Thursday, July 5, 2012

QUICKISH: Almost Human (Part 1)

Heyyyyy yooooou guys!!! (Goonies...anyone? No? Okay, I'll stop.) Remember when I asked you all to send me ideas for QUICKIES? Well, I've started to use a few of them out of the boat load I was sent! *grin* Thanks everyone.  As I always give credit where it is due, this QUICKIE inspiration was sent to me by Tat. So thanks, girl! This is the picture, which of course my mind bent warped into something completely different. I hope you like it!!!

Again thanks to all the emails with ideas and I will be putting out more of those soon.


P.S. Can you guess what story I'm remixing? Lol.



The party was in full swing.  A deep, sultry voice filled the air. The band kept the guests moving around the dance floor. Violet Redstar had been hard to book within his budget, but Lawry made sure that this party was top notch for Malek. It wasn’t every day the Chief of Technology retired to the Fray. So watching her hourglass figure sway in one of her trademark crimson gowns as she bellowed into the mic was worth every penny. The look on Malek’s face was mesmerized with the Weejan beauty, further proof that booking the jazz sensation was the right choice.

Leaning against the wall, Lawry Kladah, the new Chief of Technology watched the crowd. A few handsome bachelors caught his eye now and again, but nothing worth making an effort over. Just as he was about to go grab another flute of champagne from a waiter, Otis bumped his shoulder with a smile.

“What’s with the long face my little wall flower, nothing spicy enough for your liking tonight?” His best friend teased, handing him a fresh glass of bubbly.

“Been watching me?” Lawry shook his empty glass with a smile before replacing it with the new one.

Otis rolled his eyes and scratched his barely there stubble of a haircut. “Yes, that’s what I do at these parties, I watch you all evening. Please, I came over because mister my slacks are begging to be unzipped over there was checking me out and I needed an excuse to come closer. I just want to take a bite out his ass and then go home. Is that too much to ask?”

Lawry glanced over by the window to see Otis was correct. A tall, blue eyed stud stood by the window with his arms crossed over his white military blazer.  His gaze was dark, but focused, and the look in his eye made Lawry clear his throat with a blush.

“By the Gods, Otis I don’t think you’ll be the one biting tonight.”

“I know, right? Isn’t he delicious? I hope he’s as rowdy as he looks.” Otis sighed dramatically. “Oh, but I have to say goodbye to Malek before I go anywhere.  Hold this L, I’ll be right back.”

Out of nowhere a breeze was at Lawry’s side, the smell of a crisp, drug-like aftershave in the air. The hungry eyed soldier offered Otis his hand and the good doctor was at a loss for words. Covering a laugh, Lawry watched Otis squeak, putting his hand in the soldier’s before being led away like a puppy.  Oh Otis, Lawry sighed. Why couldn’t he find a nice partner for the night, someone to have a little fun with before they went back to the space station to leave him in peace. 

The thought of being alone tonight made him want another glass of champagne already, but he was saved from making any bad choices when his secretary Jemma tugged on his pant leg. The three foot Azukan pigme shimmered in a petal pink beaded gown that complimented her green skin and honey eyes. Her darker green hair was pinned up in a complicated swirl on her head, freeing up more space for her tiny dragonfly wings.

“Why, Jemma. You look absolutely breath taking.” Lawry fawned over Jemma until a dark green crept over her shiny cheeks.

“Mr. Kladah, you are too kind.” She beamed up at him.                                      

Lawry covered his heart and smiled. “I am only being honest.”

She swatted his knee playfully. “You big tease, as much as I would like to hear more, there seems to be a minor problem out back.” She looked around carefully before continuing. “I don’t want to cause a scene, but they won’t listen to me. Even called me a...oh never mind.” Jemma looked down at her tiny metallic flats.

“Who called you what, Jemma?” Lawry patted her tiny shoulder, the pigme suddenly on the verge of tears.

“Koreggs, out back with Malek’s belongings. They called me a sherk.” A tear slipped down her cheek. Lawry’s eyes narrowed catching the tear with his thumb.

A sherk was Koregg slang for whore and to hell if those dirty slummers were going to talk to his sweet Jemma like that. Not to mention Koreggs of all races. They were known for their hate of the Naja people, hunting them down and killing them for their life-giving blood or their ability to shift appearances. Some feud had begun a few years back between the races. The Koregg president died and the Koregg people blamed the Naja race. The Universal Alliance Government was forever trying to put an end to their crazy threats, but there were so many it was hard to help them all. That was the reason the Koreggs weren’t allowed in the Fray or anywhere near the space station, but some managed to get permission for work if they had good reputations and spotless papers.  They didn’t ever last long though.

“Oh, but sir don’t go out there. Just let them finish unpacking his things and they’ll leave. There are too many to confront, it isn’t safe.” The pigme was always his little voice of reason, but his anger won out.

“Go sit with Malek and stay there. I’ll be right back, don’t you worry.”

“Mr. Kladah! Please don’t. They are big, bigger than most Koreggs. Just count to ten and pretend I never told you.” She smiled a little too big and wiped away all her tears in hopes that he would stop.

“I’ll be right back.”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you! What you’re doing is wrong and there will be consequences, Mr. Kladah!” She called after him, but he didn’t listen—this time his tiny sequined conscience had no say in the matter. Lawry swept past his guests with a plastered on smile, moving swiftly to the kitchen.

Industrial oven doors beamed open and closed for the kitchen staff that was moving at a first rate speed. Purple whip was swirled onto a tray of Azu pudding, what was left of the blackberries from this year sat in the sink draining and waiting to be applied to the dessert. The head chef was barking orders in his native Ruja tongue, his blue hair split in four sections—each grabbing a different utensil, handing them down one at a time.

None of Lawry’s surroundings mattered, only that he get out to the back drive as quick as possible. His long legs pounded the kitchen tile to the back hall, his broad chest heaving with anger. The government security guard was fast asleep at the door, but not for long. Lawry kicked him soundly in the foot, startling him awake.

“Did you check in a bunch of Koreggs with a delivery craft?” Lawry narrowed his eyes. The guard fumbled for his tablet, fingering through the checklist on the screen.

“Um no? No Koreggs, sir.” The guard swallowed. “Koreggs weren’t invited to the Chief’s party.”

“Of course not! Why would we allow Koreggs to a Government official’s party or into the Fray unannounced for that matter?” Lawry growled. “Get up and help me. Call in the rest of security.”

“Yes, Chief Kladah!” The soldier hopped out of his chair and saluted Lawry. Even though he wasn’t over defense or weapons, the soldiers still showed respect for one of the heads of their government.

The clatter of metal and thuds of boxes met Lawry’s ears and he growled, running a hand through his light brown hair. “Now!”

“Yes, sir!” The soldier saluted him again before pulling up a 3D map of the grounds. He tapped the closest moving dots on the hologram until they all were blinking red. The dots began to move towards their new coordinates, soldiers coming for back up, a silent alarm triggered.

Lawry didn’t wait for the men to show up. He grabbed a his red light pistol from the small of his back. Silently he moved out the door and pointed his gun at the noise. Rusted, a few decades old, with the engines turned low to avoid being spotted was a blue delivery craft. Five mature Koregg males tossed boxes off the back of the cargo hold as quick as they could. They were searching for something. Their long sharp noses sniffed at every package, their strong fur covered hands tore apart things of possible interest.

What the hell were they looking for, Lawry stepped forward. “You are trespassing on Universal Alliance Property, show me your identification!”

The Koreggs stopped what they were doing and turned around. They cocked their heads, their razor sharp teeth clicked in their mouths. Eyes the color of the sun reflected against the night, much like a cat.

Lawry cleared his throat, repeating the order in Koregg, or his best imitation of the language.  That earned him a dark laugh from the group of terrorists.

“We speak Universal.” The largest of the males stepped forward with a growl, his Mohawk of coarse dark hair stood on end to signal warning. “We trespass on nothing. You are harboring a Naja fugitive and we’ve come to claim her head!”

“Naja or no, you are most definitely trespassing. The Fray is Government property, protected and kept by Universal Alliance, none of that fitting of you or yours.” He had been right. They were another group of Koregg terrorists, but why would they be looking for Naja here? The Naja sanctuary was a full day’s travel, located on Gweerah, a tropical atmosphere that was mainly used for Government resort properties.

“Universal means everything, does it not? I live amongst the ‘everything’, therefore this is my land too is is not?” Oh great, Lawry rolled his eyes, a smartass.

“Just put down the boxes and step away from the craft. It’s obvious you don’t have identification, so if you move your hands where I can’t see them, I’ll shoot.”

His soldier companion sidled up next to him and pulled a baton from his back, long tails sprouted from the end to form a deadly whip—a high voltage electrical current running through every tendril dusting the ground. “He said put down the boxes and step away from the craft.”

“We did not listen to him. What makes you think we will do so for you?” The Koregg leader laughed, his party pulling gungis from their backs—wide curved swords made of a native black metal. The surface was strong enough to deflect any light gun or bullet and if sliced with one of those things, the foreign metal left a residue in the wound. A slow recovery would be putting it nicely. This was not good.  For Koreggs might be slummers, but their fighting skills were some of the best Lawry had ever seen.

Gungis raised, the Koreggs roared as beams of blue light ran at them from all directions. Security had finally arrived, the fight was on. The music ceased from inside, people screamed as glass windows shattered, bodies flying through them. One Koregg was trapped by a soldiers baton, the whip end wrapped around his neck sending shock after shock through his body. The largest Koregg came at Lawry.

He shot off round after round of red light, enough heat to melt holes through the body, but not enough to go through the Gungi that was deflecting him shot for shot. Not skilled enough to take on an eight foot male, even though he was large himself, Lawry took off for the nearest door. Avoiding the kitchen and the people trying to escape through it, he instead tried the garden entrance that was littered with boxes from the nearby craft.

The Koregg leader snarled, bringing his Gungi down and barely missing Lawry with a clink to the stone patio. The Chief rolled away from the blade, kicking out with his leg to hit the Koregg in the shin. Big mistake, Lawry noted the demonic look in the Koregg’s eye before he stepped forward.  Scrambling to his feet, Lawry took off towards the other door, but not before looking over his shoulder.

Right behind him, the Koregg whirled his blade around, a large box hit Lawry’s shin. He fell face forward over the trunk as a blade sunk deep into the back of thigh, ripping a scream from his lips. A roar of triumph lit up the yard, the Koregg had won his prey. Security swarmed the area as Lawry began to drag himself to the safety of the bushes. A hand reached out, a white blazer exposed against the darkness. A soldier was hiding from battle? The pain was too bad to question the help and Lawry grabbed on.

Once in the nest of bushes, hidden from the fight, he shuddered. A young soldier barely eighteen took off his hat and laid it on the ground. His mouth quivered, unshed tears in his eyes. He was terrified.

“It’s alright kid,” Lawry grunted. “I understand how scary it is. That’s why I never went into defense. I couldn’t stand the violence.” He hissed, ripping the leg of his pants to see how bad it was.

“I beg you,” the soldier whispered, grasping his arm. Lawry looked up. “Don’t let them find me. Please.”

Studying the soldier, Lawry thought how no soldier, even this young would go into defense if they weren’t ready to fight. It was instilled in them at school. They were warriors since an early age. The Koregg’s words floated back to him.

“We trespass on nothing. You are harboring a Naja fugitive and we’ve come to claim her head!”

“Shift,” Lawry commanded as helooked the soldier in the eye. A tear fell over the boy’s cheek, but he nodded. A light ripple ran from head to toe before other features morphed over the soldier’s. Long violet hair, pale pink skin, blue eyes, seconds later a Naja female cowered against the wall in fear.  “Please don’t send me to that place. My kind go there, but never come back. I do not want to die.”

His lids were growing heavy, his wound finally getting the best of him, but his heart ached at the look in her eye. He could not let them take her away. “Hurry and shift back. You are the new head of my household. Your name is…”

“Aurora,” she whispered.

“Aurora. Wear this, they won’t question you.” He pulled the chip that acted as the key to his home from around his neck. “Hurry,” he slurred.

“I will not forget this,” she murmured as she shifted. Caramel coloring flooded her pale pink skin, her eyes darkened to an emerald green, long black hair braided over both shoulders. Her hand smoothed over his forehead. The touch was cool, soothing and Lawry let the darkness take him.


His eyes fluttered open to see the dark gauzy fabric of his canopy bed above him. Cool black satin slipped around his body. Lawry yawned and scratched his chest before sitting up. Like every morning, he swung his legs over the side of the bed with drowsy eyes and went to stand. Seconds later, he found himself with his cheek plastered to the floor, searing pain firing up his right leg. Something clinked against the floor when he tried to move his leg.

“Lawry! Gods what are you doing?” Otis screeched, running towards him. “Shit, does it hurt?”

“What do you think?” Lawry groaned turning over.  A fitted monitoring brace covered his thigh to his knee, another piece covered his calf. The two pieces connected at the knee with a movable joint for flexibility.

“Here.” Otis bent down and flipped open a panel on the side of his thigh. A small touch screen beeped as he injected more pain medication into Lawry.  “Better?”

“No, it hurts like…oh…alright…that’s nice.” He hummed with a smile, a funny tingle tickling him from inside. His leg didn’t hurt anymore. Actually, he felt like running. “I think I’ll go for a jog.”

“Yeah, and I’ll go blow myself,” Otis replied with a laugh. “Go for a jog. Now that would be quite a scene.”

“Yes, I believe it would be,” a female agreed. Lawry let Otis pull him back onto the bed. A familiar dark haired woman with emerald green eyes carried a blanket into the room. A newer model droid walked behind her, his brown eyes were still, lifeless. Lawry shuddered. The droids always scared him—looking exactly like a person, but nothing more than a machine on the inside and even though he was the Chief of Technology, his opinion would never change.

“I see you have finally come around Chief Kladah. It is nice to see you again.” She smiled sweetly, putting her hand on his forehead. A memory came rushing back at him.

“Aurora. Wear this, they won’t question you.” He pulled the chip that acted as the key to his home from around his neck. “Hurry,” he slurred.

“I will not forget this,” she murmured as she shifted. Caramel coloring flooded her pale pink skin, her eyes darkened to an emerald green, long black hair braided over both shoulders. Her hand smoothed over his forehead. The touch was cool, soothing and Lawry let the darkness take him.

The Naja woman, Aurora she said. Flicking his steel gray eyes to her, they shared a look. Oh yes, this was her. He was not imagining things. So if she was real, then so was this brace on his leg—a present from the Koregg. 

“You as well, Aurora,” he replied. She smiled, spreading a soft blanket over his legs.

“What of the Koregg?” He murmured, trying to fight the floaty feeling in his head.

“There was a public execution three days ago for the three left over from the fight. We managed to take out two, including the leader before they could harm anyone else. They were on a job placement list through Universal, checked out and everything. Only these were trained Koregg warriors trying to head off any Naja victims that were in mid transfer to the Sanctuary. I’ve talked with all the Chiefs and the Universal President himself. It seems the Sanctuary is not as safe as we first thought. The Naja have been picked off one by one by hired kidnappers for the Koregg. Those poor souls are wanted every which way and there isn’t much we can do to help.” Otis took an espresso off the tray the droid was holding.

Squinting at the unmoving brown eyes before him, Otis turned to Lawry. “This one new?”

“Yes, I ordered him for Marek. I figured with another one of us around, there would be more to do.”

“Drink this. It will help with the groggy feeling. You have been a sleep for so long. I think it is time to get some fresh air.” Aurora helped him sit up in bed. The droid handed him a cup of espresso.

“Is there anything else you require, sir,” the droid asked with a blink. His voice was so smooth, but there was always the strange echo to it that let you know they were a machine. This one was rather beautiful, almost too pretty.

“No thank you…uh I’m sorry, what is your name?” Lawry replied. Aurora caught on with a laugh.

“I hope you don’t mind, we had to name him while you were resting. So Simon it was. You get it? Like that old game the earth dwellers used to play, Simon Says.” Otis chuckled while waving a hand at the screen against the glass, checking out the days current events from UATV. A line of media files featured videos of the attack, coverage of the executions, in other words this attack was a big deal.

“Thank you, Simon.” Aurora put a hand on his shoulder and he cocked his head. “That will be all for now. Go to the kitchen and see if Marek needs anything.”

“Right away, Aurora.” Simon tucked the tray under his arm and walked out of the room with the precision of a soldier in a parade.

“He is so kind.” Aurora sighed.

“He’s a droid,” Lawry reminded her.

She pursed her lips after clucking her tongue. “They are people too. Even if they are made of nuts and bolts, they are aware, alive.”

“But not really. They don’t have a soul or a heart to show emotion or feel,” Otis agreed.

She shrugged knowing she wasn’t going to win them over. “You shall see.  I have a feeling.”

“Oh no, she’s a droid right’s protestor. I knew it,” Otis teased, receiving a giggle from Aurora.

“I’m not that energetic.” Grabbing the old blanket from the foot of the bed, she turned back to Lawry. “I’ll be right back, we can go get some air.”

“Sounds lovely,” Lawry replied and truly? It did.


As Aurora pushed his wheelchair over the thinly wooded grounds, fog rolled up from the earth hitting Lawry around the knees. This was normal in the Fray because of the space stations that surrounded it. All the engines and heat from above and around them created a never ending blanket of fog and skies so gray it always stormed, but people begged to live here because it was the last remaining patch of earth left—a small flat floating portion of land that had broken away when the earth was destroyed over three hundred years ago. It was the last bit of home that any human would ever see again.

As his great, great, great grandfather had purchased the deed to the first house in the Fray, his family had lived here ever since. The only time he’d lived on one of the stations was during training school and even that had taken a toll on him. He had missed the moisture in the air, the chill against his skin, the damp grass under his feet. Never again would he live on a station.  They were too stark, barren almost, like living in a hospital, and who in their right mind would want to live there?

“What are you thinking about?” Aurora asked taking a slow curve around the rose garden.

“Well isn’t that a loaded question?”

“Lawry, I’m serious.” Aurora stopped the wheelchair, letting the breaks keep it in place. She swept around until she faced him.

“You mean to ask me if I plan to keep you here or send you to Universal for transport? Or do you mean am I alright with being half crippled for who knows how long and confined to ‘doing what I can’ as the new Chief of Technology, leaving Marek to help me when he’s already retired? Forgive me, Aurora, but I think you’ll have to be more specific.”

She smiled, holding out a hand to feel the first sprinkle of the day’s rain.  “If you had planned to turn me in you would have done so the minute I first the left the room earlier. Besides, I asked you what you were thinking and I know I wasn’t the reason for that smile.”

“Oh, sorry that came out wrong I guess.” Lawry pulled his coat tighter around his chest. “I was thinking about family, this place.  How I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

“I used to think that too.  It’s been a long time since I was home with my family.” She sat across from Lawry on a wrought iron bench, a Victorian replica that was more symbolic than valuable. “Do you have any family left?”

Lawry couldn’t help but notice the positive way she viewed her situation. Thousands of miles from home, hunted by a race of terrorists for no other reason than being who she was, yet still she smiled and made small talk. The Naja truly were a peaceful race, beautiful inside as well as out.

“My mother and father retired to Gweerah about ten years ago. I have an older brother. He married a Shylio ambassador and they have two little girls. So it’s just me here now. What about you, Aurora?”

“I have a sister, I can still feel her sometimes, almost as if she’s here with me.” Aurora smiled flicking her gaze to him.

“I had thought that a rumor about your race, but you actually feel her with you?”

She was quiet for a moment. Her fingers played together in her lap. “Yes, it’s in our blood, but we should talk about the reason I brought you out here.”

“I was wondering when the truth would reveal itself.” Lawry chuckled. “What do you need Aurora? Money, secret transport, jewels? What is it?”

“No, please do not mistake me. I seek nothing outside of your silence.” She looked horrified at the thought.  “I only wished to pay you back for your kindness,” she murmured, standing up and taking off her lace scarf from her shoulders.

Lawry’s mind went a million different directions at once, but the one with the most warning lights ahead made him throw his hands up. “Aurora, if you took me all the way out here to…undress for me, you’ve wasted your time. I’m afraid you’re not my type.”

“What?” She made a face, pulling a chain from around her neck—the scarf had hidden it underneath.  “You thought I…oh you did. Well, I assure you Lawry, I know all about your type.  Like I said, you were out for quite a long time and Otis is a never ending gossip.”

With her necklace in her palm, Aurora stared at Lawry until they both started laughing. “How embarrassing is this,” he groaned.

“Don’t be ashamed, I guess if I was in your place I would’ve come to same conclusion.” She chuckled, a breeze blowing her long dark hair around the shimmering material of her dress.

Smiling to himself, Lawry glanced up. “Yeah, I guess. So, what is that then?”

Aurora let the chain dangle from her fingers to reveal an antique key. Short and fat at the neck with a complicated pattern etched around the bottom and a large flat handle like the ears of a mouse to turn with.

“Aurora, is this from…” She put the key in his open palm with a nod. “This is from earth. There hasn’t been a key like this for centuries. What a possession you have here. This is rare and quite valuable. By the Gods, Aurora! However did you find this?” Lawry couldn’t believe his eyes. He felt like a piece of history sat in his hand, an item that possibly only Aurora and himself had ever laid eyes on.

“I am honored that you find it so wondrous, but the key is only part of your gift.” Her eyes shimmered, their true blue seeping through for a second before bleeding back to dark green.

“Only part? Wait! You mean for me to keep this? Oh, no Aurora, I could not possibly…”

“Sh. It is mine to give and you are most worthy of having it.” She rose from her seat and prodded at his palm. “I am actually surprised you didn’t notice this first, for someone with such knowledge of technology and its history.”

“What do you mean?” Curious now, Lawry unfolded his palm to reveal the key again.  Upon a second look, he noticed the tiny hinge mechanism—the key folding into an L shape to reveal a plug in hub. “Aurora,” he breathed. “This belongs to a…it cannot be.  None of his work survived the explosion!”

Excitement made him bounce in his seat, a mad laugh startling Aurora. She caught herself and shook her head.

“Yes Lawry, they did. When the Universal war began some three hundred years ago, and humans were forced to evacuate earth for the other planets, my father sent for Chief Gepetto in secret. They were old friends and Gepetto was a target for the other forces, the traitors wanted the entire council dead. The man was a genius, a pioneer in his field and his work was the gateway for most of the technology that you see today, but more importantly he was an innocent—a caring man that never deserved the persecution that was reserved for the other egotistical council members.”

“You knew him?” Lawry whispered. If Aurora knew Gepetto, she had to be in her late years, but with Najas you were never sure. Their life spans could range in the thousands depending on their environment.

His excitement reached a new level. He was a dignity yes, but inside he was a little boy that thrived on technology like water. Gepetto was the godfather of the DX3 chip, a super computer the size of a pinky nail that replicated the brain. Signals were sent from the chip to perform functions, recognize voice, become familiar with the environment, make responses, but it was the implementation of the chip within a droid that made him famous. His early models were so lifelike, their internal make-up mimicking the human body in such detail that it was frightening.

Simulated organs, fibrous nerves that could feel touch and pain, some even had ‘other parts’ that had been contracted by certain nameless dignitaries. In the end Gepetto—being the moral character he was—had stored those models away claiming it what they were doing to the droids was shameful and he couldn’t allow such indecency upon his creations, even if they were robots. Thus starting the droid rights movement that still had followers today, fanatics would be a more accurate term.

“I didn’t know him personally, but my father was one of his closest friends. He stayed with the Naja people until his dying days.  I only heard the stories that were passed down to me. There were many memories. He was loved dearly by my family.” She rounded the wheelchair, unlocking the breaks. “Do you wish to see him now?”

Lawry twisted to look at her. “See who?”

She pushed the chair back towards the house with a chuckle. “Why, Pin of course.”


A golden trunk sat on his work table in the basement—the golden trunk. The one he had tripped over trying to escape the Koregg. The one Aurora had used to help her escape transport on the station. The very trunk she had been trying to hide in the bushes when the Koregg started searching through Malek’s delivered belongings. Lawry stared at the trunk, taking in all the beautiful metal work on the lid—it was massive!  How Aurora lugged the trunk that far in the first place was beyond him.

“Pin was a gift to my father from Gepetto before he died.” Aurora startled him from behind, stopping when she stood beside him. “The droid was almost finished, but the Chief had grown old and didn’t have the strength left to work on him any longer. My people of course knew nothing about droid technology nor did we entrust such a precious legacy in the hands of anyone else, so my father tucked Pin away underground. My sister made me take him when our tribe was raided by the Koregg. Said I was smarter and more resourceful than her. Which is true, but she still could have…” Aurora took a deep breath, turning away. “Forgive me. I get a little sad talking about Launa. Every time I look at this box I miss her more, but I know she’s safe and cared for, so I can’t be too upset.”

“You get lonely though. I know the feeling.” Lawry looked at the ground, his new crutches uncomfortable under his arms. “It’s nice to have someone else to talk to though. I like having you here, Aurora. One day conscious and you’ve already made a fan of me.” He smiled, causing her to smile too.

“I am honored, Chief Kladah.” She curtsied teasingly.

“Oh open the box and stop making me feel old. I’m only thirty one, not your grandfather. Chief Kladah,” he repeated with an eye roll. “Strictly Lawry from now on,” he instructed with a stern brow, but a smile graced his lips.

“Alright Lawry,” she replied with the same joking smile. Sweeping over to the box, Aurora made a show of running her hand over the curls of interwoven metal on the lid—the light from the fixed lamps above giving the box an otherworldly glow. “Lawry, I would like you to meet Pin, the last son of Gepetto.”

Using the key that had been around her neck, she fit it into the large lock and twisted. A hiss of pressurized air lifted the lid a few inches before sliding back slowly.  A light clicked on inside the box, then another, and another, before dozens of tiny lights lit up the contents of the box around the top.  A black latex layer stared back at Lawry and he frowned at Aurora.

Raising a brow at him, she smiled. “I had to protect him while we traveled. It was bad enough that I had to use one of those vile Oxyguards to breathe, I think I deserved a little bit of comfort.”  

The latex in question was a thick, yet soft gel that would indeed create a protective, but comfortable mattress for a long journey. An Oxyguard on the other hand was not so comfortable. A mouthpiece designed to filter the air when inhaled into the body, the device also regulated the breathable oxygen in a space, allowing most creatures to breathe in tight spaces or in different environments. After extended use, they began to hurt the jaw, more often than not give way to drooling, and induce dry mouth. Lawry understood Aurora’s discomfort all too well. His Universal training had not been kind.

Her fingers slipped under the four inches of latex padding, pulling the thick gel back slowly. At first Lawry saw nothing, but as he hobbled to the very edge, a silky lock of black hair slipped free of the latex. He found himself leaning forward in awe as another few inches were revealed. A thick head of hair was swept to the side with long bangs covering one eye while the other appeared closed with a full set of lashes—synthetic brows were perfectly arched over an even more perfect specimen.

The nose sloped down in an elegant almost nymph like way, a hint of pink dusted the strong cheekbones. A mouth the color of whipped strawberries that looked soft enough to kiss shimmered in the light. Without thinking, Lawry reached out and touched the droid’s cheek. He gasped at how warm the skin was, at how the material was so real, so fleshy compared to the others. This Syntex material was nothing he’d ever encountered before. This really was Chief Gepetto’s creation.

Tears pricked at Lawry’s eyes. This was a piece of history that probably only five people in the entire universe knew about he realized as he touched the last son of the famous Chief.

“He is beautiful,” Lawry murmured, stroking the droid’s hair back. There were no seams under the hairline. It was like the hair actually grew out of his man-made scalp. “He is like nothing I have ever seen before.”

“That is because he is one of a kind. Gepetto made other models that were similar, but none of them ever came close to the last one. Although he loved his other creations, Pin was the culmination of all his findings, everything he’d worked so hard to learn. In essence, he’s the perfect droid, dare I say almost human.” Aurora, with a little effort, pulled the last of the latex out of the box and laid it on the table.   “With a little bit of work and a lot of patience, you could wake him up, Lawry.”

Me?” Lawry almost fell over in his haste to face her.

“This is how I will repay your kindness.” She bowed her head. “You saved my life when you could have given me away.  You are a good man, an honest heart and deep down, I know that Chief Gepetto would have entrusted Pin to you. The only thing I ask…” Aurora inhaled sharply as Lawry leaned forward to grip her hand.

“Anything, I’ll do anything.” He meant it too. After seeing this beautiful yet terrifying hand crafted wonder, he could not let it go. He was already in love with the machine disguised as a human.

“Is that you never call him droid, robot, or machine. He is your equal and you will treat him as such. Never make him feel below you. Consider him your friend, your companion. Respect him, and you will be respecting his maker and the people who have kept him safe all these years,” Aurora said. She put his hand over the lifeless hand in the box until the temperature control system’s warmth radiated in Lawry’s palm.

“I swear it.  He will be well cared for, Aurora.” Lawry beamed at her. “I can never thank you enough for this. I don’t even have words.”

“Good, because none are needed. We are even.” She pulled her hand gently from his. “Now I suspect you’ll be spending a good portion of the evening getting acquainted with Pin here, so I’ll go and make you something to eat. What shall I tell Otis and Malek when they inquire about you?”

“That I’m not to be bothered,” he uttered, but didn’t look at her. His eyes were only for the beautiful machine, no, man in the box. His hand traced over the defined sculpting of Pin’s chest. Already he couldn’t get enough.

“Very well,” Aurora replied on her way out, but she knew he didn’t hear her.

She watched the Chief take a stool out from under the table and grunt his way onto it—his crutches propped against the table. His eyes were soft, full of something indecipherable. His hands spoke another story though. One Aurora knew would grow into something that would change Lawry Kladah forever. Shutting the door, she smiled, her eyes shimmering to blue for just a second at his new found happiness.

“Ah there you are, Aurora. Did you know that Simon can play poker?” Otis laughed and offered her his arm.

“No, but I suspect you taught him.” She laughed.

“He needed a hobby other than go fetch or recite the Universal Courier word for word.” Otis guided her down the hall to the kitchen. “By the way, have you seen Lawry anywhere? He couldn’t have hobbled far.”

“Work call, he said not to bother him.” Aurora smiled.                                           

Otis nodded with a wink. “Yes, of course. Busy bee that one.”



  1. Omg night! I am loving this story already! :D your an amazing & talented writer! Can't wait for more!

  2. Damn girl this is on hellva twist on the picture and the fairy tale. So not what I was excepting from this picture but I love it. And I got the fairy tale, once I read so far down I figured it out. I sh smart Momma Bear. Jankies again and cant wait for the second part.


  3. This is soooo good. I'm loving the setting in this, it's already hooked me in. In love with a robot? Interesting... I can't wait for the next installment - I'll be obsessively checking soon enough!(;
    Also, can't wait for the new Dan and Rowe.
    Gotta say, your writing is definitely improving. I've always loved your stuff, but this.. this is great. So detailed and I can totally picture everything.
    Thanks again, Night.(:

  4. Ha I get the remixed fairytale! :D Nice. I didn't get it until she said 'Pin'. LOL great writing. I always love your stories. -Ashlynn

  5. Amazing beginning! I am so excited to get to know Pin's personality. What an awesome spin on a well known story.

  6. Does that make her the Blue Fairy? What a great way to start the day! Looking forward to the rest.

  7. Well dayum! Another story of yours i'm dying for! Seriously Night, this is soemthing special. :)


  8. What a clever twist to a lovely story! Always happy to see a new post from you.

  9. well This plotline was most unexpected, but such a great twist...
    At the beginning I thought he would fall for a Naja or something,lol.... falling for a droid.....hmmmm, Can't wait to see how this develops.
    Fantastic as ever Night.

  10. Love your writing and this is yet another story I will wait impatiently for.

  11. Intriguing start, I'm looking forward to reading more of this story :D

    Mo x

  12. I thought Lawry was going to fall for Aurora in her shifted male form. This is more intriguing.

  13. Pinocchio + Blade Runner = Intriguing! -- Deirdre (Geemeedee)