Love Builds A Robot
All is quiet in Neopia at 6:30 am. It's Sunday morning, the sun is just beginning to rise and at this hour, most Neopians are still asleep. Not you, though. You like to get an early start on your day, and what better to wake you up than a peaceful morning walk?
Today you're walking through a picturesque Meridellian neighborhood. You turn down what appears to be a wealthy street, lined with large, elaborately decorated neohomes. As you round a corner, you hear a strange noise. It sounds like loud ticking, and it's coming from the white house with blue trim that you're standing in front of.
An earth-shattering explosion makes you jump backwards into the empty road. From there you can see black smoke coming from one of the house's open windows on the top floor. Something else flies out of the window and lands on the road beside you. You pick it up and discover it's an over sized spring.
A small neopet sticks his head out the window. As the smoke clears, you can identify the neopet as a baby Bori, wearing a navy blue newsboy hat.
Meet Peydon Benjamin Everett. Eight-year-old inventor extraordinaire.
"Hey! You down there!" He motions for you to come forward. "Is that my spring you're holding?"
You hold up the spring and ask him if it's his. He nods excitedly.
"Alright! I was afraid I'd lost it! I can't complete my," he looks around to see who's listening. "...thing, without it. Just a sec, I'll come down and get it."
Peydon disappears from the window. You hear crashing and clanging and other disturbing noises, as he tears through his room to get down to the door. You wonder how a kid could have so much stuff, and what he could possibly be "inventing" with it?
A door slams and the baby Bori is now in front of you.
"Thanks for finding my spring." He takes the large metal object from you and holds it up to examine it. You ask him what it's for. He seems reluctant to tell you.
"Something so cool, it will turn your mind upside down and inside out." He scans the area a second time, and says, "I'll show you, if you can keep a secret."
That depends on what it is. Was this boy doing something he shouldn't? The earlier explosion should have been enough to convince you of that. For some reason though, you nod. You must be curious to see what's cool enough to turn somebody's mind "upside down and inside out". As you follow the Bori into the mansion and up the stairs however, you begin to worry that what he said, he meant literally... He seems nice enough, but you don't know anything about him.. Other than he's a rich baby Bori who's into creating cool things..
You and Peydon reach the top of the stairs. He leads you down a long hallway with a huge square window at the end. He stops just before the window, at a door with a sign that says 'KEEP OUT'. Please don't let this be Peydon's room, you think to yourself.
"This is my room!"
Just your luck. You guess it's what you expected anyway.
The Bori puts his paw on the doorknob, and you tense a bit as he turns it. He moves out of the doorway revealing something you're shocked and awestruck to see...
The whole room seems to be moving! There are wind-up toys on the floor, electric mobiles hanging from the ceiling, and everything from fan powered windmills to Virtupets battery powered carriages in between. There are zooming things, climbing things, spinning things! Things that crawl and dance and bounce, and on the back wall is a giant, working, yellow gear, with smaller coloured gears around it.
You ask him where he got it all.
"Different places," he answers. "Most of it I make myself, out of other things around the house."
It was amazing. How did such a young pet do all this himself? What made him want to be an inventor in the first place? You ask him these questions.
"It all started about two years ago, when I was just a kid..."
*~Two Years Ago~*
"Why does he have to go?"
"We've been through this before, Peydon. He just isn't able to look after himself anymore. He needs help."
"But can't we help him?"
"I wish we could, but your mom and I work full time, and you're in neoschool all day."
"I can stay home from neoschool?"
There was no denying it. Grandpa hadn't been himself lately. Whether it was Cricky Neck, Blurred Vision or Shaky Flackys, or a combination of all of them, or whether grandpa was just getting old, nobody knew. He was still the same to Peydon. Caring, and helpful and fun, but it was becoming harder and harder for him to do even the things that he loved. His kids decided he needed someone who could be there with him, not just in the hours after work and school, to help him in day to day life. That was when the talk about the Meridell City Home for Elderly Neopets started. At first it sounded like a great idea to Peydon. A place with other pets grandpa's age, where he could get the care he needed. Then he found out that he'd have to live there, possibly forever! They could go to visit him, but Meridell City was hours away. They would probably hardly see him at all, or at least compared to what the little Bori was used to.
It was decided. Peydon could not let them take his grandpa away, and he wasn't going to let them. But what could he do? He could hide him up in his tree house until they forgot about the whole thing? No, grandpa couldn't even get up there. He could keep trying to convince his parents to take him out of neoschool, so he could stay home to help him? No, they'd never go for that. He could get him a petpet and train it to look after grandpa! But who would look after the petpet? He could get him a robot that was like a petpet that could take care of him? Or for that matter, he could get him a robot that was like a neopet that could take care of him! Yes! That's what he would do!
But where was he going to get the robot? As far as he knew, the only place that had them was the Virtupets Space Station, and Peydon couldn't go to space! He would have to find one somewhere else. Unless..
Unless he made one himself.
He did like to make stuff, and he had always been fascinated by moving things. Could he really build a real live robot all by himself though? There was only one way to find out!
He ran upstairs to his room to find the perfect robot parts. First he would have to figure out what he would make it out of. What do robots need? Moving parts of course, and something to make them move, like a brain.
The Bori saw his toy Virtupets laptop sitting on his bed. Griff, his gallion was sleeping on it.
"A computer could be used for a brain!" he exclaimed as he pulled the toy out from under Griff.
Now he needed to make the robot's body. It would have to have something that would work like hands if it was going to be able to help grandpa do things like make peanut-butter sandwiches.
He spotted his Balthazar Claw toy lying on the floor.
"This would be perfect for one hand! Now what can I use for the other? ....Ah!"
He ran into the bathroom and emerged holding a big red plunger.
"Now it'll have one hand that can grab, and one that can stick to things to pick them up," he proudly told Griff. "I can use boxes for the head and tummy. Mom always has lots of those around."
He just needed legs now. After searching the room from top to bottom though, he still had nothing.
"Peydon! Have you finished your chores?"
It was his mother.
"Not yet, Mom! I'll do it later!"
Sarah Everett was now standing in the doorway, holding a broom out to her son.
"Mom, please can it wait? I'm busy." Then he saw the broom... and it dawned on him. "Actually I'll take this. The mop too."
Sarah was astonished as he happily took the broom. Peydon just smiled.
A claw and a plunger for hands, a mop and broom for legs, a toy computer for a brain and cardboard boxes and mom's hair elastics holding it all together. The little Bori admired his creation. His robot stood tall and proud on his bedroom table. He had really done it! He built a robot that could help grandpa. Yeah he was only able to program it to make peanut-butter sandwiches, but it was more than he'd ever thought he could make it do. He would upgrade its programming after he presented it to his parents and of course grandpa.
There was a knock at the door.
"Peydon, have you finished your chores yet?" his mother asked a second time.
The door opened, and the first thing Sarah Everett saw was the robot. "Peydon, what is this?"
"It's for grandpa," he said quickly. "It'll help him do stuff, like the pets in Meridell City. So he can stay here..." The last part was said more like a question.
His mother was impressed. "Does it work?"
"Can we see?"
"Okay, but I'll need some bread and peanut-butter."
Peydon and his mother brought the robot down to the living room, where grandpa sat in his favourite chair.
"Peydon has something to show you," his mother announced.
The old Bori sat up in his chair. "What do you want to show me, Pey?"
The baby Bori held up his invention. "I made this for you, to help you and stuff when we aren't home. I was hoping...I was hoping if it worked, you wouldn't have to go away."
Grandpa was silent.
"And it does work!" Peydon said excitedly. He pushed a button on his homemade remote control, turning the robot on and making its light bulb eyes light up. The Everett family applauded.
"Uh, what's the bread for?" asked Peydon's father.
"Watch this!" He pushed another button on the remote, and the robot began to perform its main function. It opened the bag of bread with its claw hand, and removed two pieces. Then it took the lid off of the jar of peanut-butter with its plunger hand. Its creator handed it a butter knife, which it used to spread the peanut-butter on the bread. Finally it put the two pieces of bread together and handed it to grandpa.
"You did all this yourself?" His father couldn't believe it. "How? It must have been a huge challenge just designing it, let alone getting it to work."
"That's fantastic, Peydon!" said his mother. "But..."
"It will be able to do more! I just have to figure out how to program it."
"Peydon, I know how much you want Grandpa to stay..."
He didn't hear the rest. What was he thinking? How could a six year old really build something worth wild? Peanut-butter sandwiches! What a stupid idea! Grandpa was so old and sick. How could he have thought that would make him stay home.
All of the sudden, something looked different about Grandpa. He didn't look so old and sick anymore. In fact, he looked happy, even well. His eyes were lit up like the robot's eyes... but brighter! And there was a great big smile on his face, a smile like nobody had seen in a long time.
"You know what, Sarah? I believe Pey's robot may be just what I need. Haha, I think it might have helped me already!"
Peydon's parents saw the change in Grandpa as well. They were both clearly amazed. "I think you're right, Dad," said Peydon's mother.
"You mean he doesn't have to go to the old pet's home?!" asked the baby Bori, hopefully.
"It was never meant to be a punishment, of any kind. We just want what's best for Grandpa. But, if things keep going the way they are,"
"You mean it?"
"We'll see," said his father. "We'll see."
*~Back in the Present~*
"After I made the robot for Grandpa, I started noticing all kinds of things that robots could help with. The more robots I built, the more ideas I got for other inventions."
You take another look around Peydon's incredible room. Ahh, so that's what made him want to create all this stuff! You feel bad for thinking he was some kind of evil mastermind now.
"Do you want to see my newest invention now? The really cool one?"
He points to a giant, spyder-like machine standing in the corner.
"Ta-da! I call it the Toy Picker-Upper 3000!" He pulls a screwdriver out of his pocket and reattaches the spring that blew off when the machine exploded.
"The best thing about this new invention is it doesn't just pick up toys. It picks up everything; it even cleans up after itself if it explodes!"
That is cool. As you're examining the Bori's newest creation, you wonder what ever happened with his first one. You ask him if he ever programed his grandpa's robot to do more than make sandwiches.
"Nope," he answers. "I didn't need to because--"
"Pey? Have you got someone in there with you?" A cheerful looking old Bori opens Peydon's bedroom door.
"Morning, Grandpa! This is my new friend. I was just telling them about how I became an inventor."
"That's a good story." He smiles. "I'll let you tell the rest of it."
"You see, when I made that robot for Grandpa, he recovered completely. The doctor said it was like a miracle. I think it was those peanut-butter sandwiches. They must have healing properties or something."
Peydon's grandpa laughs. "I just had some of those healing sandwiches made. Why don't the three of us go have some?"
"But Grandpa, it's breakfast time!"
Anytime is peanut-butter sandwich time."
And you, Peydon, and Peydon's grandpa go downstairs for a delicious robot-made breakfast.