Emerald Injections

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A Live Broadcast

Cora enjoyed reading as much as the next person, and she particularly enjoyed reading in a tiny little nook above her bed. However, she couldn't focus. Her fingers trembled as her eyes scanned the pages for the seventeenth time, not comprehending a single word. She was already different enough as it was; she didn't need some weird powers to make her even more of a target for the Sovereign Guards.

She still hadn't told her parents of the strange new powers that had manifested. Sixteen years of peace and quiet, but on her seventeenth birthday, all shattered once more. She still hoped it was all a bad dream. Then there was Citlali, who now worked. The Sovereign's Council would probably track her soon enough; installing cameras and whatnot. There would be no good reason for her mother to shut off Citlali, and she'd soon have to evade her own robot as well.

"Cora, sweetie, breakfast is ready!" her mother stood in the doorway, leaning against the post, "Your father and I have to get to the Panterra Day festival soon, so I brought up some pancakes and toast. Are you okay? You look a tad frazzled."

"Yes, I'm fine. Truly," she smiled the best she could, stabbing her fork into the pancake, "Could you bring me some new books from the fair today?"

"Processing request, bring new books from fair," Citlali suddenly shot up from her spot, whirring around, "Request denied. Sorry, but my program does not understand the command."

"You got it to work?" her mother gasped, bending down to look at Citlali.

"I am not an 'it'. I am Citlali. What are you?" the robot beeped, its scanner turning from a vibrant green to red.

"I'm Cora's mother. Kloie Li," her mother stated, rubbing Citlali's head with her sleeve, "When were you activated, Citlali?"

"Hello mother of my Creator. My statistics show I was activated eight hours ago by Cora. It was at 3 AM," Citlali stated, her scanner turning to a calming yellow.

"You were up at 3 AM? You should get more sleep, Cora," her mother scolded.

"That's what I said," Citlali piped up, "I much like you, Cora's Mother, Kloie Li!"

"Just Kloie is fine," her mother laughed, "Now, take care of Cora, will you?"

"Of course!" Citlali shrieked, clapping her tiny robot arms again, "It is my honor to serve the family of my Creator!"

"The programming in her personality has a few glitches," Cora said, "The one I downloaded from the Net doesn't seem to do her justice. I'll probably figure it out sooner or later."

"Of course you will, sweetie," her mother smiled, "We need to get going. We'll be back in a few hours. Stay out of sight."

"I know."

"I love you."


Cora rather disliked being left in the house alone for longer than three hours. There was a limitation on how many times her games could be played without getting boring, how many books she could read without her head growing dizzy with words, and three hours just about covered it.
Even Citlali seemed a tad restless, whirring about and dusting imaginary particles off of furniture. The restlessness of it all made Cora a little uneasy, as she didn't even have the other teenagers running amok through the streets to entertain her. They were all at the festival, for sure."Citlali, is there any footage from the Panterra Festival of Year 317?" Cora suddenly asked, her eyes brightening at the prospect of watching the Festival. "There's live streaming right now," Citlali answered, "But from the Panterran Capital. I can't find any search results from Blue Villa 7.""Alright then. From the Capital, then," Cora quickly connected Citlali's central processor to the large screen.
"Hello, Panterra! I am currently in the Capital, otherwise known as Grey Villa 1, where our King and Queen are currently anticipating the start of the festivities! Here they are now, King Ellison Baele and Queen Alixia Baele of Panterra! Our crown prince is here as well, the Prince Arion Baele," the reporter shouted over the screams of the wild crowd, "Today I'll be interviewing the royal family!"The reporter's image cut off the screen, and was replaced with flashing pictures of festival lights and stands. Pies of all kinds, candy hearts, different assortments of spices covered the stands, almost overflowing. From where she was situated, Cora could somewhat see the pixelated eye colors. A few amber and hazel ones, one or two blue. An astounding amount of silver eyes. Almost everyone there had silver eyes, carefully accentuated with dark make up. They were the ruling class, after all. Always so posh, they had always been so haughty after leading all the others into war against the green eyed so many years ago. "And I'm back! This is the royal palace," the reporter gestured to the shining palace, "Where I will be interviewing the King and Queen as well as some of the other members of the Sovereign Council. Let's start with King Ellison Baele, shall we?""Hello, Miss," the King turned towards the reporter. Even from the screen, Cora could tell he looked old and worn down. He had dark circles under his eyes, a faded smile, and wrinkles covering his entire face. His hair had begun falling out as well, slowly being replaced with a silvery color that matched his eyes."How are we feeling today, Your Highness?" the reporter asked, "You don't look too well! Have you caught a cold?""Just slightly tired," the King answered, "I am ruling a kingdom, you know. Today isn't about me, though. Today is the 317th anniversary of the end of the Oculus War. This day, 317 years ago, my great ancestor defeated the Greens and placed the Silvers on the throne.""As is common knowledge, Your Highness," the reporter added on, "I can tell you clearly know your history! Now, a new film was made just a few days ago commemorating your great ancestor, Findlay Baele, was it? Yes, the film was called Findlay Baele.""Yes, I have seen said film," the King smiled slightly, "It portrays my lineage quite supremely! Although there are a few portions that seem to have been overdramatized." Cora muted the interview, bored with the overly chatty interview. She had seen the movie as well, downloaded it from some theater in Hazel Villa 5. It hadn't just been a few portions, the entire film was overdramatized. "Citlali, what do you know about the Oculus War and Findlay Baele?" Cora asked her droid, who was clearly still watching the film despite not being able to perceive it quite as clearly. "Findlay Baele led the Silver, Blue, Hazel, Amber, and Brown armies against the Green army. They say the Union of Five would have lost against the Green army if it hadn't been for Findlay Baele's leadership and war strategy."Cora frowned. Five whole armies against the Green armies and they still believed it was possible for the Greens to win. It had been this same lesson for the past sixteen years. Her parents always refused to explain what had made the Green army so powerful. Her hand sank into the couch, and Cora snatched it from the leathery texture, biting back a scream as her hand slowly changed back from leather to skin. Her powers. She had desperately hoped that it was a dream. "Citlali, search up Green Eyes. And Pre-Oculus War," Cora whispered, staring at her shaking hand.
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