I ran down the damp alley. I couldn't look back now. No, not now. I could here the screams of sirens and the howls of the hounds grown louder and louder. I could only run as long as my body would let me, and the silk clothing that I had been wearing wasn't helping either. I was dodging abandoned cardboard homes and empty liquor bottles. This is what I get for being in downtown Denver. The neon light finally began to shine in my sight. Bar: it read. Smoke traveled up through the crack in the front door, smothering the light. I have to get there now. Bernard could help me. He knows the Hounds, he use to be a member. He could help me.
I pushed through the front door, shattering the crowds of noise like a wrecking ball.
"Bernard, hide me!"
The dog man standing behind the counter bar-tending was about 7 feet tall somewhere around 40 to 50 in dog years. He was all muscle and on the heavy weight list, representing an English bull dog with short grey fur that covered his body. Downtown was where all the convicts crawled with all the run away robots. But downtown wasn't just known for the poverty, crime, or pollution, but it was known for the massive population of parahumans. They were the science experiment of medical doctors almost 30 years ago and became citizens in the 2020's. There was quite a number of them that went into the police business, being known as Hounds, and they were good at their job at one time until the wealthy, including my parents, got them on pay roll.
"I can't stand it there anymore. He... I ran away!" I couldn't explain my disappointment in any words with my family right now. I needed him. I needed Bernard to support my decision and not give me another lecture.
He didn't say anything for a minute because he was actually trying to make a decision this time and not be my father. He finally gave in this a sigh.
"Minnie," He called from across the room. The cat lady turned around from her costumer with a smile.
"Take Cecelia to the back room and get her a change of clothes. Hurry."
To my surprise I stood still for a minute then let Minnie lead me to the back room of the bar.
"So what made you run away?" Minnie asked. I didn't know what to say. My body wasn't obeying me. Finally, I got the words out.
"He's unfaithful to mother."
"Are you sure? I thought that Mr. and Mrs. Rossum were deeply in love for an older couple."
"He's been inviting another woman to the house while Mother was gone."
"Maybe their friends?"
"I caught them the other day. He was on top of her with out clothes and she was screaming pleasurably. That's not friends."
"Oh." Minnie opened the door to the locker room and then locked it behind her. "Over here. So is that why you ran away?"
"No, that's not the half of it. This morning Father told me he loved me so much that he wanted to express it. Mother was away at that time. Then he touched me... I said something and then he was bleeding from his eyes, ears, mouth and nose."
"I have no data of harming him... Mother came home and saw him on the ground after that. I couldn't face her and I couldn't deal with him, so I ran away."
"It might be a good time to get dressed, I can hear the sirens are close now. Here, take my clothes in my locker."
"But what about when you get off?"
"I can wear yours. We need to hurry before they come."
Minnie gave me the clothes in her locker. I went from high class robot cello player to a normal teenage robot girl in the matter of five minutes. I wore a black jean jacket, faded blue jeans, sneakers and a grey tank underneath the jacket of course. Minnie put my hair down and in a half pony tail with a black ribbon. I looked into the mirror in the girls' locker room. Wow, what a difference. I looked like a stranger in my eyes. Like I was actually given the freedom I wanted. My silicone skin stilled remained light fleshy pink, and my large irises still remained ocean blue. But my large white curls now cascaded down my shoulders giving it the freedom of not always being tidied up into a bun.
"You look gorgeous, as in a rebellious beauty way... like you. But not you... I mean-" Minnie fussed.
"Like my self." I finished her sentence. "Thank you. So I leave now?"
"I'll be back, I'm going to go call the others." She was already halfway out the locker room door.
"Who?" I asked.
"You know, Nike, Icarus and Zeus. I'm sure they'd be glad to help."
"But you aren't going to come."
"I have to stay at the bar so things don't seem suspicious. I'll be back, I'll only be in the office."
And just like that, Minnie was gone.
Voices came from outside in the bar. It was Mother!
"Where's Cecelia? I know you're hiding her Bernard."
"What could possibly happen to make her want to hide here?"
"Don't play dumb with me!" I could here her pound on the counter.
"Linda, calm down." There was another familiar voice that had been human... could it be... Detective Jones? It sounded enough like him... but if they have a warrant then that means that they'd find me. But they'd be searching instead of arguing with Bernard, right?
"She's not here Linda."
"Bull crap! This is where she comes all the time when she's not practicing. I know she's here, so be a good dog and go fetch me what I want or I'll have you put down."
Then there was the sound of gun cocking. Multiple guns cocking. The parahumans were pulling out their guns.
"So that's what this is going to come down to? You refuse to give me your paw so you have your dogs pull their guns out on me. How mature."
Bernard said nothing, but the guns were put back.
"She's not here, and if she was I wouldn't give her to you anyways." He was so calm. It was as if he's done this before.
"She's my daughter."
"Her being your daughter does not give you an excuse to use her like she's some sort of animal!"
"Oh really? Well then if you're so good with children then where's your daughter right now, huh? And I'm not talking about Minnie, I'm talking about the Hound. You have no room to talk. If you had the money we do when you were raising Serra, I bet you would've been just as strict."
"But there's a difference. I treated her like she was my daughter, not some piece of clothing that you can replace."
"Linda, we need to go. All we're doing is causing trouble and we don't have a warrant." Detective Jones said. "Thank you for your participation Bernard."
"Get out of my bar."
After that it was silent for a minute or two until I could hear the car take off. They were gone.
The door opened and Minnie was holding a back pack and a smile on her face.
"I got you some stuff, like a change of clothes, and I also got you a couple packs of batteries for when you get hungry. I called Icarus, he should be here shortly. I know this sounds rude, but would you please wait out side. If the Hounds come again I want you to be able to get out quick and that door can get stuck sometimes." She said handing me the backpack.
"Minnie," She was already heading out, but she stopped.
"Thank you for helping me."
"Well what could I say, you're family." As always she was smiling. Sadly, this would be the last time I would see her smile.
I waited outside of the bar on the other side of the unit of shops, bars and restaurant. It was just as crummy as the other one, but not as filthy. They must have done some cleaning. It had been almost an hour an Icarus still wasn't here. What's taking him so long? I give a sigh and then say that one word.
"Time." The numbers automatically appear in my sight, flashing green. 14:02 I give another sigh. He's late. When Minnie said that he should be here shortly, she meant that he'd be here in 5 minutes, tops. Not over an hour! "Escape."
What a lazy, irresponsible excuse for a friend! Icarus, you terdhole! He's making me so angry I'm making up my own words!
"You look rather perky today." I could recognize that voice from anywhere. Icarus.
I followed his voice to the top of the building across from Bernard's bar. He jumped off the building landing on his feet. He was showing off. A normal robot would at least take some damage from that, and a human would die. He wasn't a normal robot, of course. He also had his name for a reason. Icarus could fly, well glide, actually. It was something with the way his legs were built. They were... weird.
Like all robots of the new age, Icarus was beautiful because we were all made that way. His skin was pale white and his large irises had been a red violet. His hair, as always, was short and spiked up into some rebellious way. Once again, as always, he was wearing the same thing. Ripped jeans, leather jacket, biker boots, and some t-shirt that advertised bikinis or alcohol. His smile was mysterious yet beautiful. However it warned that I should stay away. I should follow my instincts but I can't really do that in this particular situation.
He walked up to me, disintegrating the inches between us. He was showing off his height as always. He had been clearly a few inches over six feet tall. He was a freaking giant.
"I like the new look, princess." He said.
"How many times do I have to tell you to not call me that?"
"As many times as it takes."
I rolled my eyes.
"Quit being such a smart ass. What's the plan?" I leaned on the wall behind me, waiting for him to call over a hummer or something.
"Well, I called Nike and Zeus. They're meeting us at a warehouse. But until then," He blocked off both side of me using his long lanky arms covered in lean muscly silicone. "We can have some fun."
His face was only centimeters away from mine. This was... finally.... Icarus, you idiot!
"Quit messing around, we have things to do and people to see and this is not on the to do list!" I pushed him away.
"We have time."
"Not if the Hounds can get here in seconds. How are we getting there?"
"I'm not riding on your back. You may not get any damage done from 'flying' but I will."
"We have to get there somehow and it's too far to walk."
"Then we'll get a car."
"And flying's not?!"
"We can always go to plan 2."
"Then let's go."
"I'd rather put up with my father than flying."
He stopped talking for a minute, actually stopped talking and began to ponder on the words on his mind.
"Fine," He said, then turning around. He looked straight at the the building in front of him with out making a sound.
"What are you doing?" I asked, coming closer to him to see his face. He turned his head half way to see me.
"Well you see..." He turned his body the rest of the way and then began laughing insanely, rubbing the back of his head looking somewhere, anywhere, that wasn't in my direction.
"Why the hell are you laughing!" I demanded an answer to his stupidity. He stopped and then looked at me.
"Laughing? Oh, yeah, I'm laughing because... well..."
"Well?" It sounded more like a demand than a question.
"I'm not made for prison!" He then scooped me up from under my legs and then used his other hand to hold me. "Hold on!"
"Icarus, no! If I fall, I'll be severely damaged!"
"Do you know what they do to guys like me in prison, I'm not meant for that crap!" He then lifted up his left foot and then stamped it down on the pavement making us fly up into the air. We went higher and higher and higher. I tugged on to his shirt, holding him as close as possible.
"Icarus, when we get back on land I'm going to kill you!"