In less than an hour after I gained consciousness, I had witnessed (what seemed to be) my home utterly dilapidated, humans disregarding my existence, and a cat scorning me. As if that wasn’t enough, an ominous honk was now echoing from a distance.
“What’s that?” I shrieked.
“You can see for yourself” was the ginger cat’s reply. It nimbly leaped off the bench as I tried to hide behind it. I was rooted to the spot as a shadowy figure closed in. It was white, web-footed, pointy beaked, and it said —
“Are you okay?”
“Uhh… I suppose so. Was that you making all that scary racket?”
“Yeah, sorry about that,” said the goose. “I was trying to get your attention.”
“Why, do you know me?” I hopefully queried. “That would at least make one of us.”
“No, but you looked interesting so I waddled right over.” The goose cocked its head, leaning closer to observe me with a shiny round black eye. “Indeed, are you from around here, I wonder?”
“Actually, I don’t know — ”
“Does your kind ever leave the pond?” The cat butted in, glaring at the goose. “If you do, you’d have at least known that this blue alien just got here. It has zero idea who or what it is.”
“Ah, sorry,” said the goose, patting my back with one of its wings, “I feel bad for you, buddy, and I think I might know who could help you.”
“Really?! Please lead me to them!” I yelped.
“This person knows a lot about this place. But be warned, we never speak his terrible name around these parts. We only refer to him as —” it shuddered “— The Robot.”
“Doesn’t matter!” I grabbed its wing and dragged it to run with me. “Introduce me to him!”
So we ran, up an uphill path and past the gaggles of humans staring incredulously at us — no, at the goose and the cat. Finally we reached an oddly empty street at the back of a row of buildings. The goose beckoned to us and tiptoed to a small brick-walled building, covered almost entirely with vines. It signalled for us to stay quiet as it opened the building’s rusted door with the other wing. The dimly-lit corridors within were also eerily devoid of people. Here and there were lab rooms with creepy apparatus peeking from the windows as we passed by. The goose halted with a look of trepidation before a steel iron door. The room inside was completely dark. In the furthest corner, I could barely make out a faint gray shape as it chillingly spoke, “Welcome.”
To be continued next time in The KAIST Herald...