❯ Astro Boy 2085 – Chapter 1
Hold on, let me start me start from the beginning.
Date: November 14, 2084. 10 months earlier
Well this was almost a year earlier. Back then my name wasn’t Astro, it was Toby Tenma. I was fifteen years old at the time and my mother died almost a month ago due to Bone Cancer.
But the loss of her was just devastating to me and my dad. Dad was a scientist and the head of the ministry here in Metro City. He was also in charge of modern robotics, he even had this crazy idea that robots should have souls and minds of their own. Like most people I thought it was crazy. He told me once that they were like prisoners and saw them as people not machines and that by giving them feelings he’d be setting them free.
He was a busy man and wasn’t around much, which really made me mad. He wasn’t around when mom was alive and he wasn’t even around when she died. At the funeral he didn’t shed one tear and then I was starting to think that he cared more about robots and his work then he did about humans, his wife or even me.
Now he completed some kind of program, software or something called Kokoro which gave robots souls. He chose the name Kokoro because it was Japanese or some kind of foreign language for Heart. There was a controversy about that but a lot of robots now had it, I didn’t really know why. I guess they wanted them to be more human. But most people were scared shitless of robots rebelling against humans.
Now he was working on some kind of super advanced military robot. The Mighty ATOM project it was called. The military was going to pay him heavy for this robot but he did it for the money I think One of his friends Dr. Elefun didn’t approve of the project. I remember seeing him around a couple nights at home arguing with him about the project but Dad thought he needed the money.
“Toby are you paying attention?” Mustachio asked me. I was a Sophomore at Metro High and Mustachio was one of the teachers. His real name was Mr. Duncan but since he was so God damn impressed with himself over his mustache he told us all to call him Mr. Mustachio but I didn’t care, I don’t think anyone else did either.
“Sorry sir, I’m just over thinking things.” I said to him. “Hope it doesn’t happen again, I would hate to see you fail this class.” Then he continued with his lecture about, whatever. I never really needed to pay attention that much in school. I’ve always been smart and a straight A student and my father was the exact same way. I know more about robotics and computers then most people do. Unlike most people I’m very good at math and science, you name it. Aced all my classes and I’ve even gotten in trouble for making teachers look like idiots. But it’s pretty funny when I do that. Everyone gets a good laugh out it. Except for the teachers of course but I do end up paying for it which sucks.
Finally the school day ended, or school week I should say. I walked home with Cora as usual. I’ve known Cora since the start of middle school. We’ve been friends for a while but recently started dating. She’s always just seems like someone I could trust. She was around my height, she had dark hair with some areas that she dyed purple.
“You still upset about your mom?” She asked “Yea, it just feels weird not having her around. It’s even worse because dad isn’t around much either. It’s almost like he doesn’t care.”
“Toby I’m sure he does, I mean the guy obviously has a lot of work. He is the head of the ministry.” Cora said trying to cheer me up.
“I know it’s just when you care about someone close to you, you still need to be there for them. To him it’s like I’m not important. I don’t know it’s bull shit.” I said. “I wounder if he would care if I died. If he would be able to move on.”
“Don’t get all emo on me Toby, you shouldn’t think like that.” Cora said a little annoyed. “I mean things could be worse.” I thought about it for a while then I said “Yea, I guess you’re right.”
“Look there’s a party tonight. I think you should go ya know? Take your mind off things, do something fun.” Cora then said trying to cheer me up again. She’s been like this since mom died. “Okay, your not going to get drunk are you?” I asked. I’ve only been to one party and it was crazy with all the under age drinking. I never really understood why people do stupid things like that to themselves to shorten their life.
“No don’t worry, you don’t have to drink either. Just go there hang out and just talk to some people okay?” Cora assured me. “Alright well I turn 16 in a few months and I got my permit. So if I can I’ll try and get my dad’s car and drive over there.” I said to her. “Well if it’s a big deal don’t worry about it. Call me if your dad is working late if you can’t come” She said
“Alright then. I’ll call you if I can’t come.” I said before walking away to my home. Home was an average decent sized house.
Dad’s car was in the driveway today. Dad usually works late into the night and he’s never home before I am, weird. When I walked in Dad was there in the living room waiting for me. Dad was a tall man, usually had a suit on and had dark hair with a pretty long goatee. Mom always made fun of him for it and kept telling him to shave it. Said he looked like a rooster.
“Well this is a surprise, shouldn’t you be working dad?” I asked when I walked in.
“Toby I’m getting close to the completion of the ATOM robot. So I got off early, give us a chance to talk.” He said “What about?” I asked “Everything, this whole situation with your mother.” he answered.
I was surprised but at the same time angry. “Really dad? To me it didn’t look like you noticed she was gone.” I said to him defiantly. “Toby, you of all people should know how important my job is. I’m a very busy man and there are no words that can describe how much I loved your mother.” He said again and what he said made me even more angry. The way he said it was just – I don’t know it just sounded like just lies. Like he was an actor reading lines off a script. No emotion at all. All it did was piss me off.
“Bull shit. If you cared you would have been here when she was alive! You weren’t even at the hospital when she died!” I yelled.
“That type of language is uncalled for Toby. Like I said I put time and effort into my work. I want to make robots have souls, I want them to be free. But I care about you and I want what’s best for you.” Dad said trying to reassure me.
“So that’s it? You’re more interested in robots than what your own family?” I said again.
The argument went on, and on, and on for hours. It didn’t get anywhere; then he got a call from someone at the ministry telling him to come down right away. Before he left he stopped for a moment then said
“Toby I know things are hard since your mother died. I miss her too and I care about you, I know it might seem like I don’t but I will always care about you. Just don’t do anything stupid that’s all I ask.” Tenma said trying to reassure me, again.
“Whatever you say.” I simply said. “Alright I’ll be back in a few hours hopefully. Dr. Elefun is outside and he’s going to drive me. Don’t do anything stupid Toby.” He said again.
“Okay, I wont.” I replied. He was leaving his car here. Maybe I should take Cora’s advice and try to go the party she told me to go to.
I waited a while after Dad left then called Cora and told her I was coming and I would see her there. Cars no longer had keys. You had to remember a five digit password and enter it to start the car. But this wasn’t a problem I knew most of my Dad’s password’s to pretty much anything.
I knew the directions. It was at some Senior’s house and Cora said her parents were out of town or something. I seemed pretty good at driving but when I was half way there something happened. I don’t know why but the car just floored and the back of the pedal wasn’t even to the floor, I didn’t even have control over the steering. Now that I think about it, I think was something was screwed up in the car’s CPU but I don’t think it really matters.
Then the car almost hit a truck and it swerved and it had tree logs on it’s flatbed. The car landed on its side and one of the windows broke and cut me up. I distinctively remember the feeling as the glass cut me. Then I crossed my fingers and closed my eyes as the car skidded along the road. When the car stopped I opened my eyes to see a sharp ended tree log coming right at me. I even remember the pain as it pierced my chest, it didn’t last that long though then nothing.
The next thing I knew I woke up in my bed breathing and sweating really hard. I didn’t know what to think. I knew it wasn’t a dream I felt the agonizing pain and it nothing I ever felt before. It was way too real. I knew that it wasn’t a dream.
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