Nicole would never get over the feeling of waking up. It was almost like being an AI again and someone had just turned her programing on and she was slowly coming online. It felt...home-y, like a piece of her old life had decided to come with her. Honestly she was grateful for the fact.
She had been longing to become a fully sentient creature for such a long time, but it was nice to have something to remind her of where she was originally from. It gave her stability, when every action, every single thought or feeling that most sentient beings take for granted because they are such an integral part of them she was now experiencing for the first time.
'It's too bad that the nanites hadn't made me younger.' she thought as she slowly pushed herself off of the bed, 'It might have been easier to deal with everything if I was physically at the age where all of this was supposed to be learned.'
As she put her foot down on the floor her entire body shivered without any conscious control.
'Maybe being sentient isn't all it's chalked up to be.'
She was still getting used to how much of her body she was actually not able to control. While she been an AI she had known how the body worked, that most of the bodies functions were controlled automatically, but experiencing the fact first hand was very different from simply knowing it.
Nicole began going through the clothes that Samuel had been kind enough to give her. As the in-between man for the Shinobi Clan and their members in the field he was equipped for almost any problem that might arise. One of the members was female, so he had given Nicole some of the spare clothes that were around.
'I really should find a way of thanking Sam for all he's done for me.' she thought, as she put the finished getting dressed.
'But the question is how? Maybe Sally or Bunnie can give me some advice when I get back home.'
Smiling Nicole began to walk towards the kitchen but stopped when she remembered...Sally was in the hospital right now. Honestly she had been gone for such a long time that she could no longer be sure what was happening back home. The smile that had been on her face slowly disappeared and a melancholy began to set in.
She continued her trek towards the kitchen, this time with much less spring in her step and more wooden movements.
Still no answer.
'Well that's odd, he's usually here in the kitchen around now.'
Nicole was rightly surprised when she entered the kitchen and found that her current compatriot/protector was nowhere to be found. Almost everyday he was in here, making breakfast or drinking some tea while reading something. That was how their schedule had been going for the last week or so, she would be the last one to wake up and he would always be in the kitchen, waiting up for her before they fully started their day.
'Well, no point in just waiting around, I'll just start making breakfast. It shouldn't be that hard.'
Nicole hadn't really had much to do around the place. Aside from her learning how to function in an actual body they hadn't worked on teaching her other things. Now though, with her in almost complete control of her new form, she was getting a bit bored. Making breakfast would be a perfect way to alleviate her boredom, and on the plus side it was something that would be decently simple.
Well she had been right, it had been decently simple to make breakfast. It wasn't the best meal ever made but it wasn't a complete disaster. The eggs were done and not to badly burnt. She had also been able to make enough for both her and Samuel in case he hadn't already had his meal.
'The first thing to do though is to find him and ask.'
That was where the problem lay unfortunately. She had already looked through most of the house and there hadn't been a sign of where he was.
Sighing, she leaned against the counter and just started letting her eyes wander around the room.
'Cupboard, Cupboard, table, food closet, basement door, hallway, closet... BASEMENT DOOR!'
Nicole smiled and purposefully walked over and down the stairs.
She had to admit that walking into Samuel's lab was a little bit...disconcerting. She hadn't been down there since the incident. The place where she had last been what she had been created to be, a place that the biggest change in her entire existence came about.
The lab was clean, concise, but with smalls bits of mess and clutter condensed in their own little sections almost like islands. Samuel was pacing between these islands, obviously searching for something.
As Nicole finished walking down the stairs, and slowly wandered toward Sam, she took her time and just looked around with interest, her fingers unconsciously trailing across the different counter tops and tables. Tables with bits and pieces of robotics, one table with a couple of empty test tubes lying on their sides, rolling around in small circles whenever Sam started walking a little too close to the table.
"Now, where did I leave the blasted thing?"
Sam continued on his quest for whatever it was. He would almost literally dive into a group of things that lay close together and start lifting them up, studying them and then carefully placing them back down in almost the exact same spot. Then he got up and almost ran to another pile of items and repeat the process.
"You know, Sam, if you wanted to find something I would say moving things to a more ordered system would be advisable."
Sam spun rapidly around, his long hair knocking one of the empty test tubes off the table where it shattered on the floor.
Nicole couldn't help the small grin that came across her face but she kindly hid it with her hand.
"Oh dear, I'm sorry Sam, I didn't mean to startle you."
Looking up from the remains of the tube, he grinned sheepishly at her.
"Not really your fault. I usually tie my hair up before coming down here. Guess I forgot."
Neither really had anything to say after that. They just stood their, one with their hands behind their back, slowly twisting their hair around while the other had their hands clasped in front, just letting them hang.
"Umm...so, what was it you were searching for down here anyway?"
Sam seemed to perk up a little at the question and he started running around the room searching again while trying to answer her at the same time.
"Well, since you've become...physical, and we've been working on teaching you different things I haven't been down here in sometime. I'm just trying to find that darn..."
At that point he started to struggle with trying to pull out something stuck in one of the piles.
"...small computer that Espio brought..."
With one last pull he was able to pull out what was stuck. However his foot was right near where it had been and the rest of the pile came crashing down on it.
Nicole let out a small sigh and walked over to him. Stooping down and grabbing ahold of the junk that had planted itself upon his foot she gave one great heave and he was able to pull his foot out.
Samuel limped over to a nearby chair and sat down, slowly massaging his foot to ease the pain.
"No trouble at all. But I must ask, why are you so set on finding my computer? I don't need it anymore...do I?"
In all honesty she didn't know. Having an AI become a physical being was unheard of except in science fiction. Would she be forced to go back to the way she was at some point? Was her physical form only temporary and in time would weaken to the point that she would be reduced to mere bits and bytes?
Sam must have sensed that something was bothering her, as he got up and put his arm around her shoulder.
"Don't worry Nicole. I was just looking for it because I thought you might want it."
She shot him a quizzical look at that statement.
"What do you mean 'if I might want it?'"
"Well, I mean, that was part of who you were...are. Having a way of remembering where we have been and what has happened to us is sometimes comforting. I didn't want to accidentally throw it out with most of my junk, whenever I get to cleaning it, unless you really wanted me to."
Nicole really hadn't thought about that. She had just been so focused on her new life, for good reasons she reminded herself, no time had been set aside to think about what to do with some of...her old things.
"Well, there's some work I've been putting off for awhile, so if you don't mind I think I'll go, make a quick breakfast and get started on it."
Breakfast! That was it!
Smiling to herself Nicole grabbed hold of Sam's and hand took off to the stairs, telling him not to worry about breakfast because she had it all worked out.
"So you mean to say that your form is...self chosen?"
"Yes. I had often wished to become mobian while I was a computer program so when I saw how Eggman had been using the Nanites I saw a chance for, while not an exact experience, a chance at it."
Sam pulled up the end of his hair and began fiddling with it. Nicole had to admit it looked rather cute on him, almost like he was a small child playing with the corners of it's blanket.
"Okay, that makes sense, but why a lynx? Why not something more native to Knothole like a squirrel or a duck or something? Being a lynx would just make you stick out wouldn't it?"
She started to blush a little.
"You see, I've always had a bit of a...dramatic tendency. I never really thought that this would end up being my actual mobian body. I didn't think that it would be possible for me to become mobian. But with the way everything turned out I thought being a lynx was a bit more...interesting?"
Samuel began chuckling at that.
"So *snicker* you're telling me that the only reason that you chose a lynx was to be more flamboyant when you suddenly appeared from the floor to people. *snicker*"
Nicole growled a little and smacked his arm playfully.
"Oh hush you, I don't see you as any better. I remember when Espio brought me here you were so darn excited to show off your fancy stuff. What makes your lab at the bottom of a house made to look like a hermits shake any different, hmm?"
"Hey don't knock the shack, I'll have you know that I built most of this myself."
"It shows too."
Nicole stood up from the table where they were having after dinner tea and walked off to the sink to wash her cup while she let Sam wash his wounds. Or at least play at it the faker.
*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*
The whole room got an almost deadly silence at that sound. The sound was so foreign to Nicole that it took her a bit to remember that it was just somebody at the door. But...Samuel didn't really get that many visitors, so who could it be.
Not really sensing Nicoles question, Sam got up with a bit of a sigh and walked over to the door.
She had assumed that the visitor had some connection with Sam, so she didn't really pay much attention to the door, she just finished cleaning out her cup, making sure that none of the remaining tea dregs would stain it.
As she was finishing and put the cup down she heard Sam call from the door.
"Nicole, it's some people to see you."
'Me? Well that's surprising, but I guess Espio told Rotor and Tails and they decided to visit me.'
She was excited at the prospect of seeing her friends again, and turned to see who it was.
Tails was there alright, but so was she.
So yeah. I'm still alive and kicking... or writing as the case may or may not be. Sorry I took so long on this guys, but life kicks in and I got had to rush my application to the college I'm currently in. Seriously I had to do the whole college final application thing in one week, it's been hectic for me.
However, while I was recuperating from that I've had some time to really analyze my priorities and I'm hoping I'll start writing more. Not just for these stories or for your guy's sake, because while those are important, the whole reason I began writing was for me.
So, instead of writing because I now have a fanbase (a probably dwindled fan base because I've been gone so long) I'm going to start writing for me. Still though, you guys are really really awesome and I thank you for sticking with me, despite my ADD updating habits.
Oh, and I am working on the next chapter of my Tails/Mina story and I'll give you three guesses on what happens.
Please R and R, also see you soon,