August 10, 2008

They Used to Make 'Em Like That

Haha, that isn't the real title but I figure it was funny enough to be temporary. That's another thing I'd like to do, not take my shit so damn seriously anymore.

Anyway, here goes my first serious attempt at sci-fi/speculative fiction. I remembered yesterday, this isn't exactly my FIRST attempt, but my first attempt was more of an exercise in geekery so it doesn't count *shrug* this one is just as geeky but at the very least more thought out.

So here we go. Me and Word have resolved our differences and all formatting errors are fixed I think. I love being successful.


Alex was abruptly startled from his dreams by his alarm clock.

"Wake up, Mr. Lo," the sultry female voice beckoned. "It's time to get up, Mr. Lo."

"I hear you Darla," Alex groaned as he sat upright. He rubbed the sand from his eyes, stretched, and gave a big yawn. His alarm clock—an old DRL-30 mobile task manager, to be precise—skittered off the nightstand on its spider-like metal legs and onto the floor. A pair of voluptuous, glossy pink lips fizzled onto the metallic screen and smirked. The clock scrambled up the bed and up Alex's body to nestle on his chest.

"Let's see what we've got here." The lips vanished and were replaced by a short to-do list with each completed task marked by a green X. "Sleep 'til six. Brush teeth. Brush your teeth Mr. Lo!"

Alex nodded and swung his legs over the bed. Darla rolled off his chest and onto the floor with a crash and a light "ouch". Alex stood and padded his way to the bathroom with Darla scuttling behind him, nearly getting caught in the door as Alex swung it shut.

Soon, Alex fell into his routine. He brushed his teeth and shaved with Darla prompting him. He ran a comb through his dark, glossy hair, just enough to get out the tangles. He dropped in his liquid contacts, blinking the excess moisture away before the remains hardened into a flexible, gel-like substance on his eyes. Alex blinked again to make sure they adjusted to his vision; satisfied he left the bathroom wearing only a bath towel draped around his waist, with Darla resting on his shoulders.

"Don't forget to dress, Mr. Lo," she said, the lips reappearing on the screen.

"Already ahead of ya," Alex said. He clapped his hands and his wardrobe drew up from the floor in front of him. It was a slender mahogany wood box that compressed and expanded according to the amount of clothing. Alex pressed his hand under his chin and contemplated for a moment on what he should wear. It didn't matter much since this was one of his rare days off, he could choose what he wanted.

"What do you think, Darla?" he asked even though he already knew her answer.

"I love that royal blue sweater," Darla answered. Alex smiled; he wasn't sure why Darla was so crazy about that sweater. It was a nice color but it was very thick and itchy and only suitable for the bitterest winters.

"Let's try a…yellow shirt and jeans. And Solars," Alex said as he headed for the closet. Darla gave a disappointed sigh.

"But it looks so good on you," she said. "And yellow is so…blah."

The interior of the closet was empty except for a pair of circular pads at the bottom. Alex stepped onto the pads, dropped his towel, and stretched his arms out. A few seconds later a gentle blue light drifted lazily over his body, forming his shirt and jeans as it wafted down; his Solars were formed last, a pair of dense, white sneakers with five inch platforms supposedly capable of withstanding temperatures as hot as the Sun's surface. In theory at least, no one had ever actually tried walking on the Sun with them or even walking in them in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Core. The light disappeared and Alex stepped out the closet, gave another stretch, and scratched his side.

"What's next, Darla?"

The to-do list replaced the lips on the screen again and green Xs ticked off the finished tasks. "Brush teeth. Dress. Travis, Mr. Lo."

"Huh?" Alex scratched his head. "What am I meeting Travis for?"

"Shall I call him, Mr. Lo?"

A rapping on the bedroom window caught both their attentions.

"No need," Alex said as he went over to open it. "I can just ask…"

Alex threw the window open and a burst of sunshine hit the floor. A moment later the light was literally swallowed up as Travis stepped through the window. He wore a black and white striped shirt and white cargo shorts that contrasted starkly against his skin, which was the color and density of a healthy eggplant. Travis was part of a small group of natives from a distant solar system orbiting Phoebus, a star twice as massive as the Sun. The system consisted of three planets—Castalia, the third and farthest from the star being the only one inhabited by anyone who would have anything to do with the denizens of Earth. However, as some shady and heavily biased evidence suggested, the only reason for this was that Castalians are capable of absorbing the yellow light of the Sun, making them walking black holes intent on slowly killing everyone and everything on Earth by depriving them of sunlight. Needless to say interactions between Castalia and Earth had been extremely limited.

"Alex, nice to see you didn't forget about me."

"Actually," Darla interrupted. "He did."

"Darla!" Alex yelled, gently kicking the clock away. He looked over at Travis sheepishly. "Okay, maybe…you could remind me what we're supposed to do."

Travis cocked his eyebrow and made a groan of disapproval. "You forgot. Our super-special big important day?"

"No! …Yes."

Travis threw his hands up and sighed. "Man, you said you'd come with me to buy a robot! Remember, Circuit City half-off stock sale?"

Alex thought for a minute and abruptly slapped his head. "Oh my Gosh that's right! I was supposed to go for moral support."

"Yes! You got it!" Travis clapped with joy and stretched his arms out at his sides. "So let's get going! I want to go before all the good stuff's gone." Travis's eyes drifted down to Alex's shoes and he scoffed. "Please don't let me be seen with you wearing those things."

"What?" Alex kicked at the ground, making a soft squeaking noise. "My Solars? I love 'em, they're so comfortable."

"Yeah, but they went out of style when the Sun started cooling off years ago dude," Travis said matter-of-factly, rolling his eyes. "You're going to need some RGs soon. Does anyone actually think they could walk on the Sun with those?"

"I've never tried." Alex gave a wide, toothy grin and jabbed his hands into his pockets. "Well, I guess we better get gone. Darla, watch the house 'kay?"

"I always do…" Darla said, her silky voice trailing off as she watched her Owner and his funny-looking friend exit via the window. Somewhere in her AI core, she wondered why they just hadn't taken the front door.

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