'Iron Fist Wedding' – Chapter 1, "The professor":
(Author's notes on bottom)
In a corner of his room, William's phone rings. William, in the opposite corner of his room asleep, suddenly wakes up upon hearing the ring. He yawns, and stands to stretch. He is weak with exhaustion, but still finds the strength to stand to his feet. He slowly makes his way across the small room to the table near his bed to answer the still ringing phone.
"Uh, hello?" William groggily says into the receiver. "William? Is that you?" the voice answered back. "Maybe...who's this?" William asks, a little more awake. "Come on William...it hasn't been that long, has it?" the voice asked him. William paused for a moment to think, and then replied, "Professor Rezno?" "Yes! It's (cough) me. How good it is to hear your voice again...(cough)" the professor managed to spit out before breaking out into a coughing fit. "Professor! Professor! Are you alright!" William spoke loudly into the phone; but not yelling and remaining calm and collected. "No, William I'm not. (cough) That's why I called you..." The professor's voice grew weak. "What is it?" William tried to force the words out of the professor. "You see Bill, (hack) there's no easy way to say this...(wheeze)" the professor tries to say. "It must be important; you never call me Bill." William tells him. William hears a couple of coughs in the earpiece, and then the professor tells him. "I'm dying."
Upon hearing this, William looks up in shock, but his face only shows this slightly. He searches his mind for words. "O.K. Michael, try to hold on until I get there..." William looks at his caller I.D., "You're at the city hospital, right?" "Yes, Bill, I am..." The professor hacks for a few seconds uncontrollably, "Please hurry!" "I'm on my way!" and with that William hangs the phone up. He quickly grabs his coat and races down the stairs.
As he heads down the rickety staircase he's stopped by his old landlord. "William? Is that you?" the landlord adjusts his glasses that rest upon the edge of his wrinkled nose. "Yes Juan, it's me." He replies hurriedly. "Why the rush amigo?" the landlord asks as he moves closer to William's voice. William backs away, as he's creeped out by the old man. "What do you want? I'm in a hurry." William asks him. "I was wondering if you've got an answer to my proposal..." he asks William. "Uh...not yet. But I'm considering it." William says nervously, and sneaks past the landlord. "Alright. I'll buy that for now gringo...but I expect a real answer soon..." Juan says in the direction where William was. He slowly turns around with his cane and walks back into the office. "Uh...foolish old man. Why doesn't he go back to where he came from?" William states to himself as he exits out the front door. It slams behind him, and creaks open slowly again. "I really need to move!" William mutters sarcastically and uses his remote control on his keychain to open his car door. He hops in and closes the gull-wing doors. He presses a few keys on the dash keyboard, and the car lifts into the air and takes off like a bullet.
In a matter of minutes, William is clear across the city and at the hospital. He hops out, and activates the car's shields. They flicker on for a second, and then fade out like they're supposed to in order to conceal the theft-protection system. He runs up to the platform to the moving escalator, and flashes his I.D. in front of a scanner at the entrance. It flashes a green light, and a small hologram of a man appears. "Thank you William Prime." The man in the hologram states, smiles, and then disappears. The glass doors spread with a whooshing sound, and William enters the escalator chamber. As he rises up towards the hospital complex; he looks out towards the city skyline. "Wow, Brasilli sure has changed..." William's voice trails off as he stares in awe at the massive buildings made of glass and metal. They tower so high that William has a hard time viewing the tops of them due to the upper atmosphere clouds blocking his view. He watches cars zoom around high above the forgotten land below in the distance, and smiles. He turns his attention back to the escalator as he reaches the 90th floor. The glass doors here open up, and he walks into the lobby. He looks over to his left and sees a nurse seated behind a desk. To his right and in front of him are long, white, hollow corridors with many doors on both sides of each.
He proceeds to make his way over to the nurse's desk. "Greetings! How may I help you?" the pretty young nurse behind the desk asks him. She's a redhead with sparkling blue eyes and red lips. William's eyes drift down towards her low-cut dress top; but then he shakes his head and looks up at her face. "Yes...I was wondering if you could tell me what room Michael Rezno is in?" he asks her. "Not a problem sir...one moment." She says as she opens a small panel on her arm, revealing a keypad and a small screen. William's head moves back slightly in shock, but then he leans forward towards the desk a little. "So, you're an android. I'm not familiar with your model..." William says as he once again tries to peer down her cleavage. "I'm a TPH-04 model..." she says without turning away from her arm monitor. She punches in some more keys as William continues to speak to her. "Really? I've heard of that line before; I mean 'The Perfect Human' line from Warsaw Industries, but I've never actually seen your model before." "Yeah, I'm the newest. The line is designated to have a run of 13 models..." she says and turns to him to smile. He leans back uneasily and returns a shaky grin. "Alright sir. The patient Michael Rezno is here at this hospital. May I ask whom you are?" she asks him. "My name's William Prime. He's been expecting me." William replies. She turns back towards her arm screen and hits a few keys. "Indeed he has. He's in room 90-210. Down corridor A sir." She says and closes her arm screen. "Thanks!" William says and winks. The nurse merely tilts her head slightly at this action, and smiles.
"Man I must be crazy; I'm hitting on androids!" William says as he begins to run down the corridor towards room 210. As he passes rooms he looks at them. 'Android repair bay', 'Android core programming restoration chamber', 'Cyborg implant replacements', 'Human limb therapy bay'; the rooms seem endless as he finally made his way to the 'Human final care bay'. He looks at the sign next to the doors that state the room numbers. "Yes, it's here!" William says as the doors open in front of him. He enters the room and sprints down another corridor. "You'd think they'd make these hospital rooms easier to get to..." his voice trails off as he finally reaches Room 90-210. He peers through the small window on the door to see the professor lying in a bed watching a small floating television screen. William knocks on the door, and the professor looks over. His face lights up, and he shuts off the T.V. with a remote control. It retracts into a small compartment in the ceiling, and the professor presses a button on his remote with great discomfort, and the door clicks unlock. William enters.
"I knew you'd come..." The professor says with a smile and then coughs into a handkerchief. "Professor Rezno; it's been too long." William says and walks over quickly to the bedside. "Please Bill, call me Mike. We've known each other far too long to be formal." The professor states with a light laugh, but then hacks into the handkerchief again. "It's O.K. Mike; don't try to laugh..." William says as he grasps Mike's hand. Mike's grin grows a little more upon his old wrinkly face and his dark brown eyes seem dull and flat. The few strands of hair left upon his head are gray and wispy, and his fingernails are long from lack of trimming. "I appreciate you coming here (cough) Bill...I wanted a friend in my final hour." The professor confesses. "There's one thing I don't get Mike...you were in such good health for a 110 year old man; what happened?" William asked him. "Well, that actually relates to why I asked you to come here Bill (wheeze)" Mike moves the handkerchief to his mouth with his now shaking hand. Bill stares at it in despair, and sighs. "What did you call me for?" William asks him, still holding Mike's other hand. "Well, you see..." Mike says as he wipes his mouth slowly, "I have something of great importance to give you."
"What!" William asks stunned. "Yes, I couldn't leave it with any of my colleagues back at the ACE Corporation..." the professor's voice trailed off as he began to lose conscience. "Wake up!" William shouted in a loud yet calm voice. "Huh? What...oh yeah." The professor began as he woke up again. "As I was saying, I need to give this to you..." he gestures shakily with his hand to a small box next to the bed beside William's feet. William looks down, and grabs the box. "Can I open it?" William asks him. "Please, by all means do...that's why I brought it with me when (cough) they picked me up to come here." He tells William as William releases the professor's hand and opens the box. Inside is a small device that is no bigger than half of a keyboard and has a small screen with several keys with strange symbolic writing on them. It is shaped like a T-Bone steak, is black in color with light gray symbols on the keys, and has a small port on the top of it.
"What is it?" William asks him. "I guessed that's what you were going to (hack) ask." The professor says and William merely squints his eyes. "It's a core transfer program. Basically what it does is transfer one android's main CPU to itself...but in the past." The professor explains. William's eyes grow wide, and his mouth opens slightly. "Wow...so basically this is a time traveling device." William says. "Yes, in short; (wheeze) but it only works on androids. However, a human could alter the android's programming, thus making the android rewrite the human's past...and that is why (cough) it's so dangerous." The professor explains. William rubs his chin. "Well, I guarantee that I'll take care of it; but why to me? Why not one of the professors at ACE?" "You see Bill, that's why I'm here. They found out about my invention, and wanted to use it for their own greedy deeds. So, I gather that one of them poisoned me somehow, and now I'm here." Mike begins to cough up blood. William pages a nurse with the remote from Mike's lap. "Please Bill, don't bother them. I'll be dead long before they get here." The professor says, his black skin giving off a luminous shine in the pale lighting of the room. "There's a notebook in the bottom (hack) of the box; it should explain everything you (cough) need (hack) to know..." the professor's voice trails off as he begins to lose conscience again. "Mike! Mike!" William shouts in a monotone voice to the professor. His eyes barely open as blood dibbles down his chin and onto his hospital gown. "Tell my tale to those who ask; the evil deeds along with the good." He gasps for breath for the last time, "The rest is silence..." As the professor says this, the last breath leaves his body and his hand goes limp and falls to the bed. William hangs his head and begins to cry softly to himself as he once again grabs the professor's dead hand. "I loved you like a brother, Mike. Although you were only my father's friend and business partner; I adored you like my own father; perhaps even thought of you as my father when he died. I only wish I would have told you…I will miss you dearly." William says and he lets go and stands to his feet with the box and salutes the dead professor.
Just then the door bursts open and nurses and doctors rush in. As some attend to the professor's dead body trying to revive it; the others talk to William. "What happened?" they ask William. He could tell that they were androids by the lack of irises in their eyes (the old models were like that). "He fulfilled his destiny." William stated, and left the room.
I hope you like the story so far. Just so you know think of this as a traditional Japanese anime cartoon; like a magna. And thanks for reading it; feel free to post any and all comments!