He walked up to the plate with an air of confidence. Everything was on the line.
Bottom of the ninth down by two. Two men on first and second. Two outs.
It was all up to him.
He stood at the plate, bat clenched.
He felt the whole crowd cheering his name.
"LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN!"
The pitcher threw a fastball, right over the plate.
He swung, as hard as he could.
Lan saw it sail back and back... all the way out the park.
The crowd went ballistic.
"LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN!"
He rounded the bases to the sound of roaring applause.
He was the greatest baseball player who ever lived.
And the whole world was cheering his name.
"LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN!"
"LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN!"
"LAN! LAN! LAN! LAN!"
"zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... snogggle, zorst, sa?"
" Wake up brother, they are almost finished with him."
"K, just give me like... 5 more minutes Roll. I'll be downstairs."
"Lan, I'm not leaving, till you are walking with me."
"Can't I just get like, a few more minutes?"
"C'Mon Lan; mom, dad, and gandpa are already downstairs."
"But its 4 in the morning! This bed is like a soft cozy magnet..."
" Lan.. please dont make me get the broom."
"Okay, Okay! I'm getting up!"
Lan Hikari actually managed to get out of bed.
In his plaid pajamas he got to his door.
" So, how do you feel?" Roll looked up at him curiously.
Despite hardly being able to stand, Lan was able to give somewhat of a smile.
"Now that I'm up, I'm not go back to sleep till i see him.
Lan and Roll made there way downstairs to the living room.
" We are going to Light Labs, right?"
" Yeah Lan, everyone's already in the SUV. I know your tired but.."
" Well then, what are we waiting for?" Lan started moving with a little more energy, leaping and bounding to the door...
" Oh my God Lan! Are you okay?" Roll rushed up to Lan; now lying on the floor clutching his head.
" I forgot... that... our door has locks. Ow, that hurts so much.."
" Hold still Lan, lemme check your head."
She pressed her hand on Lan's forehead, then began scanning his head.
"Im not picking up any fractures or concussions, but please dont do that again."
Lan sat up " Roll, I know it doesn't take a robot, but could please just get the door for me?"
" Sure Lan, just make sure to be careful okay?"
Roll undid the lock and opened the door.
" Time to go Lan."
As they approached the SUV, the side door opened.
" Lan, Roll, get inside quick. the faster we move the faster we get to see him."
" Sorry mom, just ran into some problems with the door; and the door itself."
His mom looked at him sheepishly.
" Just get inside, you should be asleep anyway."
Lan and roll got inside and buckled up.
"The kids are secure Yuichiro."
Lan's father turned around from the drivers seat and gave a tired grin
"Thanks Huruka. I'm afraid your father has dozed off, so I''ll give him the 15 minute driving rest. Dont you go asleep on me Lan. In fact, enjoy it. I plan on this being the last time you are up at this hour. You are getting back on your sleeping pattern"
"No problem dad, let's just go already!"
The car started up, and they were off.
Light Labs Parking Lot
The SUV pulled into the parking lot of Light Labs, the only vehicle around.
" We're here everyone" Dr. Hikari said. He looked over to the sleeping man on his right. " Since Thomas is still out, I think I'll just take his keycard..."
He was taken back as a hand gripped his wrist out of nowhere.
" Did you really think," Thomas Light said opening one eye " that I could ever be asleep at at time like this?"
" Grandpa! Your awake!" Lan, almost passed out again, instantly re-enegrized."Can we go see him now?"
Thomas Light turned around with a twinkle in his eye. "Why certainly Lan, it seems that the time's come. Hurry now, everyone out."
After passing earlier security, the group had made its way inside. Despite being here earlier, Lan was still amazed at the size of the complex. It was like a tree, with areas branching out horizontally. Finally they had reached the main computer directory.
"Welcome, Dr. Light" the computer said.
"Computer, code Delta-Titan 2204 Triple Giga 3." Dr. Light said.
" Password accepted, activating elevator."
" Your secret lab is underground grandad?" Lan asked
"Yes it is, right under the third elevator."
"The third elevator?" Roll was confused. " The blueprints said there were only two."
"Well Roll, is it were in the schematics, it would not be much of a secret, would it?" Mrs. Hikari added a sly smile.
They walked a little ways further until they reached the twin set of elevators. The brown, square, modern elevators showed no sign of change whatsoever.
" Is the third one in between the other two or something?" Lan was puzzled.
" Its on your side son." Dr. Hikari said. He saw his son rush tot he janitors closet.
" All I see are mops and brooms!" Lan yelled.
" Lan, your other side!"
" What do you mean-oh."
Lan was frozen at the elevator before him. It was blue, glowing, spyrical design was just begging him to enter and reveal its secrets.
"All aboard everyone!' Dr. light called everyone in."
Once everyone was in, the door slid shut.
"Computer," Dr. Light said "Going Down."
It was a long way dowwnn..
But finally, the elevator stopped
"We have arrived at our destination. Have a nice day."
The group walked out. Shrouded in empty darkness. It was unsettling, just coming out of an elevator that was ready to belong in Sonic's Casino Night Zone. Dr. Light clapped his hands twice. And the lights came on in a linear straight path forward. Lan realized he was in a narrow corridor. He could almost touch the walls with both arms outstretched.
"Come with meAnd you'll beIn a world ofPure imagination"
Dr. Light led the group, swinging around the corridor.
At last, they came to a door. Dr. Light stopped. The whole group tensed.
"This is the last door. What you see next will be something only know by the people standing here right now. What happens here does not leave this facility, unless otherwise noted. Is that understood?"
The whole group shook there heads. Lan was breathless.
"Then lady, gentlemen, and robot, I give you my personal laboratory.
The door opened, there was a great flash of bright light..
What Lan saw next almost made him scream with excitement.
The laboratory was HUUUGE!
It had a nice teal wall paint. Machines were around spinning, blinking. Some were buys away at construction, only being shown by mirrors." I could spend forever here. Lan thought. This place is beautiful.
"All my life," Dr. Light started "I have been working on the advancement of robotic technology. Making robots stronger, faster, better. But then, I began to try to intertwine them with man. I tried to give them personalities, feelings souls. I knew what a problem that could be, so I did it in secret. protected by the government. but to no avail, I could never quite do it, no matter how much I tried. But then I finally discovered Biometal."
He paused, turned around and smiled at Roll. " And with Biometal, I was able to make Roll. And the rest of what you see before you."
"Dr. Light!" Dr. Light! You're finally here!." A voice cried out.
"Here comes another one of my Biometal creations. Auto! Good to see you!"
For a second, Lan swore that this was all a dream, and the little fat Martian was part of his imagination. "Auto" did not look human at all. He had yo-yos for eyes, a green head. He had an apron-like hull, fit with a handlebar and red man-boobs. His round torso seemed to be mainly yellow. His limbs were green with metallic connectors. AND THAT GOOFY VOICE. If it was not terrifying, it was comical.
" So, this is the Hikari family? They all look so adorable!" He looked at Lan " so, how do you feel about your new family member?"
" SO then Auto," Dr. Light realized that Lan had less than 3 seconds to hold a straight face. "Is everything ready?"
"Why yes, of course. Down that room over there!" There was a white door with a DO NOT ENTER SIGN.
" I'll be back everyone. " Dr. Light followed Auto past the door.
Once they were gone. Dr. Hikari looked back at the group. " So Lan, what do you think of Auto? he seems nice enough."
" I think... I've been traumatized."
Dr. Light and Auto walked down a corridor until the reached a mirror with a door on its side, leading to the room. Inside the room were two pods. Dr. Light looked at the control panel. After punching in a code, a button popped up.
ACTIVATING POD INITIALIZATION IN 3...2...1...
There was a flash of light, and a flood of gas as the pod room clouded up.
DOORS OPENING NOW
The gas began to filter out as the doors opened.
A few minuets later, the pod doors were opened. Dr. Light stared at his two creations. He found the microphone on the keyboard. Time to make contact.
"Rock? Can you hear me?"
10 minutes had passed, but Lan had not really noticed. Ever since his parents told him he was getting a brother, he had been so excited. Finally, someone to talk to! Roll was a great friend, and he had really grown to love her to the past 3 years, but she was not a guy. Lan really wanted a guy he could open up to; to play and hang out with,talk about sports, mechanics. Talk about dreams, fears...
He didn't want a brother that just manages and advises him on things. Is that really what he was gonna have to live with for the next 8 years? Some to boss him around? He new grades were important, but he did not want that to come between keeping him from gaming, hanging with friends...
Was everything about to go horribly wrong?
That is when the door opened.
First came Auto, a tear coming down his eye.
Then came Dr. Light. He beckoned someone behind him. "Come meet your new family boy."
A small boy walked out behind him.
He looked.. normal. A regular ten-year-old boy with spiky black hair, and average blue eyes.
"Hi everone." He had a child's normal voice, not yet gone trough puberty, but not quite high pitched.
" Its great to meet you all. My name is Rock."
He looked at Lan and outstretched his hand.
"Are you Lan? Hi there, my name is Rock."
He had a bright, exuberant smile, as if he just knew the two were going to be best friends.
"Its nice to meet you brother."
Lan had no idea how to respond.
This robot had a perfectly normal face, perfectly normal white t-shirt and jeans, and just did a perfectly normal human gesture.
He just had to make a perfect first impression.
He imagined was never quite sure how their first meeting would go. He imagined that Dr. Light would show him off a little. He never quite expected for him to show himself off. And like that. Lan didn't quite have a Plan B scenario.
Plan B reaction then : Look like an idiot while a robot that could be judging your every action just stand there smiling and holding his hand out.
LAN . EXE HAS ENCOUNTERED A PROBLEM, AND THEREFORE HAS CRASHED
"Wow Dr. Light, he's amazing!" Roll gave Rock a hug, breaking the moment.
" Yeah Tommy, you really mad a polite and handsome addition to our family." Dr. Hikari chimed in as Mrs. Hikari shook Lan.
"Well its almost 5 A.M., so maybe we should head home." Dr. Hikari was already walking to the corridor.
"Wait, I gotta bring him along too." Rock turn around and whistled to the still opened door.
A Great Dane came rushing out rushing out, like a flash of Auburn fur.
He was instantly on top of Rock, licking him and woofing excitedly.
" Rush! Boy-" Rock could hardly speak with Rush on on top of him. " I know your excited but down! Meet you new family."
" A doggy! He's so cute!" Roll was already gushing over him, scratching him behind the ears.
Lan was dumbfounded again. I ask for a dog for forever, and he just gets one off the back?
Then Lan heard Dr. Light say " knows many tricks already " and " does not poop in the house" and " already housebroken"
Okay. Makes sense.
Then he noticed that rush was already sniffing him. This was followed by a big sloppy kiss.
Rock laughed " I think he likes you."
He turned to Dr. Light. "Can we go home now? Wont someone be coming soon?"
Dr. Light checked his watch. " we got 5 minutes before people start clocking in. We can't use the front, so we'll have to take the back door."
Dr Light pressed a button on the wall. A section of the wall opened, revealing a passage way. " Time to go home everyone."
Lan had been silent the ride home.
That was okay, because everyone else was talking.
How Rock was gonna affect the house.
How Rock was gonna go to school.
How Rock was going to hang out with Lan's friends.
Lan almost chimed in at that last one, but realized he was being baited in. ITS A TRAP!
When they got home , Dr. Hikari assumed Lan was really out. " Rock, Take Lan to your bedrooms, Don't wake him up though."
Lan could feel Rock carrying him all the way to his bed, laying him gently down on the bottom bunk. Lan heard everyone say goodnight to each other, and close their doors.
"Hey Lan? I know your not asleep. Can we talk now?"
The jig was up. He had to say something now.
Lan sat up. " Okay, ya got me, what do you want to talk about?"
"I know I'm a robot, so that means I'm perfect, right?" Rock's face fell.
"Look, I'm still programmed to be a ten-year old boy. I do have thoughts and feelings. Feeling of a ten-year old boy. And I really have no experience whatsoever about out the outside world other than data Dr. Light gave me. This may be asking alot, but could you help me out? Maybe I could hang out with some of your friends tomorrow?"
Lan remembered how Roll first acted when she was activated.
She was shy, she never knew how or what to act or say, pretty much rejecting any human feelings she had. All she really did was clean the house. She didn't know what to say to anyone.
Lan didn't exactly help, he had no idea what to say to here either. He did not know what to expect of this robot that was supposed to be a human girl.
It took time, but eventually they became close.
And now that Lan was older and had experience, he knew he could help Rock out just fine.
"Sure Rock, I'm meeting friends at the park tomarr- today at 1:30. You can come with, and bring Rush if you want. I'm already bringing Roll, so two more wont be a problem."
Rock smiled "Thanks Lan, your awesome." Rock climbed into bed
"Good night Lan. Sleep tight."
"Good night, brother."
End of Part One