Chapter 2:

On the Waterfront

Next to Me


The dark waves raged on around Satoshi, almost disguising his short stature, dark hair and matching clothes in the inky velvet of night, while a woman sat in front of him on the concrete and rocks of the pier. Her long brunette hair whipped around her face while her body seemed to glow due to her pure white dress and flats. Meanwhile, the teenage boy was visibly gritting his teeth, either as a sign the environment was reflecting his mood or vice versa.

What the boy was focussing on was not the woman, but the girl about his age in her lap. The boy stared at the girl's back, watching the rising moon shine off the metallic wings that protruded from there and through her off-white jumpsuit.

"I was modified so I could be with you, Satoshi," the girl told him flatly. Her eyes, which were at work piercing him and striking his heart with needles, were an unnatural shade of electric blue, instead of the icier blue he'd admired in the past.

Satoshi screamed at her, all the while noting the scratched bright blue yoyo in her hand, "Nova! Weren't you meant to leave now?"

The girl didn't respond. Instead she appeared to doze off, unfazed by her surroundings.

He turned his attention to the woman. "This was not what I intended when I started to make robots, Celesta! Don't go messing up humans because you can!"

"She told me that she would do anything to stay with you forever, including doing the impossible. I helped her do just that." As the waves and wind lashed out around Satoshi, accompanying waves of sea salt assaulted him and his sight, rendering him blind if he went forward, so he turned tail and ran, stumbling as he left.

Why? Why did they have to be this way?!
----
Nova hated keeping things to herself, so it was such a paradox she'd kept such a secret from her friend of almost seven years - "Celesta" was, by a symbiotic relationship, both her aunt Catarina and a rogue AI created by Satoshi's parents that believed she was human enough to care for others, due in part to her aunt's experience as an au pair. (The AI believed itself to be female due to its host, so it wished to be referred to as such.)

Unfortunately, the AI inside had become too uncontrollable for even its host. The result? In order to silence her, Celesta had selectively wiped her memories, turning her into a cyborg in the process.

Even more unfortunately, there was a way to cover up part of this transformation - during their confrontation with Satoshi on the pier, Celesta had only spoken the truth.


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