The Things I Left Unsaid
During history class, ProfessorBot started whirring.
The girl in the back corner of the room who had been dozing jumped a little, but nobody else moved a muscle. Everyone was used to it by now.
"An error has been detected. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please stand by for reboot."
ProfessorBot's screen went black and a collective sigh rose into the air. The humanoid metal frame attached to an old-fashioned TV screen emitted a shrill beep and the screen filled with light. The all-too-familiar jingle rang out as the montage of vaguely educational pictures began. The girl at the back of the room put her head back down and closed her eyes.
"Where werrrre we?" the computerized and barely female voice drawled. "Class?"
After a moment of silence, the robotic hand perched on the table scooted toward the panel beside a jar of untouched pencils. One rusty finger tapped down on the yellow button there.
The floor panel under each desk gave a sudden, harsh creak. The sound of two dozen sets of eyes snapping open was almost as loud.
"Let's not resort to the dungeons again, shallll we?"
In the silence, somebody gulped. ProfessorBot's finger creaked and hovered over the red button.
A boy with bluish hair towards the back of the room lifted a reluctant hand.
"We were beginning World War III, Ma'am."
"Oh, yes. Now that we're allll participating, what can you tell me about World War III, children?"
"It was the last Earth war," the blue-haired boy replied.
"Correct!" The digitized human face flashed briefly to a smiley-face. "Now, we often refer to it as the last Earth war, but what is incorreeect about that statement?"
A girl in the front row raised her hand, blinking her bright purple eyes.
"It took place on Planet Earth, but it was between the Earthlings and the Irkens."
"Correct!" came an identical, computerized chirp. "Did the Earthlings win or lose?"
"Looose," the class drawled in unison.
"Correct! And who lead the Earthlings?"
"Correct! Now, does anybody remember what happened to the Earthlings?" The screen swung toward the hand that went up. "Alpha-8035B22?"
"They … exploded?"
"WRONG," ProfessorBot bellowed, and the hinged floor panel squealed as it swung open, hurling the screeching boy, desk and all, into the dungeon.
A long moment passed before a particularly dark-skinned girl raised a shaking hand.
"Th-the Irken tried to make them mine for all the gold and coal and oil a-and stuff."
"The Earthlings turned out to be so useless that they shipped Vortians in to d-do it instead."
"Correct! Very goooood, dear."
Gulping, the girl smiled nervously.
"Now, we call the descendants of the Earthlings humans, but arrre they?"
A hand shot up, this one belonging to a very pale girl with freckles. Before ProfessorBot could formally address her she had started to answer.
"Technically, no, we are not. The experimental and eventually successful cross-breeding with other genetically similar species has made us less human and more advanced."
ProfessorBot's screen snapped with static in response to the child's answer. "Very gooood," it drawled, using a soundbyte from what was surely an ancient movie. "Trivia: an individual is not considered to be human is five or more major organs are artificial."
The girl with striking violet eyes made a worried face and waved her hand in the air.
"Do cosmetic enhancements count?"
"¿Quieres patatas con su ensalada, mamá?"
A few kids muttered, irritated.
"Language set to: ENGLISH. Now, then, class, where werrrre we?"
The entire class let out a collective groan.
"It's gonna be a long day," a chubby boy murmured, leaning back in his seat and staring at the ceiling.
Welp, here I am! I got the idea for this story a few months ago, but I didn't begin to write it until the beginning of summer break. This is honestly one of the stories I've planned the most for, and I really hope I can do the idea justice. I would really appreciate your feedback - feel free to critique if there's anything you don't particularly like. ZADR is one of my favorite pairings, so I hope I can provide a compelling argument for it.
I have a bit of a warning, though: FanFiction has been a lot more vigilant lately about keeping stories at an M level. I don't anticipate this fic exceeding that rating, but I have no idea how the staff will interpret it. Just in case this fic were to get deleted, you can also read it at archiveofourown (dot) org/users/GoldenSnowflake/profile. I'll post it there too.
Until next time, this is GoldenSnowflake, signing off. =)