Saturday, August 6, 2016
Chapter 53: Mech, Ani, Cal
Autumn has been mild so far, but Izalee knows her plants will go dormant again at the first sign of cold.
Green themed room is Izalee's, if you hadn't guessed.
Lucida's young adult birthday arrives. Rather than make a big fuss, she just invites her boyfriend (and his juice keg) over to help her celebrate.
Ben may dress like he wants to appeal to little old lady voters, but Reggie wonders if the squeaky clean act is just an act that masks a wild side.
"You changed your hair..."
Lucida's eyes grow worried. "Do you like it?"
"I love it."
These two dated throughout much of Lucida's high school time, endured the test of one of them aging up earlier than the other, survived the emotionally vulnerable time from Lucida's cousin disappearing, and have never really had any conflict in their happy-go-lucky relationship. Now they spend most of the evening preoccupied with each other.
"You look pretty strange without your glasses, you know."
"Yeah, I wear them for a reason."
They have kissed before, but somehow soaking in the warm, nice-smelling water makes this hotter and heavier than usual.
Despite the robot lurking so closeby, things get out of hand!
Lucida has no regrets.
Ben has to run off to prepare for work tomorrow, but the night stays interesting, since Layla remembers to put in an appearance for her cousin's birthday.
"I'm so glad you could make it," Lucida gushes, excited to brag about what she's been up to.
Lucida's exuberance reminds Layla of Rain. Layla takes a gulp of juice. "Hey, I wouldn't miss your age-up for the world. You look great."
Layla has news, though. This town's scientific community is stagnant, and she thinks a change of scenery is just what she needs to perk up her mood.
"You're leaving me?" Lucida stares.
"I'm leaving Monte Vista, yeah. Things haven't been the same since my sister died or ran off or whatever happened, and every day I see my parents depressed, it gets me down... I want a fresh start."
"This is gonna depress your parents even more," Lucida warns.
"Will they even notice I'm gone?" Layla sighs. "I need to live my own life."
"Well... I hope you find what you are looking for."
The cousins hug. They've been best friends forever since they were children, but even forever is not forever. Layla promises to write, and the two spend the rest of the night playing video games. Layla has a ticket for a train out in the morning.
Mech goes to his creator with existential concerns. "Both Izalee and Lucida have become young adults. I intend to be their friend and protector, and yours, indefinitely, and I have added the young Ceth to my calculations. However... my original charges do not need my supervision so much, and one day Ceth will not either. What do you wish of me, when you are all gone? How will I choose whom I will care for, if they are not your charges?"
Reggie is somehow surprised by the question. Mech's AI has evolved enormously from its original commands. "I hadn't given much thought to how long your life would be," he replies, apologetic. "You don't need to spend it in service to us."
"Service? Father, it is my purpose. Caring for others makes me... happy. But without you, as much as it frightens me to imagine a world without you, how will I understand whom to prioritize?"
"I'll think of something to help you, friend," Reggie promises.
Soon, this setup appears in the back yard.
"What the... what is all this?" Perenna asks, not accusing, but mystified.
Reggie smiles. "Just some things to help design robots. I had it shipped in through Isla Paradiso."
"Oh wow." Perenna is genuinely impressed. "Fancy."
"I know, we don't need more simbots, but... Mech does. I'd like to give him some companions. Something to relate to."
Reggie toils night and day on his project.
He doesn't intend to make his second bot even scarier than the first, but Skull-Face McGee here [not actual name] will probably evoke some screams from children in the future.
Reggie gives this one a feminine-sounding voice.
Lego-head is powered on later that evening, as soon as bot #2 is completely finished.
Mech is thrilled to meet his new siblings.
"You made a girlbot?" Izalee crinkles her nose. "Are they going to fight over her, Double Dragon style?"
"The idea was to give them differences, to make sure they have a sense of individuality," her father explains.
Izalee sighs deeply. "What are you calling them?"
"You named the first one Mech, so I've been calling these two Ani and Cal."
Etc.: Have I mentioned Izzy has the grumpy trait?
Benino has some dumb traits like never nude and stuff. He's also hydrophobic, so when he and Lucida went to woohoo, I expected them to go to her bedroom, instead of hop in the hot tub. :|
The rules say simbots should leave by the time the next heir takes over. Screw that. Mech stays until I'm done with him. He appeared when the heir was a child, so if he leaves by the time the next heir is a child, we're just all going to agree everything is copacetic, right?
Oh, and Layla is leaving to be the founder of her own separate legacy someday. Not sure when that will happen and be blogged about, but her roll was freelance scientist. (: