Short Story Written by: Tilted Tripod
Journal entry 423; Shard Study.
“It has been two days since that damn Stone bound itself to me. It’s not that I cannot think, but it is like I cannot stop thinking. Every unfinished project and every failed invention, every explosion and blunder, they are all whirling in my head, taunting me. Maybe if I –”
The inventor’s head met her oak desk with an ungraceful bang. Two days of pain and unrest had caught up to her. Olivia curled her aching body together in a ball-like shape against the back of her matching oak chair. Her typical a line cut was now deep, brown clumps of hair that clung to Olivia’s pale skin on her neck. This was the second night of cold sweats and body tremors the eighteen year old had endured. The thought of death had danced across her mind and was promptly answered by another spell of vomiting.
‘I can’t let them see me like this…’ the inventor thought, ‘but I need someone.’ Olivia did not know if it was her pride or out of desperation, but she had pulled herself from her only support of her chair, dragged her stumbling body to her worktable and did what Olivia Cheric did best: Create.
Several hours had passed since Olivia had turned her torch off and set her screwdriver down. When the sickly inventor removed her goggles from her amethyst eyes, she was greeted by her new companion’s first word, or in this case, first bark. Made from the best metals, alloys, and care, Olivia had brought another blueprint to life: a robotic dog that was modeled after a Great Dane. She installed an AI program that would allow the dog to learn, just like a real dog; on top of a few programs that Olivia had preset within its databank. Another feature that the resourceful girl included was the recycling feature. That way, Olivia would always have glass bottle treats for her four-legged friend.
Knowing that the dog did not understand humans or have much life experience, Olivia did not want to give the robot the impression that she was weak. Even while her body battled the synergizing of the Relic Stone, Olivia would take short walks and play fetch with her metal dog. A week had passed since the creating of her metallic hound and somewhere in between the tug of wars and curling up next to her in bed, Olivia had fallen in love with her dog, as any normal person would love a normal canine. It was on that same night that the inventor had to understand that the AI system might never understand fully the abstract feeling of love.
The sun rose over the mountains, waking up the estate with its light. Olivia awoke with the sunrise, along with a bout of coughing and wheezing. Her now favorite creation’s eye panel opened to the sound of its master’s phlegm filled coughs. The robot looked as if it was in pain seeing Olivia shivering from the internal struggle of, to the Dane, an unknown cause. With a quick prance to the floor, and after a quick morning stretch, the metal sweetheart of a dog looked at Olivia with green LED eyes.
“Good morning, troublemaker,” Olivia greeted it with a weak smile.
The metallic dog barked happily and whined for its master, waiting for Olivia at the bedroom door.
Olivia felt horrible this morning. Her body ached and was sore from head to toe. She had thought the worst had passed and the Relic Stone had finally synergized with her small frame. Getting up from her bed slowly, the brunette stood on tired and shaking legs. When Olivia had started to walk, she lost her footing. Bracing for the feeling of meeting a wooden floor, the inventor had turned on her side.
But she never felt the floor.
Opening her violet eyes, Olivia had been supported by her Dane. It was a surprise that for being one hundred and forty pounds, he was as quiet as he was. Allowing the gear-loving girl to use him as a support, her companion guided her back to bed. Once she was safely on her mattress, the adorable hero pulled Olivia’s blanket up to her chest and gently nudged the end under her neck. After the makeshift tuck in, the dog fetched a brown bottle of root beer for Olivia. Giving the bottle of what the newly created Dane remembered Olivia always drinking to his loving creator, it sat by her bedside. Reaching out with her free hand, the gear-loving lady began to pet her gear-driven dog. Over the next few days, Olivia had begun to regain her health and every day, the metal canine watched Olivia to make sure she was in no pain.
The afternoon of a new day was fresh and sunny. With a newfound energy, Olivia was finally able to treat her puppy to some much needed time outside of the office. The day started with a trip to the pet stop to pick out a collar for the metal dog with a heart that should have been made of gold. Trotting around the park with his new red collar and metal tag, the Dane made a point to meet everyone at the park. After a day of fetch and treat shopping, the two returned to the Gizmo Queen’s office. Petting her loving dog on the head, Olivia noticed that it was sitting on the floor, not in her bed.
“What is it, honey?” Olivia asked.
At first, the Dane’s LED eyes went dark but it did not take long for them to turn back on. Instead of the normal eye shape, the LED lights were in the shapes of small green hearts. Confused by her creation’s message, Olivia reached for its head. When Olivia’s warm hand met the cool metal of the metal canine’s face, the small hearts turned into a very simple and powerful message.
“Love Olivia” was spelled out across the Dane’s LED eyes.
Olivia let out a tear of joy and tore out of bed to hug her loyal dog.
“I love you too,” Olivia whispered to her companion. The metal tail wagged in response to the Gizmo Queen’s affection, “I will give you a name soon, I promise.”
The next morning, Olivia walked down her hallway with a proud stride. With a new fire in her amethyst eyes, Olivia thought of a plan to find out who was the traitorous scum of the state. The Gizmo Queen strode through the grand hallway to the cafeteria where her friends were waiting, but not without her metal, gear driven Dane beside her.
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