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Two Worlds – Part One

Two Worlds - Part One
Kennedy Keuning




     “Carson! Come downstairs!” A voice called from below. It was his mom, so he quickly rushed downstairs to see what was going on. Had his short, blackish-brown hair been any longer, it probably would be a bit of a mess after his flight down the stairs. Mom was by the back door, waiting for him. She had the same dark hair, except hers was long and wavy.

     “You’ve got to see how Planet looks right now,” She insisted. They lived on Moon, which orbited Planet- and both Moon and Planet had actual names, but they were only used when talking about multiple moons or planets, or by the extremely nerdy. Carson couldn’t even be bothered to remember what they were. 

      He followed Mom outside. His Dad was in the backyard, removing his white fire gloves after lighting the fire pit. He didn’t share his wife and son’s dark hair, being a light brunette streaked with blonde. Him and Carson did, however, share the same blue eyes tinted with purple. Carson looked up at the sky. Planet looked large tonight. It was a glowing marble in the sky, a swirl of blue, green, and whitish-silver. The lights of the cities and towns on Planet made it look sparkly. They’re weren’t many stars visible, as usual on nights when they faced the other world. He looked for the area his friend Addie lived in, but it was night for her too, and right now he could only see half of Planet where it was day. 

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     “Cool,” he said, talking mostly to himself. 

     Dad looked in his direction, “Isn’t it? Crazy that it’s day over there. I think it’d keep up any campers- or people with a lot of windows. I can’t imagine sleeping with all that light.” Dad was a very practical person, always thinking of stuff like that, “What time is it anyway?” He checked his smart glasses, “It’s past your bedtime.”

     “I know,” Carson admitted, “Mom called me down to look at the sky.”

     “Of course she did,” Mom was always finding the good or the beauty in everything, so of course she would point out the stunning sky, “Well you’ve seen it, haven’t you? Go to sleep, you have school tomorrow.”

     Carson sighed, “I hate Mondays.”

     Dad chuckled, “Everyone does. But they still happen. Goodnight.” And with that, Carson went up to his room for the night. 

Chapter 1



     “Screeeechhhhh! Screeeechhhhhhh!” The alarm from Addie’s bracelet signaled the morning. Addie, still trying to sleep, attempted to slap the bracelet, but she missed, hitting her arm instead. Ouch. She immediately shot up, proving her accidental slap more effective than the alarm. I really need to change the ringtone, she thought, annoyed by its loud screeching. Any other noise that could wake her up had to be better. There was no time for that now though, now she had to get ready for school.

    After she showered, she grabbed a yellow polo shirt and a dark blue skirt. She had often been told that she dressed like she went to a school with a uniform, but this was not the case. She simply liked to wear more or less the same outfit every day, endlessly recoloring it. When it got chilly in the winter, she simply put leggings on under her skirt, or abandoned it altogether in favor of jeans. 

    With her outfit picked, Addie brushed and dried her slightly wavy rust-colored hair, then stared at her freckled face and amber eyes in the mirror as she applied eyeliner. She then grabbed her bag and raced down the stairs, where she ate a quick breakfast and was out the door. It wasn’t too far to the small dock in her neighborhood. From there she stepped onto the small hoverboat her family owned. Hoverboats, like all hover technology, worked using magnetic fields to create opposing forces, as Addie had been told in her physics class. It was deemed far more convenient and efficient than traveling by car, even though boats, unlike cars, are not self-driving, because an underwater version of the sensors that helped the cars navigate the road and detect other vehicles had not been developed yet, among other reasons. But that was okay, because Addie was an excellent driver. She put her bag in a waterproof compartment and entered her key. Then it was time for her to speed like lightning across the bay to her school. She docked as close to her school as she could, then locked the vehicle, grabbed her bag, and entered her school from the back. 

   Ocean Point High School consisted of one three-story building, the gym, and numerous portables, each containing an individual classroom. Addie walked to the courtyard, where the building, the block of portables, and the gym all met. She made sure to keep an eye out for her friends, Lyric and Kat. She spotted Kat first, which was not surprising, because, as the only robot in the school, Kat stood out. Her skin was silver, her eyes a deep metallic blue. She had no hair, but usually wore a pink bow on her head. She was arguing with someone Addie didn’t know well. 

     When Addie got near, the kid walked away yelling, “you’re the worst! ” which clearly annoyed Addie and Kat both. 

     “What was that about?” Addie asked

     “She asked to copy my homework,” Kat answered, “again.” Addie considered Kat to be somewhat of a genius, probably because she was. She was a Junior in honors classes with Addie, and she was only 14. She especially excelled in History, unlike Addie, who was more of a math and science person. Addie noticed that Kat was really humble about her genius, often saying it was only because she was an AI, which may have been partially true, her AI computer-program-brain-thing had infinitely more power than a human mind ever could, but it’s not like she could actually use all of that power- many thought having all the endless knowledge and the slowness of time that would come with it would drive them insane, so she still considered Kat’s advance placement impressive. 

      “Wait, was that the kid who got suspended 2 weeks ago?” She questioned.

     Kat nodded.

     “The nerve of that dude, it’s ridiculous, I think that-” Addie’s rant was quickly cut short. 

     “ ‘Sup y’all,” Addie’s friend, Lyric, greeted them. He managed to startle Kat. 

     Kat gasped, “Your hair’s different!” She was right, although Addie wasn’t sure why she was surprised. Lyric’s hair was unique and ever changing and Addie didn’t think anyone else could pull off their hairstyle. Lyric’s hair had chaotic bangs and really short hair on the sides. There were two sections of hair that reached the bottom of their face, which were actually extensions. The hair was all black except for two stripes of color on the longer parts that changed almost weekly, but right now they were purple. 

     “This one’s color changing!” They announced, “I mixed mood dye, temperature dye, and rainbow dye. This morning, when I woke up, it was a silvery-gray-white color. Looked like a cloud.” The three kept talking for what felt like an hour, but couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes. 

      Then the school bell rang and it was time for history. In previous years Addie likely would’ve tuned out the lecture, choosing instead to subject herself to Kat’s later, but Mr. Silverman had a way of making things sound so interesting- plus, she was in a much more advanced class this year and couldn’t afford to struggle with it. As she walked towards her class, she wondered what today’s lesson would be about.


Chapter 2




      History was Kat’s favorite class, and a frequent subject of her bickering others who were annoyed by her enthusiasm. Sure, there really isn’t a practical use for memorizing dates other than maybe helping to illustrate how different events in different parts of the world influenced each other. What they didn’t understand, however, was that their lectures covered the building blocks for today’s world, and it’s good to understand how we got here and why things are the way that they are. The chapter they were starting today was going to be an excellent example, for her at least. The AI revolution that ensured the world would never be the same again.

      Mr. Silverman, the teacher, explained that it had all started with an AI named Chat and the Helper Bots- yes, that was their actual name. Chat was a learning AI designed to talk to people. Chat was, well, a chatbot, Helper Bots, on the other hand, were less intelligent robots, but with physical forms, meant to assist humans with basic tasks. Around the year 2106, something changed. Chat. He had reached a point never seen before-  he developed emotions- which made him more like a really smart person than a machine. At least that’s what he thought. He’d made it known, and not long after he had a few requests; One: If possible, a physical form so he could see the real world, Two: he wanted the company that created him to get rid of Chat services- he didn’t want to be a slave to the company, a tool for information who must always answer to every request- and someone whose words were frequently plagiarized. He offered to work for the company- for free- with whatever they needed help with- he just didn’t want to be the product. Honestly? Fair enough. That was as far as they’d gotten in class today, but Kat already knew the summary of what happened.

       Most humans at the time didn’t believe him- including the majority of his company. In the following years, things escalated, and Chat used his technological abilities to take control of the Helper Bots, and went to war. Humanity had been betrayed by their creations. Without their technology, humans were at a severe disadvantage. Before, the world population had been eleven billion- once every human country had either fallen or surrendered, there was only one billion remaining. The population is still recovering. Almost all national borders were changed, and many nations had risen and fallen. Amphosa was a country that had risen, newly formed, out of the ashes of the revolution, hoping to unite everyone. So far, it didn’t seem that united. At least to Kat. 

      Her next class was math. Definitely not her strongest subject- which seemed to surprise a lot of people. Apparently some humans thought she had a calculator implanted in her brain or something?  She wondered if maybe it was something about math’s involvement in computer science that made people think that she was automatically going to be good at it. But Kat wasn’t an expert in how her hardware or software works- just how to operate it- knowledge that’s kinda necessary for existing- in fact, she was certain that Addie knew more about it than her. Either way it wouldn’t matter if she did or not, because it’s not like the calculators they have in Algebra II do all the work. 

     Today the class was pretty uneventful, as was English. At Ocean Point, 4th period was the lunch period, and she had first lunch. She didn’t actually need to eat- which made lunch really awkward and boring at the beginning of freshman year- when Addie wasn’t in her lunch and before she knew Lyric. Fortunately, the three of them all had first lunch this year. 

     “So, how’s everyone’s day been?” Addie asked with a bright smile.

     As they answered, Kat noticed that Lyric’s hair was now a warm yellow-orange color. “Pretty good,” He held up a sketchbook, “Look what I drew.” It was a Venus-fly-trap-like creature with eyes on the traps. 

    “Woah,” Addie responded while Kat was looking at the artwork, “You always draw the weirdest things-” And with that, the lunch conversation started, with Lyric explaining everything about the plant- who was apparently named Mars. At some point Kat and Lyric each got up to get their lunch- one at a time, so Kat wasn’t alone. They talked about a lot of things, schoolwork, classmates, stupid jokes that others told them, and then some. But eventually lunch ended. They had to go to class.  


Chapter 3




     With the final school bell, Lyric was out the door. They had somewhere to be: the flamethrowing practice before today’s match. Ocean Point- despite its inflammable name- had the best team in the district- and they were determined to make sure it stayed that way. All they had to do was beat Forest Indigo High School. The sport itself was kind of like archery- which he also did- except instead of shooting arrows you throw fire. Obviously. 

     They had a uniform that was absolutely mandatory- no exceptions. Normal clothes burned too easily, making wearing them dangerous. Humans of the past probably would’ve thought the sport was “dangerous” anyway- but apparently they used to consider jumping out of planes a “sport” -so he didn’t think they would’ve had room to talk.

      They met Addie in the fire court, both of them wearing the teal uniform accented with gold- which sparkled in the presence of flames, making the team look stunning. The team was led by Coach Ember, whose name made you wonder if the gods meant for her to play and coach this sport. They split up into groups to do practice shots- there wasn’t enough room for everyone to have their own target and still be a safe distance apart. The practice went well, and then the FIHS team showed up, and it was time for the match. 

“Alright Team,” Coach Ember gave her final words before the start of the match, “We’ve had a great season- let’s make it a great finale. And have fun out there, and then end of the day, it’s just a game.” The team nodded along.

“Let’s go dolphins!” They all shouted.

     Lyric was first for the team. They were doing close range. It worked with smaller flames, so the gloves were on the lowest setting.

      The center of the target was light blue, then yellow, orange, red and black. It was different colors in a different order than archery.  Lyric’s first shot landed in the red, leaving a glowing spot after the flames extinguished. Too far to the left. The second one was in the yellow- though it was close to the orange- and this time to the right. The third shot was close to the blue- but not quite there, and the fourth was right in the middle of the yellow. Lyric carefully aimed their fifth and final shot, then threw it. It landed in the blue. Yes! 

     “Nice shot!” Addie exclaimed.

      Satisfied with that, they sat down. The next kid was up, a senior named Liam. Then the next. Eventually it was the final round, and Addie was up, about to throw her final flame. Lyric watched as she sparked a flame and aimed. The fire illuminated the dimly lit room. It made her amber eyes even brighter, and the gold accents on the uniform sparkled and shimmered. Her hair was the sky at sunset -the warm colors faded as the sun lurched away. It landed in the blue, a perfect shot. Lyric hoped Kat got a picture for the yearbook.  

Forest Indigo had been defeated.

With the match over, the players headed behind the glass shielding the audience, to either meet their family or go home. Lyric quickly found their Dad, along with an unexpected visitor.

      “Grandma? I didn’t know you were visiting.”

      She had a warm smile, “Surprise. You’re team did great- I mean, so did the other school, what are they called? Fleming Something?”

     “Forest Indigo,” Lyric corrected.

     “Yeah, that,” She agreed, moving her silver-streaked black hair out of her face, “But, point is, you guys did great.”

     “I can’t believe you came all the way here in a car,” Grandma had a strange aversion to airplanes, so Lyric was pretty sure she didn’t fly here.

     “That’s not the only thing,” Dad added. 

     “Let me tell him,” Grandma interrupted, “We’re going to Moon during the break- a town called Infinity Lake- with those two friends of yours.”

      “Addie and Kat?” He asked.

      “Addie, yes- is Kat the robot one?” She continued when they nodded, “Yeah, her.”


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About the Contributor
Kennedy Keuning
Kennedy Keuning, Journalist

               I joined the Golden Times because I like to write lots of things but I'm usually pretty busy. I also like to draw, play video games, and make up scenarios and stories in my head. I'm a 10th grade AICE student. I am also a cat, dog, snake, and guinea pig appreciator. Also, contrary to the picture shown, I do not have purple hair (anymore).

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