The trees surrounded the small patch of dry grass as the wind sprinkled playfully in different areas, making the flaps of the of the small tent ruffle. Maybe it is a bit of an understatement to call it small. On the outside, it looked like a normal camping tent. But on the inside, it looked like a three-floored house, which was huge in comparison to houses from 2015. Furthermore, the house was in the mighty jungle, which just shows that the people of 2145 had style.
Jake Brown the explorer knew nothing about the age of 2015. He was born in 2122 and only his great grandmother had lived in that time.
“When I was young, we had these things called books.” His great grandma had told him. “The words would stay still and it was made out of this thing called paper.”
Jake was five at the time, and he looked at her with excitement.
“Tell me more!” He squeaked.
“Well, we also had people teach us, not robots. And we all went to the same building and learned the same things for school.” Jake was amazed.
And now there he was, in the middle of the jungle, 18 year later, trying to figure out how to work an apparently very stubborn robot. “What? Hmmm…. Lemme see. Aha! This button and this one…” The explorer murmured.
“Yes… Yes… YES!” He whooped as the mechanical creature’s gears started to whir. The explorer grinned at himself in the camera of the robot that he had finally gotten to work.
“Ahoy, there mateys!” He crowed. “Jake here, Jake the, umm, forest dude. Day 3 here in the jungle, and I finally got this darned thing to work.”
He gestured to above the camera while the confused robot stood there scratching his metal head.
“Anyway, I’m keepin’ this log so that when I finally get that awesome time travel thing to work back at home, I can send this to the people ‘round the 21st century. And also, I’ll take him wherever I go, so if I encounter the monster that I was sent here for, then I’ll have proof and I’ll be rich!” He said gleefully. “So, I gotta give this piece of metal some brains, see you next time!”
The screen went black as Jake pressed the home button with a zap.
“Let’s see, we gotta give you a name, so lemme get a tablet to write on. Now where’s that button?”
Jake fumbled around at the bottom of the gold drawers in the spectacular kitchen. He finally found what he was looking for and pressed it. The drawer opened and he pulled out something that looked like a tablet, but wasn’t.
“Ok, let’s see here, where’s my voice command pen? Aha!” He cheered, pulling out an oddly shaped pen with small speakers on the side. He turned on the little switch at the bottom of the tool and said in a professional voice,
“Hello, pen, how are you doing today?”
The pen vibrated in response.
“OK, copy my words, Fred…..”
The pen immediately started scribbling on the tablet.
“Bob…. No, scratch that. Josh….”
Jake kept working the pen by proposing more names for the robot.
“Brad… Bradley, Bentley, no….”
The pen made a few more strokes, then collapsed on the table in exhaustion.
“Aw, c’mon!” The exasperated explorer said, letting his sweaty fists collapse on the table. “I wish that I learned this in school. That mechanical teacher didn’t teach me anything!”
He leaned back in his chair that was massaging his back and had just offered him a glass of orange juice. If only he had a name as good as his…. That’s it! He swiftly grabbed the paper and turned it over. Official name for robot, he wrote. Then he turned to the robot beaming ear to ear.
“Robot? Meet your new name,” he said. Jake beckoned the metal creature to come forward. He whispered it into his ear. “Your name is Jake Junior so that you have a name as awesome as mine.”
In the next few weeks, Jake had taught the robot how to speak, write, and read. The robot also knew how to massage and serve juice by now, too.
“OK Junior! Let’s take a break and go for a walk,” Jake said in the middle of a lesson.
The robot nodded and went out the flaps of the tent. The two took a deep breath in unison and exhaled.
“Smell that fresh air!” Jake cried.
“Smell the fresh air,” the robot echoed, but he looked worried. “Mister, low battery warning. I think we should bring my charger since we only have 20 minutes before it runs out.”
“Ah, don’t worry so much, Junior!” Jake said, waving his hand dismissively. “We’ll be back before that.”
So much for a charger. They weren’t back before 20 minutes. They could be dead, for all we know. They could’ve never made it back to the tent and the charger would be waiting there, waiting for someone to use it. And it was entirely Jake’s fault. The whole walk was filled with his voice, pointing out different animals and insects, all for the sake of his precious robot. But we all know that he didn’t really love his robot because then he would’ve brought his charger!
“-and that’s a red winged blackbird, and that’s called a pill bug!” Jake said, pointing them out. “Ah, isn’t nature just exciting!” he said with a sigh.
“I warned you Mister. We should’ve brought my char… char… ger….” And with that, Junior collapsed on the ground. Jake cursed to the sky.
“I should’ve listened,” he said through his gritted teeth.
Boom. Boom. Boom. Jake turned around on his heel. He was as terrified as a cat-chased mouse while Junior was on his back, as droopy as a thirsty sunflower. What Jake saw was too terrifying to put in words.
“Oh. My. God.”
To be continued…..