WHO: Kyrie & Zoe WHEN: June 14th WHERE: Zoe’s home WHAT: Getting to know you Jaune WARNINGS: None STATUS: Complete
It was after her shift at the facility and she was happy to be back at home working on her own stuff. Her living area and dining room were less set up to host guests as much as turned into a large work room. Bits from objects she’d traded for were in piles or boxes. There was an area of assembled machines waiting to get fixed- something she did on occasion in exchange for extra rations or other things she required. Her dining table was piled high with books she’d checked out from the library or special ordered and half done projects as well as equipment she’d managed to acquire or build herself. Such as a homemade welder.
Was there a risk of the guards coming in to take everything? Yes. Had they yet? No. Was she a thread? No. Which was probably why they’d left her alone. She had a tablet on her table, one which she’d snuck out of the facility one day and was programming in some code into it. She probably could have accomplished it on the phone device they’d been given- but it didn’t quite have the same amount of processing power. Zoe had been working on her project for almost a year. Reading and learning code (the electrical and mechanics came easy to her, coding not so much). Of course her access was limited, so she had to fill in the blanks and recall books she’d read years before coming to the island as well as some she’d been given access to while on the job only. Thankfully her memory allowed her to perfectly recall those texts and through trial and error, she’d managed to perfect the code- she hoped. Testing seemed good, but until she got a solid power source, she’d never know.
That’s why she was pleased when Kyrie texted and said she was on her way over with the blender. Zoe had worried the girl had changed her mind about letting her have it. When the knock came the blonde hopped up from the table and gave a small pat to the yellow dome on it’s surface. “She’s here.” The girl exclaimed happily as she hurried to the door and opened it. Seeing the dark haired older- gorgeous- woman Zoe beamed and stepped back. “Come in, please.” She’d seen Kyrie around, and had matched her name with her face, but that internal file that was automatically kept on everyone added the current interaction to it’s history as well as other observations over how the woman looked and acted.
It was a subconscious action her mind took. Always analyzing things and keeping records. It was nice when you had to recall information on someone- it sucked when you had to relive the bad things. She’d only just stopped replaying the attack in her lab.
There was never a promise Kyrie tried to break. While she understood the implications of being bound by a few words to someone else she was a good person who did her best to follow through. So, she collected the blender that went unused for many years and took it to a place where it might be more appreciated. An item like a blender was probably a coveted thing; she had come across it one day at the Marketplace back when shakes and smoothies were a thing and still on her mind. There never were enough ingredients to prepare a good shake and so the poor thing had been tucked away and forgotten until the post on the network was observed.
A knock on Zoe’s door and Kyrie waited patiently.
When the woman appeared where the door once stood Kyrie offered a kind, genuine smile, blue eyes catching the daylight. “Hi, I’m Kyrie, I — uh, I saw your post about the blender. If you were still interested in it.” Her words were soft and as kind as the expression which parted her face.
Hands would extend, offering the machine to the other woman. And then she was being invited inside. A nod would come coupled with a curious look and Kyrie made her way into the apartment.
Eyes would scan the bits of parts and things abound. “Wow,” she managed in a small breath.
“Oh, you are a wonder.” It was unclear if Zoe was talking to Kyrie or the blender. “Thank you!” The blonde grinned and giggled as she carried the device to the dining table. The pitcher part of the machine was removed and set aside as she grabbed a screwdriver and immediately started to open the casing. “I’m Zoe.” She said as an afterthought. “You ever need anything fixed or anything, let me know. This is the last piece I needed- I owe you. Huge.” She said, her nose crinkling as she pried the device apart.
It was the power source she was looking for. She’d already figured out a way to store power on a battery, she just needed a way to get the power to begin with. There was a lot of adaption in her project. Turning parts into things they weren’t designed for initially, but that had the capabilities.
Zoe continued working a moment, before it dawned on her that she was just ignoring the woman who had done her the solid. “Oh, shit. Um.” She looked up at Kyrie. “Did you want something to drink? I think there’s some juice in the fridge. There’s a couple soda’s left from Memorial day- you can have one if you want.” She’d snuck a few when things were winding down.
All of the contraptions and works in various stages scattered about fascinated her. She had no mechanical prowess at all so someone with the capacity and knowledge to create something from bits of nothing was utterly fascinating. Her eyes touched each pile of things with equal amounts observation and wonder before Zoe was talking to her again.
“Hm?” A moment was taken as Kyrie lifted her head, bringing her gaze to meet the blonde. She blinked. “Oh! Yes, Zoe. I’m glad to meet you.” The offer for a drink would register next and Kyrie nodded.
She was off and around the piles of things, heading for the kitchen. Once a soda was claimed she wandered back over and watched Zoe put the pieces together remaining for the contraption she was building.
“What will it do?”
“Whatever I want hopefully.” She said, laughing a little as if she’d told a joke- but apparently forgot to set it up. Zoe started to adapt the power chord doohickey (she wasn’t sure the official name of it) and got up from the table and moved to the living room. “I just had an idea in my head one day and wanted to see if I could do it.” She rummaged in one of the part boxes until she found a small adapter and returned to the project.
Zoe shrugged slightly. “Okay, so maybe I was lonely when the idea came to me.” She said, altering the power source with a universal charging port she’d scavenged off a broken ‘phone’ that someone had trashed. Okay, they were basically phones the island provided them. Just, with limited operations. But all the pieces were the same as a normal phone. So, she was able to hook the universal charging port to work through the blender power source, that way the charge would be bigger (and not take as long) for the larger battery space her ‘friend’ needed.
Picking up the chasie, she worked to install the new part she’d created. “You work in the diner right?” She asked, splitting her focus a moment. Her mother had always tried to get her to be more sociable, a good host. Her mind replayed moments of friends coming over and her mother greeting them and being an example of what was good. Zoe didn’t normally have guests, so she didn’t have a lot of personal experience to go on, but with her recall ability it didn’t matter. “Must be fun, getting to meet everyone in a warm and happy environment.”
With fascination she watched nimble fingers tinker. Kyrie had always been most comfortable around other women - she had been around girls her age, women now, for as long as she could remember though her mother always encouraged her to think them competition. She had been fortunate enough to make friends regardless. “That’s wonderful.” Words genuine, breathlessly she watched.
There was nothing wrong with being lonely. She knew what that felt like probably more than anybody. “You’re very creative.” It was a compliment more than a comment. Never in her wildest dreams could she have ever come up with something so intricate.
And then Kyrie nodded, “Yes, I do. I like it.” She did most days. When the guards were hanging out she was a bit more wary of being out where the patrons were served. “I get to meet a lot of people.”
Zoe had been quite the opposite. Her step-sister and her brother had been her only real friends. Home schooled for much of her life, she just didn’t relate to kids her own age. Her siblings made their own friends eventually, but made time for her (sometimes Zoe wondered if it were more out of obligation rather than desire to actually hang out with her). For her part, she put a lot of work into her studies.
“Thanks.” She blushed a little at the compliment as she screwed on the outer plating of what was clearly a small yellow robot. “When I think of stuff, sometimes it just comes to me.” Okay, it wasn’t that simple, but considering it wasn’t easy to explain- it worked.
“At least you like it. I have to talk to people a lot in my job- and I’m not the best at it.” Zoe commented, appearing to half pay attention to the conversation as her tongue sort of stuck out the side of her mouth while she attached the robot head. She was fully paying attention- it just appeared that she might not be.
How any of those things, the parts and pieces, fit together she would never be sure. Zoe seemed adept though. Things like that were better left to someone with the expertise.
“My mother liked to entertain a lot,” she explained, watching Zoe work. A lot was an understatement, her mother was a socialite and former model. Hosting events was in Genevieve’s blood. “Do you mind if I ask what it is you do on the island?”
“I-” Zoe glanced up to Kyrie, never sure how someone would react to her job. The last few new people seemed okay with it- well most of them. The one who trashed her lab didn’t. “I work at the facility.” She said, screwing in the last of the yellow covering. “I’m a tech. I help create things for people to use to control their powers- or train with them so they can learn to control them.”
With everything she created that some called anti-mutant, she was happy to be creating something innocent and for herself. Zoe tapped a few buttons on her tablet and sat back to wait for the final program to load- or final for now. Chances were Zoe would find ways to improve it. She was always fixing and improving things. It made her feel worthy.
Her eyebrows arched up in wonder. “Really? That’s wonderful.” There were some who didn’t know how to control themselves. This woman created an alternative to help with that. Sometimes that could be overwhelming, being dangerous to someone or yourself unwillingly.
Perhaps she could have used that herself years ago with her struggle to learn to control her own ability. Even now there were times she crushed something in her fist without meaning to. A small sense of relief was there knowing that there were checks in place.
Zoe blushed a little. “Thanks. Not everyone feels that way.” She got up from the table and moved to the kitchen and grabbed herself a soda. “I get it. I mean, I didn’t really want to come to the island either. But that doesn’t mean people should suffer.” Popping the top of the can she took a drink.
“If you ever… want to… you know, figure out your stuff, you can come in.” She offered. “Like, test your limits or something.”
A sip of her own drink was taken, nearly forgotten in her awe and delight. “Helping people is always magnificent, it takes a strong person to aid another in need.” Zoe’s comments further warmed Kyrie. She found the selfless act endearing.
“Oh, I’m not sure...with all of this metal….” her own ID card boasted for her even though she’d forgotten it at her own place. Whoops.
“I mean to the facility.” She said. “We have testing areas and stuff for all kinds of-“
The tablet made a chime sound and Zoe set her soda down and hurried around the counter to the table. “Oh yea.” She unplugged the small robot thing and pressed a switch (much like the mute toggle on a iPhone). The little yellow head raised and two orb like areas lit up like eyes. “Calibrate.” She said, sliding the device a bit farther into the center of the table.
It made a beeping noise and the light bulbs appeared to blink turning a red. Next, the head moving side to side as if looking around. Then the arms moved and legs, as if testing its own limits. Calibrating.
Once done it beeped and the ‘eyes’ turned blue before going back to yellow. Zoe was beaming.
“Oh,” she managed before watching her new friend scurry away. Kyrie watched with a bit of wonder, more than she had felt which was a bit overwhelming.
It was a small robot and wasn’t it just the cutest thing made of metal and parts? “Aww, look at it.”
She didn’t understand what the lights meant but she approached nonetheless.
Zoe giggled and did a little wiggle of joy. “It worked!” Not that she really doubted it, but the first few simulations she ran on the program failed miserably. The first few meaning the first three hundred and sixty-five. She had been working on it for a year or so.
Picking up a pencil she held it out to the robot. “Okay, let’s see if the Siri alterations worked. Robot. Take the pencil.”
The yellow robot seemed to evaluate the situation and after about thirty seconds, it took the pencil. Thirty- long seconds. Seconds that seemed to drag on forever when you were waiting for something. But Zoe knew that it was still learning. It would get better and faster as it did more. When it’s little hand wrapped around the pencil she actually squeed.
Then. It snapped the pencil in half. “Oh fuck.” Well, they’d have to work on that. “Robot. Sleep mode.” She sighed, picking up the bits of pencil to toss it in the trash. For a moment, she may have forgotten that Kyrie was there.
With interest Kyrie watched the robot and the way Zoe reacted to it. Never in her life had she been so excited about something but she hoped that one day she would be. Unable to help herself she smiled wide, proudly.
Eyes widened when the robot did as asked, taking the pencil, and her eyes grew wider still when that familiar action occurred: the snap of the pencil. The sound was hollow in her ears.
It had hit too close to home and her smile faded a bit. “Very interesting,” she commented.
“I need to recalibrate it’s grip strength.” She said with a sigh, looking at Kyrie. “Or it’s grip sensors.” Zoe shook her head. “Make sure it knows when to stop squeezing.”
“But the power supply was compatible. So thank you so much!” She smiled. “It makes it much easier to charge now. And the blender part was perfectly compact enough to fit, I didn’t have to redo the casing.”
Kyrie had no idea what any of that meant. She blinked, offered a genuine smile and nodded at Zoe. “You’re not speaking a language that I understand.” It was offered as playful though mostly it was true.
“And you’re welcome,” she replied, grin becoming more true. “I don’t mind helping, I like knowing that you’re able to make the thing you’ve been trying to create.”
Zoe chuckled. “I guess I should come up with a name for it now, huh?” She pondered, returning after discarding the broken pencil. “Robot is practical, but not personable.” Zoe rested her head on her hand as she stared at the yellow tin can of a thing. She may have been creative about being able to create it, but not when it came to the more artistic side- like names.
Naming a small yellow robot wasn’t the most daunting task. Kyrie smiled, watching the way Zoe’s face twisted in thought as the search for a fitting name ensued. Tipping her own head to the side her soda was set aside carefully and she approached the little thing.
“What about jaune?” she offered, the French leaving her lips like the summer breeze. “It’s French for yellow.” Maybe it was too much to try to say but she thought it was cute.
Jaune? Zoe considered the small robot. It wasn’t a bad name, definitely more creative than anything she’d come up with. “I like it.” She said with a smile. “Jaune it is.” Her mind mentally filed away the name, adding it to the information associated with her new little friend, along with all his design schematics and the records of all the software trials. “Thank you.” Zoe grinned at Kyrie as she keyed the name into her tablet, replacing the name ‘Robot’ for it to respond to. She’d upload the code update when she tweaked the grip sensors.
Glad her new friend liked the name offer Kyrie breathed in relief and smiled warmly. “I’m glad!” The thoughtful look on Zoe’s face led Kyrie to believe it was genuine. Happy to help she didn’t interrupt the other woman for the sake of conversation.
“You’re welcome. I’m happy to help.” When her soda was finished she tossed the can into the trash after rinsing it out in the sink.
“I don’t want to keep you,” she managed, hoping she wasn’t overstaying her welcome.
“Yea, sorry. I’ve got a lot of programming now. Probably won’t be very entertaining to sit and watch.” She laughed a little. Zoe got up to walk Kyrie to the door- that was the polite hosting things her mother always did. “It was nice to hang out for a bit though. I don’t have many visitors.” She admitted. “Maybe when he’s working better you can come over and visit again.”
Her own laugh followed and she nodded, kindly. “I understand. If you need anything ever please let me know. I’ll do what I can to help.”
Walking with Zoe toward the door, she enjoyed the remaining moments. “Yes, I would love to see the things you’re working on.”
Bading her friend farewell Kyrie opened the door and let herself out.