Taylor's hand flits out over the board, hovering above the knight before slinking back and nudging a pawn forward. "Your move."
Leo slides his bishop across the chessboard without even thinking about it. "Bishop to E5," he says. "Nice to finally have a quiet morning around here." At that moment, Bob comes sprinting in holding a sparking firework in his hand and yelling. "Ah, spoke too soon."
"What do I do?" Bob hollers, waving the firework around as the fuse dwindles. "What do I do?"
"Give me that," Logan says, stomping in after him. Logan grabs the firework away from Bob and uses his energy manipulation to shrink down the spark until it's a tiny ball in his hand. "Hey, Leo, catch."
Leo whirls away from his game of chess to fumble for the little ball of energy. He manages to catch it, and then it collapses down and gets absorbed by his energy transference. "What the heck are you doing?"
"Celebrating the Fourth of July!" Bob answers triumphantly.
"But it's February."
"Well, Adam said-"
"Okay, say no more," Leo says, taking the extinguished firework from Logan and setting it on the console where (hopefully) it won't do any damage. "Bob, what did we tell you to do anytime Adam says something is okay?"
Bob thinks about it. "To… not?"
"Yes," Taylor says. "You don't have any more fireworks about to go off, do you?"
Bob thinks about it. "No."
Taylor's about to make a move on the chessboard when the hydroloop suddenly whirrs to life and the doors slide open. Leo and Logan stare at each other and then at the hydroloop; they weren't expecting visitors.
Two women and a young boy step out of the pod, all of them looking around the academy entryway in wonder. "Essy, there you are," one woman says, spotting Taylor. She runs forward and hugs her, nearly knocking over the chessboard. "S-1, thank God, we've been looking for you forever."
"Chiquita, what's that on your face?" the other woman says, coming forward. "And where have you been, here this whole time?"
"Yeah, what is this place?"
The women talk over each other animatedly while the boy with them stares in awe at Taylor, who's still locked in a tight embrace by the first woman.
Leo and Logan stare at the scene, trying to figure out if they should intervene. "Uh, Tay? Who are these people?"
Taylor looks shocked, but not necessarily confused. "They're, um," she says, patting the woman hugging her on the back. "They're sort of my parents?" Taylor wriggles out of the grasp of the first woman and goes to hug the second before advancing on the little boy. "Mikey, that you over there? I missed you." They hug, the boy cracking a smile as Taylor squeezes him tight. She pats the top of his head to feel his height. "Hey, no fair. You got taller, kid."
"Hang on," Leo says, staring at the strangers. "What do you mean, they're your 'parents'? You were created by Krane like everyone else."
"Yeah, well, duh," Taylor says, spinning to face Leo but still keeping an arm around Mikey. "After I woke up in the junkyard with no memories, Sandra and Maria were the people that took me in and looked after me."
"Until you discovered you were 'bionic'," says the second woman- Maria. "And you took off like you were possessed by the devil. No note, no clues… Do you even know how worried we were?"
Taylor clutches Mikey's shoulder, looking guilty but also confused. "Worried?" she says. "I thought you were scared. Of, you know, of me. I was a freak like on the news."
"Honey, we scooped you up out of an abandoned junkyard like in 'Iron Giant,'" Sandra says, slipping her hand into Maria's. "We weren't expecting a normal teenager."
"No fair," Bob pouts. "How come Taylor gets parents and I don't?"
"Because you're a problem child and you'd drive anyone to the madhouse," Leo says quickly, stepping around Bob to get closer to Sandra and Maria. "Look, I'm sure Taylor… well, S-1 I guess, she's Taylor now… I'm sure she's glad to see you. I mean. I'm sure she's glad to hear you again. But we're all a little confused… how did you know she was here on the island?"
"Well, we looked all over at first," Sandra sighs, coming to stand behind Taylor. She runs a hand over Taylor's hair as she talks. "Checked around Pike's Crest, up and down the coast. We had neighbors helping out… of course, we didn't want to tell the police because we didn't want her getting into trouble. And... well, you know, we weren't exactly her legal guardians."
"Our little genius here has been looking all over the internet for over a year," Maria says, ruffling Mikey's hair. "He found out about the Davenport Bionic Academy from a blog this crazy inventor does."
"Oh, yeah," Leo says, smiling a little. "That's my uncle."
"Then it was just a matter of asking around at the docks until someone knew about this… underwater bullet train thingy," Sandra says, pointing behind her at the hydroloop. "I still wasn't sure you were going to be here, Essy, but you're here! You are!"
"Yeah, here I am," Taylor says, looking awkward but not necessarily unhappy. "I just… I don't get it. You guys freaked out when I used my abilities."
"We were scared for you, mija, not of you," Maria tells her. "We thought- and we were right, according to your friend's weird uncle- that someone was trying to turn you into an evil robot."
Taylor half-laughs, half-sighs in relief. "Someone did try to turn me into an evil robot," she says. "But he's gone now. And I'm okay, really. I think we have a lot to talk about."
"You're right, we do," Sandra says. "Starting with your funky new glasses. What's up with those?"
Taylor chews the corner of her lip. "I'm… sort of… blind now," she says.
"But it's okay," Taylor says, talking quickly. She squeezes Mikey's shoulder. "It's really, really okay. The people on this island… they're really good. Um, that's Leo over there, and Logan. And the kid is Bob."
"Hi," Bob says. "I'm kind of your foster daughter's role model."
"Shut up, Bob."
"We have a lot to talk about," Maria says, looking over at the boys. "Leo, right? Do you have iced tea on this bionic island?"
A/N: Let me know what you think! I have no idea if there'll be more to this or not. I just really like the idea of Taylor having a foster family and having parents. Reviews are always appreciated!