Chapter 6:

Garbage In Garbage Out

Next to Me


"Y-You said you always felt awkward among people, but you were fine with robots..." Nova mumbled, as Celesta fumbled her way out of the debris.


"...Did you take that at face value?" Satoshi managed to ask after pondering this for a bit, but she ignored him. She was too self-conscious from realising he was looking at her differently now - she couldn't quite pinpoint how exactly, but somewhere in the nuances, there was definitely a slight shift.


Satoshi's face turned into a witty smile when she thought this, which meant he'd seen right through her.
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Ever since she'd been converted, Nova believed she could see no wrong. After all, the correct input and correct decisions naturally made the right output, right?


As they awkwardly tried to fix the broken paper screen, Satoshi pondered and prodded at her wings, mumbling to himself all the while about how well the wings were constructed, causing her to doubt whether she'd made the right decision.


Well, "garbage in, garbage out," as they say.


Meanwhile, Celesta was speaking to someone over the landline phone, out of earshot to the teenagers.


"Is this what you wanted for my family?" she asked, her fist tight at her side, her teeth gritted. "You've already turned me and my niece into your test subjects, and you intend to keep going until you run out of people? Why didn't you use your son?!" Her voice rose at the end, so with her eyes alight like a wild beast, she glanced to the sliding door to check if anyone was listening in.


Nope. All good.


She continued in a whisper, "Just because you think you're so high and mighty doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to tie lives together like a god. Got that?" She cut the call with her face in a grimace.


Now all she had to do was break the news to those two, now that she knew the truth.