Waiting

David was in a chair next to Hema. He had pulled out the bullets, given her injections to help her heal. It was only a matter of time before she woke up.

David once again looked at the plate of food that had been brought to him. He had eaten some of it. He was not really hungry.

“Sir, the perimeter is secure. There were signs of some vehicles. With the bodies out here and the ones inside we have a total of twenty people on the grounds,” Alex said.

“Have we been able to confirm yet if they are from the Agency?”

“Not yet, sir, QT is running the prints right now.”

David yawned, “Thank you.”

“Have you gotten some sleep, yet, sir?”

“Not yet, I am waiting, waiting till she wakes up.”

“Sir, you need to get some sleep. She will understand if you are not awake when she wakes up.”

“I will know that I was not awake when she wakes up.” David shifted in the chair.

“Hello,” Cassandra said.

David got up from the chair. “Hi,” David said to Cassandra, “how are you doing?”

“I am all right I think. Is everything ok, now?”

“Yes, Alex and Hema took care of most of them. Alex confirmed that there were twenty people that were on the grounds.”

Cassandra sat up.

“Is he ok?” Cassandra asked as she rubbed the boy’s hair.

“Yes, the boy is fine. He just needed to sleep. I think he was worried about you; he did not want to be too far apart from you. I told him that he could stay next to you until morning if he went to sleep.”

Cassandra tossed the blanket aside and sat up in bed. The moment her left foot had weight on it there was pain. She immediately backed off it. Cassandra put her legs back onto the table.

“I had heard that you were injured.”

“Yes, I slipped on the steps and took a tumble. It was swelling earlier.”

“I did not have a chance yet to look at what happened to you.”

David reached down and touched around her ankle. Cassandra jumped from the pain in some spots. “There is a little swelling, being in the cold room probably helped with that. I would say that it is probably just a sprain. The medical robot would probably be able to tell you more, but the men that came in here shot up just about every robot. It will take some time to repair them all,” David said and he moved the pile of pillows to place them under Cassandra’s ankle.

“Did anyone else from our group get hurt other than me?”

David’s face started to look grim. “Hema was shot twice during the invasion. She will be fine. I am just waiting for her to wake up.”

“Why did you let her join in the fight? She is too fragile. You I can understand, Alex I can understand, but Hema? She is so young. Where is she?”

David pointed over towards the table that he had been sitting by.

Cassandra looked the direction David was pointing. Cassandra saw the body on the table. It was covered with a blanket, only the head was visible. The skin was clear; she could see some of the tiny flecks imbedded under the surface.

“What happened to Alex?”

“Alex is fine. He is outside working on our defenses.”

“Then who is over there?” Cassandra asked.

“That is Hema.”

“That is not Hema; she does not look like that.” Cassandra looked again at the body. The skin was the same as Alex’s. Cassandra looked again, and she saw that the height of the body was also different. It was shorter than Alex was. “But, you both claim that she is your daughter, not your creation.”

“Hema is like Alex. I created her after I left the Agency. Unlike Alex, Hema wants to be human. So, she presents herself as a human.”

“Is Hema really eighteen?”

“Yes, she is the age that she claims to be.”

“How old is Alex then?” Cassandra asked.

“I am not sure how old Alex claims to be. I know that it can’t be more than about twenty-five years. Alex did start out as a robot. He was in the body of the toy robot that the boy carries around. I created him in a toy robot. Alex would act as a robot when people were around or when we were in public areas. At night in my room, though, we would talk and converse. He technically was my only friend.”

“Did not you play with other kid while you were at school? Have friends that you talked with?”

David shook his head. “While working for the Agency my room was just down the hall from where they had you. I lived in the building; I could not go outside by myself. There were no kids around. There were adults around during the day and at night; there were just one or two people. The other rooms on the floor were for people that were working on projects and needed a nap or if they needed to stay overnight or longer because of experiments.”

“So you were a prisoner?” Cassandra asked.

“That was not the case, at the time I wanted to be there. I was only twelve and that allowed me access to the grounds whenever I felt the need to work, whenever an idea or inspiration hit. It also meant that I did not need to call someone to come and get me, then wait until someone comes and takes me to the place. If I wanted to leave, then I could. Sometimes my co-workers would take me out to eat. Sometimes they would take me out shopping. Since all my needs were taken care of at the company, I had no need to spend the money that they were paying me.”

“This is why there is so much of it.”

“Well, you take lots of money and invest it over time and it becomes even more money.”

David sighed as he wrung his hands together.

David continued, “Thank you, I had forgotten about the boy. I am glad that you remembered. I know that he helped to keep you warm while you were in QT’s room.”

Cassandra nodded, she was still trying to wrap her head around the idea that Hema was not a real person. She had seemed real enough. She had similar skin to Alex though. “Why did Hema keep her skin like that of yours and mine? Why is she not like Alex?”

“It is all about the choices they have made. Alex had chosen to be more machine in how he does things. Hema wants to be and pass as human so that is how she carries herself. She is constantly playing the part of a human so she always acts like one. Wearing clothes and having hair, that is what she has chosen to do.”

Cassandra thought about that. She had assumed that Hema was human.

“Cassandra, did you really think that she was my daughter? That she was human?”

Cassandra nodded, “She seemed real enough to me.”

“I am glad to hear that,” Hema said.

David and Cassandra looked in Hema’s direction. Her head turned in their direction. Her green eyes were looking at them both. Cassandra thought that Hema looked strange without her skin color.

David went over to Hema.

“I am glad that you are ok. I was worried that the man was going to shoot you,” Hema said.

“You are the reason that I am not injured. If you had not shot him, then I would be injured or dead, thank you. How are your energy levels?”

“They are low. I do not want to risk fabricating skin. I know that the sun will be up soon and I will be able to recharge then. Is Cassandra all right?”

“Cassandra will be fine. She did get a little cold and she hurt her ankle on the stairs,” David replied.

“And the boy?”

“He will be fine as well. He is just asleep right now. He did help to keep Cassandra warm while she was with QT. So we probably have him to thank for keeping Cassandra from hypothermia.”

“Good,” Hema said. “I am glad that he had a chance to participate.”