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I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself Did I just read the words re-write in the title? What do you mean re-write? Well, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve noticed that many of my posts seem familiar. That’s because I’ve posted them before but now I’ve re-posted them with some changes. Nothing major, just some grammatical changes that I think make the story read a little smoother.
If you’re knew to this blog and this is the first time you’re reading this then, um, just ignore that part and thanks for joining the story of Qbit and the Keepers of the Blue Planet.
Now back to the story…
That’s Avita, Grand Battle Master of Darkness!
Qbit looked around, spotted a chair by the end of the bed, took two big steps to it, grabbed it by the back and dragged it over to the side of the bed so that its back faced Skyler. He straddled the seat with both legs then plopped down. As he leaned forward to rest his arms on the chair’s back rest, his stethoscope slowly slid from around his neck.
Qbit said to him, “I understand you’ll be up…”
Ignoring Qbit, Skyler watched as the stethoscope silently dropped to the floor. He stared at it for a second, then looked back up at Qbit to see if he had noticed that it was no longer around his neck. When Qbit showed no sign of knowing, he pointed and asked him, “Are you going to need that for later?”
“…and around in no time.” Qbit looked at Skyler’s finger then back at Skyler. “Excuse me?”
“Your stethoscope, (he looked down at it) it fell to the floor.”
Qbit reached up to his neck to feel for it then looked down at the floor. “Huh, that old thing. I didn’t even notice.” He reached down, grabbed it and threw it, haphazardly, onto the end of the bed. “
Skyler thought that was an odd way to handle a piece of medical equipment, so he asked him, “Are you a real doctor?”
“No, no, no… well… yes…I guess you could say that. I mean, I do have an honorary doctoral degree in computer science from a major university so, technically…”
“You use a stethoscope to diagnose computer issues?”
Without missing a beat, Qbit replied, “Sure I do! Don’t you know computer’s get viruses all the time!”
Qbit stared at Skyler hoping for a response.
The only sound in the room was the air coming out of the ventilation system.
Skyler, straight faced, asked, “Who did you say you were?”
Visibly disappointed, Qbit said, “Well, actually, I didn’t. But now that you asked. My name’s Qbit, I’m a quantum computer created by Professor Ellie Sattler…”
“Wait, what?” Skyler laughed. “First you’re a doctor now you’re a quantum computer?”
Qbit dropped his shoulders and shook his head. “Why do they never believe me?” He quickly turned into his original form then back to Qbit.
Skyler’s mouthed dropped open. “Oh man, that was so cool! Do it again!”
“I’ve never seen anything like that before. How is that possible? You look so real (he reached out to touch his arm). Are you a robot?”
Qbit sighed and answered, “No, but I get that all the time. As I was saying…”
“No, not a cyborg. Let me explain…”
Qbit stared at him straight faced, “Can we get on with this?”
Qbit looked down at himself and asked, “A female android? Really? Why would I look like this if I was a female android? I mean, if I was a gynoid, don’t you think I would choose to look something like…THIS?” Qbit quickly changed his shape.
“OH, MAN! That’s Avita, Grand Battle Master of Darkness! I know her!”
Qbit stepped back and pulled out his sword and did Avita’s signature opening sword sequence. The blade sang as he whipped it back and forth through the air.
Skyler was awed by the performance. “No way! That is so cool, I can’t believe you know that game!”
Qbit sheathed his sword and sat back in the chair, still as Avita, “I know, right? I loved that game; I haven’t had a chance to play it in such a long time. Remember the part when the other android grabbed her then she grabbed him back then smashed his head into the table? So cool.”
“I know, right? Good times.” They both stared off into space, remembering.
Finally, Skyler, whose opinion of Qbit had radically changed, asked, “Now what were you saying?”
Qbit changed back, “I need your help.”
Surprised, Skyler said, “My help, really? What could I do to help a quantum computer?”
“Remember that item you put up for sale on the internet? The tablet that could fold open and closed? Well, I bought it.”
A worried look came over Skyler’s face, he put his hands up. “Hey man, I said in the description that it didn’t work!”
“I know, I’m not here about that. Wow, do you really think someone would come all this way get their twenty bucks back?”
“Well, no, but you can never be too sure these days.”
“I’m here because, believe it not, you were this close (Qbit put two fingers close to each other) from getting it to work. I think it’s missing only one part (he put his pointer finger into the air) to make it fully functional.”
“You’re telling me that you know what that thing is?”
Qbit’s expression turned serious. “Yes, yes I do.” Qbit said nothing else, creating the correct level of tension.
“Well, what is it? Tell me, please!”
“Okay, but if I tell you, you have to know that I’m going to have to kill you.” He rocked himself back in the chair and stared at Skyler.
Skyler joined in the game by remaining silent for a second or two. He leaned back into his pillow then, with a straight face replied, “That’s okay, I’m already dead.”
Qbit roared with laughter then slammed the chair legs back onto the floor. He stood up and said, “I heard about that fiasco. Dude, what were you thinking, going out there alone?”
Skyler shook his head, “I know, I know, it was a stupid mistake, okay?” Trying to change the topic he quickly added, “So are you going to tell me about that tablet or what?”
Qbit plopped down on the end of the bed, made a face, then reached under him and pulled out the stethoscope. He tossed it toward the chair, it missed and hit the floor with a clunk. “Skyler, that tablet you found turned out to be a very important piece of electronics. Its purpose is to locate gates which are like portals to other places. What’s so special about that one is that it’s not like the one I have.” He pulled out his tablet from his lab coat pocket and waved it at him. “It looks to be an older model with a very specific purpose. I believe it was designed to find a very special kind of gate, one with a very weak magnetic signature, so weak that this (he waved his tablet again) would never pick it up. If I’m right, it means that there might be gates out there that very few beings know about.”
“Woah, gates to other places? Do you mean, like, what they used to get around in the Avita game? You’re telling me those things really exist?”
“They do but they don’t work exactly the same. In the game, Avita can call up a gate, it doesn’t work that way in real life, pretty close though.”
Skyler tried folding his arms across his chest, but the IV line pulled tight. “I can’t believe I got that thing to almost work, I thought it was some sort of fancy GPS unit. Huh, I actually did something worthwhile.”
“Worthwhile? You have no idea.”
Skyler took a second the cherish the moment then asked Qbit, “You said you needed my help?”
Qbit got up off the bed and talked as he paced, “I need you to show me where you found it and how you got it to “almost work”. I think the only thing it’s missing is the right kind of power source. If we can go back to where you got it, we might find a clue to what that power source is.”
Skyler made a face. “I don’t know, I mean, I bought it a garage sale before I joined the Lunar Merchant Marines. I think the old man wanted five bucks for it, but I was able to get him down to a buck fifty.”
“Shrewd move. Do you remember where that garage sale was?”
“Yeah, it wasn’t really that long ago. Plus, the place was kinda odd.”
“What do you mean?”
“The house looked very out of place, like it had been plucked out of a town in the Alps. Very gingerbready looking. All wood shingles and beams, it didn’t match any of the other houses around it.”
Qbit said, “Hmm, very interesting.” He walked toward a calendar that hung on the wall, he lifted it off the magnetic holder, flipped a page, then hung it back up. He turned back to Skyler and asked him, “Was there a barn or any other large building next to or close to the house?”
Come to think of it, there was a barn. It was kinda small, almost more of a garage than a barn. Why?”
“Just something I heard about once, probably nothing more than a myth…but back to your, um, current condition…”
“Yep, that. It turns to out to be a most fortuitous condition.”
Skyler nodded his head. “Good word, fortuitous.”
“Thank you.” Qbit said proudly. “Anyway…”
Skyler raised his hand as if he wanted to ask a question.
Qbit look a bit perplexed but then said, “Um, yes, you in the white hospital smock.”
“Before you go any further, how did you find me?”
Qbit walked to the side of the bed and put his hands together in front of him, the fingertips of his right hand touching the fingertips of his left. That was the easy part, a simple internet search told me that you had joined the Lunar Merchant Marines and are, or were, stationed, up here, at the Shackleton Crater Station.”
“Hm, I didn’t think they were going to put that stuff online.”
“Well, they did. The hard part was figuring out how to get you off here so you could show me where you found the tablet. Since you’re property of the Merchant Marines, I couldn’t just write them a note saying, ‘Please excuse Skyler he needs to come home for a bit. Instead, I needed a way to get you off here without other people knowing. Thanks to your brain fart, along with Yuki bringing you here, gave us the means. People here aren’t going to say anything and everyone at Shackleton thinks your body is headed back to Earth for a proper burial, it was perfect.”
“I see.” He paused for a second the said, “What about my friends up here. They all think I’m gone. It doesn’t seem fair to them.”
“Well, I guess you can consider that part of the hazards of joining the Merchant Marines. You knew that when you signed up.”
“I suppose, but what if I decide to leave and re-join them?”
“Really? You want to try and leave here then make it, by yourself, all the way back to your base? Tell me, how’d that work out for you last time you went out alone?”
“Yeah, I see your point.”
“Besides, Yuki’s going too.”
“When do we leave?”