There was only so much that a person could do with a twelve year-old genius, cybertronic technology snuck from his mother's lab and a girl's perception of perfection. But it had all worked. Wonderfully.
Aaron Dipity was a complete success. Regardless of the few short hours the robot had been in the school, Middleton High was all very aware of the hottie on the horse.
It was lunch time and Felix sat by the door of the cafeteria. Aaron was leaning against a far-off wall, talking to Kim and politely saying hi to the flocks of girls surrounding them.
Everywhere he turned, it was all he heard. "Aaron!" "Did you hear about the new guy!" "He's so perfect!" It was funnier that he thought it would be.
Kim was the worst. Only poor Kim was too spellbound to even make complete sentences around him. But Aaron was hooked on her, all right. After all, that was how Mr. Perfect was programmed.
"I'm sure Kim is going to choose Ron over Mr. Hottie over there," Monique said sarcastically, suddenly appearing behind him.
"Hey Monique," he said, pushing a lever on his wheel chair and turning around to face her.
"He is so fine!" She looked over at Aaron, grinning.
"He's not real," Felix muttered out of the corner of his mouth "Our planning is working, it just has to."
Monique lowered her voice. "Well, it better, boy, or else an entire week of late nights and lying to your mom is wasted."
"Oh, come on!" Felix tried to convince her. Hadn't she been just as much into this? "Kim is going to get fed up with perfection and realize that all those wrong things about Ron is what makes her love him so much."
"That was deep."
They headed into the lunch room. "I would date him if he wasn't made out of... what ever you made him out of ."
"If you knew exactly what he was made out of, trust me, Monique, you wouldn't want to date him."
"What ever it is it definitely worked out."
"Don't you think the horse was a little much?" he asked, raising his eyebrows. Yes, they had managed to create a noble robotic steed for Aaron. Wade whipped it up in a snap. Animals were apparently a lot easier to make then people. They were just glad they hadn't had to bribe the FFA for a horse.
"It was great! My idea, all mine, thank-you very much," she said, showing off with a dramatic wave of her arms and a blown kiss to no one in particular.
"He rode it through the hallway and people turned on music. Couldn't he have just left it outside and let the girls pet it?" he asked.
"That's where the other half of the school is," Monique pointed out. Through the window they could see Mr. Barkin trying to swarm away all the people out looking at the pretty horse.
Monique moved into the line and picked up a tray. Felix followed. "What's on the menu today Marge?" he asked the lunch lady.
She didn't respond, throwing something on his plate. He sniffed it.
"I think it's a casserole of some kind?" Monique said, poking her own food.
Felix pulled a disgusted face and grabbed some milk. "The kitchen robot makes casserole and that, my friend, is not it." He rested his tray on his lap and rolled over to a table where Ron sat, picking at his food.
"Hey Ron!" he said, putting his tray on the table and smirking at Ron's pitiful face. He hated to do this to his friend, he really did. It would all work out in the long run though. When Ron was once again with Kim, he would thank him. But it was funny, almost. Seeing Ron going through the same thing he had just gotten over a few weeks ago. Being replaced by another robot. But was Eric perfect? He wasn't even close.
"Ron..." he waved his hand in front of his face. "Earth to Ron."
"Huh?" Ron's face shot up. "Oh, hey Felix. Hey Monique."
Felix spun around. "Hey, you're not sitting with Kim?"
Monique's face fell. "Can't I sit here?"
"No, no, I just, I just thought," he stuttered.
Monique pulled up a chair and sat down. "Kim's probably off with Aaron. I'll sit with you today."
"Ok," Felix said, still feeling a bit confused., not knowing quite why.
"I promise I don't have cooties."
Ron didn't seem to care. He sat, still picking at his 'casserole'.
"Ron, are you ok?" Monique asked.
"Why does every one assume I'm jealous of Aaron!" He threw down his fork, bouncing the rickety lunch room table.
"I never said you were..." she answered back, holding back a laugh.
"So I'm guessing you don't like him?" Felix asked.
"His fat horse took my parking spot." Ron replied through gritted teeth. "I had to find a new one, and I was late for school because of him!"
Monique's eyes went wide. "I hope it wasn't the superintendent's parking spot. He came into our school today and was not happy with the principal."
Ron whistled and looked down at his food.
"Kim seems to like him," Felix added, changing the subject.
"He's not all over Kim! Kim hasn't fallen for him just yet!"
"We never said he did."
"How could she dump me, anyway?" Ron stopped, suddenly thinking. "She's known about him for weeks! That's why she broke up with me!"
"Ron." Monique tried to pull him out of his thoughts.
"She's probably been holding Aaron Dipity on the side since pre-k!"
"Ron!" Monique reached over and grabbed him by the shoulders. "She just met the guy." With a sigh, she let go of him.
Ron sat in silence. "I'm sorry, you're right. I'm jumping to conclusions."
"Good," Felix said. "Now just calm down. Aaron hasn't won yet."
"You're right, you're absolutely right." Ron sat up straight and held his head high. "I was there on all those missions, usually behind her. But who was there to bring her that Amazon orchid flower thing, and who was there to give her brain surgery–no, that was a dream. Well, who saved her from the spinning tops of doom? And all those other things!"
"That's right!" Felix added, pounding a fist into the air triumphantly. Anything to make Ron feel better.
"I'm going to go and get Kim back!" Ron stood up. "Kim?" He sunk back into his chair, his face bright red.
"Hey guys," Kim said, pulling up a chair. "Hey Ron, what were you saying about me?"
"Uh... That I'm going to give Kim a snack," he made up, his face slowly regaining normal color.
Kim stared at him, unbelieving. "Right... Hey, is it ok if Aaron sits down?"
Aaron followed Kim to the table, a tray in his hand. "Hey guys."
"Can he eat?" Monique mouthed to Felix. "Something besides a five pound hamburger?"
Felix gave a horrified shrug.
Ron stared at Aaron, his eye twitching. Monique welcomed him. "Yeah, sit down Aaron."
"Thank-you very much, Monique," he said, sitting down. "I only hope I'm not intruding."
"Not at all!" Felix said.
"Hey, Felix!" said Kim, noticing him for the first time. Felix gave sort of a wave.
"You know, you go to Middleton, and I hardly ever see you...except for chemistry." she suddenly said.
"I'm always over on the other side of the school, that's where all my classes are," he answered.
"Oh," Ron said darkly. "We don't go there."
Kim gave a shrug and turned back to Aaron. "Anyways, Aaron's new in school, and I'm kind of showing him around." She blushed.
Felix noticed Ron's look of disgust. Poor Ron.
"It's an honor, to have some one as lovely as you as my guide." the robot said. "This American school life is so much different from what I am used to."
"What was your old school like?" Kim asked.
"Actually, this is my very first-"
"So!" Felix interrupted. "This is some good lunch room grub we've got here!" He dug into his food and shoved a spoonful into his mouth. He immediately spit it back onto his plate. They all stared at him. "That tastes worse that the pottery geek's clay!"
"The pottery geeks?" Aaron questioned. Kim pointed to a table where a group of muddy looking kids sat, sculpting small animals from the mashed potatoes.
"They are geeks for potting?"
Ron rolled his eyes, obviously annoyed. "Look, Daren,"
"Aaron," Kim corrected.
Ron continued. "Aaron, whatever. This entire school is made up of groups. Everywhere. Cliques." He put fingered quotation marks around the work 'Cliques'. "I don't know how it was over in Clackisburg or where ever you're from, but they're everywhere around here."
Aaron listened obediently.
"Over there," he pointed to a far off table where Brikk crushed a soda can to his head while the foot ball team cheered, "You have your basic jocks. All muscle and no brain. And the cheerleaders. They all sit there except for the cool ones; see how Kim sits with us? Next you've got your mime club." He gave a shudder.
"You don't want to mess with the mimes," Felix said. The mime club sat eating imaginary sandwiches and corn on the cob.
"The cowboys." A lasso flew through the air and onto a garbage can, spilling garbage across the room. "The swim team."
"They shave their legs!" Monique whispered loudly.
"The mathletes, the drama nerds, the band geeks, the wannabes, they think they're black, the foreign exchange students..." Ron went on, pointing out different tables. An Argentinian boy from the foreign exchange table waved at Aaron and beckoned him to join them.
"And the lowest of all," Ron pointed to a final, rickety table in the corner. "The chess team."
"Checkmate!" Laughter and cheers came from the chess table.
"That's the new captain, Earnest Flemming. The old one, Kevin Gooberman, was kicked out last week," Ron explained.
"They caught him tossing around a football," Monique said. "They made him give up his sweater vest."
"And you pretty much have it. That's Middleton High for you, except for Earth Day society and the CGI club. But they aren't talked about," Ron finished up.
"Are you telling me that all these people have to sit in certain places?" Aaron asked, shock written over his face. "With no freedom? I was programmed to be a good American citizen and this so unethical!" He slammed his fist down.
"You were-" Ron tried to get out.
"This is wrong!" Aaron yelled. "People should be able to come to school and sit in freedom!" He got up from his chair and jumped dramatically onto the table. "Good people of Middleton High School, lend me your ears! Be free from your petty social class system! Rip off those chains that bind you. Learn from your fellow neighbor! Maybe it's that boy that sits next to you in math class! Or that girl hidden behind her laptop! Stand tall and come together! Be one with one another. True popularity is not on how many friends you have, but the kind of friends you have! It is about being with people!"
Monique sat below, and buried her face in her hands. "What have I done?"
Aaron continued his speech. The school had his attention now. "You! In the letterman jacket!" Brikk stared at him in awe. "Go sit down next to that cowboy! Hey, mime girl! Have you met the girl from France? Hey, cheerleader girl! Go sit with the chess club! And you so-called choir nerds, join and make music with the marching band! Anime people...get lives and socialize with the human race!"
A freshman stopped drawing a picture of Inuyasha and ran away crying.
"Cliques and small groups will not hold us back. Come together and we can go forward together. All I'm saying is give peace a chance!" Aaron finished. Both hands were in the air, fingers in peace signs.
Silence. A cricket chirped. Somebody coughed. Then... an explosion of cheering and applause thundered through the cramped cafeteria. Even the lunch ladies abandoned their argument over the clay/casserole mix-up and threw off their hairnets in jubilee.
"How did he do that?" Felix asked in amazement. "Daniel Henderson tried that last semester and all he got was food thrown at him!"
"Maybe I shouldn't have shown him that Martin Luther King video," Monique whispered.
The cheering continued. Aaron still stood on the table bowing. Flowers littered the table where they sat.
"Wow..." Kim stared up amazement.