Emily Gale came online, her CPU booted up with a faint whirl. She sat up in the large bed she shared with her husband and regarded the twin sunrise with a sleepy smile.
"Henry…" she prodded a gently snoring Hank with one finger.
His eyes blinked open, "Morning, darlin."
"Good morning, yourself," she pecked him lightly on the cheek. She slid out of the bed wondering at the difference between their suite at the palace and the bedroom at the old farmhouse.
With a groan Henry pulled himself out of the bed, "I'm getting older."
Emily smiled, "No your not. We our fifteen years old; it's just the arthritis subroutine. If you don't like it switch it off."
Hank stared at her. Not once in all their years online had she ever been in this kind of discomfort. "You can turn it off?"
"I figured it out the second year on the Other Side," Emily laughed at his faintly offended expression. "I thought you knew."
"No, I didn't. Hey, if you could turn off that subroutine, why couldn't you turn off your cycles?" he demanded.
Emily snorted, "If only it was that easy… it's wired into all my female protocols."
"Huh," was Henry's unimpressed snort.
It didn't take them long to get dressed (Emily in a sage green dress and Hank in pinstriped overalls of all things), and to attend to daily maintenance on their servers.
They walked hand in hand down the corridor before spitting up for their separate tasks.
"Morning, Momster," DG chirped as she plopped into a chair.
Emily smiled, "Good morning, DG." She smiled warmly at Azkadelia who sat down next to her sister rubbing sleepy eyes. "Good morning, Az."
"Lady Emily, good morning." Azkadelia nodded politely at her sister's nurture unit.
Emily sighed. The elder princess had an unfortunate tendency to be overly formal and after a while Emily had just trying to get her to call her mom or momster like her sister.
The nurture unit fixed both princesses a full plate and pushed the plates in front of them.
DG for all her skinniness ate like a starved horse; her metabolism was off the charts. It was Az that worried her. Azkadelia's appetite came and went in bursts.
DG hid a grin as Az surveyed her plate with dismay.
"You're going to sit here and look at me till I eat everything, aren't you?" Azkadelia said ruefully.
Emily nodded cheerfully, "The queen and I talked at great length with the family physician. It seems that you need to gain at least six pounds."
"Yeah, Az. You gotta take one for the team and jump on that uneaten cheese cake," DG said seriously before breaking down into giggles.
Azkadelia rolled her eyes and with great reluctance dug into her eggs.
Wyatt Cain glowered at Glitch who was prancing about with a manic grin.
"Do you think she'll like it?" It was a motorcycle of Ambrose's own design—read twice as fast as the original and it could run up walls. It was streamlined and a dark metallic blue with a white and silver wing design on the helmet and the sides.
DG was going to love it.
Cain on the other hand looked at it with loathing. He could feel his blood pressure rising.
Ambrose laughed, "Didn't anybody ever tell you not to make faces, it could conceivably freeze like that, ya know."
The Tin Man didn't answer he just sort of growled.
"Oh, don't worry she's not going to get away from you," with a flourish Glitch pulled away a heavy tarp. "Tada!" it was another bike. It was big, black and menacing. "I thought you might want to chase her down."
Wyatt grinned disturbingly at the bike.
Hank Gale shook his head at the exchange. As if Cain would ever let DG get to far away from his obsessively protective reach. He wandered off. Boys would be boys.
He found Raw in the solarium apparently earnestly talking to a miniature pear tree.
"Raw?" The farmer asked hesitantly.
Raw looked up and smiled, "Raw not crazy. Just sending message to father."
Henry blinked, "Your people can send messages through trees?"
The viewer nodded.
"I'll leave you too it then." Send messages through trees...didn't that beat all.
Fifteen years ago the Queen came to Milltown. Father Drou knew who she was of course though she didn't identify herself as such. She came with a small girl with bright blue eyes; a princess who was said to be dead. The robotic priest had thought it strange that, when he had heard of the funeral, that she was not entombed in the family mausoleum.
There was something desperate and afraid about those lavender eyes as she commissioned a pair of nurture units. Nurture units with very specific programming. Lurline wanted them modeled on Lady Emily and Lord Henry, Queen Dorothy's very own beloved aunt and uncle; she even had primitive psyche-recordings along with a data cube with all available information on the revered couple.
Drou took his rulers commission with a heavy heart. Something was desperately wrong in the O.Z. His analytical processors ran the probabilities for the queen sending the younger princess away for the nurture units to raise. 96.5. Slag.
Tutor glanced up and regarded the four people conferring in the garden; Queen and consort and robot farmer and wife talking about the children low animated tones.
The shapeshifter shook his head. He knew why Lurline had chosen to have the robo-rents (sometimes DG had a disturbing way with words) made to those specific guises. The original Emily and Henry had done a fantastic job raising Dorothy. He remembered being vaguely troubled by the idea of making copies of them. After all he had known the originals.
And that was the crux of the matter. He had known the originals. And if Toto didn't know better and didn't smell better he would say that these two were in fact Henry and Emily Gale. It was uncanny. Drou was good…just not this good. The robotic bodies were good likeness…but, it was the solid, down to earth characters of the two that he shouldn't have been able to duplicate so precisely.
And just occasionally, they would know things that only the originals could possibly know. Like what the O.Z. was like back when Dorothy was crowned queen. It just wasn't canny.
Father Drou looked at the two fully functional and programmed robots with satisfaction. They would be subject to all the pain and pleasure of life as an organic knows it as well as the superior mental capacity and strength of a mechloid lifeform. Also, the personality programs had been hard wired into their positronic brain had settled in nicely.
Only one more thing was missing. A 'spark' to make cold metal live. With great reverence the old priest took the Sacred Cube from his safe it was a almost ordinary looking box made from some exotic metal that gleamed darkly in the light of Drou's workshop.
He raised it over his head. "When a Spark goes online, there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps. Primus, grant that these shells be given the spark of life so that they might truly live," He paused, troubled, in his prayer. "The queen, great one, carries with her a great sadness. I fear for the O.Z. and all that lives with it. The only hope I can see in the future is in the eyes of that small girl. The sparks that would guard and nurture hers must be truly exceptional."
The box shuddered. And nothing happened.
Then the ambient temperature in the room dropped a few degrees.
Drou turned around. Two translucent figures stood before them. They were physical doubles for the two 'bots that lay prone worktables.
This was the O.Z. so; ghosts were a perfectly logical place for an A.I. processor to go.
The spirit of Emily Gale smiled sadly at him, "Our Dorothy's family is in trouble isn't it?"
"I fear so my lady," replied the suddenly flustered priest.
"We were called to help," the spirit of Henry Gale said.
The two spirits rose in the air and lost physical form, becoming a glowing mist that entered the Sacred Cube and came out the other side two blazing sparks that flew into the chests of the nurture unit.
"Dear Primus," Father Drou whispered in awe.
"Hey, there pretty lady," Hank pulled a blushing Emily into his arms.
She smiled at him, "Hello, love."
"Get back here!" A fuming Cain was chasing down a giggling DG.
Emily leaned back against her husband with a sigh, "DG stole his hat again, didn't she?"
Henry laughed, "Where did we go wrong to raise a hat stealing bandit?"
"Who says we went wrong. If ever a man needed to get his hat stolen…" Emily kissed him soundly. "I think we raised our girl just right."
In another universe Dr. Noonian Soong created the positronic brain for his son Data who would later go on to be a Starfleet Science Officer.
Primus, the Matrix and the concept of the Spark belong to the Transformers. And yes, the Sacred Cube is based a little on the Allspark.
Slag is a common curse word from Transformers.
When a Spark goes online, there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps. "
—Rhinox from Beast Wars being all mystical.
Dear Readers, could you please review my 'Crossing the Rainbow' fic? I promise my second chapter isn't at all as fluffy as the first. In chapter two the first slipper, Dorothy Gale meets the First Doctor. My upcoming crossing fic involves a the crew of a certain Firefly class transport ship crashing into the O.Z. Interested?