Robot Girlfriend: Part 1
It was a fairly normal day for Lawrence Tiberius, his family had just moved to the planet, Aquila 4, a moon orbiting the gas giant Aquila. Being the new kid at his high school was hard on him, he didn’t know anybody, and aside from one or two teachers he didn’t really talk to anybody. One day in class, his teacher had an announcement. “Class,” said a woman at the front desk of the class, “I know that you have all been hearing rumors of a new student, a none-human one.” She said; compared to the rest of the class Lawrence was indifferent to the idea of sharing a classroom with an alien. As long as the alien wasn’t going to bully him he could care less about what exactly it was. “Well let me put those rumors to rest, she is-” and then a sudden crash was heard in the hallway, “sorry but I have to look into this.” She said as she went out of the classroom into the hallway. Lawrence just sat back as everyone just talked about… well he didn’t listen, and just speculated on who the new classmate could be.
“Could it be an Ulagraag? I mean that sounded like a big enough crash to be one of the larger subspecies, but I don’t think that they would let any of their young to learn from humans. A Vaalation? Probably not, we may be on good terms with them right now but I don’t see them letting any of their young anywhere near the Colonial education system.” His thoughts were interrupted as the teacher entered the room. “It’s all right dear,” she said to the still unseen student, “students meet your new classmate, Hope O’Brian.” The teacher said, everyone gasped in surprise when the student entered. She had blue eyes, red hair, and wore white shorts, a pink shirt, and pink flip flops. However, this was not the most striking feature about, nor was this why everyone was so surprised. For Hope… had light silver skin, blue lights glowing on her joints, and with white markings on her arms and legs that were the written language of the Y’l-Naka.
Hope had a nervous look on her face as she stood before the class; she swallowed her anxiety and proceeded to introduce herself. “Hello… I look forward to learning alongside you all.” She said, waving awkwardly at the class, a few seconds passed with nothing but awkward silence. “Say something or your all getting a pop quiz… right now.” The teacher said, and the class erupted in applause. “Don’t fake it, be honest to her.” Said the teacher, the class died down to just half-hearted helloes, Lawrence however still applauded, then realized that nobody else was applauding and felt awkward and stopped. “Lawrence, would you mind if Hope sat next to you?” The teacher asked, Lawrence looked surprised. “No, it’s alright if she sits next to me.”
The day went by at a fair pace, than by lunch the two finally got the chance to talk to each other. They sat across from each other at a table, in a classroom that was completely empty. “So… what exactly are you?” Lawrence asked. “Well… I’m a robot as you would put it.” Hope said. “Well, I kind of figured that you, but what are you specifically?” Lawrence asked. “Well, I’m actually an Y’l-Naka, specifically I’m a prototype that can feel emotions and can perform basic and complex social interactions.”
“And you don’t look like a praying mantis.” Lawrence added, referring to how the average Y’l-Naka looked. “Yeah, anyway I was created as part of a cooperative project between the Human Colonial Government and the Y’l-Naka Collective. Basically the HCG wanted a robot that would have intelligence equal to or greater than the average Human, and Y’l-Naka want to be able to feel emotions and be closer to organic life.” Hope explained. “I see… but, and I don’t mean to offend you by asking this. Why exactly would they make a robot that looked like… well… a teenage girl?” Lawrence asked. “I had a childhood, I was… well not exactly born but created as a child.” Said Hope. “So… you’re a cyborg?” Lawrence asked. “I guess so, I mean that makes sense, but I was always just called a robot by everyone else. Besides that, I only have a few organs as is.”
“So, it’s more like your partially organic?” Lawrence asked. “Something like that, dad told me that the organs would help me fit in with Humans easier… so long as I don’t show them to anyone ever again.” Hope said sheepishly. “I see, so what are you programmed for?” Lawrence asked as he took a drink from his water bottle. “Well actually I don’t have any programing.” Lawrence spat out his water when she said this. “What?! How is that possible?” Lawrence asked recovering from his spit take. “Well, I asked my father about it once, he explained that giving me programing of any kind would be a limitation of my potential to grow as a person. And I distinctly remember afterword’s he was watching videos of Penguins doing cute things while he was jumping on the coach… he is a weird man but brilliant.” Hope explained. “What about that big crash?”
“Oh… actually that’s kind of embarrassing,” Hope said sheepishly, “I… accidentally fell down the stairs, and I broke.” Hope answered. “Broke?” Lawrence asked confused. “Yeah, I was helping this one kid carry his things, but I lost my balance and fell down the stairs, and my body parts jettisoned before I could suffer any real damage.” Hope explained. “You can detach your limbs?” Lawrence asked. “Of course, for maintenance mainly, but I can take them off at will.” She said, and then, just to show off, she pulled off her head. “See?”
“WHOA!” Lawrence said surprised as he jumped under a desk. “Sorry!” Hope said as she put her head back on. “I keep forgetting that people get freaked out by that.” She said apologetically. “Well… look just don’t ever do that again okay?” Lawrence said as he got back up from under the table. “Well, enough about me, why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?” Hope asked. “My family moved here a few months ago from Sigma Orion.” Lawrence said. “I know that planet, isn’t that where the Colonial Movie Industry is centered right?” Hope asked. “Yeah, neither of my parents had anything to do with them if that’s what you’re thinking.” Lawrence said. “We just lived there, dad was trying to keep jobs, and mom was trying to maintain the home. As for me… I was just trying to keep myself from going completely insane from high school.”
The conversation went between the two like this until lunch time was over. Over the course of the next few weeks the two became close friends, they only ever got just lunch hour to talk to each other. Then one day, on a Tuesday. “Hope… you wanna… go out sometime?” Lawrence asked nervously. “What? Like, on a date or something?” Hope asked. “I don’t know… just… I want to see you more often than just lunch.” Lawrence said, a minute or two passed. “Okay, you know anywhere where we could go?” Hope finally said. “I… don’t know, I don’t get out that often.” Lawrence said.
“Ah, well I think I know a place you would like. It’s a little place in downtown, I used to work there but… let’s just say that the guy who runs the place is kind of a jerk.”
“Well after a while I found something funny with my pay.”
“I wasn’t getting any pay,” Hope said bitterly, “apparently he thought that me being a robot meant that he couldn’t pay me at all, and filled me as an intern despite all of the work I was doing.” Hope said. “Then why would you want to go back?” Lawrence asked. “I really like ice tea, and I’m a people person, and it was a generally nice place despite my jerk of a boss.” Hope explained.
“Oh, well just put the address on my P-Unit.” Lawrence said, giving her the small hand-held device that would be comparable to a smart phone. “There you go,” Hope said returning the device to him, “I also got rid of some harmful programs, and some software that was flooding the thing with annoying pop-up ads.” Hope said, followed by Lawrence giving her a big hug. “Thank you! So 1:00 on Saturday?”
“1:00 on Saturday.” Hope said seemingly not noticing the hug that Lawrence just gave her.