|Dead Man's Treasure
Author: moviegal99 PM
Cora and Zane are just the regular circus orphans, working to keep their stay in their home. But when coming across a memory-lost humaniod robot when scavenging one day, thier lives get pulled into harddrive. How hard could it be to bring one little robot back to a Robot Circus?..they'll soon find out they have no idea what they're in for...rated for language and violenceRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Chapters: 9 - Words: 84,850 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 04-30-13 - Published: 12-24-11 - id: 7667835
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey guys! Thank you so much for reviewing! It means alot, especially when these chapters take a while to write. Enjoy :)
THE AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN YOU SPELL A SIMPLE WORD CORRECTLY, BUT IT LOOKS SO WRONG THAT YOU JUST STARE AT IT AND QUESTION IT'S EXISTANCE...
8: SCARLET LAKES
Eric grumbled, wiping a hand over his face as he pulled down the zipper of his tent, letting in the bright morning light. The rays hit his eyes like a bullet as he climbed out from the small sleeping space, his feet knocking past old tins and cans as he stood up, arching his back. With a yawn he rubbed his eyes, glancing around the camp site. A light fog had arose, drifting over the ground in puffs of blue cloud. The fire was burnt out and no-one else was up yet.
"GOOD MORNING!" he bellowed, laughing as he walked over to Cora, Zane and Atom's tent. He gave the frame a good rustle, and chuckled as tired groans came from inside.
"Common!" he grinned, flipping the tent entrance open. "Better off having an early start!"
Cora wiped her face over with her hand, scrunching her quilt over her head. "Five more hours..." she mumbled. Zane seemed just as annoyed, flinging his pillow over his ear and continued sleeping. Atom lifted himself up, squinting against the bleach light bathing down on his face. Eric smiled, walking over to the other tents.
"Why do we have to get up this early?" Zane whined. Cora slowly lifted her head up, glancing around. She stretched out an arm, grabbing a small digital clock beside her pillow. She let out a long sigh at the time.
"This is no better then the circus..." she growled, collapsing back on the squishy mattress.
"I don't think I've ever had to get up this early..." Atom muttered, falling back into a sleeping position.
"You're lucky that you don't actually need sleep," Zane pointed out, rubbing his eyes. Cora looked to him with a raised eyebrow.
"But sucks to have the advanced programming that still makes him just as tired." She mumbled back. Zane thought for a bit, then snorted.
"Ha! Sucks to be you..."
Atom groaned, rubbing his temple for a bit. Eric walked over to Lin's tent, glancing inside. She was sleeping face down into her pillow with numerous empty cans and bottles mixed in with cushions and thick quilts. "Lin?" he called. No movement. "Lin!" still nothing.
"Don't bother..." the man swung around to Zag, pulling on a black hoodie. He rubbed his nose, chuckling. "She's got a hangover. Rascal as well..." Eric frowned.
"Rascal?" he asked. Zag laughed harder, nodding.
"Yep!" Eric just smiled, shaking his head.
"Just you and me then," he muttered, walking over to the shore of the lake. Scarlet Lakes could no longer be seen, as the thick fog wafted all along the lake, floating above the dark water as it ripples along the shore.
"Why this early?" Zane was still complaining, not even considering moving from his spot.
"We have alot of traveling to do...to get to Scarlet Lakes..." Cora muffled. Atom flung his arm over his head, closing his eyes.
"But last night..." he mumbled, not thinking. "I flew..." Zane chuckled a bit, but soon went silent.
Suddenly Cora and Atom sprung up, eyes wide. They looked to each other with a knowing look.
They quickly ripped off their sheets and blankets, tripping out of the tent. Zane still laid there, staring at the ceiling.
Eric and Zag looked over to see the pair racing over to them, Cora quickly tugging on a pair of sneakers as she went. He beamed.
"Good to see a few up and running!" Cora screeched to a stop in front of him, her chest puffing as she flung her arms aimlessly.
"We-! The boat-! And then Atom-! He got the-!"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Eric frowned as he placed a hand on her shoulder, calming her down. "What are you trying to tell us?" he asked slowly.
"She's trying to tell you that we won't need to walk as far anymore."
They all twisted in the mud to see Atom, smiling by the lake edge. In one raised hand was a slimy damp rope. Attached on the end of it, bobbing in the water, was non other than the wooden row boat. Eric's eyes practically popped out of his skull.
"NO WAY!" he laughed, quickly hobbling over to him with a grin. Zag just stood there, dumbfounded. Eric sided to a stop in front of the small robot, sight swapping between him and his beloved rowboat. "How on earth did you get it?!" he exclaimed. Cora smiled, pushing past Zag and walking up to them.
"Well, Atom can actually-"
"We found it washed up by the shore line, not that far away." Atom suddenly cut in. Cora blinked at him, frowning. He shrunk down at her glare, but continued. "W-we were up in the middle of the night and found it..." Eric just nodded, grabbing the rope and tugging the boat closer.
"Remarkable!" he beamed, giving the strong rim a pat. Cora just approached Atom, scowling.
"Why didn't you tell him you could fly?" she growled, keeping her voice low.
"I don't exactly want the whole world to know just yet, alright?" he murmured back, shuffling his boots on the ground. She stared at him for a while, but nodded. They looked over as Zane slumbered out of the tent, yawning and stretching. He sleepily stood by Zag as his eyes rested on the boat, clouds of blue fog bursting up as his legs brushed past. It was a full fifteen seconds until the image sunk into his mind.
"Boat..." he slurred. "Boat..." Atom and Cora shared a smirk. Zane suddenly gasped. "Boat!" he cried, running up and almost slipping on the muddy ground. Eric laughed good naturedly as the teen's wide eyes scanned over the object.
"How did-! It was-! And then the-!" he flung his arms around, looking at Cora and Atom smiling. He paused. "Did YOU two get it here?"
"Yep!" Atom grinned.
"I helped!" Cora boasted, trying to sneak in a bit of credit. Atom snorted, crossing his arms.
"Yeah, a little..."
"A little?!" she scoffed.
"I was the one who...pointed it out!"
"Yeah right! I spotted it!"
"Both of you can stop fighting," Eric interrupted, "and help me get the boat ready. Okay?" they looked at him for a while, but nodded.
In the next few minutes with the help of Atom's strength, the boat was bobbing in decently deep water with him and Eric inside. While Zag and Cora easily leapt over the rim, Zane had much more trouble, almost tripping over his sneakers and landing in the freezing water thanks to poorly tied shoelaces. But soon they were all in the floating structure while Eric stood on the side of it with a long oar in hand, giving them more speed as he scooped it low in the water as they slid along the rippling surface of the lake. It was a fantasizing sight to see the blanket of blue fluff floating above the water, and Atom had great pleasure in reaching out and trying to grab at the fog. Soon though, everyone's attention was on Eric as he started telling the tale of the forest.
"It was a dark, eerie night..." he said in a low menacing voice, arching his shoulders up like a vulture. "No-one barely made a sound, and all that could be heard was the sound of death, slowly approaching..." Zag rolled his eyes, snorting.
"Save the irony for when it matters, chief," he muttered, turning his head back to the lake. Eric dropped his posture, laughing.
"Alright, alright," he snickered. "It actually was just like any other night. A group of Surface Dwellers that were traveling to a small town decided to set up camp in this very forest," he explained, gesturing around him. "Well, one of them woke up by the fire in the middle of the night, and woke the others as well." Cora and Zane leaned forward in their seats and Atom slouched slightly, eyes focusing on the man with one hand dipped in the cold water.
"Well, when the others awoke, they were quite pissed off. 'ARGG! Why'd you wake me, boy?'" Eric slipped in a hilarious fake accent as the tale went on. "He told them that he heard something...something loud and rumbling. Well after doubting the boys sanity, they all started to hear it too. Like a thousand engines starting at once. They all slipped out of their sleeping bags and stood by the edge of the lake, staring up to where the noise was coming from. There, in the sky was non other than what they thought was a shooting star!"
The three's eyes widened in wonder. Zag just rubbed his nose from the cold, sticking his ear plugs in again. "Only, this shooting star...was headed straight for them. In a fury of fear, they scattered away behind the trees as it came crashing down in the centre of the forest!"
"The star?" Zane asked. Eric grinned and nodded.
"Wait, in this forest?" Cora asked, pointing to the Hunters Camp." The man face palmed.
"Am I talking to a wall here?"
"Sorry." They mumbled.
"Continue," Atom said, adjusting on the seat. Eric nodded, face becoming wide and theatrical once more.
"After a while of hiding, the group set off, following the large ditch until they saw it...it was beautiful. A meteorite, but not like any other they'd seen! This one had this sort of glowing blue lodged in it. It was like a giant blue diamond, shining in the moonlight..." he sighed dreamily, plunging the oar into the body of water and scooping it out again. "It shone like scarlet. And that's why this town is called Scarlet Lakes, and why the rest of us have been living in that forest. Just searching for the power...the blue core that powered that asteroid..."
They all shared glances. "Cool," Zane smiled, throwing his arms behind his back. Atom was intrigued.
"Have you found any remains of it yet?" he asked. Eric shook his head sadly, his eyes clouded and distant.
"Nope. Not yet...but we will. Some day we'll come across it." He smiled, winking at him. Atom smiled back, looking back towards the streaming path the boat was headed in.
The fog was clearing up the more they glided through it, and soon enough the water way was clear for all to see the wondrous town they were approaching. Scarlet Lakes was a very county town, with many handmade stalls, rodeos and shifty people always wanting to trick you into buying something. Eric continued to give them warnings as the boat came closer to the docks that stretched all along the coast, holding anything from fishing ports to old motor boats. With a sharp wobble and a tap of the rim the boat hit the small wooden jetty, halting to a stop.
"Thanks for the ride, guys," Cora smiled, standing and clinging onto a tall post sticking out of the water. Eric nodded to her.
"Pleasure to have you all at our camp!" he beamed. Zag pulled the ear plugs from his head, looking up to them as they all climbed out and stepped on steady ground. Few people were along the rickety floor boards, either fishing or just slouching on the railing with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth. Cora had to agree that they looked like the shifty sort, with ragged jeans and sandals with coloured ponchos.
"You come anytime you want," he reassured them. Zag just gave them a lazy wave before turning back to the water.
"We'll try an stop by some time," Cora promised, stretching her legs. He nodded.
"Alright then," he grunted, pulling the oar back, "I'm off."
The trio watched as the boat slowly descended back to the sea of fog, a stream of ripples following them as they went. Soon, they were out of sight.
"Nice people..." Zane smiled to Cora. She nodded, yawning.
"Still no need to wake us that early..."
"We've had to deal with worse."
"I know, but don't you think we kinda deserve a sleep in?"
"Tell that to Hamegg," Zane snickered. They all looked around them in a daze, none really sure of what to do.
"So...I guess we just start looking for a train station?" Cora suggested. They nodded, but Zane's head slowly turned to the town, eyes filled with interest. He took a whiff of the air.
"But before that," he grinned, patting his stomach, "something smells good..." Cora and Atom rolled their eyes as they followed the hungry teen along the jetty and into Scarlet Lakes.
The town was nothing but busy as the sun slowly climbed up into the sky, piercing through the withery clouds and letting in heat and rays of light. They had to push through crowds of people rather then walk, passing by old stalls trying to sell hot food, fruits, robot parts, shooting and fishing equipment and many other things that caught their eyes. Cora and Atom were set on asking where the train station was, but Zane was more interested on shopping, reaching out and examining just about everything up for sale. Soon they all came to a stop at a large act in the middle of the large dusty roads of people, showing two young people performing magic tricks for the public's entertainment.
Cora sighed, slumping against a rusty power line pole next to a bin, wiping her brow. Atom came to a stop next to her and Zane sat on the edge of the bin. "This place is a mad house!" she exclaimed, giving a tired look around. Everyone else passing by looked like they knew where they were going, easily pushing past people and approaching the right stores they needed.
"Oh, who cares about the train station?" Zane said, causing the two to snap their heads up to him. "We'll look for that later! Common, let's have some fun here! I already spotted a great place for breakfast," he smiled. Cora looked at him, eyes squinting against the bright light that bathed on her face.
"Well, he's gotta point," she shrugged, pushing off the pole. She smiled at him. "Lead the way to the food."
"YES!" Zane cheered, leaping off his seat and walking back towards the jetty. As they walked, they took their time to glance around at the colorful people. An old man at a antique store with wise old eyes, a three year old trying to bribe people to buy hand made necklaces with her huge longing eyes, a lanky woman grinning to passing customers and many more characters among the population of the town.
Soon they came to a stop at a sun-bathed cafe and ordered a pastry to share between them with some of the little money they had. They sat around an old white glass table at the edge of the dusty main crowd flow, chewing on the flaky treat. Atom of course didn't have anything, but didn't mind. It wasn't much, but it was enough to fill them up for the time being.
After the small stop, they decided to make one more visit to a cloths store. It was a second hand one, as they only had around twenty or so dollars between them. The hunched over man at the scrubbed pine counter gave them a toothless smile as they trampled in, choosing a spinning rack of cloths each to choose from.
Cora glanced over to Atom, who was wondering aimlessly around the different displays, obviously making no attempt to inspect anything. She rolled her eyes. "You gonna actually try something on, or wait for the cloths to choose themselves?" he gave her an innocent look, then shrugged.
"I dunno. I'm more used to other people doing shopping for me..."
Cora shot her head up. He remembers something? And he's not freezing up? She pursed her lips, trying not to mention it yet to sneak anymore information off him before he realized.
"Like who?" she asked. He scanned over different shirts, taking a few seconds to judge whether it suited his style before flipping to the next one.
"Erm, robots." He answered, like he had forgotten he was one himself.
"A robot buying cloths for a robot?" she murmured, shaking her head. Suddenly Atom caught on, a look of stun coming across him.
"My memory!" he gasped. She raised an eyebrow, smiling. He scratched the back of his neck, thinking. "That was a strange one...I just specifically remember that I didn't do most of the work around where ever I lived..."
Cora frowned, walking over to him to inspect the cloths. "Huh...kinda weird. Not to mention stupid."
"Yeah..." Atom mumbled, lifting a lime green t-shirt. "A robot waiting on a robot? Talk about backward evolution." Cora snickered. After a while she stuck a dark gray hoodie in his face.
"Try this." She offered. His eyes lit up, taking it gingerly and examining the textures.
"Nice..." she grinned, leaping over to another assortment of cloths.
After a short amount of time, Zane had chosen a leather jacket with a navy blue shirt, keeping the jeans he had before. Cora slipped on a baggy pale blue t-shirt with some denim shorts and Atom had gone with the hoodie along with a pair of baggy pants.
Paying up, they strolled out of the store in head of the train station, trying not to get distracted by anything else. This came as quite a struggle as Zane would beg them every five seconds to turn back and check out an interesting stall. They also took the time to gape at the foot of a colossal arena, one that reminded them of something that came from gladiator times. But soon, they arrived at the end of the town.
The station wasn't modern, but wasn't exactly put together with nails and glue, either. Many sheltered waiting areas stretched along the long slab of concrete that met with the track, which traveled further then they could see. A three-foot iron fence guarded the entrance, and that's where they met up with the ticket man.
"Wait here..." Cora mumbled, leaving Zane and Atom as she ventured over to a particularly sour looking man with a wrinkled face that scrunched up as she approached him. Cora tried to look as friendly as possible, tapping her finger tips on the hard wood counter.
"Could I grab three tickets to Sparks please?" she said simply. The man grumbled something under his breath before ducking down and picking up three sickingly green pieces of paper, waving them in her face.
"Here," he spat. She grinned and nodded, reaching out for them. Accept he pulled back. "That'll be fifty four dollars..." Cora felt her mouth drop.
"Fifty four dollars? Are you insane?" she scoffed. His beady eyes pulled into a scowl.
"You don't have the money? Then you don't get the tickets!" with that he slapped them back into his tiny office. She pulled a face at him, but couldn't summon anything witty to say. With a growl she twisted back to Zane and Atom who were waiting eagerly.
"You got 'em?" Zane asked. She crossed her arms hotly.
"Not unless you have fifty four bucks on you..." she mumbled. They both choked on their breath.
"What?" he exclaimed. "That's nuts!"
"I know..." she sighed deeply. "How are we going to pay for it? We can't get to the Hunters, we can't raise any money! What will we do?" she glanced around, scratching her neck.
Zane heaved a sigh. "I guess we stick around here until we come up with something. Maybe we'll end up walking there." He shrugged at the suggestion. Atom shook his head.
"No way. If the train was going to be traveling for a day, imagine how long it will take on foot." Cora nodded, biting her lip.
"I'm not considering we immediately take on the idea, but what about stealing?" while the robot looked shocked, Zane simply nodded in thought.
"It's an option."
"But what if we get caught?" Atom asked.
"That's why it's just an idea..." Cora sighed as she looked back to the heart of the busy town. "Well, I guess we'll check out some more sights. Maybe even pick up some things we might need on the trip."
"Train wise or walking wise?" Zane asked as they started to walk back tot he stores. Cora shrugged, glancing to the massive stadium again. Something caught her eye this time. A large pin board next to a closed ticket booth by the curving tin wall. It was filled from top to bottom with flyers and advertisements. Intrigued, she slinked over to it and started examining them. Zane gave a quick look over his shoulder before continuing back down the path.
"Common Cora!" he called.
"Just a minute!" she replied. She lightly placed her hand on her chin, eyes scanning the board. Mumbling something she started to catch up with the others only to bump into someone.
"Oomph!" in an outburst of spilled papers, Cora got knocked over and landed on the dirt with a thud. She rubbed her head as she looked up. Standing there was a young adult, with sleek, thin black hair that dropped just past her chin. She was rather tall and slim as her cloths were a little baggy on her and stood out among the colorful culture of the town as they were crisp white or dull grey. She quickly grabbed at the floating papers, snatching them and pulling them into a folder or stuffing them under her arm.
"Darn it!" she cursed. "Come here you little-!" she grabbed another sheet before even glancing down to Cora. "Will you watch where you're going? I'm kinda in a hurry here!" Cora scowled, standing and dusting her shirt.
"You should watch yourself!" she snapped. Zane and Atom started walking over to the scene with confused faces as a fight broke out.
"I should myself? You should at least respect your elders!"
"Sure grandma, after you apologize!"
"I'm sorry that you're so clumsy. Happy?"
"Alright, you are so asking for it!"
The too growled at each other with clenched fists and bared teeth, obviously not giving in to one another. Zane took action, pushing them off each other. "Cut it out you two! Geeze, you remind me of little kids!"
"She bumped into me! Tell your girlfriend not to be so rude!" Zane and Cora drew back.
"Girlfriend?" they both repeated with a disgusted face.
"Okay, you are why out of line to assume that!"
As they continued to yell at each other, Atom glanced to a lost paper, stuck under a rock beside his boot. He timidly picked it up, flipping it over and scanning his eyes over the information upon it.
His eyes grew wide.
His limbs grew numb.
Overall, he was horrified. On it was a picture of himself, spikes and all. But it was the words underneath the picture that made him freeze up. WANTED. He took a few shaky steps back, running his eyes over it once again, hoping he had missed something. Nope, that was him alright.
Wanted? What did I do? Was it Damion from Autumn?
He read over the fine print and found it was in fact none other then the Metro City Police Force after him. Metro City Police? What did I do against them? Why are they after me?!
"Why don't you just get lost?!" Cora finally snapped. The woman turned her nose up, shuffling her papers into place under her arm.
"Anything to get away from you freaks..." she muttered. She glanced over to Atom, holding one of her lost documents. "Hey! Give it here!" she hissed. Atom looked up at her, eyes still wide. She snatched for it to place it with the others. But she suddenly froze. Her sight scanned over Atom's face a few times. "NO...WAY..."
"Where did you get this document?" Atom asked firmly, holding it close. Cora and Zane raised an eyebrow to each other, oblivious to what was going on. As the woman made a grab for the paper, Atom raised it high above his head away from her reach.
"Give it here you little mite!" she growled.
"Tell me where you got it!" Atom challenged.
"What's going on?" Zane asked.
"Apparently I'm wanted," he answered. The two's mouths dropped open and their eyes grew wide.
"WHAT?" Cora gaped. The woman crossed her arms with a scowl.
"Fine. I don't really need it anyway," she smirked. "I was going to get paid for delivering it to the owner of the town, but imagine the price they'd pay for the direct location of the wanted robot." With a grin she pushed past them and made her way down to the train station.
"Wait!" they all cried, racing up to her. She rolled her eyes.
"Would you look at that. First you despise me and now you follow me. Ironic, huh?"
"You can't do that!" Cora pleaded, ignoring her last comment.
"I don't even know what I'm wanted for!" Atom joined.
"Look, the only way I'll walk away from one of the greatest pay checks of my life is if you offer me something better." She said, not stopping. Cora frowned deeply, running an idea through her head.
"He's not going to stay here long. What if I told you the place he'd be staying for the rest of his life?" it was then she stopped in her tracks, head tilted slightly up. Atom and Zane's eyes popped out of their skulls.
"WHAT?!" they screeched.
"I'm listening..." she woman said, turning to her.
"I'll make a deal with you," Cora started, only to be cut off by Zane.
"Actually, we need to talk first," he narrowed his eyes. "Excuse us..." he dragged her over into a huddle. "What do you think you're DOING?"
"Settle down!" she calmed. "If she has a link to the police then she can redirect them to searching the wrong parts of the Surface!"
"And how will you persuade her to do that?" Atom asked disbelievingly.
"We ask her to come with us." The two boys were silent for a bit until they burst out laughing.
"Good one!" Zane laughed. "I almost thought you were serious then!" her stern stare made their faces drop.
"Wait..." Atom quivered.
"You're actually considering this?"
"Think about it! If she comes with us then we can monitor if she contacts the police! And she'll know where they might be waiting!"
"Still missing out on the part where she agrees," Atom said.
"We'll tell her to come with us to the circus. Accept we won't tell her until we get there. She'll probably think it stays in one spot, so we'll take off when it's time to move and they'll never track us again!" they all shared glances, shrugging. "Plus when Atom's in Hamegg's custody then there's nothing they can do." Atom's face dropped slightly as she said this, but they slowly nodded.
"Okay..." Zane mumbled. "But if she gets on my nerves then-"
"You'll grin and bare it." Cora snapped. Zane huffed as they all turned to the woman who was cleaning the dirt from her nails.
"You done with your chatter?" she asked. Cora nodded, stepping forward.
"You can find out where we are taking the robot only if you come with us." She stared at her for while, blinking.
"Excuse me?" she almost laughed.
"You heard me. Are you in or out?"
"Wait..." she gaped. "You want me to tread around the Surface with you lot? Seriously?"
"It's not far, and you will get the pay day of your life, right?" Cora smirked. "What's there to loose? More paper work?" the young adult's lips thinned into an annoyed frown.
"...fine." She said quickly, not second guessing it. With hesitation she reached out her hand. "The name's Flair." Cora raised an eyebrow, not shaking.
"Cora." She murmured, walking back towards the town. "The deal also ensures that you do NOT let the police follow us. You can't make contact whatsoever." Flair's eyes dilated.
"What? You're kidding, right?" Flair snickered. But her face fell as Cora didn't reply, only smiling to her friends.
"Deal's set!" she chirped. Atom looked uneasy.
"I still don't think that's the end of it..." he quivered. "If it's the Metro City Police, then they'll have a little more to rely on then one person."
"Damn right," Flair pulled ahead of them, clutching her folder. "You'll be dead within a week. If you're lucky they don't find you before." She sent a quick glare to Atom. "Where're we heading, anyway?"
"We have to get on a train, but we don't have any money..." Zane mumbled. Cora glanced over to the pin board she had been inspecting. With a quick leap she ripped a flyer from the soft wood, stuffing it in her pocket and walking beside Flair.
"You wouldn't happen to have any-"
"No way," she snapped, cutting her off. "You aren't getting your hands on any of my cash. Besides," she flicked her hair from her face, "I've spent most of it on a cabin." The three became intrigued.
"Cabin?" Atom asked. Flair seemed to flinch away from the robot before her sight returned to the dusty street.
"Yeah. I rented a cabin." She froze up at the three looking at her expectantly. "You all are NOT staying in my cabin!" she retorted.
"I think we will be!" Cora smiled. "You can't leave our sight. So it's either we all stay in your cozy cabin, or your out in the streets with us." Flair growled something under her breath before turning sharply around the corner.
It was a cold night, in much contrast to the scolding weather during the day. This didn't bother any of them as a fire pit was in the living room by the scared blue couches. The cabin only had three rooms- a kitchen/lounge room, a bathroom and one bedroom. Cora, Zane and Atom had agreed to sleep on the floor or couch while Flair owned the bedroom.
Zane and Atom were slumped along the couch, flicking pieces of the wanted poster into the fire pit. Cora was leaning against the wall, examining the flyer she had swiped from the pin board. Flair was busy getting herself a cup of coffee in the kitchen with an annoyed face painted on her features. Anyone could see the escape and murder plans running through her head every time she glanced to one of them.
Zane snickered at half the picture of Atom on the weak paper. "So what do you think you did?" he asked him. Atom shrugged.
"Stealing? Murder? Manslaughter? Homicide? Kidnapping? Fraud? Killi-"
"ZANE," he growled. The teen hunched his shoulders meekly.
"What?" he asked him. "They're just suggestions..." they both turned their heads over to Cora who was now standing in front of them, holding the piece of colorful paper up for them to see.
"I have an idea." She said simply. Their eyes squinted as they leaned forward.
"Marvel's..." Atom mumbled. "Robot...Games...?"
"Yep!" Cora beamed. "I found out how we can get money!" the two stared at her for a long while, not moving. Flair rolled her eyes, sipping her drink.
"Wait..." Zane murmured. "You want us to bet?"
"Now, that's the thing..." Cora mumbled, pacing in a circle. "There are twenty five robots you can chose from to bet, yet only five compete anyway. So you can loose your money before any fighting actually starts." Atom and Zane raised an eyebrow at each other, not catching on. "So betting would be a sure way to loose our money rather then expand it."
"So, why are you telling us this then?" Zane asked. Cora simply smirked, coming to a stop in front of them and placing her hand on her hips. A slight devious look played across her face.
"Because we're not betting." She grinned. "We're competing."
They all stared at her, not speaking. Accept Flair, who had sprayed out her coffee all over the counter. She reduced to a long stream of laughs, throwing her head back.
"HAHA! Very funny!" she snickered, wiping her chin. But Cora's face didn't faze. Zane choked on his words.
"Wait, you're serious?" she nodded. "That's...insane!" he yelped, springing from his seat.
"How is it insane? We have a good chance of winning!"
"Wait..." Atom mumbled. "Enter the Robot Games...with me?" Cora rolled her eyes.
"Nah, Atom. The toaster." Shock met the robot's face as he leapt up in alert.
"No way!" he fought. "I am not going to be put in an arena, forced to fight for entertainment!"
"Not entertainment!" Cora reasoned. "For money! Atom, we need to get on that train!" Zane grabbed the poster, scanning his eyes over it. He let out a whistle.
"Winner takes five grand," he raised his eyebrows. "She gotta point, dude. We could use this money..."
"But I can't fight!" Atom scoffed. "I'll be scrap metal as soon as the first robot comes out of the stalls!"
"He's right, you know." They all looked over to Flair as she nodded to the flyer. "You don't know the half of what goes on in the games. Firstly, these are elite fighting bots that are strictly created to kill their opponents. Secondly, if he even makes it to the last round, the final robot is none other then Zog." They all tilted their heads.
"Zog?" Flair wiped down the bench.
"Marvel's robot. No one can bet on him because he ALWAYS wins. Marvel makes sure of that. It's ten tons of machine ripping gladiator." Atom gulped. She let off a slight shrug. "So, if he makes it past other robots like the Black Puma or Tobor Blade, then he's going to be crushed by Zog anyway. Putting him in these games is putting him on his death bed." She chucked the coffee mug into the sink. "Actually, strapping him to it."
They all shared glances, but Cora was glaring. Atom just smiled merrily, shrugging and returning to the couch. "Well, that settles it!" he said happily. "No Robot Games for me!"
"Oh no you don't!" Cora darted forward, latching onto the robot's collar. "You will fight in these games!" Atom's face pulled into one of contempt and resilience as he twisted to her.
"Cora, you heard what Flair said! I'd be torn apart before the games even start-"
"I DON'T CARE WHAT SHE SAYS!" Cora exploded, sending Flair to raise and eyebrow and Zane to shrink down. "You're MY robot, NOT hers!" Atom simply stood his ground, pushing her arm off his sweater. "And I don't care if you're a pile of SCRAP by the end of it! I need to get on that train! I need to get home!" she leaned in close to his face. "And I don't even care if you're not with me when I get there." She spat.
A flash of emotion passed the robot's face as her harsh words hit his ears like a bite. Zane and Flair glanced awkwardly at each other as a long silence held the air, inviting anyone to brake its harsh skin. Atom looked at the narrow daggers of eyes glaring at him as he took a shaky breath. Not able to summon even one word, he pushed past her and the others and disappeared out the door.
Chest heaving with difficulty, Atom barged into the dimly lighted streets, his mind trying desperately to sort out its thoughts and emotions. How could she say that? came the bitter question. Am I seriously just a robot again? Maybe I was never anything higher then that to start with...
He clenched his fists, head craning around at an open bar near a small turn off which led to the main markets. Many lonely men sat slightly slumped on the rusty stools, drinking or smoking in silence, sometimes giving him a glance.
Filled with confusion and hatred, Atom ran up to an old vending machine, arching his leg. With an angry cry he slammed his boot against it, sending it flying across the dusty walk way and smash into a brick wall. The men at the bar raised their eyebrows at him but still showed little care. The bartender wringed a cloth along the rim of a beer glass as he watched him, chuckling at his method for releasing anger.
With another outburst of emotion Atom kicked a trash can with a growl, which rattled and rolled by the cabin. The fire still in him, he glanced down to his boots and summoned them to work, not taking no for an answer. Quickly they activated and boosted him upwards, but not for long. Obviously still needing practice Atom shakily landed upon the cabin roof, stumbling and landing on his knees. Not wanting to get back up, he stayed there for a long time, staring at the ground in thought.
What's the point of getting back up? If I make it through today, or tomorrow or any other day, then it's just going to be the same thing. I'll be treated like a robot. And the only people who had kept me going have know spat me in the face. What's the point?
His anger smoldering down into sadness, he curled into a small ball, hugging his knees to his chest. He squeezed his eyes shut, begging them not to shed tears. With a deep breath he rested his head on the rough ground.
What's the point?
Well, this was rather short, and not many notes go with this chapter. Firstly, Flair is a character by my best friend MangaGal99, so round of applause to her! I find her a very enjoyable character to write :) secondly, Marvel's Robot Games. I got this from the movie, and of course Hamegg couldn't run them so I've created a shifty little character called Marvel (I'm pretty sure you can guess where I got the name). And yes, Astro is going to fight in it.
I was tossing between how Astro would react to this, and how Cora would persuade him. I know in the movie Astro was more concerned that he didn't want to hurt the other robots, but now that's he's informed that they are elite fighting machines that only think about killing, he's gonna be a little concerned for himself more. Also Cora's burst out of bossy-ness was almost redone, but I felt that she would be feeling pretty pissed off about the train and such. And also she still thinks robots, even though some are nice friends, are still working machines.
WEIREST FACTS I JUST HEARD: The Mona Lisa has NO eyebrows. It was the fashion back then to have them shaved. Everyday 20 banks are robbed. Lightening bolts are 5 times hotter then the sun o0o