Editors Notes: So I finished up withe remainder of chapter six quicker than anticipated today and thought I should post now as it appears that my story has been getting quite a few hits since posting five earlier this morning. While I do so love anyone who would take the time to read my work, I am DYING for some feedback. If you are reading this message, please post a review (anonymous or otherwise) on what has been written so far. Good or bad, I simply want to hear what people think of my story thus far. That being said, I hope you enjoy and the final chapter to Lesson One: Why Bob? will be up before next Sunday. Incidentally, I will be posting sketchwork of all my characters shortly there after, if you are interested in seeing my vision for some of the characters, tell me in a review and I will be sure to post a link through either my profile or the chapter seven posting. -Joshua
Lesson One: Why Bob?
Chapter Six: Thumbs Up
"I suppose that I should not be surprised to find that so many of the laws in science are applicable during everyday life, and yet somehow I am. Newton's laws of motion tend to be the most constant that I can express in the daily routine of man, and though sometimes unorthodox, valid to the letter still. I do find it a bit concerning that my main example of the laws of motion, right now, pertain to two metallic titans pummeling one another in a colossal display of technological strength. People tell me I am deranged, and my first response is typically to laugh at them hysterically."
Dazed, baffled, perplexed, confused, puzzled, mystified, the only concepts I could process as I gazed upon the shadowy god before me. My vision full of watery misdirection as I had, not moments earlier, let myself go to accept death only to find that death itself was held back by this silhouette of greatness before me.
"Who…what are you?"
While I was not certain of what was going on, I was confident after a few moments that I would not be graced with an answer as the figure stood solemn and silent. Flicking his mighty wrist the screaming projectile, still spinning with tremendous power and held back by nothing more than the palm of his hand, veered off into the sky at great speeds before disappearing in a blur. Before I could consider any part of what an amazing display had just occurred, I was swept into the arms of my defender, who ran with remarkable speed, covering the field in a few moments. As I was dropped into the arms of the Professor, who was equally baffled by the site, my savior took a heroic stance for only long enough to blink before spinning about and making great haste toward the problem at hand.
Not truly sure what to say or do at this point, I was let down only to find shelter next to one of my many classmates. After a sitting down a moment I looked around the room, still in a state of blurred consciousness toward the events that just occurred, only to find that the eyes of every student were focused solely on me. For once in my career every eye was on me, not avoiding me or quickly looking away as if in shame of gazing upon a forbidden fruit. I had no time to be lost in this beautiful and curious sight that I had waited for so long to see. Leaning to the classmate next to me, I watched as the news reports blared on.
"The monstrosity known as Forty-two made short work of the smaller mech, assumed to be produced by the students of HIPPO, and has continued to ravage the school. Speculation and tensions ride high about what this creation was intended for, but one thing is certain…wait…this just in, our eyes in the skies have informed us that a new machine has taken the field with terrible speed, making its way toward the battle field…"
As the news feed continued, I watched with curiosity as the abomination threw fist upon fist at our school, reducing a great deal of the academy to rubble. As it raised another titanic fist, Forty-two was swept aside, or rather, propelled into our RobotEC shop, demolishing the building before a cloud of dust enveloped the field. All I could see before the impact was a flutter of red, even the cameras could barely keep up. Suspicion set in. I leaned back, careful not to lose sight of the footage, while attempting to see out the hallway door and around the Professor's pant leg. My attention was redirected to the screen as the reporter spoke out in an alarmed tone.
"We now have a visual on the unit that attacked Forty-two. The unknown robot appears to be smaller, roughly half Forty-two's size, and is currently suppressing the monster with a flurry of punches…No one knows much about this new player in the game, however it goes without saying that we are rooting for the little guy."
I could feel the student's eyes on the back of my head as I pushed my way past the Professor and out into the open expanse of the campus. Somewhere between overjoyed and terrified, all of the pieces assembled within my skull in a huge timeframe jigsaw puzzle. No god was there to save me from destruction, and a god certainly did not whisk me away to safety. I stood in awe, not sure what finally went right inside of my metal creation, but in no less of a state of awe as Dynamo pummeled our assailant into the earth, one mechanized fist at a time. I looked on still amazed that with my eyes I, I could prove that he was not only walking but performing at a level far superior to anything that I had planned. While pooling my thoughts over this outrageous success, Forty-two raised its tremendous arm; I did all I could do in the moment.
"Dynamo! Get out of there!"
I cringed as Forty-two brought his hammer of a hand around, swatting my Dynamo like a gnat. When the dust cleared and both Dynamo and Forty-two stood, sizing each other up, I took off towards the open classroom. Two things were certain. I needed to get Terrance out of there and Dynamo would need more power. I slammed down on the emergency button to the canopy once more, before skidding into a crash amongst the debris that was once our outdoor classroom, hunting for my wrench. Stopping a moment to look up, I noticing that Terrance was laid out but apparently semi-conscious on the ground, and that the robots on either side of us were about to square off in yet another clash of the oversized automatons. Dynamo took off around the main building as I scrambled for the wrench and made my way toward Terrance. I could only watch as the diversion saved us, for the moment, from the lumbering Forty-two who went off in pursuit, blindly hobbling past us.
With great reluctance to leave Dynamo to the task at hand, I raised Terrance to his feet, and we shuffled toward the safety of the building, all the while explosions rumbled in close proximity. I could not help but laugh a little, as my partner seemed to have the more difficult job keeping forty-two busy, and yet I had confidence that everything was under control. Just as we approached the Professor, a loud crash caught my attention as Dynamo came rocketing out of the far building before coming to a screaming halt with a booming thud not fifteen feet away. Rather sloppily my metal companion sat up, quizzically scratching its head before turning to look at me and issuing an overzealous thumbs up. I lost my temper and threw the wrench, beaning my metal friend right in the noggin.
"Are you serious?! A thumbs up is for when things are ok, and I don't know about you, but things sure don't seem ok right now! Stay where you are, I need to reach your back."
Fidgeting with the hatch on Dynamo's back, I began to twist the Limiter Hex bolt another half turn."
"You know, I told you to get out of there, you could listen to me when I speak to you, I gave you compliance-command protocol afte.."
Before even finishing my statement, I managed to swing loose the Hex bolt half a turn, at which point the effects became apparent as I was sent reeling head over bottom several yards before smacking into the wall of the school. The displacement of energy within the core was more impressive than anything I had calculated prior. I could only keep thinking that I was a complete freaking genius from that point forward.
My metal companion was on his feet and stepping swiftly with blinding speed as Forty-two appeared from above the building, a rather large leap to catch up with his distant competitor no doubt, only to be blindsided by an impressively flawless uppercut thirty feet in the air by my new favorite hero, Dynamo. Sorry Nikola. As Forty-two fell limply back to earth I could only look on with a great smile and cheer. This fight was ours as Dynamo began to clean house with the former nightmare, speeding around, leaving the monster disoriented and unsteady on its feet. Racing into a skid with an outstretched arm and leg acting as a tripwire, Dynamo dropped the giant flat on its ridiculously oversized back before rebounding off the earth and high into the air above. As I looked on with anticipation I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that my classmates stared on with astonished faces. A familiar screech crackled before me, and I turned just with enough time to see the blinding light of the railgun primed to fire.
As I shouted prolifically toward my autonomous friend, he just sort of stayed in one place, almost like he was hovering in wait, though in reality I was sure he was falling and we just could not tell from our vantage point. Dynamo weighed in at just less than eight hundred pounds after all, and robots do not just learn to fly, that would be science fiction. Screaming my head off and now joined in by a chorus of my peers, we could only watch from the distance as the railgun lobbed a shell toward my Dynamo at ridiculous speed. With great fear, I watched in utter amazement as my friend used his open palm as a guide and, instead of stopping the devastating round, used his body as a pinwheel, spinning freely by the power of the expended shell alone. As Dynamo spun several times, I was surprised to hear and then see the projectile come screaming back down to earth, square in the center of Forty-two's chest. Needless to say, we were all blown back a great distance as the former plight of the school became the insane plight of our groundskeeper. A rather impressive explosion bellowed out from the space that once accompanied the nightmare known as Forty-two; I hoped all the while that Terrance was conscious enough to enjoy this towering inferno that was a tribute to pyromaniacs just like him.
Students scrambled into a run until they felt a safe distance was put between themselves and the fire that raged atop the behemoths corpse. There I found myself in the center of many of my peers, some looking on at the fire while several turned to look at me once again with that face of recognition that I was growing comfortable with. Once all the cheers and questions started, I was so deafened by that the tremendous blast of the familiar projectile landing behind the mob of attention that I was given quite the scare. As the crowd split open, hiding behind me as if I was some sort of protector, I looked on at a familiar metal site at the epicenter of the crater. There was dynamo, head half in and half out of the ground staring at me, his mechanical posterior pointing at the sky and his knees dug firmly into the ground. What an agile and precise robot I had created. He was giving me the thumbs up again, from his compromising position, his second hand forming a flat palm toward his primary gesture, as if to ask if it could be performed now. I laughed hard, clearing the tears from my eyes as he pulled himself up from the earth.
"Dynamo, now is indeed the perfect time for a confident thumbs up."
And so I, along with the bewildered but amazed students behind me, responded with a flurry of thumbs up motions in response. Deep within me, I knew that if Dynamo had facial expression he would be smiling a big cheesy grin; of course rather than a grin my friend simply looked upon at all of us, with a large, single security camera lens as his only facial feature. As peers began to drill me on all things Dynamo, an eruption of noise started all around us. Looking about, it became apparent that the military had finally decided to join the battle; better late than never since someone had to clean up this ridiculous mess. Squadrons of helicopters, armed to the teeth, were hovering around above us as scores of repelling ropes fell from the heavens, and a heavy rain of humans began.
An armored assault carrier smashed through our main gates, rolling up with the intent of breeching my personal space before stopping. A squad of troops dismounted the vehicle, and as the main door to the carrier opened, out stepped two rather gruff and serious men. I could only think that this would be good. In a commanding voice, the elder of the two men began to bark orders before the squad scrambled out, leaving all but himself standing before me. Looking down at me, then toward Dynamo before returning back to me once more, the military personnel barked out.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself, little lady?"
I love when people give me a chance to speak my mind. A sadistic grin crossed my face.
"Absolutely, Sir. First, I should tell you that it's about freaking time you got here! Do you know how bad it must make you guys look to have a fifteen year old girl and her science project show up our country's military? I would hate to be in your shoes right now. Second, I sure hope that you aren't going to ask me to join you guys and work for the military, because you can just squeegee that idea right off your brain if that's what you were hoping for. And third, since you did make an awfully large hassle to come all the way out here, would it be too much trouble if you cleaned this place up before you left? Is there anything I can do for you, Sir?"
The snippy old man looked at me with eyes of fire, his face growing more serious every moment, until the point that he snickered his way into a fit of laughter. In a classic cartoon fashion, the man bent forward and slapped his knee before wiping away at tear and looking me dead in the eyes, completely serious again, leaving me to wonder if all adults were so crazy.
"Well then, Miss, I suppose I should speak with the head of the fine institution that could raise such a spitfire like yourself, and see if I can't get some more information on the happenings around here. Has anyone ever told you that you are a deranged little girl?"
I burst out into an uncontrollable laugh as the military general, or whatever he was, took a brisk walk toward the school. That being said, I was immediately bombarded by a cascade of questions and concerns from my peers. Before having time to formulate a response, I was whisked into the air from behind by my new companion, plopped atop his right shoulder, and allowed to sit there and think a moment; the vantage point was really quite nice. One question come to mind.
"Ok now, Dynamo, perform a full diagnostic on yourself. Are all of your protocols functioning properly? Including the compliance-command protocol?"
I sat for a few moments, without a movement for my metallic friend. Watching him closely from my shoulder top roost above his computerized skull, I started to grow impatient when out of nowhere Dynamo proceeded to simply wave at one of the more timid girls, still hiding behind one of her fellow friends. And for the second time today, I proceeded to lose my temper right upside my mute companion's noggin.
"Alright, you've been giving me attitude since you came online; I want to know once and for all, do you have a problem with me, Dynamo?"
My metal golem craned his neck around to look at me, a simple side to side sweep of the head left me baffled.
"Then what is the problem here? Have I missed something?"
Without a second's hesitation, my big friend took me gently from my roost and set me down. Backing up a few paces, and getting down onto hands and knees, Dynamo began to scratch into the dirt with its metal digits. I watched with great curiosity as time was taken to carefully spell something out. Upon completion Dynamo stood again, peering down at me while pointing at the earth below.
"Bob. You spelled out Bob. Are you trying to tell me that you haven't been responding to me because your name is Bob and I was referring to you by a name other than the one you recognize? But I created you; I named you, so how could you have named yourself? Just so I'm clear, just so we have an understanding that is crystal clear, you don't like the name Dynamo?"
Crossing both arms in a signified 'X' formation, I knew that I had been defeated although I was not quite sure how just yet. From that moment on Dynamo became Bob, and history was sure to be made regardless of a simple name.
"If that is what you want, then you are Bob from this day forward. Now Bob, today has been a rather tiring day, so if you wouldn't mind helping me collect my things, I believe that it is time we head home."
As the final word left my lips, my lovable robotic friend turned around and began to slowly meander about the field of rubbish, military men, and flaming wreckage, all the while picking up my devices and neatly placing them in the bags they came out of. I could scarcely ask for more from a true friend, and Bob was already everything I had ever wanted. The amazing and life changing day came to an end with a table of food, Barnaby and I celebrating a birthday for our new companion, and a cake that managed to get a curiously security camera shaped hole in the center. Today was a great day for science after all.
The remaining four and half weeks of my first semester in high school flew by in an ever changing and constantly surprising myriad of trials and tribulations. I suppose the main event that should be noted is that I was given a grand pardon by the military and a full exemplification from my prestigious academy pertaining to my findings and research on Bob. The Dean of Administrations, who I came to find out, was not the head of our school, fought with me over the contractual obligations I had toward Bob, my research surround him, and all other materials pertaining to him. During out heated argument, which I doubt that any classroom failed to overhear due to the volume of our conversation and the projection of sound waves at such levels, a seemingly random phone call came for the Dean. After much bickering with the person on the other end of the phone, the Dean informed me that I would be given exemplification from having to relinquish my materials or my friend. After which, he explained that it was his duty to thank me personally for being an aid to saving this establishment by the very means that it was originally produced; that gesture, as he shook my hand, I could tell was the most painful thing the dark haired devil had done in a great deal of time. Checkmate, and a flawless victory.
My much sung praise by the students of the school was shortly lived as COREtec reduced a portion of their funding to HIPPO after the incident in reply to the 'excessive use of force against a device not under your jurisdiction'. Hypocrites and spineless money grubbers made that decision for the company, and I had to tell myself that my parents had nothing to do with it. Most of the students were back to their alienating and stoic stares as I moved through my days on HIPPO campus, and frankly I did not find myself as bothered anymore. During my classes I would phase my way through all the unit work while waiting for beloved RobotEC class and my metal companion. Bob was given permission to stay on campus during school so long as he did not cause trouble on the grounds. The Professor kept tabs on him while I was in class and as we came to find out, Bob spent the vast majority of his time wandering the campus and investigating the various forms of nature.
Speaking of environmental investigation, I was given an undisputed 'A' in RobotEC, of course, for my sterling extra credit project-turned best friend. Terrance, who with some ointment and a few bandages was as good as new, also received an 'A' for his project based upon the findings before its unfortunate demise. He spent the rest of the semester and the summer that followed staying after school working hard, alongside the professor, to reinvent his metal companion once more. I have to say, after watching the work he has already put into this new project, I am curious to see what improvements he will yield. Never before have I seen him so driven to make something that did not explode in a blaze of glory. That aside, during those last weeks before the summer set in, I found that Terrance was becoming himself again, the self that I knew before school split us up. After a particularly bad day of quarreling between the Nanban morons and myself, I was all but defeated when Terrance appeared, making a rather loud and exemplary case of the Nanban team and their lack of manners being amplified by appropriation towards their peers, which of course thoroughly humiliated the four former valedictorians. I finally had my friend back. Much to my surprise, I do believe that Sir Isaac Newton's Law of motion can adhere to the properties of nonphysical elements such as friendship and the bond that one can share with a nine foot metal automaton or a childhood friend gone rogue. As such, a friendship in motion will stay in motion, regardless of separation or trauma, and continue on so long as you are willing to fight for it.