PreparationsA Chapter by Khance
Just a bit of lead-up to the birthday
"So what would you like for your birthday?" Xaveria asked from her sprawled out position on the couch. Osiris looked up in surprise and shuffled awkwardly before answering, "I dont normally get presents for my birthday, I used to just have a meal with my father. Just the two of us."
Xaveria raised her eyebrow, "Isn't it normally like that though?" Osiris smiled at her question and simply spread his hands out in front of him as he shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah, but on my birthday, Mentel closes the shop and we spend the entire day together. It was really nice and something to look forward to when I was younger. He always had something that cheered me up more than anything."
Xaveria nodded her head, "And what did he have for you last year?"
Osiris looked up for a second and thought about it, "He got me an archive I hadnt seen before, it was all about my mother's racing history. Other than that, I think he had a few old movies from the races held at the speedway. It was fantastic, you've probably seen them all though."
Xaveria smiled, "Probably. So, do you want to have a party? Turning seventeen is a big event."
Osiris grinned, "You're making fun of me again? I thought you got bored of that a while ago."
Xaveria simply shrugged again as she made herself more comfortable on the couch. "I just thought that I would give you some warning about your party, It's most likely going to happen. Andrea really likes making a fuss about birthdays. Oh and have you thought about which Club you want to go to?"
Osiris simply stared at her, "What do you mean?"
Xaveria stared back, "A nightclub. Where people drink and dance... take strikes?"
Upon hearing the word 'Strikes', Osiris' eyes widened and he leaned back in his seat. "Oh no, there is no way I'd ever take something like that. They're dangerous for your health... and alcohol, I would never try that. Father always said it leads to addiction, and I dont want to ever risk it."
Xaveria laughed, "Your so innocent at times. I thought that you were a genius, shouldnt you already know the risk assessments of all those things? They're only bad if you abuse them. I severely doubt that you'd get yourself addicted."
"I've never been to a club, and I think I'll keep it that way for a while." Osiris said defiantly, his head nodding as though he was trying to convince himself.
Xaveria just looked at him, "You've never been to a nightclub? How have you survived this long? It's one of the few things that keeps me sane in this sector!"
Osiris smiled at her before a thought struck him, "Wait? You've been to different sectors?"
This time Xaveria actually sat up from the couch, "Okay, I'm going to make a list. We're going to establish what you've actually done and what you have not done. By the end of this list, I'm sure I'll have a good idea for what to get you for your birthday."
Osiris turned his head away slightly, "You dont have to."
Xaveria looked at him levelly. "I want to, and stop blushing... you get embarrassed so easily."
Of course, her words just made Osiris' face turn even redder but she however, started to laugh. "You really are just impossible."
"And did you give away any clues at all?" Andrea asked as Xaveria pulled over a sheet of thin metal to the workbench. "He has no idea about the present, and although I did tell him that you'd probably organise him a party, I've a feeling he needs to mentally prepare himself for his first ever party." Andrea looked up from her drawings, "What do you mean by that?"
Xaveria smiled and tilted her head, her white pen marking different angles on the metal. "You rarely hold back when you organise a party. I think that for someone who's never even had an alcoholic drink, let alone a strike... I think it was best to warn him about what's probably going to happen."
"He's never had a strike?!" Andrea asked in surprise, her head turning all the way around to regard her younger friend. "How does he manage to work with all that stress in his head the entire time? I'd be lost without that drug."
Xaveria nodded her head in agreement, her gaze however was completely dedicated to the metal. "Do you really think that we should be using such a dense alloy? He wont be charging into any opposing forces anytime soon."
Andrea looked over to the metal and smiled. "It's perfect. Black metal is fantastic for durability and it's actually light enough. It will allow more space on the inside for the other things, and trust me, I'll be needing as much space as possible to make this work properly."
Xaveria tilted her head and tried to visualise what the final product would look like. Yet the image just didnt appear in her head. "I'd love to have your imagination, I just can't see it. No matter what way I look at it."
Andrea grinned, "Yes, it's a fine gift. But you're the one that has the ability to make it happen. I make the puzzle, you put it together. I guess we're just a good team."
Xaveria smiled as she moved her hands along the smooth metal, "I'll have the chassis done in a few hours. The model itself is pretty straightforward."
Andie glanced at the clock on the wall before she estimated her own pace. "I think that the first version will be ready in the next two days. I've managed to refine it, but it still as bugs. I did actually base my thesis on something like this, so most of the theory was already there. It's just a matter of making it happen."
Xaveria laughed, "He probably has no idea how valuable this thing is but I suppose it's worth it in the end."
"It will hopefully be worth a lot more to him than we ourselves realise, but I guess only time can tell. We have a few days before his birthday to get it done. And I cant say it enough, but thank you Xav. Your help was invaluable." Andrea said with a warm smile.
Xaveria pulled her hair behind her ear and kept her voice impassive. "Quentin made me do it, I have other things to be doing after this anyway."
"So you didnt want to do it for Osiris?" Andrea asked in a slightly mocking tone.
"No!... I mean, not really. He's just a teammate for the speedway." Xaveria said as she took a calming breath.
"Hm, that's interesting. So I imagine that you'd have no intention of going to the club with us, because of his age. It's probably going to have to be 'Prem', and I know how much you hate that place." Andrea said with a slight smirk on her face.
"It's not that bad, just the crowd is a bit young. I might just go for a little while, just to make sure he's okay. He's never gone to one before. Should you not be worrying about being seen in a place like that? You're quite old for it, dont you think?" Xaveria asked Andrea with a slight smile on her face.
Andrea shrugged, "Age is only a number."
Xaveria looked to her friend to see her wink back. "You'll never change, will you?"
Andrea giggled, "Not a chance."
"Shopping?" Osiris asked again, confusion written all over his face. Cierra smiled as she rolled her eyes, "Yes, you have nothing to wear to your own birthday party. Besides, I have something I want to give to you, so meet me at the sector centre. That okay?"
Osiris started to answer, but the voice cut off abruptly. Sighing to himself, he took the ear piece from his head and attached it to his wristband. The present had been from Quentin, a small device that could be used for most multimedia and communication purposes. But it was becoming a little difficult to get used to the sensation of just hearing a person's voice without seeing the visual display which was the normal back at their family home. "Anything wrong, Sir?" an automated voice called out nearby. Osiris turned to regard the machine, "Oh, sorry. I completely forgot about this."
Picking up the groceries, Osiris turned from the automatic cashier and swiped his wrist across the glass counter. A number illuminated across the screen and dwindled ever so slightly, causing Osiris to pause momentarily. Touching his wrist, Osiris spoke, "Check recent messages from my bank."
A few moments later, Osiris' wristband started vibrating. Sighing to himself, he pulled the earpiece from its socket and placed it in his right ear. The familiar buzzing reformed into words and started relaying all messages from the last time he checked. "Balance updated by 'Creek, Mentel', this morning."
"Why does he keep giving me money?" Osiris glanced at the clock one more time before wiping the information off the glass counter. Tightening his grip on the silver bag of groceries, he felt it contract into a more managable size before he left the shop. The streets were slightly crowded as it was nearing the afternoon during the weekend. "What's next on the list?" Osiris asked himself as he pressed another funtion button on the wristband. A holographic list flickered to life, just above his left wrist. Osiris glanced through the items on it's inventory, and smiled. "Left the best until last." Crossing off a few items on the list, Osiris put his hand in his trouser pocket and started walking towards the car pools. After a while of walking, Osiris looked up to where the sun was beaming down. "Strange, usually the moons are brighter than this... you can hardly see the two of them beside the sun?"
"Talking to yourself makes you look crazy, just so you know." A blonde haired woman said with a smile as she got into one of the automated cars. "Sector City Centre, Please."
Osiris glanced at her and smiled, "Sorry, just thinking out loud."
She paused for a moment and lost her smile completely. Her hand darted out and caught the door before it closed, "You're Osiris Creek? Arent you?"
Turning to look at the woman a little more closely, Osiris smiled, "I am, yet I dont think I know you?"
"I dont suppose you're going in the same direction, are you?" She asked as she gestured to the seats opposite her in the car. "Where are you going?" Osiris asked as he looked at the amassing queue to the right. "Sector City Centre, want to share?"
Osiris grinned, "Yes please." Getting into the car, and pulling the door down so that it clicked into place, Osiris relaxed into the warm leather around him. "You wouldnt remember me, but I was one of the audience members a number of years ago when you were performing on stage."
Osiris' grin widened, "Yes, that was some time ago, I'd like to think that I've changed a little since back then." The woman smiled back in response, "But I sincerely hope that you've maintained an interest in mechanics. Our technology driven environment can only flourish with bright minds such as yourself with us."
"Im really sorry, but what is your name?" Osiris asked as he glanced out the window, trying to figure out where he was. The woman smiled and blushed ever so slightly, "Sorry, I cant believe I forgot. My name is Monica. I was in one of the boxes above the arena during your examination for the thunderist exam. I have to admit, I didn't pay much attention to you at the beginning. But those inventions were ever so extraordinary. Have you created anything else?"
"Nothing so daring, I've been apprenticed to Xavier Quentin. So I've mostly been working on motor engines these past few weeks. When I decide which college I want to go to, It will probably be more time consuming, so I dont know how many more inventions there will be for the next few years." Osiris said as he spread his hands out in front of him.
"Wait, you're working on the Byrne Speedway?" Monica asked excitedly.
"Yes, I dont know when our first race is. We barely have a car to show for it." Osiris said with a nervous laugh, his mind working furiously as he tried to remember the first race date.
"Two months. Your first race is then. You'll be going up against a company that I'll be representing. I would invite you to take a look at our internship programmes at our company for after college, but I'm going to guess that you've no interest in the business world." Monica said with a hint of hope in her voice.
"I'm afraid not, I've never considered it before. I'm happy working with machines, they're all I know to be honest." Osiris said with an apologetic look. "But if I ever do decide to go into business, no doubt you'll see me knocking at your door."
Monica smiled warmly, "Well it would appear this is my stop, It was very nice meeting you. The taxi is on me, consider it a birthday present."
Osiris was stuck for words, "How did you know?"
Monica grinned, "After seeing what you built, my company got me to research you in quite a lot of detail. There are few things I dont know about you."
With a wink, Monica pulled the door open and stepped out onto the main street and closing it behind her with a small wave directed at Osiris.
As the car whirred to life again, Osiris wondered out loud, and not for the first time, "Just how many people know so much about me?"
© 2010 Khance
Added on January 4, 2010
Last Updated on January 4, 2010
AboutPeople are reassured when they think you know what you're doing... Being honest, I make all of this up as I go along... When somebody complains, then i might stop :D more..