❯ Eternal Bond – Almost Discovered Secrets ( Chapter 4 )
Author’s Note: IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ! Hey all, it’s me again. Sorry for the delay, but I recently lost my beta reader due to real life. He didn’t die, some stuff came up in his life and I don’t want to be a pain in the butt and nag him about beta reading this story. Furthermore, I found out the name of the blue haired guy Atlas was talking to that is in the motorcycle gang with him. The one who likes Lucy in this fan fic. It’s Saburou, so I changed the name from Leo back to his real one. I apologize for any confusion I may cause people, but I want to be as true to the Astro Boy series as possible. I would also like to give a special thank you to JeffBert for helping me out with the technical information mentioned in this chapter.
« Is it you? Or does he just look like you? »
~Yuna-Final Fantasy X-2
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! I can’t believe that I was so freaking stupid! How in the hell could I forget about Dr. Tenma?! Gods, I feel like an idiot!
These had been Livian’s thoughts on the way to Dr. Tenma’s refuge. It had been a long time since she had seen the man who had created Daichi. She had first met him when she and Daichi were ten. He had gotten into an accident and some of the circuits in his right arm had jammed, making it incapable of movement. He had to be taken to Tenma right away so that repairs could be made and to be sure there wasn’t any more serious damage. Tokugawa, of course, hadn’t been there for Daichi, he had been off on some business venture and wouldn’t be back for another week. The limo driver had been the one to take Daichi to see Tenma, Livian, Lucy, and their father following in suit. Livian had been insistent that she stay by Daichi’s side.
« Sweetheart, he may not let us in, » her father had cautioned her, « We’re not Daichi’s family. »
« Yeah, but I’m his best friend, that’s close enough, » Livian had replied as they had approached the door to Tenma’s house. Livian and Lucy had watched as their father knocked lightly on the door. When it opened, there stood a tall man with a long beard on his chin that matched the style of his hair and a long nose. His expression had been blank as he regarded the three strangers at his doorstep.
« Can I help you? » his voice had been monotone, as if he had been getting ready to slam the door in their faces.
As Livian and Lucy’s father started explaining why they were here, Livian had peered behind the doorway, searching as far into the house as she could. A smile had quickly graced her face when she saw Daichi, sitting on small check up table, swinging his legs and looking rather bored. His sensitive ears had caught the sound of familiar voices and he had looked over to see Livian, Lucy, and their father, who was still speaking with Dr. Tenma.
« Livian, what are you doing here? » Daichi had asked, surprised to see that he actually had visitors.
« We came to see you, silly, » Livian grinned before she looked up at Dr. Tenma, « May I sit next to him, sir?
Tenma had looked down at the girl with the same blank expression on his face before he gave an approving nod, holding the door open as she ran to Daichi’s side, allowing the rest of her family inside as well.
Livian had watched anxiously as Dr. Tenma cut away sections from Daichi’s arm and removed what appeared to be a cracked blue gem. She noted the tremors in the arm, before and during the procedure gave way to what she feared was permanent paralysis. She asked him about it, and he explained that the blue gem was a motor-control device that did for robots the same thing that the primary and secondary motor cortices do for humans. « The blue gem, as you call it, and parts of the human brain control the movement of arms and legs. In this case, the uncontrolled movements were caused by the damage, much the same as stroke victims are likewise paralyzed and sometimes suffer from involuntary movement. »
« Can you fix him? » Livian had hesitantly asked, fearful of a ‘no’ response.
« I made him, I can certainly repair him. I just need to install a new motion-control device. » Temna answered reassuringly, having noted at the time that for a human, Livian showed great concern for a robot.
« Daichi…does it hurt? » Livian had asked once the doctor was gone, concerned that he might be in pain.
Daichi had smiled and squeezed her hand lightly and told her, « Not anymore. »
They had been so innocent back then. Things had changed for them so much over the last few years that sometimes Livian wished she could turn back time and go back to the way things were before Daichi had vanished and before Keri Anna had come along and swooped Daichi away like a hawk with a freshly caught mouse. It had been around that time when Livian had realized her feelings for her childhood friend ran much deeper than she would admit. It had taken a long time for her to see that she was very much in love with him and it was just as she was beginning to understand this feeling that Keri had come along and changed everything.
Better not think about it too much. Don’t want to be a bad mood when you speak to Dr. Tenma. Livian thought as she parked her motorcycle in front of his lair, a large dark copper colored building that appeared to be built in the shape of a bird. Kind of like a hawk watching over the entire city. I wonder if he’ll remember me, it’s been a while since I’ve last seen him. She looked down at her arms, where she now carried a box of custard cream filled pan and daifuku. She had stopped at one of the Japanese bakeries and picked up a small box to give Tenma, wanting to be a proper guest and hoping they would help persuade him to talk to her if all else should fail. I just hope he likes sweets.
« What the hell happened to me?! Why didn’t that blade cut my arm off?! » Atlas demanded, his now green eyes glaring at the man who had given him this power.
« Patience is a virtue, my friend. Figuring these things out takes time, » Doctor Tenma replied as he finished inspecting the very arm that had shattered the vibro-blade that should have sliced clean through it. « Now, why exactly have you returned here? The last I saw, you were floating off into space. »
« I have some business I have to finish, » Atlas flatly stated.
A knock on the door disrupted their conversation, both of them looking up at the monitors to see who would be there at such an hour of the night. When the screens switched on, there stood a girl with blonde hair, blue eyes, dressed all in black and carrying a small white box.
« Livian?! What the hell is she doing here?! » Atlas asked, his eyes wide with alarm.
« Is she unaware of your return? I would have thought you talked with her since you were following her around last night, or have you taken to stalking now? »
« Not funny, » Atlas growled, « No, she doesn’t know I’m back yet and I don’t want her to know yet either! Just go and talk to her until she leaves! » Atlas then ran over to the other room, keeping himself hidden in the shadows as he watched Tenma open the door and welcome the girl inside.
« I hope I’m not keeping you from any important work, Dr. Tenma, » Livian said as she stepped into Tenma`s living room, handing in the small white box, « I brought these for you, I hope you don’t mind. »
« Not at all, thank you, » Tenma then gave Livian a rather curious smile, « You’ve grown quite a bit since I last saw you. »
Livian blushed, « Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say. »
« Is there any particular reason why you came to see me? It has been a long time since we last saw each other. » Tenma took a seat on the nearest lounge chair, his penetrating gaze fixed on her.
« I came here concerning a matter of great importance, at least it is to me, I don’t know what you’ll think; it concerns Daichi. » Livian took the seat opposite Dr. Tenma, her face growing pensive as she continued, « He’s been missing for a long time now and I’m very worried about him. I’ve done almost everything I could to try and find him, I’ve looked in all of his hang outs, my friends and I have done search parties, hell I even looked in some of the jails! I was hoping that maybe you knew where he was and if you did, could you tell me? I’ve been worried about him ever since he disappeared! I need to see him! I need to know he’s okay! If you can’t tell me where he is yet, at least tell me if he’s all right or not! I’ll get on my knees and beg if I have to, just please, if you know anything at all… » Livian stopped her worried ranting as Dr. Tenma’s hand rested upon her arm.
« Livian, first of all, breath. You’re going to need air in your lungs sooner or later, you’re only human after all. »
« Sorry, I didn’t mean to rant, » Livian apologized, « I’m just really concerned about him. I haven’t been able to sleep ever since he vanished. » Livian brushed aside some tendrils of blonde hair from her downcast face.
Tenma could see that Livian was telling the truth, there were dark circles under her sapphire eyes and her features were etched with sorrow. It was then that he noticed the small thin diagonal scar on her left cheek. « What happened? » he asked, his eyes studying the mark.
« Oh, that, it’s just an old wound, » Livian explained away quickly, not wanting to get into the details.
Tenma just raised one eyebrow with a questioning slant, before he stepped away from the girl, « I’ll be right back. There’s something I need to fetch quickly. » He watched as Livian simply nodded, turning around and looking at her from over his shoulder, « You know, you almost sound like you’re in love with him. »
Livian’s face instantly became the same color as Daichi’s hair, her gaze now falling onto the floor as she started fidgeting in her seat, « I…um…eh…err…I…He has a girlfriend named Keri Anna. I’m just the best friend. »
Tenma just nodded and walked away, leaving a now very red Livian in her seat. She was surprised that he had figured it out, or at least made a good guess at it. Then again, most of the people who knew her and Daichi could see that she had deep feelings for him right away. Some of their friends had even decided amongst themselves to start giving them nicknames of infamous anime and video game couples since they supposedly made a good pair. The names included Kagome and Inuyasha, Sae and Itsuki, Yuna and Tidus, Kyo and Yuya, Aerith and Cloud, Kayko and Yusuke, and Lenne and Shuyin.
Livian chuckled at the remembrance of the names, wondering if their friends and fellow gang members had seen too much anime. She stood up from her seat, her eyes studying every detail as she walked into the lab. He’s certainly dedicated to his work. Maybe he can help me out in more ways than one. As she walked onward, she noticed an odd shape from the corner of her eye that almost seemed to be hiding itself from her. She took a few more steps forward until she was standing directly in front what she now saw to be a robot. It was red and navy blue, with deep green eyes and olive colored face. There was no movement to it, so Livian assumed it must have been deactivated as her slender hand reached up and gently touched the robot’s face. Why does he remind me so much of Daichi? I wonder if this is what his robot form might have looked like? Her fingers continued their innocent exploration downward until she held the robot’s hand in her own. She studied each digit carefully, her warm skin tracing along the cool metal of his hand, wrist, and fingers. As she continued her silent inspection, she had the strangest feeling that she was being watched. She looked up into the robot’s green eyes, waiting to see if it would blink or make some sort of voice of protest against her touch. She knew a good deal of robots despised humans because of the cruel way some humans treated them. The Blue Knight was certainly famous for fighting for robot rights and despite her equal treatment towards them, she feared what he might do to her if she were to run into him in a dark alley. Yet at the same time, she felt a certain familiarity towards the one who despised the entire human race. She never really knew why- the only guess she could make was that he reminded her of Daichi. Her hand closed around the robot’s as she continued to look at him in awe and wonder. She had never met any of the other robots Tenma had created, Daichi was the only one she had ever known and she could not help but wonder what this robot would be like. Will you be like Daichi or will you be like the Blue Knight? With her mind now back on her secret love, she rested her head on the robot’s shoulder, her eyes closed as she fought back tears. I miss you so much, Daichi. She thought before she realized she had also spoken it aloud. Her breath caught in her throat when she felt a small pressure on the hand that held the robot’s, hers instinctively squeezing back in response. She stayed still, now sensing Daichi’s presence somewhere in the room. She then felt the robot’s thumb grazing it’s way across her knuckles in a feather light caress as she slowly lifted her head back up to meet the robot’s eyes, daring to wonder for that brief moment if this robot before her had been the one she’d been searching for. If this was her best friend in his altered form, then he had to be masquerading as something else to hide himself from her. Her lips started to move, about to voice the one question that would solve everything.
« Livian? » Came Dr. Tenma’s voice, pulling the young girl out of her revere. Livian again turned crimson and gently stepped away from the robot, her mind still reeling with unanswered questions.
« Sorry, Doctor Tenma, I guess I got a little carried away, » With the blush still on her face, she took one final glance at the robot before she followed Tenma back into the living room.
« Livian, there is something I must ask you, » Tenma began, his gaze on her still sharp as ever as his tone became dark, « Do you know the truth about Daichi’s caretaker, Tokugawa? »
« Yes, I do. I admit, I never witnessed any of it, but Daichi told me about it many times, » Livian wondered if it was wise of her to be telling Tenma this, if he were to find out what she and the Demon Royals were planning, he could easily call the Metro City police and have her and the others arrested.
« And you wish to…confront Tokugawa for his mistreatment of Daichi, correct? »
« Yes…I would. »
To her surprise, Tenma actually smiled and led her over to a mirror that hung on a nearby wall. He pushed aside the strands of hair that hid her scar from the world and tucked them behind her ear. « I have something for you…something that may help you out and allow you to confront Tokugawa. » He then lifted up a metallic blue object that looked a lot like laser pointer. He pressed down on the small silver button, a thin red beam coming from it. Tenma traced the red light across her scar, her breath catching in her throat yet again as her scar vanished from sight.
« Something I invented in my college days, » he explained, placing the object into Livian’s hand. « I figured it might come in use someday and I see now I was right to think so. »
Livian continued to gape in awe in the mirror at the sight before her. She knew it was not that big of a change, but at the same time, it was. She no longer possessed the one single flaw that kept her from singing auditions and possible record deals. Her fingers lightly touched her left cheek, her face becoming crest fallen as she still felt the old wound on her cheek, it’s appearance returning after she traced the scar’s pattern.
« You mustn’t touch your face after you apply this, otherwise you’re scar will appear again. It is only a cover up I’m afraid, it will not remove it. I do apologize for bringing your hopes up, I should have explained first. »
« It’s quite all right, » Livian said, putting the scar cover into her jacket pocket. « If I may ask though, there is something else I wish to speak to you about. Do you know anything about cybernetics? The deal with a human merging with machine parts and whatnot. »
« I know enough, why do you ask? »
« I’ve been thinking on the subject for a while now and if something should happen to me, I would like to know I have something that could help me. »
« And you feel becoming a cyborg would be the best plan to help you out, should such a case arise? » Tenma asked with a raised eyebrow. Livian nodded and watched as Tenma seemed to ponder on what he should do before he responded, « There are only certain body types that can survive becoming a cyborg, I would have to run a few tests to see if your body would be able to survive having metal implanted in such a way. Meet with me next week and I`ll run the tests and if they show your body can survive, we`ll go from there. »
« Thank you! » Livian cried, a bright smile now on her angelic face. « You have no idea how much this means to me, thank you. » She bowed before him, the smile still alight on her face. « And thank you again for your device, I’m sure I will put it to good use. Again, I apologize if I bothered you at all tonight. I`ll be on my way so I won`t be anymore of a nuisance. » She was bound for the door when Dr. Tenma’s voice once again brought her attention.
« Livian…about Daichi…I’m afraid I cannot tell you much, but I can tell you that he’s safe. »
Livian smiled at Doctor Tenma one last time before she stepped back out into the world of Metro City, her hopes higher than ever and mind now at ease to know that Daichi was okay.