Chapter 3 & 4
From Mareiha I learned a great deal about this world I stumbled upon. A great shock of realization hit me like wall I would have walked into as she showed me her world. She called it Patrida instead of Earth. No matter which day and time the city remained black with its bluish-green light, glowing like spread veins or arteries. What shocked me were the ways in the society. All people like Mareiha were slaves or servants but she and the rest of the group I stumbled upon are rebels who fight for freedom and justice. They managed to escape from their so-called Master. The Masters are the rulers of this world and city and if I have heard correctly they are not human. They are robots like me, designed differently than I am of course. Otherwise the atmosphere is parallel to my world Earth. Only robots rule and humans are slaves. Asides ruling they even invent new futuristic objects and established severe rules against the humans. What leads to injustice, unfairness and no compassion. As I saw it, it became clear why Mareiha trusted me so quickly and others remained suspicious. Then a question appeared and I wondered. “Mareiha, was there a time where things went different?”
She blinked. “There was time but I can’t tell you much ’fore I was born many years after and so is my father. I heard all about it from a man and he is the oldest in our group. he helps us to remind of the forgotten time place fresh hopes. Many call him Grandfather although not related in blood. Come, I’ll bring you to him. He might be interested in meeting you.”
And so she led me to the undergrounds, deeper than where the group hides and sewage links. One can think you are about to down to hell for those who are religious. Everything was dark and damp; dripping drops of some liquid echoed along the walls in a mysterious way like in a stone cave. Since we entered into the dark I switched my eyes to night vision while Mareiha drew out a pocket torch to light her way. “Who’s stepping here?” Wondered an elderly manly voice out of some corner from the dark. I spotted him soon, he was not far from us. Standing up right before us.
“It’s me, Mareiha and I bring along a friend who would like to know of your time.” She responded calmly and stopped right in front of the old man. He had long, straight white hair resting at his shoulders all mixed up together. Clearly they have not been brushed for a long time. His face was covered with wrinkles and had a thick beard. He slightly reminded me of those pictures what humans called, in my world, Santa Clause or Father Christmas. Only that man was very lean, his dirty clothes were out of rages and scraps of cloth.
“Ah Mareiha, it does my heart glad to see you.” He smiled to her and then blinked amazed at me with a curious gaze like a young child. “Who is this friend that wants to know of my time?”
“He doesn’t really have a name, Jarvis. He comes from a different world called Earth and there things run exactly the opposite.”
“The opposite? Now isn’t that ironic and interesting.” Noted Jarvis, scratching his beard. “Then he knows how it is what we have to endure, even as a robot.” He walked up to me.
“He won’t harm you, you can trust him. He is different than those robots here.” Noted Mareiha assured.
“I can see that he is different. Robots in my time looked similar like him, almost natural and human alike. Like us. They were the only one sort of robots that were installed with the most complicated network. Connected with emotions, creativity and the common sense. In my time, they were called Eirini which means Peace. Because of the emotions they were unique and through them peace prospered until one man changed it with his newest invention of robot. They had greater skills and higher intelligence but lacked on the rest, thus everything changed to the worse. There was an overproduction and the robots became soon unstoppable. Wars were waged human against their own invention the robots and this is now the result.” Told Jarvis while walking slowly around me to inspect closer. It made me feel uncomfortable to his action.
“He is one of those robots?” Wondered Mareiha surprised.
“No but he reminds me of them and looks uncanny similar.”
“It would be a fitting name though, Eirini. Perhaps an ‘i’ less. Eirin” She turned to me.
Jarvis’ eyes were fixed to me; from that moment on I began to have a strange feeling. An emotion I never felt before nor was it mentioned from anyone. A feeling as if I must say something, strangely I can find no words. “What’s the matter?” Asked Mareiha worried. I explained to her my situation with the emotions.
“Incredible! He has emotions too! Mareiha, are you sure that he comes from a different world?” Spoke Jarvis softly, nearly whispering of surprise.
“Absolutely. He said it very clear, Earth.” Responded Mareiha and pronounced the name slightly odd.
“Tell me Eirin, I hope you are alright with the name? How is your world like?” Wondered Jarvis politely and patiently while his eyes shone with curiosity. I responded that the name is fine for me and told in finest detail I could of my world. Giving me now a name is most unusual, hopefully in time I will get accustomed to it. A name translated in a different language means Peace, although I’m a robot that word has a deep meaning to me.
As I finished explaining we all fell in silence. Jarvis slowly turned round and walked off. “Follow me.” He spoke with a wave of his hand and headed deeper into the darkness. Mareiha quickly followed him with her torch at hand. While walking I noticed the floor was not wet or even moist, the air became softer and warmer. Suddenly Jarvis halted. “Where are you leading us Jarvis?” Wondered Mareiha. “You will see soon enough.” Replied Jarvis with a composed grin. With my night vision I noticed that Jarvis was standing now before a curtain.
Suddenly I was blinded in bright white colour, so bright it hurt my eyes. I gave a short cry of pain, covering my eyes with my arms and hands. As my eyes recovered from the pain I switched back to normal vision. I blinked letting my eyes get accustomed to the light. “Are you okay?” Asked Mareiha worried, placing a hand on my elbow. I nodded to her. What lay before us was unbelievable. The electrical light gave a warm yellow light. Everywhere was dust, cables, bolts, nuts and small electrical devises. Most of it was covered in rust except one devise and it was the biggest in the room. On a wall like a coat or flag hung a robot in shut down status. Its head faced the ground, the arms and legs were relaxed and looked like as if it were barely in use or Jarvis did a nice job of polishing and fixing.
“This is the last Eirini robot from its time. I found it here in the undergrounds. Long forgotten by others and broken. Many years now I tried to fix it but it won’t tick.” Explained Jarvis.
Mareiha threw a glance at me, from that glance I analyzed she wanted me to offer assistance.
“Eirin, could you perhaps mend it?” Wondered Jarvis to me.
“I’ll do my best.” I answered, stepping bit closer to the old robot.
Gently and slowly I removed the robot from the wall and placed it on a table that Jarvis quickly cleared. I drew out from my left under arm the mini-computer to analyze the robot’s diagnostics. Every robot from my world is equipped with it. Gently I attached the cables onto the robot and waited patiently for the results the computer would give. I was slightly surprised to see it working here fine and that the cables connect well. What mystery is all this? Why is this world so similar to mine? Jarvis and Mareiha said nothing and watched with curiosity what I was doing. The computer gave the results of the damage, within seconds my mini-computer was stored back and set onto work to fix this robot. After a while Jarvis wanted to know what I was doing with the robot. After explaining what the damage the robot has Jarvis gave himself a palm-face gesture with gritting teeth. “Of course! Why didn’t I see that before!” And helped me along fixing the robot. Mareiha sat in one corner and watched, this was apparently something beyond her knowledge. The fixing was easier than I have imagined. The robot was still shut down when we were finished. Jarvis rubbed off the grease with an old towel and a grin of satisfactory played upon his lips. Mareiha stood up and came closer to have a better look. We all stared in silence at the robot, as if awaiting it would move any moment. For a long moment of silence we waited. Suddenly it made a “click” sound. Some sort of cogwheel began to turn deep inside the robot. Mareiha and Jarvis held their breath. It stopped. In the air I felt tension, frustration and confusion.
“What the...” Gave Jarvis, looking closer at the robot as if to check if we have overseen something that needed to be mended. “This can’t be it!” Noted Jarvis frustrated with a sigh. “I fixed on that robot for hours and years, now it turns out to be junk. Junk!” Thrusting his fists on the table so hard that it shook of his strength. He seems quite strong and active for an elderly man.
“Don’t say that Jarvis. You two did your best and tried.” Spoke Mareiha softly and placed a hand on Jarvis’ shoulder trying to comfort him.
All this time I had not said a single word. Secondly I would not know what to say. Jarvis quickly wiped a tear from a corner of his eye with the back of his hand and sniffed. I looked at the robot, maybe Jarvis tried and appears as he said before, it is too complicated. It is beyond him and me. I would not know where to look how to make this robot running. Before as I was helping Jarvis fixing it, I felt like a doctor. Giving my best effort to make this robot come into live status. I looked at my hands, I gasped. They were balled to fists. Inside me I felt a heavy stinging pain that can drag me down to the ground by some invisible weight. Believing to be experiencing frustration, what also Jarvis felt, I presume. I took a deep breath, trying to get rid of that weight.
“I’m gonna dump this!” Cried Jarvis.
“No! Don’t! Please don’t throw it away. For my sake, please.” Pleaded Mareiha.
“Very well, for your sake.” Sighed Jarvis and sniffed. He turned to me giving a glance I could not analyze what he felt and walked out of the room.
Mareiha sighed. “You ok?” She asked.
Without any further words we left the room and headed upwards again to the surface. As we reached the surface Mareiha turned to me, her expression was stern. “Everything what we saw will be our secret for now.” She whispered.
“Why do you want to keep it as a secret?” I wondered curiously.
“Not everyone knows of the special Eirini robots. I have feeling that not everyone is ready to know about it. Although it turned out to be broken, it is one of a kind. A memory of the past and proof that once there was such thing as peace.” Explained Mareiha. “Can you keep it, Eirin?”
“Yes. I will keep it as a secret.”
“Good.” Smiled Mareiha and walked ahead of me.
“If you are different, why do you look the same?” Wondered young Harek curiously, cocking the head to one side with wide eyes. Holding to his small green ball with both of his hands.
“Well, I am a robot. The one who created me gave me this appearance, he wanted that all his robots look natural and human alike.” I tried to explain, crouching down to him.
“Humanalike? What does that mean?” Harek blinked curiosly.
I began to grin. “Human-alike, it means to look nearly like humans. Appearing like you or your father, only in my world they have the same height as I do. In my world they call themselves humans.”
“A world as round as this ball?” Harek held up his ball.
“Yes, only bigger. So big it is nearly impossible to imagine.”
“Woah! And the Humans look nearly like us?”
I nodded. “Only a lot bigger than you.”
“Bigger than my dad?” Blinked Harek.
“They’re same as tall as I am.”
“Are they also same as warm as you are?” Asked Harek while taking gently my left hand. I wonder, are they?
“I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you know?”
“You’re too young to understand.” I explained.
“I want to understand.”
“In time you will.” I promised while stroking his head gently. Suddenly I heard from behind me someone clearing his throat, I turned round to see.
Gallagh stood stiffly before me with his usual suspicious and cold glare. His expression was stern with a hint of dislike. “Mareiah wants to see you now in the meeting hall. It’s urgent.” He gave in a cold and almost monotone voice like a soldier from my world.
With a nod I responded and followed him. Soon we were at the hall, but it looked nothing like a hall from where I come from. The hall was a cave deep under the ground. In the center a huge electric lamp hung just barely from the ceiling, due to my calculations it could fall any minute yet something holds it up. Beneath it stood a metallic chair and table. Around the cave along the walls lay tumbled rocks in their natural shape; many people were sitting already on few of the rocks while others stood. A soft murmur echoed from the walls. Many people threw a cold glare as they saw me, like Gallagh. Suddenly someone gently pulled at my right hand. I looked down.
It was young Harek. “Sit with me.” He suggested warm hearted.
“No! He has to sit else where. Go along and sit with your father.” Gallagh ordered harshly and annoyed to Harek. Why so harsh?
“There you are Eirin. Thank you Gallagh for bringing him here.” Spoke Mareiha thankful.
“It was nothing.” Responded Gallagh relaxed with a grin. For the first time I see him grin. He is some odd character or maybe I do not fully understand because I am a robot?
Mareiha quickly took my hand and lead me to another part of the hall. “I beg you only to watch and listen.” She nearly whispered and walked over to a group of men and women who stood by the metallic chair and table.
“Everyone quiet please! Let there be order and clearance here! Please silence!” Announced an elderly man, but it was not Jarvis, while hammering a stone on the table; it gave a clear metallic clang sound across the hall. The man took his seat at the table.
I remained still behind the audience, providing my fullest attention and eager to know what will happen. Since the announcement all the people became quiet and focused to the man.
“Thank you. Our great leaders have decided to discuss publicly about an old situation that has been on going for decades. The reason that made us rebels, all because of the Masters!” He gave pause. Immediately a murmur rose from the audience, some even yelled with a negative tone.
“Order! Our five trustee and respected leaders will bring this all and for once a clearance. High leader Adrian, Mareiah, Moto, Gale and Jessaline!”
The audience gave a roaring applause to the leaders that my acoustics stung although I was at the very back. Mareiah gave a brief glance to me. In her eyes I sensed some unsteadiness. She took a deep breath and looked around her cheering audience. Then all the leaders quickly unstrapped their belt with weapons and placed them on the table.
The leader Adrian was not a tall man, had nearly a baldhead but one or two inches long blonde hair grew from the scalp. In the distance it appeared nearly like a light bulb. He had a thick golden brown moustache upon his upper lip and a deep scar was visible from the corner of the right eyebrow down to the protruding cheekbone.
Moto, an Asian with long, pitch-black, straigh hair reaching to his elbows and wearing the same black diving suit like everyone else here. Standing right beside Mareiah, gave the appearance that he is taller. He was the tallest and his statue very slim compared to other leaders.
I was surprised that there is another female leader in the rebels. Jessaline looked older than Mareiah and taller. What was special about her was the hair, they were grey. Due to her face she can not be that old to receive grey hair, yet. Perhaps she is one of those people who starts to grey earlier than others do. Her long, wavy hair were tied to a loose ponytail. Few short hairs tangled gently upon her pale face and covered neck. Her dark brown eyes wandered across the hall with a proud a and silent air.
Gale appeared to be about the same age as Moto. His height was between Adrian’s and Moto’s. For a young man he had very strong and short curls in a dark chestnut colour. His mouth and jaw were clean-shaven and had broad shoulders compared to the other men. His arms were crossed and his eyes were hidden in the shadows of the sockets, which gave an eerie and strong appearance. As if born to be a warrior or perhaps in this case, a leader.
Gale stepped out, letting his strong arms hang relaxed. With a firm manly and calm voice he spoke. “We all know why we are here. To survive and someday pay back the Masters what they have done to our ancestors and us. Now the time has been questioned, how long do we have to wait? When has the right time come? I’d say the time is now! If we wait longer, then soon we might not remember why in the first place we are hiding. Especially now when we have enough men to fight and enough weapons to use.”
Many people cheered and agreed to his words. Gale stepped back in the same position as before.
Mareiah stepped out and immediately the audience fell into silence again. “Strong words Gale but some are too strong. With the time, we need a few weeks to be prepared and make out a good plan. We need a good strategy to attack and at best to form an emergency plan if all fails. The Masters are no fools to deal with, a reason why we all are still here. Few days ago I found something extraordinary which may be of great use but alas it will need more time in order to use it for our battle against the Masters.”
There was a murmur in the audience. “What is it?” Called a woman from the crowd.
“A creature that has similarity of the Masters but it is not related to them nor created. It is one of its own kind. Coming from a different world called Earth, living in the similar position as we do now. Was a slave.” Answered Mareiah, she walked towards me. Took gently my hand and brought me onto the platform and into the light.
Many people gasped at my sight. Some gave cries of fear or anger. I began to feel uneasy. Shall I move or freeze at the spot? What shall I do? The leaders stared at me with widened eyes, few even gasped with opened mouths. Quickly as a friendly gesture I focused my eyes to the ground before me.
“His name is Eirin! He is peaceful!” Shouted Mariah trying to calm the crowd. I knelt to appear friendlier. It was no use, many stood up, their hands balled to fists and called negative tones. Some even aggressive.
“Order! Order!” Demanded the announcer hammering the stone on the table. Soon the crowd calmed down.
“Do you know what you are saying and trusting to? Usually I never question your leadership Mareiah but this...” Moto stepped up pointing a hand to me and walked around me to have a closer look. Although the tallest he was still small to me.
“Interesting.” He murmured quietly to himself. “Can it talk?” He asked to Mareiah.
She looked at me, from her eyes I had the feeling I could answer his question.
“Yes I do, including thinking and feeling.” I responded to him.
Moto blinked at me of surprise. “A Master that can feel?”
“It’s not a Master! It is one of a kind from a different world! Uncanny the same like the robots before the Masters, the peaceful ones!” Interrupted a familiar voice amongst the crowd. Soon Jarvis stepped onto the platform. Although old he had surprisingly strength of energy.
“Jarvis! Step back, this is not only your quarrel, it is everyone’s!” Called the announcer firmly walking up to him.
“Indeed it is, but I stand up for Eirin. He reminds me of the long forgotten times before the Masters. Where we people lived in harmony together with robots. Elders like me do you remember? Simon, do you my old friend? A time where we didn’t fight and when there were complications we talked about it and solved it peacefully. We called the robots Eirin what means peace. They were the sort of robots that could think and feel on its own, nearly like we do. They were the robots of creativity and peace. Only he is from a different world.” Spoke Jarvis to the crowd, Simon and then to the leaders.
“It could be a spy sent by the Masters, they found him amongst the scraps and decided to send it here.” Called Jessaline suspiciously pointing at me. Few people in the crowd gave an agreeable tone.
“He is not! I mean look at him! Does it look like the works of the Masters?” Asked Mariah to the crowd and leaders. There was utter silence in hall. “On the first day he approached, he saved a child from being harmed. He told me about his world called Earth. He was a slave there and the people were in the size like he was. He didn’t have a name until now. He was only called ‘robot’ or ‘it’. Look at us! We are no different than him!”
“We don’t have wires as veins nor cogs that tic in our torso.” Noted Adrian.
“Aside from the appearance Eirin is no different than us.” Spoke Mariah.
There was silence in hall. A heavy sort of silence one can almost hear one’s breathing. A fast feeling began to rise inside me, is it fear? I looked at my hands, they were slightly trembling.
Moto gasped with widened eyes. “It does feel!” He whispered.
“Coming back to the main point, I don’t see how useful it can be for the battle.” Noted Adrian. “Especially when it needs time, time for what? Prepare?”
“Yes but what also comes into question is if he wants to help us. After all we can’t force him.” Remarked Mareiah.
“Force him? I would rather question if it will deliver us right into the hands to the Masters. Then after hard tortures that we can barely live throw us into the hard life of slavery and more tortures. Force him? I’d rather finish him!” Called Gale angered.
“Harm him? Has he done any harm to us?” Questioned Mareiah to Gale angered, her cheeks flushed.
“Not till now. It may all be a part of their plan.” Snapped Gale back.
“What about you? So eager to attack, are you perhaps a member of the Masters?” Demanded Mareiah furious.
“Woah! Mareiah! Do you know what you are saying?” Adrian held Mareiah back from attacking Gale with her arms. Although Adrian was the smallest leader, he possesses incredible strength to hold back Mareiah.
Gale’s angered expression had turned immediately to astonishment and froze from Mareiha’s words.
“We are the chosen leaders, none of us could be a spy of the Masters.” Added Adrian while slowly letting Mareiah go.
“Where is your proof, Adrian? Where is the proof that Eirin is a spy?” Asked Mareiah. “At desperate times we just have to trust our inner instincts and feelings and I’ve done that to Eirin. It turned out fine.”
“I hope in history our downfall will not be caused by your inner feelings.” Snapped Gale as he collected himself again.
“It will not happen!” She shouted.
“Where’s your proof in that?” He snapped.
“It lies in the unknown future, how can I prove something that hasn’t happened yet!” Mariah gave an annoyed sigh. “I’m leaving. This argument leads us nowhere.” She began to walk towards the end of the platform.
“You’re not leaving and that includes the others, we agreed on clearing this argument once and for all.” Halted the announcer, gripping tightly to her hand.
She scoffed and shook off his grip, “How if you please tell me, when every leader is against me, how can we win the battle? Knowing it is worth to stand and fight and if necessary sacrifice our lives. In this position, everything is nothing!”
“There is a chance, let the others speak. With the special Master you are far ahead than the others.” Explained Simon calmly and guided her back to the other leaders.
“Then it seems the time isn’t right yet, but it is soon. We have to hold our eagerness as Mareiha mentioned. Why give it a chance with that different Master? It could be of great use then in battle.” Noted Jessaline calmly.
The others agreed all but one, Gale. His dark brown eyes gleamed at me as if I were a threat to him and then to Mareiha. Strangely an uneasy feeling grew in my chest at his sight and some concern for the future.