"Man I suck. I got sixty-six percent on my test."
"I know. I heard from your 'blue berry,' that you suck quite well."
"Oh, you mean my ability give amazing blows?"
"No, I mean the ability to drink soda through a straw."
"You just wish it was you and not my 'blue berry.'"
"Why would I want my roommate to blow me? Where has your head been. Wait I already know."
"You doubt my powers of the blow."
"Yes, yes I do."
Gakupo came up to me and took in a big breath, then exhaled it on my shoulder.
"You see. I'm pretty good."
"Well, I don't think your powers can get you out of this one."
Gakupo flung his head back. "Fuck."
"I don't think that will work either..."
"Screw off Dell."
I flashed Gakupo a smile, in return he punched me in the shoulder.
"Anyways, I have to meet Kaito. See ya."
"Alright, don't let anyone find out about your powers, Blow Man."
He laughed then walked down the hall. I pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. Placing it to my lips, I inhaled my drug. I don't really care if I'm in-doors. People only made up the rule not to smoke inside because it's not proper looking. Whatever they say about it being unhealthy is bullshit. Have you seen half the shit people do to themselves? When I finished it, I had already walked outside. I flicked the bud in a random direction. I walked over to the sidewalker, I had to meet Miki over at the library. We both needed books for our classes so we decided to get them at the same time. I let the sidewalker slide me down the street. How I stay skinny with not having to walk around everywhere remains a mystery to me.
I have to take a few different walkers before I can reach the library. I gazed around the city. The buildings reached so high you could barely see the yellow sky. The colour seemed to darken over the years. I wonder what colour it used to be? I heard somewhere that it was a really pretty colour. There wasn't all that much greenery, most of it was dying.
I could see the library coming into view. Miki was sitting on a bench waving to me. I smiled and waved back. Stepping off the walker I came to her.
"Hey Miki. I didn't keep you waiting did I?"
"Ew, your breath smells like smoke. Take a mint Smokey. I swear the smoke has stained your hair. It used to be so white."
"Your just jealous that I don't have a random cow lick at the top of my head. I think I should cut it off for you."
"In your dreams." Miki said as she cover her cow lick with her hands.
"I don't know anyone with that hair style. Be normal Miki."
"Hey, that kid, the 'cybrog,' had the same hair thingy. So it's normal."
"You think that kid is normal? It must have something to do with the hair. Soon you'll become mindless like a computer too."
She pouted at me. I laughed at her, she walked into that one. The red head slapped my shoulder. I stopped laughing for her sake. We walked into the library. We were presented with endless rows of books.
"So what book do you need Miki?"
"A book about how to fuse metal together. What about you?"
"History of Art."
"Well, let's get going."
We branched off to the metal bookcases. Going down the different rows. When we couldn't find them, we went to the computer cafe to search for them. Placing my hand on the monitor, the computer scanned my citizenship chip. It beeped then turned on. I typed in the book I wanted; it was located in section G row number four. I placed my palm on the screen to turn it off. Instead of turning off however, it spazzed out and shook everywhere. Miki's computer was having the same problem as as well.
Soon almost everything in the library was freaking out. Well, everything that involved electricity. I grabbed Miki's wrist and ran out of the building. People shoving as we all were trying to escape the rampaging electronics and appliances. Me and Miki burst outside and found the city in a technologic nightmare. The robots that were designed to make our lives better were destroying anything. Not harming the people but the city itself. Stoplights were flickering different colours and shaking.
I pushed us to the ground when a car almost ran us over. I kept Miki's head down as I scanned to find a safe zone of some sort. I gazed at the car that almost hit. Turing my head I started heaving. My stomach was telling me that what I just saw was gross. There was nothing left of the car except for scrap metal and blood. A hand grasped my shirt.
"Dell, let's go somewhere. Somewhere that isn't here."
I grabbed Miki's hand and squeezed. I shot us up from where we were laying to run down the city road. Cars were turning out of the way since people were running on the road. The side walkers weren't an option to ride since they were going haywire as well. This can't be happening, everything was so calm not even five minutes ago. Why now, wouldn't there have been a news report on this.
Miki's wrist suddenly left my hand, I skid to a halt. Someone girl had grabbed her and was pulling her to a car. Not wasting a second I ran up and punched the kidnapper. The woman was sent to the ground. I grabbed Miki's arm then continued our dash. Now not even the robots were destroying things, people were too. Breaking into shops, throwing citizens out of their cars. Miki tugged me, I turned around to see her panting. She pulled us into an alley way and pried my hand off of her.
The read head rested against a wall. I stood there, waiting for her to regain her breath. My eyes wouldn't leave the alley. There was no way I was going to look into the city. This is one of those times when you wish you were blind and death.
"Dell. We can't keep running, it's getting us nowhere." She said through parted breaths.
"What else are we going to do? It's a waste land out there and I don't think any where is safe in the city."
"We can try and find help. It's better than to run around with targets on our backs."
I pointed a finger to the city. "Take a look Miki. No one is helping anyone out there. It's hell out there. There's not going to be someone helping others."
Miki huffed and pushed herself off the wall. "Fine, we'll do it your way. But I'm not running out in the middle of that."
"Alright, we'll cut through the alleys. Are you ready to go."
"Yeah, and you don't need to grab my arm. I'm starting to bruise."
I nodded my head and dashed down the alley. I looked behind me to see Miki following. I didn't trust hearing footsteps so I kept checking behind me to see if she was okay. This way was a bit safer, only a few people running through. It just didn't keep us safe from the sounds of a dying city. The screams, the noise of things crashing and exploding.
Taking a turn, then another I stopped. That was all that was left of the alley. I don't care if I have to carry Miki through the city. I'm not running around in and out the alley like a mouse in a maze. I looked behind and stared at Miki. She had tears streaming down her cheeks. She looked up at me with scared eyes. Then Miki saw our problem and nodded her head towards the city. I smiled, glad she could see it my way.
We busted in the city, it was worse than before we went into the alleys. Small fires had started. It was spreading and I could tell. The way it moved was like it wanted to touch everything. There was less people running, then I realized it was because some of them had died. My stomach twisted, how long until were dead too? I looked back again for the thousandth time. Miki had stopped in the middle of the road. I growled, and ran up to her.
"Miki, now is not the time to stop. If you hadn't noticed, the city is on fire!" I yelled at her.
She didn't acknowledge me, instead she raised a hand to point at something. I turned my head to see what she wanted me to see. There, was the guy we saw yesterday. Walking down the street as if none of this was happening. I grabbed Miki again. I don't care what she wanted; I'm not going to risk my life for an insane boy.
"Come on Miki. We don't have time for this."
She snapped her head at me. "We have to help him. We both know something is wrong with him. I'm not about to leave him here. If you don't help him then I will."
We stood, each challenging the other in a stare down. When I didn't step down Miki narrowed her eyes and began dashing to the boy. I sighed and ran after her. It didn't take long to reach the boy since he wasn't in any rush. Miki placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Come on Piko. We can't go that way. We have to escape."
The boy looked at her as if nothing was wrong. "Master told me to analyze the situation in the city and report the information to him."
Miki tugged on him. "Well you have your info, let's find someplace safe."
"The laboratory is a safe place. We have the area under control."
Me and Miki stared at the boy. He come here just to see what was going on instead of staying in a safe place.
"Can we go to the lab?"
I glared at Miki. She was not just asking a deranged guy where the laboratory where his Master and cybrog things go down.
"I don't think Master would mind. He is worried about the citizens in the area. Please, follow me."
He started walking in the opposite direction of where we was going. I had a feeling Miki wouldn't let this go so I went in step with her. I huffed at the pace he was going.
"Cybrog, can't we pick up the pace."
He nodded his head and ran. Me and Miki followed him. As I thought the fire was spreading. Eating up everything. During our run another car came at us. Miki screamed and we both stopped in our tracks. I hugged Miki tightly and shut my eyes, waiting for it to collide with us. When nothing happened I opened my eyes to see Piko standing there, the car was right infront of him with a dent in it. I stared at him wide eyed. Did he fucking do that?
Piko ran up to us. "Are you still coming?"
I shook my head to clear my mind. "Yes."
Piko nodded and ran down the street again. Me and Miki tore away from each other and ran with him. Soon we were out of the city and we could see a building in the distance. Surrounding the build was a field of tall-ish grass. Piko slowed his run into a walk, me and Miki were panting.
"How are your vitals?" He asked. Still not fazed by anything.
"Fine." I said for both me and Miki.
"The laboratory is about a five minute walk from here."
"How can you not be fazed by this?" I asked.
"What do you mean?"
"How can you walk around in a city and not seemed a little scared or interested in what is going on?"
"Master told me what was going on. I had no need to be scared or interested. Feelings like that distract one from dealing with the task on hand."
"Are messed up? People were dying and you didn't give one fuck."
"Nothing is to be gained from distractions. If one were to panic it makes the task more difficult then needed."
"There's a difference between distractions and giving a shit. But what am I to except. You're a cybrog, nothing but a computer."
"'Cybrog,' are what people define as a human who has robot parts. I'm not just a computer."
"You don't act like it."
It went quiet, and it remained like that when we arrived at the building. The front door was pried open with a table. Piko hopped on top of it and walked right in, we follow his example. The building was much more quiet then the city. Everything thing was white, giving the place a holy feeling io it. Piko turned down the hall and brought us to a door that was once again, kept opened by furniture. We went in the room, the walls were white and all the tables and chairs were grey. Computers were on the floor, clearly smashed to bits.
"Master, I have returned with humans." Piko called out.
A man with short brown hair and with a torn up lab coat came into view. "Ah, number eleven. You came back faster then I accepted. And you brought people too?"
"Affirmative, Master. Do you want my report on how the city is faring?"
"I want to hear what you've seen after I've talked to the boy and girl you brought. Go, sit down eleven."
Piko nodded and sat down on a bench placed by a wall.
"Can I ask you two some questions?"
"Sure, I guess." Miki replied.
"Thank you, here take a seat." The man pulled up some chairs and a pad of paper. "Alright, may I ask you for your names?"
"My name is Miki, and this is my friend Dell."
"Alright, my name is Kuki. So, can I ask what has been going on in the city?"
"Well, me and Dell we just looking up were our books were located in the library when the computers started spazzing out. Dell pulled us outside and everything electronic went haywire. Cars started crashing, people start rioting too. I don't even know how many died today."
Kuki was writing down everything. "This is much worse then I predicted." He looked up at us. "This problem struck our lab earlier yesterday. Our team of hackers were trying to control whatever virus this is but failed. All we know is that anything that is connected to a source of electricity catches it as well. Once something has caught it, there's no way to reverse it. All our data is gone, all that's left is number eleven and number eight."
I shuffled in my seat. "Yeah, what's up with the whole cybrog thing."
The man looked at me, I mean really looked at me since we first arrived. "How do you know about project FreeWare?" He asked.
I looked at Miki, she looked scared shitless. Like a child that has had too many cookies before dinner. Looking at to Kuki I answered him. "A malfunctioning robot told me about it."
The man narrowed his eyes at me. "Eleven told me about the so called robot yesterday. From what I gained today is that the virus doesn't spew out random information. It just jerks around mindlessly. Now I will ask you again, how do you know?" He sneered.
I glared at him. He was talking down to me? "'Piko,' told us so. We confused your prize experiment by teasing about how he talked. He demanded how we knew and practically agreed that he was a cybrog. For a computer, he isn't that smart."
The man sighed. I smirked, I knew I got him. No one shouldn't even think about talking down to me.
"I knew number eleven had some, I would call, flaws. I might as well tell you what the project is about. Seeing as I'm not heartless enough to send you back into the city.
Project FreeWare was an experiment we wanted to conduct. We, meaning the other scientists that are and was in this building. We wanted to make the most intelligent being. In this process of pondering we came up with an idea. If humans on their own can make computers that hold all information. What if a human and computer were to combine?
In this, project FreeWare was born. Taking children scientists wanted to give to the project, we gave the children a brain of a computer. In them we have another skeleton, made of circuits that would be in a computer. And wired it to their nerves sending it to brain. Thus increasing their brain power.
However since we needed a source to fuel the electric circuits in them. We have implanted tiny solar panels in their skins that connects to the circuits. But if they are stuck in the lab for a long time, they have a UBS port that they can connect to the computer with. This way they have two different ways to charge. Although the only side effect is since electricity and human chromosomes haven't fully adjusted to this. The subjects eyes tend to glow when charging. If the subject doesn't have enough power to fuel the circuits. Said subject powers out until the body can find a power source."
My mouth was forming a perfect 'o'. I didn't understand half of what he said, especially the whole chromosome thingy. But I did understand enough to know that this kid is fucked up because of these people. And that Piko wasn't as insane as I first thought, just a little.
"You are right though, you do have flaws. Because of what you people did to him he can't communicate right. He doesn't even understand human slang or even emotions. How many have you done this to? At least eleven right." Miki said with venom in her voice.
"Well, if we can experiment on animals for the better of mankind. Why can't we experiment on humans for the better of mankind. People did it before when they first landed on the moon. They didn't fully know if those men would live if they sent them into space. But they sent them up anyways. What's so different now?"
The room went slient, no one wanted to break it. The man sighed and slouched in his chair.
"You both must be tired. I'll send eleven to show you where you can sleep tonight. Number eleven."
The white haired boy was by his side in a second. "I'll get right to it Master. Please, follow me."
I eyed Kuki before getting up with Miki. The poor girl looked defeated. Piko leaded us to a room down the hall that looked like a ship bunker, except not so ship like. All this room held was a few beds and a dresser. And just like all the other rooms, the walls were white and the beds and dressers were grey.
"You can sleep on the two beds located on the right. They are vacant at the moment."
"Piko..." Miki started.
He looked at her. "Yes."
"Are you really happy with how your life is? What they've done to you."
"Master has given everything thing I need to live. I want to make Master happy in return. However it has called to my attention that you were arguing with Mater that I wasn't functioning properly. What am I missing that makes me incomplete?"
Miki pulled the Piko into a hug in which he didn't return. She let go of him to look him right in the eye. "You'll understand some day."
He left room without a reply. Miki looked at me before pulling me into a hug too. She let the waterworks go off. "Dell, what are we going to do? Our home is gone; our friends might be dead or hurt. And now we're stuck in this horrible place."
I wrapped my arms around her. After about five minutes and she started to calm down and I tucked her into a bed.
"Miki, I can't promise tomorrow will be better. But we can start looking for Gakupo, Len and Kaito when we get the chance."
She smiled at me before falling sleep. I smiled at her too then crawled into the bed beside hers.