How to save the world – chapter five

The story so far

One stormy night, a lab is struck by lightning and a robot comes alive. He disturbs a laboratory rat called Nat who sees this as a chance to escape, but they are almost caught by two suspicious-looking characters. Eventually they make it downstairs and to a door…

The robot had to admit it, Nat had been right. The door led out into an alley filled with dustbins and decaying rubbish that caused the robot’s feet to slip and slide as it followed Nat’s instructions. It put out its arms to steady itself and felt that the joints were beginning to stiffen.

“Come on metal boy, straight on now…yea, round the dustbin that’s right, I’m not a common rat that has to rummage in bins you know. No, I’m above that, bred for better things. Left here. Along a bit. Stop when you get to the end of the shadows; you don’t want to draw attention to us, do you now. I mean, it’s not everyone who’d welcome a walking robot and his companion, however smart and sophisticated that companion might be. Humans are funny like that you know. Stop here, yep I was right, told you so, look, over there.” He pointed to a pile of boxes that leaned precariously against a wall.

“Pizza boxes, that’s what they are. And it follows there will be pizzas nearby. Probably in some of them boxes. Humans aren’t known for saving food you know, or at least Big and Bob never did.” Nat ran down the robot’s body and over to the pile. He rifled through the boxes, muttering to himself, words like ‘stuffed crust‘, ‘margarita’, ‘yuk, onions,’ ‘mmm ham!’ Then he turned and, his speech muffled by the presence of some particularly chewy cheese, said: “You know robot, since we seem to be having a meal together, well not that you are eating though some of this stuff is so oily you’d probably like it, anyway, since we are having a meal together I really ought to know your name.”

The robot creaked a little as it reached its hand out and touched one of the discarded pizza slices. The pizza was indeed oily. It squashed the slice in its hand and flexed its fingers. Then it looked at Nat.

“I do not have a name.”

“No problem,” Nat continued. “I can come up with one for you. Well I guess I don’t know whether you are a boy or a girl, but I’ve been calling you metal boy, so how about a boy’s name?”

“I will let you choose.” The robot picked up another slice of pizza and rubbed it into its left shoulder before moving the shoulder round in its socket.

“Rick, how about Rick?” asked Nat. “Rick the robot.”

The robot considered for a moment. “Yes,” he said. “I am Rick.”

“Well Rick,” growled another voice from behind. “I think you and your friend had better come with me!”

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About wiseegg

I am a writer and an editor. I write comic and serious children's fiction and edit the arts pages of the local newspaper group The Herald. I am useless at housework but love books and the theatre and I have three children and an unfeasibly large number of cats. Oh, and one of my best friends is a dodo.

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