Chapter 6:

The Prototype

BANG!! Goes the World

11:20 AM

" FINE. You. Were. Right. All I wanted was to bring you home, and this is where we are now. I called everyone and they said they were looking and I found nothing. This place actually sucks and everyone wants to kill me. You're all I've got now, alright? When I find that " Renji " guy, I'll punch him in the face for you. Trust me. "

Jessi leaned back from the robot sitting on the counter of her mirror onto her bed. " Great. Everything that could’ve gone wrong...has gone wrong. “

After the attack on Mobi, Jessi had grabbed her bags and made break for the nearest inn (there were a surprising amount of hotels in the area). After which, she sobbed alone in her bed so hard that it was what put her out for that particular night. She'd woken up with a heavy head and a pretty aching body, now missing three of the best friends she'd ever make in her life. Trina. Yuta. And now Ceci. It was almost as if fate wanted her singled out for misery. She'd never remembered where exactly she got that rune, all she knew is that this stupid black circle gave her ice powers. When she was younger, a snow day had hit her town, and after an hour of playing around in it, she'd gone inside to cuddle with Trina to stay warm. What was puzzling to Jessi was that while Trina was keeping her warm, Jessi was cold the entire time they cuddled together. That's when Trina took her little sister to the former's room and began to explain that when she was going to grow older, she was going to start going through " changes ". She'd start developing a " special tattoo ", and told her with great power comes great responsibility. When their parents were away, which was pretty much all the time, so Trina was typically her guardian, the two would often play around with the littler one's powers in the backyard. They played during the days of summer when the ice would melt in mere minutes. Life was good back then.

The hotel “ breakfast “ was nothing more than toaster waffles and microwaved bacon and scrambled eggs. Opening the curtains to see the great outdoors wasn't an option considering the color options of pitch black, pitch black, and pitch black with hints of white and blue. At that point, she'd just accepted that she was destined to go it alone.

Of course, if she weren't as insane as she already was, she wouldn't be in this town in the first place.

Eishi, after letting her hair down, approached the currently de-activated robot and picked them up. If she couldn't have Trina, Yuta, or Ceci, she'd have to rely on whatever was available. They were a weighty one, almost like a small child. She moved the robot around trying to find a switch or a button on their body. Nothing of note. No charger ports, either. How was someone supposed to turn on a DNA tested robot? If they had more in common with man than machine, then it couldn't have been that complicated.

She fiddled around with the robot more until she pushed the small grey " belly button " on the robot's body. In that moment is when the black panel on their head grew two small light-blue LED eyes. They blinked in rapid succession and shifted from side to side before settling on Eishi herself. She didn't look very stunned or shocked, rather quite curious. " Oh, so that's how you turn it o- "

The only sound that emerged next was a not quite bloodcurdling, but very loud, digitized scream in fear. Jessi only continued staring at him as he started flailing, trying to break out of her grip, but to no avail. Her face was creasing in annoyment more and more until Eishi's response was to merely place her hand over the robot's grill-plated mouth as a silencer. She didn't show it, but it was starting to hurt her ears quite a bit.

" Y-you know that's not gonna shut me up, r-right?! " the robot " muffled " through her hand.

" Whatever. That's how you get tinnitus, and I do NOT want tinnitus! " Eishi said more angrily this time.

" W-what the heck even is that?! "

" Shut up, let me figure out how to use you first! "

" D-don't TOUCH ME!! "

The robot threw out several kicks which barely missed Eishi's chest, yelping and grunting. She groaned and threw her head back.

" Ugggh. Need to glue you down somehow.... "

Eishi, pinning the small robot down to the bed with her arm, scanned her eyes across the room looking for tape, glue, a dog kennel, etc., anything that would just get him to sit still for a few minutes. She pulled over a chair and found some duct tape poking out of a drawer. A few seconds later, the robot's entire torso was stuck to the chair with the tape, looking very upset at his predicament.

" Is this an i-interrogation or something?! What do you want f-from me?! "

" Look, just turn your volume down for, like, one second, we can- "

" It's been one second. "

" 5 seconds! "

" ..... "

" Ten...minutes. " The robot groaned, closing its eyes as they were only represented by light blue LED lines. " Alright, pal, this is gonna be a VERY complicated order of events, but let me explain. Someone, probably my sister, put a bounty on you, and some weird musty guy with guns helped me get you out of a techno-corporation and now I'm going to find my sister, deliver her to you, and then you never have to see me again. "

The robot listened more patiently than he wanted to before blinking once. " So....y-you kidnapped KIDNAPPED ME?! "

" Hey! What did I say about volume? "

" Y-you kidnapped me and n-now you're sending me to a s-stranger?! "

" She's my sister, not a stranger! You'll be fine! We have to stay positive about this. "

" Positive a-about what?! "

" ...look... my sister's the sweetest person you'll ever meet. She may be hard on me sometimes, but it's because she loves me. She doesn't care what you are or where you came from. As long as you don't hurt anyone, you're a friend in her book. "

Eishi was a lot calmer as she explained Trina’s philosophy, kneeling to the robot casually. " She's not going to hurt you. I promise. "

"'re not going to h-hurt me...r-right? " The robot shifted in his bindings nervously hearing Eishi praise her sister. It indeed made her feel guilty as she sighed. " I'm sorry for tying you up like this, alright? It's just not everyday you wake up and there's a screaming robot right in front of you. "

" O-oh...then I'm s...s-sorry for acting that way w-when I woke up. "

That's when Eishi realized she had come on pretty strong to him about her situation. She was typically skilled at handling situations like this maturely...the keyword being typically.

" No, no, don't be sorry, " she reassured him, shaking her head. " You just woke up and now you're taped to a chair. Hang on. "

She started carefully peeling the tape off of the chair and off the poor robot, who sat still and watched her. His two moods at the moment would volleyball from curious to very, VERY anxious. " Promise me not to kick me in the face when you're free, all right? " Jessi asked as the robot nodded. At least they were willing to help each other at the moment, even if this girl did confuse him with what she wanted him to do.

After peeling off the last bit of duct tape and throwing it all in the trash, she turned to him. He curled up his legs onto the chair. " So. How exactly do you recharge? " she asked. I don't want you to suddenly run out of battery on me right before we meet my sister. That'd be embarrassing. "

" Recharge? Run o-out of battery...? "

" Well, you're a robot, so I need to know that so that we're prepared before we go out somewhere. "

" ... I'm a robot? "

Eishi blinked with the most dumb-founded look. Ohhhh goodness. After the robot asked " what? ", she picked him up and pointed him towards a mirror to see his reflection. He stared with a blank expression (not that Jessi could exactly tell) before he said " Oh. T-that must be why I f-feel so cold... "

" Yes, that is why, " Eishi replied. " Now, let's settle an order of operations. What are we going to do with you and where do we go from here? What's your name anyway? "

" ................... "

" I guess you don't exactly have one, huh? Let's see if Mobi gave you one... " Eishi put him down and went to the suitcase he'd been stuffed inside a day earlier. " Serial number.... 631... "

The robot tilted his head. " My name is a number? And who's Mobi- "

" Gidget! "

" Wait, s-so now my name is Gidget?! "

" Well, that's the best we can come up with since you...don't really have one. "

" Why can't I have a normal name again? "

" Like what? John? Brad? Stacy, even? " She smiled. " Besides, I think it's cute. "

" I-I am not cute! " Gidget said, pouting.

" That's what everyone who's cute says. "

" W-whatever... " He turned his head away.

" Now, as for you.... " she said, pointing at Gidget. " Let's give my sister a call…and see what she wants with you. " She whipped out her phone and dialed the number she had committed to memory. Deep breaths came from her.


" Hello? "

It only took one dial-up tone for Trina to pick up. A college age, feminine voice rang out over her phone.

" Trina! Trina! It's me!! Eishi! "

" ....I'm sorry, Eishi? "

" Y...yes!! Your little sister, dummy! "

" Oh my god, where have you been! did you get this number? And when did you get a phone, on that note?! "

" It''s complicated. But...I can hear you! I can hear your voice! It's been so long! "

" Look, you can explain to me when I get back. I'm at the police station. Ask around for directions. If I'm not there, I'm out doing a job for them. "

" Woah, what? You're a cop now?! "

" Yeah, you could...say that! "

" Well, heh heh, I-I can't wait to see you again! "

" ...hold on, is anyone with you right now? You didn't come here alone, did you? "

She looked back at Gidget, who tilted his head again. " Yeah, Gidget's been getting along great with me. "

" ...who is Gidget? "

She froze awkwardly realizing what an awkward declaration that was. " The...the robot. "

" named it? "

" Are...are you upset that I did? "

" I, uh….no comment. I'll see you at the station. "

" O-okay! I love you, sis! "

" Love you too, bye. "

" Byee! " The call ended as she flopped onto the bed. She started to feel choked up and wiped her eyes. After years of radio silence, the two sisters would finally reunite. It'd be the perfect happy ending. She loved her family to death and was so satisfied to finally be home with a hot plate of chicken Lo Mein and some hot tea. Actually, the happy ending would be getting one step closer to finding Yuta and Ceci. But family was just as, if not, more important than any of that. Depressing in hindsight, but understandable. She was still lucky to have so many friends she'd be able to see again. Speaking of friends, now that she'd just made a new one...

Gidget peeked up from the bedside. " E-everything okay? "

" Yeah, I'm fine, sniff....I'm ABSOLUTELY fine! "

" W-wah! "

She pulled Gidget over and into a tight hug. " Oh, I can't WAIT for you to see all of my friends! It's gonna be great! We'll invite Yuta and Ceci to our family reunion, and we'll have a great big stir-fry... "

" Who're...t-those? " Gidget spoke up through the tight grip.

" Oh! Just some friends I've made a long time ago. "

" So wait, w-where are we going f-first? "

" Well, she wants us to meet at the police station, then she'll come and collect you. Then, hopefully, we can ask her if we can start looking for Yuta and Ceci. "

" w-what is this place like, exactly? "

" That's...what I've been trying to figure out. I've only just gotten here in retrospect... " Gears turned in Eishi's head thinking about Gidget's current standing before she realized the situation he'd gotten himself into. " Oh, no, oh, you poor thing.... "

" Huh? "

" You could still be up on that message board for all I know... "

" What message board ? "

" this place there aren't exactly cops. Only gangs. And often, the gangs put bounties on people they want dead or alive. "

" So wait...I'm w-wanted? "

" Yeah....yeah! You're like a cowboy!! On a steel horse.... "

" People are g-going to come a-after me, won't they? "

Eishi was feeling so pitiful for this little guy. " Ughh, I'll protect you, alright? I know some karate moves. "

" S-some? "

" You'll be fiiiiine. " She scooped him up as he yelped once more, this time into one of her suitcases.

" Wait, w-why this?! "

" You're a robot! You won't lose oxygen! "

" Can I at least have room to move?! " He curled up in the suitcase as Eishi pat him on the head.

" You'll have plenty of room to move once we get there. "

He groaned at all of it and gently smacked her hand away. The suitcase was zipped up as she grabbed her wallet and stuffed it into her skirt. She put her hair into pigtails and reviewed her outfit in the mirror. She'd decided to put on a plain white t-shirt and a red plaid skirt, keeping her black boots and gloves on. She considered it her trademark.

She checked out of the hotel and stepped out, beginning to make her way towards the police station. As she started walking amidst the corridors, Gidget laid in the suitcase dormant. It wasn't the warmest of conditions, but it was a lot better than sitting in a chilly hotel room. Eishi could feel him shifting under the awkward texture of the suitcase, and had to adjust her trajectory a little bit. As she was walking, she could hear faint murmurs of a conversation between an older couple of a man and a woman, which surprised her in an area like this.

" Oh, but they had such ripe goat cheese! Reminds me of the brand they used to sell near the cannery years ago, Gerald, " the woman said to her husband.

" Bah, Ida. Used to be, there was a lot more milk in those things at the dairy plant when I was young. Farmer's market my ass, more like a factory's market. "

Eishi was inevitably curious. " Excuse me, did you say farmer's market? " she asked. Ida turned around.

" Why, yes! Me and my dear Gerald just got back from such a place. If you just go backwards from where we're walking, you should take a few turns to the left and you'll see so many fruit, vegetable, and dairy parlors. "

" Bah, I thought it was overrated, " Gerald said, " but the food trucks ain't bad, though, gotta admit. "

" Food trucks? Well...all I had for breakfast was some toaster waffles and a banana. Might be worth checking out... "

Ida smiled and flattered her. " We don't deserve young men and women like you... "

Eishi was confused and waved her arms in front of herself. " I haven't...done anything for you, ma'am! "

" Oh, just by talking to you, I think I know enough. " Wow. That was unintentionally creepy. The smile really did not help in this case.

Eishi put a hand on her suitcase and wished them well, hearing Gerald then whisper to her on how he also agreed that sounded unintentionally creepy. But she knew that they meant well. After they left, she turned to Gidget.

" We're gonna have a delay, buddy. I'm sorry, but food trucks sound so good right now. "

Gidget mildly whimpered at this. " I don't wanna. "

" Too bad. I'm the adult here and you're old are you again? "

" I-I don't know! "

" Well, you're basically my responsibility right now, sooooo deal with it. "

" No. "

She giggled and made her way to the market carefree. She could see glimpses of stands selling things such as homegrown flowers and subsequent seeds, both for growing and consumption. Jessi felt excitement rising within her as her shopping spree began. God help us all.

The farmer's market in Los Riveracci was heavily modeled after San Antonio. Within the crosswalk of Los Riveracci laid another crosswalk consisting of four divided sections: One for agriculture and barbeque, one for freshly grown fruits and vegetables, one for landscapes, flowers, etc, and one for selling arts and crafts. A man on his electric guitar played some generic folk song on a small stage to provide sound to drown out the emptiness. Eishi walked through the bustling crowds and made a beeline to the food trucks laying behind the barbeque area, managing to find a food truck that sold beef ramen amongst the other ramen types. After waiting god knows how long in that line, she got her styrofoam bowl of beef ramen and sat down on the steps next to the food truck. She laid the suitcase right next to her, and realizing there were no people around, she decided it was about time to unzip the suitcase and let Gidget be able to walk around more freely. Gidget limped onto the pavement tiredly as Eishi scooped him up to sit in her lap.

" Geez. You were getting pretty comfy in there, huh? "

" Not like t-there was a-anything else to do in there.... "

" I guess that's true. " She took a taste of her beef ramen and was quite surprised. She let out an excited MMM as she consumed it. " This is delicious! " She looked down at Gidget staring at her. " ....well...must be awkward having someone like you watch me eat something so good, heh heh. "

Gidget shook his head " I-it's fine. I must be a-awkward if you're still gonna see me up and r-running after so many years. Humans age, don't t-they? Robots...don't? "

Eishi chuckled before she stopped and squinted with confusion at Gidget. " Wait, are you trying to sass me? "

" I don't know, am I? " He asked with legitimate confusion despite how smack-talky he really sounded.

Eishi gave him another look as he tightened up annoyedly. " Say...what exactly do you remember about yourself anyway? " Eishi asked curiously.

" Nothing, " Gidget replied. " Not m-my name, at least until now, nothing about w-where I come from, except M-Mobi, and...that's it. "

Eishi sighed. What response was she expecting? " Well, I guess Trina's gonna have to spill the beans once we get you home to the station. "

" Looks like it... "

" Are you sure you two want to sit in a place like this? "

Eishi and Gidget were interrupted by a question asked by a man sitting next to them covered in denim from head to toe except for his tan shoes. His denim jacket had nothing underneath it, and his arms were slouched onto his knees. His long, shaggy grey hair let him cover his face to make him look poor physically, mentally, and financially. Jessi couldn't see it, but she was sure this was an older man judging by his sludgy voice and slightly wrinkly face and skin judging by his hands.

" Uh....pardon? " Eishi asked.

" There has been a bounty put up for a robot just like yours, " he began to explain, not turning his head. " The serial number was 610631. They were to be recovered at the Mobi Robotic Solutions Incorporated. "

" ...yeaaaaaah? " Eishi began to scoot away from the strange old man. Gidget continued watching on with great curiosity.

" You are being held up for a bounty of $4,000,000. Your name is unknown to Mobi. "

" Wait, what?! "

The man began to stood up. Small metal creaks and whirrs could be heard as he did so. Something was ticking eerily inside this man. His denim jacket was pushed gently by an incoming breeze.

" I am Stooge, a prototype combat android. My real name is not important. It is my self-sworn duty to capture the both of you dead or alive. I would prefer you come alive, so do not resist or die. "

" ...... " Eishi was both surprised and confused seeing this declaration as she began to set down her meal and slowly put Gidget back in her bag.

As Eishi got up, a lot happened in a few seconds. Stooge suddenly threw a punch near her as the pavement around them shattered in a circle pattern in an instant. Eishi flew and rolled across the market and through several market stands.

" I was cooking that brisket, asshole!! "

" Not my Chrysanthemums!!! "

" My cabbages!!! "

Eishi slid across the ground clutching Gidget, the both of them covered in meat, flowers, and vegetables. Gross. Eishi got up immediately and shook the mess out of her clothing like a dog in the rain. " You okay, little guy?! " she yelled, looking at Gidget still in her arm.

Gidget wiped the crap off of him. " Y-yeah!! What the heck w-was THAT?! "

" No time to explain, get back in the bag in hide!! "

Just about everyone in the market, both vendor and customer, had fled the vicinity. Those who weren't leaving were filming the event or were petrified in fear of the explosion. Gidget was about to make a break for the bag before he felt a sharp push throughout his body. Stooge clotheslined Gidget right in the midsection. He gasped, never having taken a hit like that before. Stooge wrapped that arm around Gidget and began to run, or fly, rather, as he used seismic shockwaves to jump higher and higher in the air.

Eishi growled and made a break for him. " I don't THINK so, asshole! " Ice formed around her feet as she started skating her way out of the market and into the alley way to take Stooge down. She skated gracefully, albeit leaving behind two trails of ice behind her as she skated. She was incredibly irritated at this turn of events, but what she didn't have was fear. She was merely determined to get back Gidget and get back to business.

Of course, so was Stooge. He was launching between buildings like a game show obstacle with a spring in his step, dropping rubble which Eishi had to dodge and leap over. It was like a twisted video game. Stooge was cold and only cared about the money at this point. Of course, being an android, he did have something to say to Gidget about their similarities...and it went beyond their physical form. But getting Gidget to talk would be hard considering he was blindsided at the moment by...everything, really.

A brick flew at Eishi from one of Stooge's seismic steps. Thinking quickly, she propelled her leg forward to hit the brick with her boot right back at the vicious android. It hit him in the head, causing him to fall to the ground and drop Gidget. Eishi grabbed Gidget's hand and slung him on her back.

" Wooo.....what w-w-WAS that?!? "

" He's trying to kidnap you! Let's get out of here!! "

" W-why?! "

" Money!! I don't know!!! Let's grab my suitcase and go! "

Before she could move, Eishi felt her back being hit with a hard kick, sending her skidding until she stopped. It was incredibly loud and it almost made her drop Gidget again. She turned back to Stooge.

" Alright, you wrinkly hobo! You want him so bad, you're gonna have to work for it. "

" With my power, I do not have to work to get what I want. "

" Prove it, then!

" Have at you. "

Stooge leaped forward to punch Eishi, who countered with a swinging kick, the force of which shook through both of their bodies, but staggered Eishi easier. She froze her standing her to keep her balance as she delivered a clean, unexpected dropkick to Stooge's stomach. It barely even phased Stooge, who was still trying to take her and Gidget down. A sudden left hook tried to catch Eishi, who dodged it casually, but still with vigor. The two traded calculated punched and instant-response kicks. Eishi threw a lot more punches this time around, getting angrier and angrier thanks to how unnerved Stooge was. She'd no idea he was an android, so to her, he was performing at peak physical condition because he damn well pleased. It all culminated when a weaker hit to the gut staggered her tired state of mind, and he was about to finish her with a full power sucker punch to the cranium until he was hit by...a small energy ball to the face.

Stooge stumbled back, not burnt but certain surprised as Eishi turned. Gidget was standing there, with a finger pointed square at Stooge. Both of them looked stunned. Did...Gidget shoot that?

Whatever it was, as Eishi turned and saw Stooge reeling back, she ran and grabbed Gidget immediately, heading straight towards the suitcase.

" What was that you just fired?! "

" I-I-I- "

" Ugh, no more asking questions, let's just get outta here! " She tossed the poor robot inside and zipped the suitcase, running off.

Stooge had finally recovered from that insane blast of energy when he saw cop cars coming. He tried to make another escape, but that shot robbed him of a lot of his energy as cops approached him and started questioning him on his escapades instantly. Officers took notice instantly of the ice surrounding the area, writing on their notepads quickly. Stooge resumed a neutral expression, knowing he was now ready to attack at any time.


12:01 PM

Eishi panted and panted dragging the suitcase back to her hotel.

" What a day....scary...and exciting.... "

She was utterly tired, and so was Gidget. Both of their bodies were put through immense physical toil and she just wanted to get a shower and a nap in, and she'd have to clean Gidget as well. No way he was going to consent to that. She used to always want a pet when she was younger, but now she was actually a lot more thankful Trina put a stop to that idea.

After finally re-entering her room, she unzipped the suitcase and saw Gidget rolling onto the floor, his eyes closed peacefully. She could hear a faint, quiet snore coming from him as she smiled and chuckled. She went to the bathroom and wrapped his entire being in a surprisingly warm towel. The hotel must've been washing these every-day. Compliments to their customer service where it was due.

As Eishi wrapped him up, Gidget shifted slightly and fell back into a relaxed state in the warm make-shift blanket. She stretched for a good 10 seconds before pulling off her gloves and boots and throwing them into a laundry basket. She looked back at the little robot who looked to be in complete bliss, deciding that she was too tired to lift him onto the bed and just left him there to rest for now as she closed the door to the bathroom, ready to take a nice long, hot shower.

If she weren't a pile of food, dirt, and plants, she'd be lying on the floor with him, too.


BANG!! Goes the World

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