A. Note: Well, here's an idea: let us get jiggy with it!!! This chapter and the next are for establishing some characters. Sorry for the slow update, but things have been busier than I realized.
Initializing protocol interface DXIII.
System loading images……
VISUAL transferred. Interface DXIII complete.
The computer blinked as Robin took a sip of the black, thick coffee in his mug. It was as sour and bitter as people claim it to be when no sweeteners were added, but it was a good stimulant for staying awake, and oddly enough, he always felt like taking another sip.
As he placed the caffeine saturated drink aside, his eyes caught the blinking red lights of his digital clock.
He typed professionally, with each hit on the keyboard was swift and precise. His eyes fixated on the screen, the teen watched as the multiple blueprint images of different parts of the city begin to display upon his monitor.
He moved his hand to the mouse and clicked on a particular image.
"East side of the pier…….. I wonder just what in the hell is going on there." He mumbled, and clicked on an icon on his desktop to bring up a web page, and began going through different URL's.
He just used his left hand to type and his right hand to click on the mouse. He rummaged through various web pages for a few minutes, before he stopped.
"Hmph. No news or reports from the crappy headers at S.T.A.R. Labs……guess they decided to keep everything quiet from the public. Hmm….why?"
He typed some more, now returning to his specially made hack system to the various surveillance cameras throughout the companies he infiltrated, though he only has one target this time.
System error. Connection could not be established.
Well, I suppose I expected that. Anyone would beef up security if someone broke in easier than trashing a BMW. Still…I wonder why none of the staff there reported anything.
Robin frowned, and lifted up the UL4 disc that is held in his hand. Inspecting it closely, he still could only conclude that whatever was special about the disc was definitely the content.
He loaded it into his computer, and sighed at the words that showed on the screen.
Read error. Content or files cannot be displayed.
"I guess that's why they're not too worried about media support. This thing is harder to crack than a ten dollar whore."
He unloaded the disc while running a hand through his black hair agitatedly.
"Seriously. I can copy the damn thing but I can't read its contents? That's very, very weird."
He glared at the disc in his hands, as if it is the biggest problem of his life.
"I'll just have to scan you some other way………piece of crap."
He glanced aside.
It was still late, or early, depending on how one would like to define it, and the teen didn't feel like going back to sleep. The world outside was still in the dormant stage, no light has appeared over the clouds, and the sky was a murky black.
Scratching his neck, Robin placed the UL4 disc into another cabinet, storing it away until further ideas came to him.
The entire apartment was as silent as the outside world, and Robin didn't find himself enjoying it as much as he used to. He still found an odd pleasure with the darkness, but it was sort of inconsequential as of now. A new world had been opened to him when Kori arrived, and he felt as if something had been gained and something had been lost. The darkness that currently dominates the world is like the veil he always kept around him, to shroud himself from many others, and now that-
Robin whacked his head abruptly.
Overly psychoanalyzing himself was something he rarely did, and he didn't feel like making himself his own shrink.
The small stream of white heat from the coffee was still permeating slightly, catching the boy's attention. He picked up the mug and took another huge sip, wincing at the taste and the heat.
Feeling done with the absurd drink, Robin placed it somewhere in the kitchen and went out to the balcony, but not before he glanced at the open bedroom door for a few moments, where within Kori slept, hopefully peacefully. But she had been sleeping quite well for the last couple of nights, so it shouldn't be a problem.
The night air wasn't chilly as it seemed to should be, in fact, it was lukewarm.
"Heh. It's probably in the middle of summer. Autumn will just be around the corner, soon enough."
He had a momentarily lapse of silence and fixated his gaze at the direction of the piers. It was just his nature to be focused on something until his mind is purged of doubt and questions.
"Maybe I should pay it a visit…….am I making a soliloquy all this time?"
"Ah, whatever. People think out loud all the time." He chuckled a bit, now feeling slightly stupid.
He placed his elbows on the railing of the balcony, staring into the cloudy night sky that didn't allow any sort of light from the stars to seep through. He was looking for any sign of a wishing star.
"Over a week……..eh?" He stated, while grinning.
It had been about over one week, or nine days to be exact, since Korian'dr, the interesting girl from Tamaran, came to Earth in her special way: crashing through an old and humongous evergreen and almost made him into flattened human flesh.
Of course, it was a complete accident and Robin could never put any amount of fault on the girl, but he just thought it was funny, at times. Then again, she didn't, and that was enough reason for him to be serious about it.
Right after their little visit to the park so many days ago, Kori had kept about a persistent reminding of buying a bed. Robin, in his amused stubbornness, decided to play the role of a jerk and just simply kept on pretending that he forgot or that he couldn't understand what she was yapping about.
Kori reacted as he expected, but she wasn't oblivious to the boy's machinations, and employed a simple trick of her own, which was to speak to him only in Tamaranian.
Now, Robin didn't like it when he doesn't know what was going on, hence the constant wondering about the UL4 disc and the situation at S.T.A.R. Labs, and so he was definitely feeling the effects of the girl's ploy.
Robin chuckled, remembering how he twitched in agitation when the girl poked him as she spoke in alien tongue.
They both managed to hold onto their little schemes for about another ten minutes, before they just smiled at each other cheekily, and Robin drove them to check out the line of the smaller stores of the city, stopping first at a furniture store.
He laughed when Kori thought they had ventured into a gigantic bedroom where many people shared the same gigantic chamber for slumber. Snickering, he had explained to her that the beds there were just like the food samples at the supermarket: for the purpose of presenting their goods for the customers to evaluate with their own eyes.
Kori had examined the various fabrics that created the many beds, rugs, and mattresses people use. The two of them had walked through the rather large store, examining the various furniture such as the La-Z-Boy chairs, dinner tables, and the many styles of beds.
Robin had grinned and showed Kori the idea of fun at such a store, and began flopping on about the beds in a heap of mischievous attitude, and Kori soon joined him.
In their little excursion about the store, they came across many things that interested Kori's Tamaranian curiosity, much of it regarding the different fabrics that she had never encountered before. But when the girl saw a certain quilt, she had immediately become silent, as Robin watched, and slowly picked up the patchwork and pressed it against her face gently.
The quilt was made mainly of silk and perhaps some linen and wool, but what caught Kori's attention was probably the pattern: a crossover and minted mixture of cyan, shades of white, and a night sky blue.
Robin had wondered if she was reminiscing. That silky quilt she was hugging might have been similar to something on Tamaran. Of course, he didn't know what to think of it, and so had just allowed the moments to pass by silently.
For after perhaps just a few minutes, she had placed the quilt back on the bed properly. He then had asked the girl if everything was all right, that perhaps it was something she wanted to buy.
She had refused, as expected, but her reasons were what kept him silent.
The silky quilt was apparently similar to a ritualistic gift, called the rila'nar that Tamaranians gave to their children upon their birth. The quilts would then become a reminder of their birth, of their roots, the origin of their existences, no matter where they will be.
Wiping her eyes slightly, Kori placed the blanket back on the bed. She turned around to find that Robin had approached her, blue and hazel grey eyes inquiring.
"Hey, got something there?" He indicated to the silky quilt. "That's really neat, if you want it, we can get it."
Kori shook her head solemnly, and turned her back to him.
"Please, I do not wish to obtain this fabric. I was ……merely musing."
The tone she used conveyed an emotion he heard the first time when she talked to him about Tamaran. He took hold of her arm.
"Kori………" He coaxed.
The girl turned to him with a sad smile. "Do not worry of me, Richard. I was merely feeling a brief nostalgia for my old home." As she glanced at the patchwork, she felt Robin needed an explanation.
"When a Tamaranian child is born, he or she is given a rila'nar from his or her mother. It……is a symbol of the gift of life. I ……merely remembered mine when I saw this silky fabric, and because of the conversation we had discoursed at the park…I…just thought of Tamaran, that is all."
Robin didn't say anything, and just allowed the girl to go through her own thoughts undisturbed for mean time. But at the same time, he was thinking about his old home and life as well, where the crucial and important part of his life began, abruptly ended, only to have another one begin, and it was a life he wouldn't ever have imagined living.
And as he knows, Kori is now doing the same.
The Tamaranian glanced at the paper attached to the front side of the bed for a few moments before Robin answered her unspoken question.
"It says: Albany wood bed." Robin spoke.
Kori just smiled in a defeated way, while heaving a sigh. When Robin peeked his vision around the side of her to see that smile, he could feel his eyebrows furrow.
Robin got off the balcony in a huff, and walked back to his computer. He began working through various websites again, but not on anything related to the concerns of his alter-ego.
He paused. "Andrella University……"
Eyes fluttering open and consciousness returning from the sleep, Kori found herself detecting the comfortable and amiable rays of another morning sunshine on Earth.
She hugged her sheets a little more, as if trying to savor the warmth and comfort, before she gingerly allowed her emerald eyes to gaze over the bedroom that is in the process of familiarization.
The digital clock beside her was blinking 6:27. Meaning it was somewhere within morning. Richard had explained to her about how time on Earth is decided and determined, such as through the A.M. and P.M., which she decided was rather peculiar. But of course, she still had to remember the symbols that represented numbers.
Rubbing her tired green eyes slightly, the girl turned her head to look at the empty bed beside her, all neat and properly rearranged, as Richard is prone to do.
Yes, Kori's new bed is situated next to Richard's in the larger bedroom, instead of having it placed in the extra space in the smaller guestroom. The reason for such was that Kori had been reliving the memories of a painful life.
She was feeling very comfortable living on Earth with Richard, even though she had only been on the planet for over nine revolutions around a light source. There was no immediate danger or the sense of haplessness that haunted her in her reality, and so the terror must have decided to move into her subconscious. Perhaps it was because the comfortable feeling of security that brought up the unpleasant visions. It is sort of like shell shocked soldiers from war, they would begin to have terrible nightmares after they were back in a peaceful environment.
The dreams weren't overly horrific, but they were still very disturbing, and they were relentless for three nights. The darkness she saw was entirely different from the absent of light that most people define darkness with. The shadows of an enclosed environment are only a small dose of the fear that was instilled into her. What she saw beyond and within that darkness was the dark minds of creatures that hold the dirtiest and most despicable of intents.
And the problem is: she was reliving those dark moments in her life relentlessly and constantly for several nights. But to her delight and surprise, Richard was also relentless in always offering his presence as comfort whenever she had awoken from another horrible dream.
Perhaps she had screamed or maybe yelped every time she woke up, she doesn't know, because Richard never mentioned anything of how he knew she was disturbed.
He would just somehow be by her new bed, soft voice inquiring to her well being and offering his assistance like he had been doing ever since they met. His eyes seemed to even have had glowed in the dark, a mysterious hazel of blue swirling in his pupils.
Each time, Kori had reassured her roommate that it was just a minor fuss; that she merely had bad visions but she would be fine, and each time it proved wrong.
She never went to Richard, feeling as if she was being weak and frail, like a child, as well as bothersome if she couldn't conquer something that wasn't even present anymore, but apparently she never needed to, he always somehow came to her.
Eventually, Richard had moved her bed into the bedroom and next to his bed, since he did wanted her to have the bedroom before, now it seemed to be a good compromise.
Kori stepped out of the bathroom, done with a refreshing shower and dressed in cute pink pajamas that she picked out from the mall. She didn't feel as if she particularly needed to wash herself on a daily basis. It wasn't as if she felt dirty, and back on Tamaran, no one really washed daily. But apparently, showering before or after sleep was something most earthlings did, as she observed from certain programs on the television and from what she knows about Richard's habits.
Besides that, it was most enjoyable.
She felt herself dreading slumber lately. Visions haunted her and she felt the effects of it readily and unpleasantly. She didn't understand why she was still recalling such bad memories from a past she wanted to forget. She had decided to give up her old home, Tamaran, to escape from the countless complications that involved nasty predicaments of her role in her world. Now that she lived on Earth, she wanted to have new memories, not to relive the old ones.
But Richard was always there, even though she never voiced for the aid. He was there in the beginning and he is still there without fault or any reluctance.
A small smile playing on her lips, Kori felt like thanking her wonderful roommate for everything, again.
She began humming the alphabet song, taught to her by Richard a couple of days ago as a first step to learning English.
As she entered the room, feeling reluctant to see the bed that existed as a symbol of her nightmares, she was surprised to find it absent.
"Oh!? Do the beds of Earth have camouflage abilities?" She pondered as she waved a hand through the air around where the bed should be, of course, finding nothing but air molecules.
"Hey, Kori. What ya looking for?" Richard's voice sounded behind her, and the girl turned around to find the boy slurping on some pudding with a mirthful glint in his blue eyes.
"Richard! The bed! It has vanished. I cannot find it!"
"Oh, that. I put it in the bedroom with some good effort of angle adjustments." He answered as he munched on some more pudding.
"What? We share the same apartment. I think it's no problem if we share the same bedroom, unless you think so."
"N-no, I do not in particular. But-"
"You've been having nightmares, Kori." He interrupted. "I don't know what it's about, but it's keeping you up these nights. And frankly, I can't really sleep if I know you're waking up with these bad dreams."
She watched as he rubbed the back of his head. "Now that I think about it, maybe I should have asked for your permission first, but I always thought that having someone as company can ease the intensity of the-"
She interrupted him with a hug.
Richard stopped talking immediately as the girl embraced, and he in return could only smile, one hand still holding the cup of pudding.
Kori only kept contact for a few seconds, but it made its effects.
Richard held the cup to her. "Want some pudding?"
And indeed, she had slept quite well the past few nights, though most of them were spent talking to Richard before they both fell asleep.
Kori rested her head on her knees, feeling the familiarity of the bedroom and the entire apartment seeping into her mind.
The various gadgets, technology, purposes and conveniences were starting to become established into her mind, making the new memories she wanted.
She walked out of the bedroom and saw that Richard wasn't in the apartment, but she knew he would be back soon, because some of the lights were still turned on.
Her stomach grumbled a little, and she automatically walked into the kitchen.
She looked at the refrigerator for a good moment, as if trying to stare it down. Her encounter with it was rather peculiar, as she had almost freaked when she found out that the contraption could decrease the temperature of objects dramatically. It was just one of the things she didn't expect to see on Earth.
Finally opening the refrigerator door, she giggled at the memory of herself yelping and calling Richard's attention to what she thought was food being affected by unknown phenomenon. That was also the kind of new memory she wanted.
It would seem Richard has yet to have breakfast. I believe I am capable enough of making the 'witch of sand' that is combined with the fruit jelly and the butter made of peanuts for the both of us!
Searching through the contents, she found the bag of whole wheat bread she was looking for. Only it was a little too cold to eat.
Hmmm…which contraptions did Richard utilize to heat the food?
She looked at the oven. Nope, she didn't really have any idea how that thing worked.
She looked at the microwave. The various buttons and numbers confused her slightly.
The only thing she knew how to use was actually the stove, since Richard taught her how to make scrambled eggs with that. She brought out a frying pan and placed it on the stove after she placed the breads on the pan.
Now, she needed an ignition to start the fire, like Richard showed her.
She forgot where the matches are placed, and so she had no ideal means of creating a small heat source for the stove fire to start.
She turned the knob and heard the distinct clicking and hissing. She brought out one hand close to the outlet, and her hands began to glow slightly green.
"All right, old buddy. You're all tuned up and ready to dash like the metallic cheetahs." Robin declared, as he placed the tools away.
The motorcycle shined slightly from the minimum amount of light that was in the basement. The teen had decided to spend a little time polishing and tuning it. It's important to him. It's something that he created by himself, while perhaps intending it to be a version of himself.
"What did I say about over psychoanalyzing yourself?" He mumbled.
"Talking to yourself, again, Richard? You know, it might be a sign of an unhealthy mind." A voice behind him said teasingly.
Robin wasn't surprised, but he did slightly chastise himself for being too engrossed on tuning his ride to hear the approaching person.
He turned around to see a pretty girl with black hair and Asian features.
"Morning, Clancy." He greeted with a grin. "Nice clothes." He commented nonchalantly but sarcastically.
"Hey! I was painting! And these overalls aren't that bad, they're actually quite fashionable."
"If you can ignore the various paint stains that are seeping into your blouse."
She frowned a little and pouted. "I hope that wasn't a comment made out of serious observation."
Robin gave a weak smile, just returning some of the needed expressions in the conversation.
The girl's name is Bridget Clancy, who is actually the landlady of the apartment building that served as the residence of Robin and several other people. She is an Irish immigrant of Chinese decent who came from Hong Kong as a college student, and in sorts inherited the complex from her uncle, who went to travel the world.
When he had moved in, he was definitely surprised to find out that the landlord was actually now a landlady, and a pretty one no less.
She has slightly curly and long black hair, now tied into a ponytail for the convenience of painting. Her skin is milky white and her eyes are more thin, both physical signs of her two heritages. Her pupils are more dark grey then the custom dark brown colors of Asians, and her eyelashes are long by natural growth. All in all, most guys would easily think of her as attractive, including Robin.
Besides that, she is a girl who is tough and witty, proved by the fact that she is managing the rather large apartment complex by herself and going through her college life at the same time. Robin admired that in her.
Clancy is probably only a couple years older than him, he couldn't really say for sure, since he almost forgot his real age. In his activities, he often forged identities, since being Robin meant that Richard would need to do a lot of modifying, but it was part of the thrill he loved so much.
He and Bridget, who prefers to be called Clancy, were soon good acquaintances after he moved into his apartment. She was very amiable and nice, in her blunt and sometimes blatant type of way; it's just part of her charm.
"Of course not, why would I want to look at you?"
Clancy folded her arms. "You always have your eyes peeping everywhere like a schizophrenic, buddy. Besides, you're not that much of a dresser yourself."
"Ooooo. Burn." Robin said and returned her smirk.
"So." He began anew. "What are you doing up so early, as in apparently frolicking in paint and being down here in the basement?"
"Don't over exercise your brain for this one. I just remembered that I left my purse in my car." She replied as she walked over to her white sports vehicle, and retrieved the said purse.
"How's life treating you these days?" She asked upon walking next to the boy.
You know, I haven't asked myself that question lately………it's been surreal.
"Interesting……" He decided to say.
"Oh? Tell me, how so?" She asked as the two got into the elevator to get to the first floor.
There was a small moment of silence as Robin pondered his thoughts.
"I've got a roommate now."
Clancy raised her eyebrows in surprise, her dark grey eyes dancing with confusion.
"Roommate? You've never had a roommate for………the entire time you're here! Why the sudden change?"
Robin shrugged. "I don't rightfully know, actually. But it's been really interesting."
Yep. A girl from a planet called Tamaran crash landed in the park, bore through Dirch, and now lives with me. Wonder how she'll react if I actually told her that.
"Wow. Guess we haven't talked in a while, huh?" She questioned as she tugged at her overalls.
"Hey, you've been busy, I've been busy. Things just go that way."
Clancy smiled at the nonchalant way Robin spoke, though that smile appeared bitter sweet.
"So…what kind of person is he?"
Robin paused. "Well, she's the kind of person that's nice to everyone, and-"
"Wait! She?" Clancy's eyes now showed utter surprise.
Robin cocked his head to the side. "Yeah…last time I checked, boys and girls are allowed to bunk together in this complex. You know, coed?"
As the elevator reached its destination and the small bell sound ringed, Robin walked out, and turned around to Clancy.
Clancy looked like she just went into shock for a few moments, before she nodded her head and walked alongside him once more.
Robin walked towards the front of the building, stretching and breathing in the cool morning air, though he still preferred the air of the night.
"Umm……when was this, I mean, since someone moved in with you?"
Still stretching, Robin cranked his neck slightly. "Hmmm……just over a week, maybe?"
He cracked his knuckles, a habit he did every once in a while.
"Well, I think I want breakfast. Speaking of which, Kori is probably hungry too." He mumbled to himself, deciding if he should excuse himself from Clancy and head back up to the apartment.
But then again, Kori likes to meet new people.
"Hey, Clancy, you wanna meet her? She's a great person, and I definitely think you'll like her. Besides, I can probably cook you some breakfast while you meet Kori."
"Well……I-I guess I can meet her. Kori, was it?"
Robin nodded and began to walk up the stairs.
Clancy stared at Richard's back as they walked up the long stairs, one of the inconveniences of the complex: the elevator only went to the basement from the first floor.
The boy lucidly and swiftly treaded up the steps of the staircases, as if he was gliding in sorts. The dark haired girl always wondered how he is able to be so agile.
But the news regarding the boy was more shocking to her. She knew the young Grayson since the first day he moved in, and they remained somewhat of good friends since, at least, that's what she wanted to think.
The boy always had some kind of barrier around him, though he acted friendly to most people. There was just something cold and mysterious about him at many occasions, and Clancy could never understand or get through.
Now suddenly, a person somehow gets close enough to him and becomes his roommate, a girl no less. She didn't know what to think, but it was just slightly distressing.
Because……..she understands that she has some interesting emotions for the young man.
Clancy doesn't understand it herself all too well. They are somewhat in a zone of friends, but not close enough that she should be thinking about him in that way. She always thought relationships should be built on a strong foundation of friendship, and so she had wanted to disregard her supposedly little crush on the boy as dismissible. But she was wrong.
As they reached for the door, Clancy found herself already dreading the meeting with Richard's new roommate.
Before Richard could open the door, they suddenly heard a loud yelp.
"Kori!?" Richard dashed into the apartment and quickly rounded towards the kitchen.
Clancy stood out there, a bit bewildered before she ran in after him. Upon reaching the kitchen, she saw who she knew was Kori.
Her eyes widened as the girl was very different from what she had imagined. Exotic and peculiar green eyes, as in the entire eyes, and not just the pupils; golden tanned skin, fiery red, long hair, odd, dotted eyebrows that made her even more interesting. She's basically very out of this world.
"Kori!? What happened!? Are you hurt? Huh? Gah! What happened here!?" He pointed to a pile of ashes, which are likely burnt breads.
Clancy remained out of the kitchen, a little intending to observe.
The girl sheepishly offered an apologetic frown. "I am terribly apologetic, Richard. I have attempted to warm the wheat foods to create the 'toast', but I have managed to alight it with fire."
She gazed at her pink pajamas with a sad and self-conscious expression. "I apologize profusely. I-I did not think-"
Richard laughed. Clancy blinked. She rarely heard him laugh like that, or ever.
"It's really all right, Kori. I was just worried you might've hurt yourself or something." He glanced at the ashes. "I have to say, though, you really burned the molecules out of that."
Before the girl could probably apologize again, Richard stuck his index finger into the pile of ashes and smeared some of it on the girl's forehead.
"R-Richard!?" She looked a little surprised and as if she wanted to giggle.
"Ha! This is punishment, until you just stop being so apologetic. I've probably burned a month's worth of food when I was learning! Ah!" He cried as the girl suddenly dabbed some ashes onto his face.
"Then I feel no remorse! Heeheehee." She giggled and stepped back a little from Richard's reach.
The Tamaranian suddenly saw Clancy at the door.
"Oh! Delightful greetings of the morning time, dear visitor!"
Richard turned around as he heard Kori mention the other girl's presence. "Oh yeah, sorry about that, Clancy. This is Kori, as you probably know already. Kori, this Clancy."
Kori's green eyes lightened up and she greeted the other girl excitedly.
"Greetings, Clancy! I am Kori. I have recently arrived here. It is a pleasure to meet you!" The girl smiled widely as she spoke to the girl.
"Um, hey, nice to meet you." Clancy greeted, smiling.
Kori giggled, seemingly excited from meeting the dark haired girl.
"You two wanna chat while I fix us up with something besides ashes?"
Kori looked at him with a slightly indignant expression. Richard chuckled, with mirth Clancy never saw in him.
Clancy shook her head. "Thanks a lot for the offer, Richard. But I've got some classes and tests I need to prepare for, I just came here to meet your new roommate, which is really a pleasure as well."
It wasn't a lie, she did have early classes and she did want to meet Kori.
"Oh, but will you not stay? Richard cooks delicious sustenance." Kori asked, genuinely wishing to talk to the girl more.
"I'm fine, really. I'll just grab something on my way to school."
By this time, Clancy had already mentioned a few things that Kori was curious about.
"I'll see you later, Richard. And Kori, it's very nice to meet you. Maybe I'll drop by to talk later." Still sort of astonished by the entire situation, she decided that maybe a handshake would be most appropriate.
Instead, she was enveloped in a spontaneous hug.
"Oh! That would be most amicable, friend of Richard and new friend of mine!"
Clancy now seriously wanted to ask a few questions regarding the interesting girl. Like, what was her relationship with Richard? Where did she come from, etc. But the overwhelming feeling of change made her a little reluctant. So she said a few words of polite departure to the two and left.
After Clancy had left, Robin had set about to make some more edible food, but Kori was still a bit saddened and guilty for ruining her chance to make breakfast, so asked for Robin to teach her again, which he readily agreed.
He had found out during the lessons he taught the alien girl, that she didn't know the English words for the cooking utensils, even though she should have absorbed the language already. From that, he could deduct that when the girl absorbed the language from his lips, she could only translate the knowledge of the language into the words she already knows in Tamaranian. This would explain the lack of knowledge in idioms and such. Tamaran and wherever she has been didn't have stirrers or can openers, so those were one of the things she didn't recognize and was unable to name.
Robin also never really showed her much of anything else in the kitchen besides using the stove, so her failure wasn't really her fault, but some fault in his own.
So, he introduced the girl to the microwave and the toaster immediately, and made sure that she was properly acquainted with most of the electronics in his kitchen.
"Mmmmmm…" Kori declared as she chewed on some scrambled eggs and her now properly made peanut butter and jelly sandwich, all squished together.
Robin raised an eyebrow. The girl's expression was rather content and heart lifting. He looked at the scrambled eggs and his sandwich.
"Tell me, Richard." She spoke suddenly. "How long have you been friends with Clancy? She appears to be very amiable."
Robin smirked as he eyed the scrambled eggs. "Most people appear amiable to you, Kori. You just see the good in everyone too much."
"That is because the good in the people are the most relevant to take notice upon. It is more important." She said with a small smile.
Robin at that particular time didn't realize the impact those words would have on him one day.
"Well, I guess you're right. And Clancy is a very nice girl. You know, she's the landlady of this building we live in." He inched closer to the scrambled eggs.
"Truly? Clancy is the overlord of this residential edifice?"
"Haha, yep, kind of like an overlord, though I'm probably thinking of a different image then you are."
Robin had noticed the look of curiosity play on the girl's face when she had a brief greeting with Clancy. There was something on her mind.
After a few moments, Kori voiced her questions.
"Where has friend Clancy been required to venture? She has mentioned terms….classes and school? Perhaps the term used for academic universities?"
Robin scratched his nose.
Hey, things work out kind of unexpectedly.
"Yeah, exactly. Hey, now that you mention it, what're the schools like on your planet?"
The boy watched as the girl halted for a brief instant, her green eyes fogged over with incertitude, and he immediately regretted asking her that question.
"Ah, no, I'm sorry. I shouldn't be asking questions like that. It-"
"It is…" She interrupted, "all right. Um…. it is……okay?" She allowed a small, uncertain smile to appear on her face, before she glanced absently to the side. "You merely wish to know more of my planet, it is no complication. I…do not mind."
Robin wanted to say something, but as it were, he had no idea. After a short moment, she began talking.
"On Tamaran, there are no institutions purely for education purposes. We do not possess much scriptures or literature as perhaps you understand as, and most of our cultures, skills, and teachings are erudite from the parents. Although there are some of the rarities of Tamaranians that act as gurus of Tamaran, the majority of people learn through experience."
"Like trial and error?"
Kori glanced at him curiously.
Robin scratched his eyebrow. "It means like going through experimentations, and learning through errors to eventually finding the correct answer."
"Then that is the procedure we exact to attain knowledge."
She stopped talking about her planet there, but the explanation seemed unfinished. But Robin didn't want to remind her of her forsaken planet anymore than she already has. So he decided it was a good time to talk to her about his plan.
"Kori, I've been thinking about your illiteracy problem."
The Tamaranian foreigner gazed into his eyes curiously, again.
"Well, I'm not really doing a good job teaching you how to read, write, and all the other things that I suck at in languages. So I was actually thinking about getting some more outside help."
"Oh, Richard. I believe you have done a wondrous first step for my learning process. I very much enjoy the alphabet song." They shared a grin.
"Well, even if you think otherwise, getting some more professional aid is going to be better. So, I was thinking about doing kinda like what Clancy is doing, which is getting you some classes in some special education programs."
He paused for a second.
"I've done some research, and there's a university near Jump City, called Andrella University, that's going to be open for these special classes in about a week. They have professional teachers who are trained to help people from around the world to be literate."
"Oh? There are more aliens such as I?" Kori asked, interested.
Robin allowed a small smile and chuckled slightly. "Hehe. I'm afraid not, I meant people from different countries and regions of this planet. I think you'll be the pioneer silly girl from space to enroll in a university on Earth." He chuckled as she reacted by frowning in a cute way.
"How…do these academies appear? You have said these programs are specially arranged, then how are the usual students educated?" She asked, seemingly cautious.
Robin didn't know what to make of it; school is just school, right? Kori said there weren't exactly schools on Tamaran, but there just seemed to be something she was reluctant to speak of.
"How? Well, there's the usual variety of different courses, you like math, geography, social studies, and a bunch of other boring stuff." He explained.
She appeared slightly confused by the terms he was using.
"I know it sounds a little sudden, but I think this might a more effective way to help you learn. So……you think you might want to try?"
Kori's expression was unreadable, to a degree, Robin decided. But she eventually nodded, and her eyes lit up with a particular energy.
"I believe I do wish to attempt. These classes are the basis of the education of earthlings, yes? Then it would be the most proper and appropriate location to acquire the ability to read. I could then become helpful to you!"
It seemed whatever the reason, the girl wanted to learn so she could become more useful, but not just for herself. Robin smiled.
"All right, then, it's decided! Trust me, I think you might like the whole thing, since you get to meet a lot of people."
Kori smiled, slightly excited. "Oh, I am almost impatient to experience the schooling on Earth! How was the experience for you, Richard?"
Robin's blue eyes widened slightly, and that was when Kori saw a never before seen emotion swirl within. She didn't know what to think of it, but it seemed so…peculiar.
After a moment of silence, Robin smirked. "I've never really went to school, actually. I've always been busy since I was a kid. Never had time."
He stopped there. Like with Kori, the story was very unfinished. Robin felt as if he needed to keep talking, that the scenario needed to be finished.
Kori tilted her head slightly, looking into the grey in his blue eyes, misted with uncertainty.
She tapped him on the hand, getting his attention, and showed him a very undemanding smile. To Robin, looking at that smile was like seeing a single rose amongst a field of arid grass, and he could easily return a relaxed grin.
After a few brief moments, a couple of good, strong rays of the sun made way from the windows. Kori admired the view from where she sat, watching the morning sun slowly beginning to make its way to the very top of the sky, and feeling the sense that a solid step had finally been taken with her life on Earth.
"Hey." Robin . "It's a pretty nice day out there again. Do you want to check out the university beforehand? It's actually near a very nice place, with some features kinda like the park."
Kori nodded her head. "That would be pleasant! I do wish to observe this university in advance, as I am indeed curious. When shall we depart?"
Robin grinned. "After you change out of those pink pajamas and maybe comb your hair. You look like a silly mess."
Kori frowned a little, though it was apparent that she wasn't really upset. Then she smirked.
"Ru'gloy ert sat'glorkan var urktak, deil'r glorvan Richard."
"Awwwww…not again." He complained as she giggled. "Just what did you say this time?"
"Heehee. I merely said I am to brush my teeth, silly Richard." She bounced into the bathroom before he could say anything else, after she showed him another cheeky grin.
Robin frowned to himself in an amused way. He didn't really like it when he wasn't in control, but things were a lot different with Kori, and he didn't know whether it will prove to be good or not.
He glanced at the scrambled eggs, again. Gingerly, he placed some of it between his sandwich of jelly and peanut butter, and took a small munch.
Closing Notes: This chapter is to set one of the characters into place, which is Bridget Clancy. As some of you might know, she's not an original character, and is actually a character from the comics of Nightwing. But since this is an AU fic, I thought I would bring her in. Complaints of this chapter? Please tell me. Oh, and the thanks would be collectively and properly displayed next chapter.