Days and weeks passed by and Shamathia enjoyed her new life more and more.
Andy showed her a great deal of owners' world, and when he was still at school
she often went over to visit Amie. Every now and than, Andy and his dad checked
if Shamathia's robotic body was working fine, exchanged some very used parts
or even improved her functionality. Soon, she got a set of really fine claws
made of stainless steal, which she could push out to walk on rough terrain,
climb a bit or impress the cats which roamed around through the garden now and
than. Andy had also taken her into town quite some times, and once even to a
friend of his, of course without telling him.
One nice morning, Andy waked Sammy up and told her that it was time to go to
school. She looked at him with big eyes, and he explained her, that he had to
take only a few books with him today so that there was enough empty space in
his backpack for a cat or something of that size.
At first Shamathia was skeptic, wasn't that a bit to dangerous? But soon Andy
convinced her that it would be only great fun, after all, they had been under
people in the city before and never had anyone noticed her. Also, Sammy was
very interested to experience what school was like at owners' world, and so
she jumped into the backpack between the text--and exercise books.
After a fifteen-minutes walk they arrived at school. Sammy could hear many
different voices around, younger and older ones. Andy seemed to walk down some
stairs, than greeted someone and had a little talk about nothing too special.
They walked down a long aisle, opened and shut a door and than the backpack
was put to the ground very carefully. There were many voices very close. Obviously,
the lessons had not yet started and the pupils were chatting with each other.
Andy had explained Sammy that he sat in the first row of tables, close to the
Soon a bell rang, once and a few minutes later another time. The door was opened
and in walked someone with fast steps towards the front of the room. Still some
pupils were chatting with each other but the teacher said something about "Good
morning" with quite a strong voice they felt quiet. The first period was math,
and afterwards history. The math lessons was quite interesting and the teacher
seemed to be nice. He was not too strict but yet no one questioned his authority.
This period was actually about trigonometry you know, some really wired stuff
about how to calculate the angles and edges of triangles.
The next period was very much different. The history-teacher had the mysterious
ability to create an atmosphere of deadly boredom as soon as he entered the
room. It was so boring, that time seemed to slow down, yes even to stop or go
backwards. History can be a very interesting and enjoyable subject, or it can
be like this. It all is depending very much on the teacher.
The teacher hold a long monolog about the end of a great war, you know, he
spoke only for himself, did not allow anyone to interrupt him and in some way
just encouraged the pupils to follow various activities to pass time by. For
example writing little letters, chatting, or playing cards under the table.
Some even listened to portable CD-players or just fell asleep. When finally
the bell announced the end of the period it was a relief for all parties, pupils,
teacher and Shamathia.
After each period was a small break, but after the second and forth period
was a larger break to give the pupils time for eating their little break-feast
they had either brought with them or bought in the cellar of the school at a
little snack-bar owned by the grunty housekeeper. Sammy could hear Andy leave
the room, heading off for the rest-rooms. During the history lessons he had
drunken a whole bottle of apple-juice and eaten half a sandwich to keep him
She listened to the pupils around, and than suddenly she heard those words
which had made her blood freeze in her veins if she had had any. "Do you think
Andy did his Latin-translation for today? I really ain't got no time for doing
'em yesterday and it's only ten minutes till 'the chef' arrives..." said one
"Dunno," answered another one, "Just have a look at his exercise-book, that's
certainly all right with him!"
Someone bent down next to the backpack in which Sammy hide and was going to
open it! What if he found Sammy in it? She was desperate, she would be discovered
and there was no way she could help it. But than, in the ultimate moment, when
Sammy thought she could already hear the zip of the bag slip open, she suddenly
heard Andy's voice. He had realised at once what was happening and managed to
save the situation.
"Hey guys what are ya doing there? Wanna eat my apple-pieces, I suppose?"
The someone who had bent down next to the backpack stood up again. Saved...
"There you are, no we are not for the apples, not today, but for ya translations
for Latin. Please tell us you made them?" he said.
"Yep, just a moment." Andy bent over his backpack and zipped it open very
carefully so that only he could see the inside. He took out the translation
and closed it tightly again.
"Here we go, but tomorrow it's your turn man. I really got better stuff to
do than this crap." Sammy could imagine well what he really meant with this.
The next period was Latin, taught by the headmaster of the school who was a
person of great authority. At once when he entered the room everyone fell silent.
The headmaster went to the front of the room and greeted the class in an old-fashioned
way. The lessons were very hard, and though she had no problems with any translations
of the texts, Sammy could imagine well how difficult it must be for the pupils.
Andy did not too bad, and his translation turned out to be quite fitting. And
by some miracle, the ones of half of the class as well.
As the lessons went on, Sammy could almost feel the tension around her. Everybody
hoped that it was not him or her to read and translate the next sentence. One
boy did especially bad this day and though the teacher did not shout at him,
his words were very mean and supposed to hurt. Shamathia thought that the teacher
would have liked to beat that boy.
When the last period was over, Andy stuffed his books into the backpack, wished
his classmates bye-bye and quickly exited the building. Back home he needed
only eight minutes, certainly because he was more encouraged to hurry up a little
Finally they arrived at home, Andy opened the door, put the backpack on the
ground and let Sammy out. "Everything all right with you?" he asked, "And did
you enjoy it?"
"Oh yes, I am OK," replied Sammy.
"Thanks for taking me with you... wow, those history lessons were the most
boring thing I've ever attended. Even worse than the first knockout competition
at the Battledome. Really, I thought I would die!" They laughed at this, Andy
had certainly felt the same way. "But the break after the second period was
thrilling. I was so close to been found," Sammy went on. "Yes, the blood froze
in my veins when I came back into the room... so what do you think about school
"Well, most of the lessons are really though. It is a total different standard
than in Neopia. And I am happy that I am not obliged to go again!" Again they
had to laugh.
Shamathia and Andy had a great time in owners' world, Andy showed Shamathia
around everywhere, he even took her with him on a bike-tour one day, and Sammy
learned to sneak around without being seen so well, that Andy permitted her
to go to the other gardens and even the little woods nearby during night and
early in the morning.
But like a beautiful summer-day passes by and sun sets, also their happy time
together darkened. On afternoon in mid-September, the doorbell rang and Andy
went to open. To his surprise, or rather shock, a soldier was standing there,
asking if his parents were at home. He would have loved to deny this, but in
the background his mother asked who it was. Andy said it was for her and she
came to the door as well. The soldier told her that he had to talk with her
about an urgent matter, her and him alone. Together they went into the living
room and shut the door tightly behind them.
Sammy was shocked when she saw the soldier entering the house as well. Of course
she had been at the battles in Tyrannia and Lost Desert and seen soldiers there,
but that had been different... she was a bit afraid of this soldier for she
had never seen someone from owners' world in uniform and wearing military boots.
And he had had that mean look on his face.
Andy came into the room, looking like the walking death. She asked him if everything
was all right, and nodded though he really did not look like that. He went into
the bathroom and looked out of the window. Outside on the street stood an army-jeep.
Two other soldiers were sitting in it, listening to the radio. Andy looked at
Sammy, "Peep out of the windows and look at the army-men. Remember what they
look like and always stay away from them" Sammy did what she was told, though
she could not quite understand the sense in it. The two men in the jeep seemed
friendly, besides their uniforms and guns. "Why do I have to? The army is there
to protect us, isn't it?" she asked.
Andy gave her a sad glance. "Usually yes, but this is different. Stay away
of them, it is dangerous and please don't ask why."
Half an hour later the soldier left again and drove away with the other in
the jeep. Andy's mother called him downstairs into the kitchen. Somehow, Sammy
had a really bad feeling about the whole thing... she went also downstairs and
lay down under the table in the dinning-room so that she could listen to what
Andy's mom was saying:
"... and asked us if we knew anybody in possession of military property. You
had heard about that burglary in the military base several weeks ago? It was
big in all newspapers. A young man of about 17 or 18 years stole expensive equipment.
He was spotted on a security camera but unfortunately he was wearing mask. Still
the military have no idea where to search and so they are asking the population
now. You don't happen to know anyone who could be involved in this affair? The
sergeant said these parts which got stolen could pose a thread to the public
if they would be given into the hands of terrorists."
Andy replied nervously, "Burglary? No, I really don't know anyone who would
dare stealing equipment from the army. That must have really upset them, I mean,
just from the army one shouldn't expect such a lack of security."
After the talk, Andy left because he had to take care of some "urgent matters"
as he put it. He ordered Sammy not to leave the house under any circumstances.
When he returned, he was in a worse condition than before, nervous and his face
pale white. He did not talk much that evening and went to bed early.
It must have been around three or four in the morning, when it happened. The
sound of heavy diesel engines could be heard on the street and than all at once
the front door was kicked in with so much brute force that the glass-windows
in it shattered. A command of soldiers, wearing storm-masks and carrying rifles
with lasers ran into the house looking around everywhere. Shouting could be
heard, shelves and cupboards were opened, things fell to the floor and broke.
Andy jumped out of his bed and quickly locked his door. Than he pushed a heavy
bookshelf in front of it and also one of the desks. He took on some cloths and
than turned to Sammy who was sitting in one corner of the room, frightened.
"Come on Sammy, we gotta leave! It's no longer safe here! Be a good girl and
climb into this backpack quickly," he said.
Sammy was close to panic. "Andy, what is going on here? Are the after us? And
what are we..." she was stopped in the middle of the sentence.
Andy had reached below her right front leg and deactivated her with a secret
switch hidden there. He packed her in the backpack, put it on his shoulders
and than opened the window and climbed on the roof. In his room behind him,
he could already hear how two or three soldiers tried to open the door. He ran
across the roof and jumped onto the one of their neighbours' house. On one side
stood a ladder, placed there by Amie. He climbed it down and ran through the
garden, crouched under some bushes and came to a road on the other side. Behind
he searchlights were switched on. He ran, just ran, heading towards the station.
When Sammy was activated again, the sun was just rising and a new day started.
She looked around, where was she? The floor was seemed to be made of solid iron
and was very dirty. In addition, it was moving. A train she thought, and she
was right, but it was not a passenger train but a goods train. What the heck
was going on? Andy sat nearby on a wooden box.
He was the fist to break the silence. "I am sorry," he said, "I am very sorry
for not telling you the truth earlier and for bringing us into all this trouble."
Sammy knew nothing to reply and so he went on, "It was all my mistake... when
I started building your robotic body, I soon realised that it really was far
over my skills and also the parts were so costly. Worse, when I had solved some
major big problems, I found out that no ideal CPU [central processing unit]
was available to run the robot at all."
Slowly Sammy began to understand. "Did you break into the military base and
Andy, who was now crying, nodded. "Yes, I happened to know that they stored
the prototypes of new chips for use in experimental battle-robots, so called
"Combat-Mechs" in a base nearby. I spied it out and soon found a security bug
in the computer-systems. Yes, and than I did do the burglary and to my surprise
they had not only chips in the base, but also a great number of ready-to-use
robot parts. All I had to do was collect everything I needed, and soon your
body was finished."
"That was very very kind of you, risking so much for... me. But what is happening
"I made the mistake to underestimate their possibilities and now it is all
lost. When the soldier came in yesterday, must have had a scanner with him to
locate the stolen parts. At the moment he entered the house he knew that the
parts were there."
There was a silence, before Sammy asked, "And, what are your plans now?"
"Returning to the military base and putting things into order again," he replied.
To be continued...