My Life as a Teenage Robot
The New Robot
Sheldon yawned and stretched as he checked the clock on the computer screen.
"God, it's already 10:30," he groaned, rubbing his eyes. "I guess I can call it a day."
Sheldon was staying in Dr. Wakeman's house, keeping an eye on the house for her while she was away on a trip. Not only did it give him a chance to work on his latest ideas in robotics, he got to spend as much time as possible with the girl of his dreams, Jenny.
Sheldon was snapped out of his dreamy thoughts of the robot girl just down the hall by something that popped up on the screen. He recognized it as a prompt from the infrared radio monitor. What surprised him most was that it was beeping rapidly.
"What in the heck?" He looked at the screen and began typing commands. "Oh, my God! The signal's coming from space!" he gasped, his eyes lighting up in excitement. "Maybe it's a pulsar, or maybe a satellite!"
The speakers suddenly began projecting the audio of the signal, which came out in an odd language, as if it was some bizarre mixture of robotic garble mixed with computer blips and such. "What the heck language is that?" wondered Sheldon.
A flashing object in the sky, which he could see from the window, suddenly caught his attention. He got up and saw whatever it was speeding through the atmosphere towards… "Oh, shit!" he yelled, running from the room and down the hall to Jenny's room.
Jenny was lying on her stomach on her bed, reading her latest teen magazine while listening to J-pop. She absolutely loved these moments she had all to herself. With her mom away, she had plenty of time like this. She had been worried at first, when she found out that Sheldon had been asked to keep an eye on things at home. However, much to her surprise, the normally smothering geek had actually not been annoying at all. On the contrary, he seemed to have been giving her what she called "her space," and had not once tried to hit on her as he had always done, although he still jumped at the chance to help her with something or to give her his two bits of advice.
Jenny's moment, however, was interrupted by the sound of someone pounding frantically on her door. She paused the music, feeling annoyed that Sheldon was interrupting her, but as she got up to answer the door, she had a feeling that something was wrong. Sheldon wouldn't be doing this unless something was seriously wrong.
"Sheldon, what's the matter?" she asked her friend as he shot through the open doorway and ran to the window. Even with him moving at breakneck speed, she had clearly seen the look of panic on his face.
"My God, it's still headed this way!" he exclaimed as he gazed up at something in the sky.
Suddenly, the lights went out, and only a flashing light from outside lighted the room. At the same time, the teens heard a noise that sounded like a jet engine.
"Sheldon, what the heck is going on?" asked Jenny, starting to get nervous.
"Oh, hell no! There is no way that thing is moving…Oh, my God, it is moving that fast!" yelled Sheldon as the engine roar became louder. "Jenny, get down, it's going to hit!" he yelled, tackling Jenny to the floor not a second too soon.
As soon as they hit the floor, something smashed through the roof of the house, sailed over them, hit the floor and smashed through the wall into the hallway, where it stopped. Sheldon and Jenny looked from where they were and took a look at what it was. If not for the fact that there was a huge, gaping hole in the house, they would swear they were seeing things.
It was some type of spacecraft, about the length of a station wagon. The body was oblong with smooth, rounded edges. A ridge that started in the middle of the back extended out into a long, pointed tail fin. The cockpit was similar to that of a space shuttle, only the nose was pointier. Two wings spanned out from the sides, and despite the crash, the whole craft was undamaged and pristine.
Suddenly, Jenny shouted, "Sheldon, there's somebody inside of that thing!"
Sure enough, through the fogged windows, someone could be seen in the cockpit, apparently unconscious.
It was only then that the two teens noticed the awkward position they had landed in when they had ducked to the floor.
"Umm, I'm sorry, Jenny," said Sheldon as he got off of her, his face red.
"Don't worry, it's no problem," said Jenny, also blushing. She noticed that an odd feeling was welling up in the pit of her stomach, but she quickly pushed the thoughts about it aside and went to help Sheldon, who was trying to get the person out of the shuttle.
"Ahh, damn, this guy weighs a freaking ton!" grunted Sheldon as Jenny helped him finally pull the unconscious individual from the craft. Once they had done that, they set him on the floor and got a good look at him.
"Holy crap, he's a robot!" gasped Sheldon.
Indeed, it was a robot, a boy who looked about 17 or 18-years old. He looked very similar in design to Jenny, humanlike except for his ghost-white "skin." He had brown hair that hung down almost to his shoulders, over which he wore a red baseball cap. He wore a yellow T-shirt and green pants with baggy legs, and a brown belt with an oddly designed metal buckle.
"Where do you suppose he came from?" asked Jenny, looking at Sheldon.
Sheldon looked at the spacecraft, and then at Jenny. "Wherever the hell he's from, the technology there is incredible," he said.
"What do you mean?"
"Jenny, it takes a space shuttle almost an hour or so to pass through Earth's atmosphere, and even then, they have to enter it while circling the planet. That thing, however, just sliced through the atmosphere like a hot knife through butter while traveling a straight course at a speed of, like, Mach 16 or something!" he said. "Not only that, the temperature of that thing from atmospheric friction should have set this place ablaze, but I touched it only seconds after it crashed, and it was barely warm! That craft is made of something that researchers on Earth would be drooling over!"
"Umm, excuse me, could I make a suggestion?"
"Yeah, sure, go ahea--." Sheldon and Jenny looked in complete shock at who had spoken to them…the robot boy!
He had come to while Sheldon was talking, and was well determined in his mind to find out where the hell he was. He raised himself to a standing position and said, "Well, if it's not too much trouble, how about telling me where in the heck I am."
Jenny and Sheldon just continued to stare in shock, as if they had not heard him.
"Umm, hello, read my lips!" said the robot, pointing to his mouth as he spoke.
"It…talks," said Sheldon, "And it's speaking English!"
"It's an alien robot that talks!" said Jenny as though she couldn't believe what she was saying.
"Well, now that that fact has been established, how about telling me where I am, since this is my third time asking," he said, mild agitation present in his voice.
"Well, the planet is Earth, your ship crashed into Dr. Wakeman's house, and this is Jenny's room," said Sheldon, approaching the boy.
"Sorry about the house," he said, flipping his cap around. "You know, you could really use more lights on this place."
"You know, I've been meaning to suggest that to Dr. Wakeman," said Sheldon, scratching the back of his head. "But, you know how it is when you get caught up in one thing or…."
"Sheldon!" said Jenny, trying to bring her friend back to reality.
"I'm sorry, Jenny, he just seems so human!" said Sheldon in excitement.
"Hey, buster, there's no need for name-calling," said the robot, giving Sheldon a warning look.
"Oh, well, I'm Sheldon," he said, extending his hand. "The girl is my friend, XJ-9, but most everyone calls her Jenny," he added, motioning to the girl robot.
"Pleasure to meet you two," said the robot as he took Sheldon's hand and shook it, a big smile on his face. "I am XR-4, but you can call me Xander."
"Well, welcome to Earth, and to my home," said Jenny, also shaking his hand. "You aren't hurt, are you, Xander?"
"No, not hurt, but I am hungry," he said. "I don't suppose I could trouble you guys for a snack, could I?"
"That's no trouble at all," said Jenny. "What would you like, oil?"
Xander looked at her strangely, but seemed to know what she meant. "Well, actually, you wouldn't happen to have a pizza delivery joint around here, would you?" he asked.
Now it was Jenny's turn to look at him strangely. "You…you eat pizza?" she asked him. "But, Xander, you're a robot."
"So, what's that got to do with it?" asked Xander as if this fact was nothing surprising to him.
"You mean to say that you're a robot that can eat?" asked Sheldon, looking amazed.
"What, robots on this planet can't do that?" asked Xander. "Sheesh, I must have landed on one of those planets in the boondocks!"
"Well, I think that there is one pizza place open still," said Jenny. "What do you normally like on your pizza?" she asked.
"Oh, just the regular stuff," said Xander. "I'm not really picky about pizza toppings."
"Well, I guess I'll place an order for one," said Jenny as she started to leave. "Sheldon, could you come with me, please?" she asked, glancing at the boy.
"Sure, no problem," he replied, following after her. "So, what is it?" he asked after he was sure they were out of earshot.
"Sheldon, do you honestly have to ask?" demanded Jenny, grabbing Sheldon's arms. "An alien robot just put a crater in the house, and Mom will be back in just a few days! How are we going to explain to her that we have another robot living here?"
Sheldon, retaining his composure, put his hand on Jenny's shoulder in a comforting manner. "Jenny, there's no need to panic. I'll try to see if I can't help get Xander on his way first. If I can't do that, then I'll help you explain everything to your mom," he said.
"Thanks a bunch, Sheldon. You're a complete lifesaver," said Jenny with a sigh of relief. "Let's go order that pizza before Xander starts to wonder what's going on."
Jenny groaned as she turned off the annoying alarm clock on her nightstand. She rolled over to avoid looking at it, hoping she could just lay here without being bothered. She suddenly noticed that Xander was sitting up on the other side of the bed.
"Good morning," she mumbled to him.
"Good morning," he replied, finally bringing her into reality.
Once she realized that Xander was really there, Jenny sat up and started screaming. Xander, not being prepared for this, started screaming as well.
"SHELDON!" screamed Jenny, pulling her covers up to her neck.
"SHELDON!" screamed Xander, springing off the bed and dashing across the hallway into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. It was then that he noticed that Sheldon was in the bathroom wearing a green bathrobe, a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth.
"Xander, what the heck is going on out there?" asked Sheldon, who had heard the commotion as he was brushing his teeth.
"Nothing, just screaming," said Xander, who was leaning back against the door as though he were trying to hold back an angry mob.
"Xander, move out of the way!" demanded Sheldon.
"No problem, man!" said Xander, who got out of the way and let Sheldon go to Jenny's room.
"Let me put it this way, Sheldon," said Jenny, trying to keep the anger out of her voice. "I don't think he's off to a good start!"
"Don't worry, I'll take care of it," said Sheldon, who turned and ran back into the bathroom when he heard the toilet flush. When he had shut the door, he noticed that Xander was on his knees by the toilet, looking down into the bowl, moving his head in imitation of the swirling water.
He looked up at Sheldon. "Interesting concept!" he said, pointing into the toilet.
"Look, Xander, can I talk to you for a second?" said Sheldon, finally taking the toothbrush out of his mouth and spitting the froth into the sink. "Since you may be here for a while, we'd better take some time to set some guidelines," he said after he was done rinsing his mouth.
"No problem, buddy! What do you need to tell me?" said Xander, leaning to the side with his hand on the counter.
"Well, first of all, you have to understand, Jenny is really nervous about this whole thing," said Sheldon.
"Absolutely, but I have a question," said Xander. "Who's this Jenny?"
"She's the girl, of course!" said Sheldon.
"Oh, yeah, I already knew that," said Xander, feeling a bit stupid. "Hello, what's this?" he asked, picking up the toothpaste tube and squeezing it, not noticing that the cap was on.
"No, Xander, don't--!" Sheldon's warning came too late. The toothpaste tube exploded, leaving Xander's face completely covered in toothpaste except for his eyes.
"I have the feeling I'm in for something insane," said Xander, the aggravation present in his voice.
Xander pulled off the headphones he'd been wearing when he heard Sheldon yell his name. "Yeah, what's up, Sheldon?" he called over to Sheldon, who was looking over his spaceship.
After the fiasco of the early morning, Jenny had called Brad and Tuck over to help Sheldon with everything. Brad was with Xander and Sheldon, and Tuck was inside the house. "Well, I could use some help. I don't know much about this thing," said Sheldon, leaning against the nose of the spaceship.
"Well, to be honest, I don't know jack squat about it, either," said Xander. "I've never ridden one of those before. I just fired up the engine, and it went."
"Oh, who am I trying to kid?" snapped Sheldon, kicking a pebble across the back yard, where Xander had carried the spaceship to so as not to attract attention. "I don't know a thing about your technology in general, much less this thing!"
"Hey, uh, Xander," said Brad, going over to Xander, who had gone back to listening to the radio. "Maybe you should try to contact your people, and maybe they can come and help you."
Xander removed the headphones and gave Brad a glum look. "Believe me, Brad, I've tried it again and again. It's an exercise in futility, I tell you!" Suddenly, Xander went from glum to extremely depressed. "Oh, let's just face it, I'm trapped here! I'll…I'll never see my home of Mechanopolis again!" he cried, pounding the ground with his fist. He looked at Brad, his face now normal, and asked, "That was just stupid, wasn't it?"
"Xander, for God's sake, if you're not going to help, go inside the house!" said Sheldon, who was fast approaching his limit.
"Okay, just call me if you need me!" said Xander, getting up and heading towards the house.
"Okay, kids, which one of these things is not like the other?" asked the TV.
Xander was seated on the couch in the living room with Tuck, watching TV. Jenny was seated on a chair reading a book.
"Do you get Sesame Street where you live, Xander?" asked Tuck.
"No, and frankly, I don't get it here, either," replied Xander.
"If you guessed the cow riding the subway, you're absolutely right!" said the person on TV.
"Wow, this and the letter 'I' in one day, how amazing!" said Xander sarcastically.
"Want to get something to drink?" asked Tuck, getting off the couch.
Xander shrugged and stood up. "Sure, why not."
"Hey, where are you going?" asked Jenny, looking up from her book.
"We're going to get something to drink. We're both parched," said Xander.
"Okay, but can I ask you something when you get back, Xander?" asked Jenny.
"Sure, no problem," said Xander. Seconds later, he and Tuck came back, each with a can of cola, and Xander had brought a glass of oil, which he gave to Jenny. "Thought you might want something, too," he said with a smile.
"Thank you, Xander," said Jenny. "Listen, I don't quite know how to ask this, but why did you leave wherever it is your from?" she asked, taking a sip of her oil.
"Well, the name of the planet I was from was Mechanopolis. Its entire population consisted of robots, like me," said Xander, taking a drink of his cola.
"What do you mean when you say 'was', Xander?" asked Jenny.
Xander took a moment before answering. "See, that's the thing, Jenny. Mechanopolis is pretty much history," he said.
Jenny looked at him in shock. "Are you saying that you can't go back home?" she asked.
"Yeah, it exploded," said Xander, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a piece of what appeared to be scorched concrete. "This little pebble here was a part of my street," he added, handing it to her.
"Xander, that's so terrible. You can't even go back home," said Jenny, setting her glass down on a coffee table.
"Well, I think pretty much most of the population evacuated the planet in time," said Xander. "But even if I wanted to join them, the odds of them even coming anywhere near Earth are pretty much nonexistent. Not only that, but since I'm not good with tools or vehicles, and since this planet's technology is so far behind mine, there is pretty much zero chance of my ship being fixed. I guess I may be stuck here for a while, possibly forever."
"Well, don't worry, Xander. You're more than welcome to stay here with me and my mother," said Jenny, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Thanks a bunch, Jenny. I really appreciate that," said Xander. "Are you sure your mother won't mind the fact that I put a crater in the house?" he asked.
"Don't worry, we'll fix it soon," said Jenny. "After all, I've fixed worse damage before."
A loud slam got their attention. A few seconds later, Sheldon came into the living room, his hair a little mussed up, and a sour look on his face. "Xander, I don't know who made that ship, but it's more confusing than a pretzel factory!" he groaned, flopping on one of the other chairs.
"I take it you weren't able to fix it," said Jenny.
"No, we didn't have any luck," said Brad as he came into the living room. "We don't seem to have the right parts for it, and we don't even know what the heck kind of parts that thing takes."
"Well, I guess that means that we'd better come up with some sort of an explanation to give Mom when she gets back," said Jenny, rubbing her chin.
"Hey, don't worry about that! I'm sure I'll get along great with your mom, Jenny!" said Xander. "I'm a people robot, you know."
"Yeah, but how are we going to explain the hole in the ceiling to her?" asked Sheldon.
"Tell her you were thinking of adding a skylight to Jenny's room," suggested Xander. When everyone looked at him weird, he shrugged and said, "Well, it was just a thought."
Jenny and Sheldon were just coming back to the house from grocery shopping and had just come into the living room when they saw Xander sitting on the couch, surrounded by TV snack trays piled high with food.
"Ahoy, my friends! Welcome aboard!" said Xander, waving to them.
"Well, I guess it's a good thing we went to the market," said Jenny, unable to prevent herself from letting out a chuckle. Xander had been doing things like this for the last four days, and had even managed to patch up the hole in the roof to the point that it looked like the hole was never there.
"Are you comfortable, Xander?" asked Sheldon, shifting one of the grocery bags he was carrying.
"For the moment. In fact, if I've arranged things right, I won't have to move from this spot all day. That means I won't be in your guys' hair today," said Xander.
"Well, I hope things work out for you," said Sheldon as he carried the groceries into the kitchen. After he had gone, Xander stood up and put a DVD into the DVD player. "All right, here we go!" he said.
"What are you watching, Xander?" asked Jenny, coming to stand by the couch.
"Some movie I found on the DVD rack. I think it's about some guys called Abbott and Costello or something," said Xander. "Listen, grab a glass and I'll pour you some motor oil. I chilled it to see how you'd like it."
Just then, the doorbell rang. "Hang on, I'd better answer the door first," said Jenny. She opened the door and found herself looking at the last person she expected to see. "Mom!" she cried, turning around to give Sheldon a panicked look. "Um, could you wait out here for just a second?" asked Jenny nervously before shutting the door. "Crap, it's my mother!" she yelled.
"Oh, this is bad!" said Sheldon. "Xander, quick, get into the kitchen!"
"Okay, whatever you say!" said Xander, leaping over the snack trays and running into the kitchen. "Just don't touch my stuff without telling me!"
As soon as he was gone, Jenny opened the door and pulled her mother into the house and gave her a hug. "Mom, I'm so glad that you're home!" she said.
"Well, I'm glad to be home, XJ-9," said Mrs. Wakeman. "I'm glad to see that you and Sheldon have a done a good job of taking care of the house and each other."
"Mrs. Wakeman, I was honored to take care of your home in your absence," said Sheldon.
"Well, I'm glad you feel that way," said Mrs. Wakeman, "because I have decided to make you my new lab assistant. You see, I reviewed those schematics for the upgrades you have been designing for XJ-9, and I must admit, your knowledge of robotics is very impressive."
"Well, thank you very much, ma'am," said Sheldon.
"In fact, you're very first task will be to make those new enhancements to XJ-9 that you spent so much time working on," she continued. "I would like you to start as soon as possible, and you shall be allowed to board here for as long as you wish to remain as my assistant."
"I shall not let you down, Mrs. Wakeman!" said Sheldon enthusiastically.
"Well, I'll just go put my luggage away now," said Mrs. Wakeman, taking her suitcase with her to her room.
"What upgrades and enhancements is she talking about?" asked Jenny.
"Something you are going to absolutely love," replied Sheldon, giving her his smile that said she was in for a wonderful surprise.
"Hey, I have a question for you two!" said Xander, poking his head out of the kitchen. "How is Mom being back going to affect my situation?" he asked.
"Help!" yelled Xander into the radio's microphone. "I've been locked in a garage, and I'm without food!"
It seemed that Jenny's plan to keep Xander from being prematurely discovered was to lock him in the garage until she felt it was time to tell her mother. Unfortunately, Xander was not very keen on this idea. He had only been placed in the garage that night, but he already hated it. He was now trying to use Mrs. Wakeman's old short-wave radio to call for help, more specifically to order a pizza.
"Listen, if anyone can hear me, please call Spanno's Brick-Fired Pizza and order one humongous Meaty Special! Make sure you get the Meaty Special and not anything else!" he yelled into the microphone. He turned his head when he suddenly heard the door open and Jenny and Sheldon came in with a tray of food. "On second thought, never mind. My jailers just arrived!" he said, shutting off the radio and giving his two friends angry looks. "It's about time, you two! I was beginning to feel faint!"
"We're sorry, but it took forever to finally keep Mom busy long enough for us to sneak out with the food," said Jenny apologetically. She knew that Xander was already pissed off about being shoved out here with no warning.
As soon as the tray was set down, Xander went after the food like a ravenous wolf.
"Boy, he must be hungry," said Sheldon as he and Jenny watched Xander chow down. "He didn't even say grace."
Xander stopped eating and shot Sheldon an annoyed look. "Okay, grace!" he snapped before going back to eating. "Oh, this food is great! My compliments to the chef!" he said, stopping his frenzy for a while.
"Well, we figured we'd better do what we can to soften the blow," said Sheldon as he and Jenny exchanged nervous looks. "See, you have to stay in the garage for a few days."
Xander looked at them as if they had just sentenced him to life in prison. "Hey, whatever it is I did, I'm sure that it's not deserving of that kind of punishment!" he protested.
"Xander, you can't come back into the house because my mother is back," explained Jenny, pulling up a chair to sit next to him.
"Well, make her stay in the damn garage," said Xander, who considered the girl's worries totally ridiculous.
"I can't tell my mother to sleep in her own garage," said Jenny matter-of-factly.
"Oh, I get it," said Xander sarcastically. "Let the freak sleep in the garage."
"Xander, I don't consider you a freak," said Jenny, picking up on the hurt in Xander's voice. "You're my friend, and I really like you being here. Besides, you'll only be in here for a few days or so."
"Yeah, my spirit should be broken by tomorrow afternoon," Xander shot back at her.
"Xander, don't you think you're being overly dramatic?" asked Sheldon, puzzling over how Xander could throw such a big fit over something like this.
Xander looked at Sheldon as if he were about to hit him. "Overly dramatic, overly dramatic?" he demanded, narrowing his eyes at the human. "Guys, there's no TV in this place!"
"We can let you use the small TV," suggested Jenny, hoping to ease Xander's bad mood.
Unfortunately, her suggestion only seemed to make him even grumpier. "If you mean the black and white one with the 1" screen, I guess I could tape it to my eye!" he snapped. "Just tell your Mom the truth about me!"
"Xander, we can't tell her just yet," said Jenny. "We don't even know how to tell her, anyway."
"Well, I just hope you come up with something soon," said Xander. "After all, the last time I got locked in a garage...on second thought, you don't want to know."
Jenny and Sheldon just exchanged freaked-out looks.
Three days later, Jenny still hadn't said a word to her mother about Xander. She knew she couldn't hide him in there forever, not only because it was only a matter of time until her mother discovered him, but because Xander's patience was beginning to wear dangerously thin. According to Sheldon, the last time he went in to see the robot, he had only glared at him and not said a word.
"You know, it's just going to be a bigger mess if Xander loses his cool because of these delays," said Sheldon, who was sitting on an armchair, watching Jenny pace back and forth, looking more nervous than he'd ever seen her before.
"I know, Sheldon, and I really hate doing this to him," said Jenny. "Still, how can I possibly explain this to her?"
Just then, Xander came stomping into the living room, a big glare on his face. In his hands was a long stick with a sign on it, which read: ROBOT ON STRIKE. He stopped and looked Jenny dead in the eye. His expression was totally devoid of his usual good humor.
"Xander, what are you doing? Get back in the garage before my Mom comes in here!" Jenny exclaimed in a panic.
"I...have had it with that garage, Jenny!" growled Xander, his eyes boring holes right through her. "I have also had it with you delaying the news to your mother! I may not have been here that long, but this is my home, too!"
"Okay, you're absolutely right, Xander," said Jenny, realizing that her friend was at the end of his patience, maybe even his sanity. "Meet me tonight in my room, and we can discuss a plan then."
"Well, I'm glad you're finally going to do something, Jenny," said Xander, his face now relaxed enough to allow a smile to form. "I'll be there." With that, he turned and left.
When she was sure Xander was out of earshot, she flopped onto the sofa and looked up at the ceiling. "Ah, how do things like this keep happening to me?" she groaned.
Mrs. Wakeman suddenly came into the living room. "Hello, Sheldon, it's nice to see you," she said.
"Yeah, I just got done redesigning some of my schematics," he said.
Suddenly, a loud angry groan came from the kitchen, causing all three of them to jerk their heads in that direction. 'Uh-oh, sounds like Xander just found out we ran out of soda,' thought Jenny, realizing that her plan might be blown up right here.
"What in blazes was that?" asked Mrs. Wakeman in bewilderment.
Jenny's mind raced furiously to come up with an excuse. "Umm, it's probably the garbage disposal," she said quickly, rushing into the kitchen.
Mrs. Wakeman just shook her head. "That girl confuses even me sometimes."
Later that night, Jenny was sitting on her bed, waiting for Xander to arrive so they could talk about how he would make his existence known. Sheldon was sitting on a chair beside the bed, waiting with her.
"I wonder where Xander is," Jenny wondered out loud. "I figured that he would be waiting here for me."
"Yeah, and I have been."
Jenny and Sheldon looked around in surprise. "Xander, is that you?" called Sheldon.
Suddenly, Xander crawled out from underneath Jenny's bed, minus his cap. "Who else would it be?" he asked, sitting on the bed.
"Xander, what were you doing under there?" asked Jenny, raising an eyebrow as she looked at him.
"I was trying to keep warm. That stupid garage is freezing," he replied, flexing his fingers.
"How long have you been under there?" asked Sheldon.
"Look, I believe I was asked to come here so we could discuss how we're going to tell Mom about me," said Xander in a no-nonsense tone.
"Yes, we've got to tell her somehow," said Jenny, tucking her knees up to her chest.
"I have an idea," said Sheldon. "I suppose we could sit her down, and then we ask her if she's ever seen 'E.T.'..."
"Why the hell do have to compare me to 'E.T.'?" asked Xander, interrupting Sheldon. "I am nothing like freaking E.T. You know, Sheldon, one day someone from Mechanopolis is going to ask me what you're like, and I'm going to say: 'Well, did you ever see The Nutty Professor'?" (A/N: The one with Jerry Lewis)
"Oh, for crying out loud!" groaned Sheldon, not at all appreciating Xander's statement.
"I'm just saying that the best way to tell Mom about me is to do it quickly!" said Xander. "I know, I'll go wait in the kitchen until she comes down for a late snack."
"No, don't even think about it!" said Jenny firmly. "You will not talk to her until we talk to her first!"
"Okay, I'll wait for you guys to make the first move," said Xander reluctantly. "Well, if that's all there is to say, I bid you good night." With that, he ducked back under the bed.
Not really wanting Xander hiding under her bed, Jenny started bouncing on the bed, hoping to make him leave. Sheldon decided to help and started bouncing as well.
"Oh yeah, go for it, Sheldon!" called Xander from under the bed.
"XANDER!" yelled Jenny, smacking the bed with her fist.
Xander yelped in pain and came out from under the bed, his hand pressed over his right forehead. "Fine, fine, I'm going now!" he said, stomping out of the room.
Mrs. Wakeman opened the door to the kitchen and flipped on the light switch. She loved going in for a late snack before bed, and she was planning on enjoying this one as well.
"Hey there, Mom," said Xander, who had been sitting at the table in the dark, waiting for her to come in. In his hands was a mug of coffee.
"Oh, my God!" gasped Mrs. Wakeman when she saw Xander. "Who and what are you and what are you doing in my house?"
"Well, my name is Xander," he replied after taking a sip of his coffee. "I come from the planet Mechanopolis. I am a member of a civilization millions of years ahead of your own. And now, I live in that laundry basket next to your washing machine."
"Wait a minute, I know what you must be," said Mrs. Wakeman in a shaky voice as she slowly approached the boy robot. "You must be something that Sheldon made while I was away."
"Take my word for it, ma'am," said Xander. "I am a space being, and since you've been here, your daughter's been keeping me locked in the garage. I haven't enjoyed that, not one bit." He stopped when Mrs. Wakeman began poking him as if to determine if he was real or not. "If it's all right with you, I would really like it if you'd QUIT POKING ME!" shouted Xander, causing her to stop and back away.
"Perhaps we should talk tomorrow, when you're a little less touchy-feely," said Xander. When Mrs. Wakeman stood still like she was petrified, Xander made a freaky face at her, causing her to run out of the kitchen and back to her room like a scared rabbit.
"Well, so much for making a good first impression."
The next morning, Xander was in the kitchen, taking out some pans and mixing bowls. He figured that since he probably came on a little too weird last night, he would make it up to Mrs. Wakeman by whipping up breakfast. He was in the midst of getting out the stuff when she walked in.
"Good morning, Mrs. Wakeman," he said cheerily when he saw her.
"Oh, my God, I wasn't dreaming after all," she moaned in despair.
"Sit down and take a load off, ma'am. A hard working scientist like you should take a well-deserved break," continued Xander, gesturing to the table.
"So, everything you told me last night was true," said Mrs. Wakeman, beginning to feel a little more at ease.
"You damn right it is."
Just then, Jenny and Sheldon came into the kitchen. "Boy, I just hope my mom's reaction isn't too...," she was saying, but her voice died away and she stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Xander and her mother in the kitchen. "I guess you two have met," she said nervously, as if her voice would detonate a nuclear warhead.
"Yes, he introduced himself last night when I encountered him in here," said Mrs. Wakeman in a perfectly normal voice.
"Listen, I know you guys told me that you would introduce me," said Xander when he noticed that Jenny and Sheldon were starting to give him angry looks, "but I couldn't stand being in that garage for another second! There was a damn spider in there this...this big," he said, holding his hands about two feet apart.
"Well, now you know, Mom," said Jenny, praying that her mother wasn't about to go nuts. "We've more or less adopted a stranded robot from outer space."
"Yeah, it seems his planet exploded or something," said Sheldon, hoping to back Jenny up. "As such, he's pretty much stuck here."
Mrs. Wakeman nodded. "Well, that being the case, I suppose it's not a problem if he stays," she said.
Jenny and Sheldon both did a double take. "You mean you don't have any problems about him living here?" asked Jenny.
"Not in the least," replied Mrs. Wakeman. "I already have one teenage robot, so another won't be any trouble. I'd be delighted to have him live with us."
Jenny suddenly raced over and gave her mother a hug. "Thanks, Mom," she said, lifting the short woman clear off the floor.
Xander suddenly joined in, turning it into a group hug. "Yeah, thanks...Mom," he said. "I love this woman, you guys."
Little did anyone know that the adventure was just beginning.Chapter 4
Late one night, Xander and Mrs. Wakeman were in the large shed in the backyard, where Xander had been keeping his spaceship. At the moment, Mrs. Wakeman was watching as Xander punched in a code on a terminal in the cockpit. Seconds later, a cargo door opened in the side of the spaceship, and an oblong case large enough to accommodate one person between five and six feet in height slid out. Someone was inside, but the darkness kept her features from being seen.
"Is this her?" asked Mrs. Wakeman, looking at the person in the case and then at Xander.
"Yes, that's her," he replied, his face serious. "I put her inside this power capsule to maintain her remaining vital signs, so she is still alive, but her state is as that of a dead human."
"So you intend to repair her, to restore her to life, you might say."
"Yes, but I can't do it without your help, Mrs. Wakeman. You have the resources, and I can pretty much handle the repairs, and I'll need somewhere secret to work."
Mrs. Wakeman thought for a few moments. "Whatever you need, Xander, I shall provide it without question," she said with a smile. "As for the location of the lab, I know the perfect place."
Xander gave a sigh of relief. "I can't thank you enough, Mrs. Wakeman," he said.
"Think nothing of it. Nobody should have to lose a loved one."
Once the sun had risen, Jenny was outside with Sheldon, training herself. Normally, she would have been upset about this, especially since it was Saturday, but lately she had been forcing herself to take her duties as a global defender more seriously. Not only that, but she wanted to talk to Sheldon about the enhancements he had mentioned the other day.
"Hey, Sheldon, can I ask you a question?" asked Jenny as she slashed more targets with her scimitar blades.
Sheldon looked up from the magazine he was reading. "Sure, what do you want to know," he replied with a smile.
"These enhancements you mentioned, I want to know exactly what they will do," she said as she fired a blaster at some more targets. "You know, if they will do anything besides make me more powerful."
"Sorry, Jenny, but these enhancements are going to be a surprise," said Sheldon with an impish smirk.
"Aww, come on, Sheldon," said Jenny, going over to him and leaning her head near him, all the while trying to look and talk as cute as possible. "Be a sweetie and tell me about those enhancements."
Sheldon's face was going bright red and he could feel his throat suddenly go bone-dry. He was on the verge of cracking and spilling the beans, when somebody came to his rescue.
"Jenny, leave the guy alone and keep your skirt on," said Xander, who had come outside looking for them. "After all, good things come to those who wait."
"Oh, I didn't see you there, Xander," said Jenny in a warm voice. "I'm just out here training."
Xander looked at the destroyed targets, and then he looked at Jenny. "No offense, Jen, but there is no logical way that you're going to improve your skills by pitting yourself against stupid crap like this," he said as he crushed a piece of a cardboard box under his foot.
"Well, I don't exactly have another robot that I can spar with," said Jenny as her pig-tails drooped.
"Well, why don't you spar with me?"
Both Jenny and Sheldon snapped their heads in Xander's direction when they heard what he said.
"Did you just ask me to spar with you, Xander?" asked Jenny as if she couldn't believe her audio receptors.
Xander took off his baseball cap and hung it on a fence post. "What's the matter, Jenny, afraid to fight a boy robot?" he asked, giving her sneaky grin.
Jenny returned the smile. "No, I'm not afraid of fighting a boy robot. I just don't want to hurt you is all," she said, going off and assuming a combat stance.
"Jenny, Xander's just a regular robot! He doesn't have any powers like you do!" protested Sheldon, getting nervous.
"Au contraire, my human friend!" said Xander, giving Jenny what could only be described as the perfect battle expression. "Just watch us and you will see! Come and get me, Jenny!"
Jenny charged forward and threw a speedy punch at Xander…only to have him zip off to the side, dodging it easily. "What in the heck?" she gasped, throwing a series of punches, but Xander continued to dodge them as if they were in slow motion. 'Good grief, it's like he's predicting my moves!' she thought, unable to believe that she was being outdone by somebody who looked like he had never fought in his life.
Suddenly, Xander flipped over her and delivered a kick to her back that sent her crashing face-first into a tree in the front yard. "Man, you sure are slow, Jenny," he said. It was clear by his tone that he was trying hard not to sound too harsh.