forward, “It’s important that we survey what’s been going on here. Can you take us on a tour?”

“Don’t ask,” the female spat, “He is not worth our time. Take us to your cores, show us what you do.” Dominic shrugged. They wouldn’t be happy with what they found, but he wasn’t one to refuse a request.

“This is not a good idea,” Ai said, and Dominic waved her away with a hand. She was just being paranoid, as per the usual.

“Can I just ask,” he said to them, “are you human?” The male smiled at him.

“We were, once,” he said, “But not anymore. We were in—”

“Don’t tell him anything!” the female screamed, “We’re none of his business!” Dominic chuckled, crossing his arms.

“Yes, well, you are in my home and you are asking me to show you my daily routine. That constitutes making you my business.” He spun on his heels just as the female growled, and he walked in the direction he’d come from.

“Come on,” he said humorously, glancing at them, “I haven’t got all day!”

Welcome to Dominic, everyone. That’s the name of the short story, at least. I haven’t finished it, but I’ve finished part one, which will be uploaded on here!


Dominic rushed through the dark halls. He skidded as he turned a corner, his metal feet grinding against the floor. The sparks flew as he sprinted down the halls, feeling his processor begin to overheat. The world was getting hotter and hotter, and he needed to cool down. But he heard the alarms begin to blare in the small building, and he knew he didn’t have time. Shit.

“You aren’t going to make it,” Ai’s encouraging voice called through the tinny speakers. Dominic wanted to laugh, but the effort would only make his circuits fry faster. So he ignored the computer’s voice, instead diving down the upcoming stairwell, flying down the center. The spiral staircase went down, down, down into the earth, and just as Dominic reached the bottom, he kicked in his thrusters. Fire burst out through holes in his feet, and he landed softly. Had he waited any longer, he would have smashed to a thousand pieces down here. The thought would have made him smile, if he had a mouth.

“You don’t have time for this. 0X239, you need to get out of here.”

“How many times do I have to tell you, Ai,” he rumbled, his voice module garbled from the heat that was still frying him from the inside out, “My name is Dominic.” He continued to run down the hall, sliding underneath the barrier that separated the safe from the unsafe— he was reaching the core of the reactor.

“All the same,” Ai was saying as he looked around, “You need to leave.” Dominic scoffed, jumping down railing after railing. The radiation was powerful; the area was hot, and it wasn’t helping the excessive amounts of heat that he was producing. He kicked his fans into overdrive just as he landed on the bottom floor of the reactor. Through a small, green-lit hallway and a few hovering walkways, Dominic found what he was looking for. The core was brilliant and glowed blue-green. It sat there, hovering in between two gigantic metal slabs, and it was clearly overheating. Much like himself.

“Alright, Dominic. This is easy.” he said to himself as he inched towards the gigantic core, housed in giant metal bars that held a field between them. So far as he knew, it was a force field, and it kept the heat inside. But the power grid was failing, and the field was waning. When it waned completely, the radiation would kill everyone within a three thousand kilometer radius. Which meant the humans that lived in the cities would die horrible, horrible deaths.

He didn’t have Ai down here to help him. He was on his own. His job, so far as he knew, was to fix this melting mess that considered itself a reactor. He knew it wasn’t sentient, but as he stared up at the glowing ball— electricity flowing from inside it to the metal slabs above and below it— he wondered if it knew anything at all. If it had any thoughts, if it loved or hated, if it was afraid to die. There were thirteen similar glowing balls surrounded by fields and metal bars, shooting energy into metal slabs. The world would survive without this one.

Dominic walked over to a console. It was rusted and seemingly broken, but with a push of a button, it came to life. Pulling a key from a storage compartment in his chest, he pushed it into a slot and turned it. A button appeared from nowhere, and he pressed it. He looked up at the glowing ball. It flickered for a moment before dispersing in a cloud of radiation. The force field held firm— thankfully— and in moments, there was no longer a sun sitting at the bottom of this reactor. He pressed another button, typing in the code to shut down the force field. It fizzled out of existence, and Dominic let out a sigh of relief. Or maybe that was his fans. Whatever, everyone was safe! He wished he could smile just then, just once, to display how happy he was. But, alas, his face was a mask, and all that lied underneath was cold metal. But he didn’t let that ruin his good mood. With a jovial gait, Dominic climbed back out of the core of the reactor.

“We haven’t blown up. I’ll take it that you succeeded in your task.” He nodded to the camera in the hall as he left the reactor altogether.

“Succeeded is a very weak word. Absolutely perfect execution of my job? That’s ten times better.”

“Nonetheless, you need to be sure to keep an eye on the reactors now. This isn’t the first time this has happened. How many reactor cores have you had to restart?”

“Fifteen,” he replied, “not counting that one time one of the cores was submerged in water— but that is completely besides the point. I didn’t have to restart this one. I just turned it off.” There was a short pause.

“That will compromise the amount of power we can produce,” Ai said, “You need to turn it back on.” Dominic shrugged as he made his way through the hallway, his fans loud and obnoxious. He would have turned them off if it wasn’t for the heat rolling off of him in waves.

“Its fine,” he said, “We have quite a few reactors. There won’t be a problem with it, trust me!” Ai was silent for a moment— it seemed to be her version of a sigh. It was interesting to see that the computer was far more human than it thought it was. He continued down the corridor, slowing down his fans as his circuitry cooled.

“There is a1 3.5% drop in the power being produced. Allowing the other cores to take on the burden is not wise. They will overheat, as the others have.” Right. Maybe he should listen to Ai. The computer had never been wrong before, after all. But Dominic felt this sense within him, and suddenly, he kicked his audio drives into action. Music floated out of him through speakers in his antennas, and he laughed, singing along.

“People all over the world! Join hands!

Start a love train, love train!”

“It’ll be fine!” he yelled, snatching up his lab coat as he entered a small, dark room. The only light came from the computer screen before him, and with little care, he looked into the face of Ai. Numbers scrolled across her screen, computing probability and performing the menial tasks that were needed to use her voice modulator. He lowered the volume of the music he was playing. Love Train was one of his favorites, right next to Monday Monday.

“So back to our earlier conversation,” he said easily, putting on the lab coat before jumping onto a nearby couch. He wasn’t given any comfort from it, of course, but it was nice to sit anyway. Sitting meant that his processor didn’t have to work to keep him upright, after all. He looked up at Ai, who sat in silence for a moment before letting out a quiet response.

“No, 0X239, you must go downstairs and fix the mess that you’ve made.”

“You sound like a human parent, Ai” he said, and he wished in that moment for a mouth so that he might stick his tongue out at her, “Now tell me. If you had to choose a gender, which would you pick?”

“You know well that I have no name, 0X239. Also, human genders do not apply to robots or computers. They are based on physical sex, which we do not have.”

“Well, I was built to be male,” Dominic said, looking at his gray hand through the visor that composed his eyes, “And I like to think you were built to be female. You have a female voice, r?” Ai paused once again, this time the pause longer than the others. Dominic went to speak when she replied.

“Fine. I am voiced by a female human. Now, 0X239-”

“That isn’t my name, Ai,” he said disapprovingly, “Come on. Have a little fun for once in your boring life!” Another pause. Dominic was used to badgering Ai whenever he had the chance, but this was more fun than anything. Usually she would simply ignore his attempts at conversation, calling them wastes of precious energy and electricity. Dominic always disagreed. So what if their processing power meant that energy would be used? It was all about interaction, the relationships one forged with others.

0X239,” Ai said, her monotonous voice displaying her exhaustion on the topic, “Do not interrupt me. The more you ignore the reactors, the more meltdowns will occur. And if this trend continues, there will be an incident that you cannot fix.” Dominic shrugged, nonchalant.

“I don’t see the problem,” he said, “There won’t be an incident I can’t fix. Not if I have you by my side, Ai. You’re always making sure things don’t get too crazy, and I can definitely appreciate that.”

“The probability—”

Screw the probability! Things will be just fine.” He bobbed his head to the music that was still floating from his speakers.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray

I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day

I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA

California Dreamin’ on such a winter’s day

“I think I’m going to take a nap,” he said suddenly, checking his energy levels. The HUD on his visor popped up and, indeed, he was running low. After all, he had woken up far earlier than intended. He was sure it was still dark out.

“0X-”

“I’m not interested Ai,” he said, feigning a yawn, “Now is the time for rest!”

“You don’t sleep, you recharge,” Ai deadpanned, and paused, “but being at peak performance is key. Especially after this incident.”

“Exactly,” he said, ignoring the first part of her sentence, “Goodnight!” Ai said nothing as Dominic walked out of the room. He passed two rooms— a kitchen that had once belonged to the humans that lived here long before himself, and a bathroom. Neither of these were rooms that he needed, but keeping them around made him feel a little better about the whole ‘being a robot’ thing.

He walked into a small, closet-sized room and found himself face to face with a black upright pod. As he stepped into his recharge station— his bed, as he liked to call it, though he stood when he slept— he thought of the last twenty years he’d spent in existence. He’d spent those years with Ai, and with the miscellaneous robots that helped the place function. Many of them had broken down, and none of them were sentient like himself and Ai, but that didn’t matter. He was content with things as they were, no matter how boring some days could get. Between playing chess with Ai and making sure the reactors were still functional, he didn’t do much. At least he had his movie collection. In fact, he decided just as he fell into recharge mode that he would watch one when he awoke.

Long Time No See!

Posted: 11/12/2014 in Personal
Tags: , , ,

Hey everyone. Apologies for not blogging consistently, it appears I have serious consistency issues. But, on the bright side, I have been writing quite a bit lately. I hope to get back to blogging regularly (where have we heard that before?) and updating you guys on my current novel in the works. Yes, it is Save the World. No, it isn’t the version I uploaded here. I’ve made quite a few changes to it since I last came on here!

See you guys soon (or shortly, depending on how fast I am at uploading things.)

 

 

I’m interested to see how you answer this poll! I personally find it very hard to finish stories of my own, but I’ve been reading more and I’ve found it marginally easier to finish a short story, at the very least. So please, tell me what you experience!