WARNING: Vampire-robot/alien-human coffin sex.
It took Dina a few minutes to process where she was, who she was waking up next to, and comparatively who she wasn’t waking up next to. It seemed like her entire life had been shattered and put back together in two nights, and now it was flipped upside down as she waited for the glue to dry. The other day she’d gone numb from an overdose of emotions, and now they were returning prickly and no less muddled.
“Good morning, Aunt Dina,” said a voice.
“Uh…morning, honey!” she said, the word ‘aunt’ catching her off-guard
She’d only seen the kid once the entire night, when she’d wandered in to grab some takeout food and then disappeared again. Yet Dina hadn’t been able to shake the feeling of her presence; like she was being watched somehow.
“Did the ghosts keep you up? They run rampant when Mother’s not around.”
“Nah. I used to babysit in a house more haunted than this.” Of course, it helped that she could barely see ghosts at all. She’d catch a glimpse in her peripherals, but the figures would always fade away when she looked at them straight on. Plus, it seemed like the ghosts at Olive’s house were more frightened than frightening, especially around baby Junior.
“Uncle Mike’s terrified of them.”
“Yeah, I don’t think he got much sleep.” She felt bad about that and wished she’d come up with some other arrangement, but going back to his place or her place had seemed like an awkward and ill-advised idea.
“My daddy thinks you’re a witch, just so you know.”
“If I was a witch why would I be camped out here waiting for an anti-abduction spell because I’m too scared to go outside?”
“I know you’re not. You couldn’t even see the reaper.” She snickered. “I’d put the anti-abduction spell on you myself, by mother won’t let me use magic until I’m thirteen.”
“Wait, ‘reaper’ as in the grim reaper?”
“He was here when Mr. Tricou died. All the normal people couldn’t see him.”
Dina couldn’t help but smirk. “Guess I’m normal then. Could your uncle Mike see him?”
“I don’t know. He wasn’t looking at him, but he never looks at the ghosts either.”
“Have nice day, Aunt Dina.”
Dina got dressed and took off at full speed across the yard. You couldn’t call it running; Dina’s fastest gait was more of a skip.
“How is he Mr. Goth?” she asked, breathless.
“I fixed him!” said Kvornan, materializing from the shadows. “With my teeth!”
Dina turned to Mortimer, who took a step back like he was expecting her to pounce. “How is this even possible?”
He took a deep breath and pushed up his glasses. “The vampiristic virus somehow attached itself to his synthetic life force. It’s a phenomenal union of magic and technology! Quite the scientific breakthrough!”
“Unlock this door so that I can hug him!” Dina jiggled the handled.
“You can’t get too close, Miss Dina!” Servo said through the glass. “I’m a monster and I can’t control myself. When I first woke up, I almost bit Mr. Goth!”
Kvornan laughed. “Don’t feel bad; everyone tries to bite Mr. Goth.”
Mortimer shrugged. “He insisted that we lock him up; I didn’t think it was the least bit necessary but I thought it best to respect his wishes.”
“Does he have to drink…blood now?”
“If he didn’t have to eat before, he shouldn’t have to start now, though he will need to learn to deal with the cravings. I offered him some plasma fruit—Bella grows it for any vampire who wants to live a blameless life—but he said he preferred to abstain from the taste of blood entirely.”
Kiernen scoffed. “I think his supposed ‘bloodlust’ is psychological; I’d be more concerned with the sunlight issue.”
“But he’s solar powered!”
“No worries, pretty lady. Our boy is already on his way over with one of our extra coffins.”
“Just a tradition!” Kiernen patted her on the head. “Let him get some rest during the day and he’ll be fine. Physically, that is. Mentally, might take some work.”
Dina tapped on the glass. “Servy, listen to me! You are not a monster. You are adorable, and you can’t stay locked in there forever! Vampire or not, you still have responsibilities. You have to be the man of the house until Ocean gets back.”
He bowed his head, his face as static as always. “So it’s true then. You don’t live there anymore? And Mr. Big is…gone?”
She cringed. “I’m sure he’ll be back someday.”
“What am I supposed to do until then?”
“Whatever you want, honey.”
What he wanted was to go home and sleep, as did Kiernen and Kvornan. Mortimer and Dina found themselves alone.
“I appreciate you getting him out of the lab before my wife gets home. Don’t get me wrong; there are no secrets between Bella and myself, I would just prefer to tell her all the details myself rather than risk her jumping to conclusions.”
Dina blushed. “I’m sure my sister already told her he was here.”
“And thank you for taking this so well. I know this is not what you had in mind when you asked for my help.”
Dina raised her eyebrows. “You were expecting me to pull a stake on him or something?”
“There’s a reason my friends gravitated towards a logical, open-minded profession. The general public is not forthcoming towards vampires, or anyone less than normal.” He said this like he was imparting some secret wisdom that he alone had discovered.
“Yeah. Well, I subscribe to the idea that you should treat everyone as if they may one day make it big and owe you a lot of favors.” Xenophobic maids being an exception.
“I doubt your ex-fiance will be quite so accepting. Speaking of which, I need to have an important word with you, Miss Caliente, about something…important.”
“Oh?” She didn’t like his solemn tone.
“I need you to tell me everything you know about that robot.”
She was relieved that he wasn’t asking about aliens.
“Well, let’s see, if I recall correctly, Ocean bought him from his sister. He said that she and her husband salvage broken and abandoned robots and find them new homes.”
“For a pretty penny, I’ll bet. With no one checking to see if they’re upholding the standards of basic human decency? Or rather no one that doesn’t have a literal off-button?”
“Well, it sounded nice the way he said it,” Dina sighed. “I guess I should call her; she’s the only family he’s got left. I would sure want to know if Nina was abducted.”
“When you do, ask her where they found him, and see if she can shed any light on his perplexing damages. I still haven’t been able to figure what exactly happened to him. There’s something animalistic about the marks I found on him. I’d even go as far to say they follow a disturbingly lycanthropic pattern, but not even a werewolf is strong enough to manhandle a servo—and they leave hair everywhere.” He muttered the last part to himself.
“If he can turn into a vampire, would he be able to turn into werewolf, too?”
“There were no bite marks, just scratches and battery-marks. Thank goodness; the thought of a were-servo is unspeakably horrifying.”
“That doesn’t sound very open-minded.”
“Lycanthropy savages the mind even more than it does the body. It’s incomparable to anything else on the supernatural spectrum. Vampirism isn’t an easy life but it’s livable, and I think it may even help Servo’s confidence in the long run.”
“You’ve really taken an interest in him.”
“I feel like I owe it to Kay to watch out for her creations.”
“Your friend the inventor?”
“Yes.” He pulled a picture out of the desk drawer. “Did Michael tell you what happened to her?”
“I didn’t get a clear answer.”
“It’s an unsolved mystery. She was found dead the very same night her husband went missing. Nobody knows for sure what happened that night.”
“Was it a murder?”
“Well, she ultimately died of electrocution but that was only in conjunction with a fractured skull and other injuries that suggest it was no accident; the shock wouldn’t have killed her on its own. Hers was the only DNA they could find at the scene, but it’s a complicated ordeal. You see, her husband did not, in fact, have DNA.”
Dina took a deep breath. “You mean he was a…?”
“The first one.”
“Oh my…” she gulped.
“She didn’t build him with that purpose in mind, though obviously, she, um, enabled him for that type of thing. Kay told me there was plenty of thought and discussion beforehand to make sure they both understood the questionable nature of the Pygmalion relationship. They were both —mentally speaking— consenting adults, so I try not to judge.”
“Somebody married a robot.” Dina blinked. “Is that even legal? I didn’t see any outrage on SBN about it!”
“They were both introverted people who liked to keep their private lives out of the public eye.”
Dina was starting to feel sick to her stomach. “Do they think he killed her?”
“Some do. Others, like Bella and myself, think that there may be more to story.”
Mortimer cleared his throat and looked away. “She was only about your age when she died, having accomplished more before the age of twenty-five than most people do in a lifetime. It pains me to think what else she could have done…”
“…I don’t think the world will ever get another Kaylynn Langerak.”
“And they never found her husband?” Dina asked, knowing she was going to regret it.
“No,” Mortimer sighed, finally making eye contact with her again. “They didn’t.”
There was an awkward silence. “Mr. Goth, I really appreciate you helping Servo and making me soup and letting me stay at your house last night, even if you did make me cry several times. I think you’re really cool and smart. Almost as cool and smart as your wife.”
“—but there’s nothing you can say or do that would convince me that my amnesiac vampire robot buddy would ever hurt anyone.”
“I didn’t suggest that; you did.”
“You better not mention this to him without irrefutable proof and impeccable tact!
“You really think I’d be that insens—“
“Yes. And even then my sister is still gonna punch you.”
“And she’s got quite a punch, let me tell you,” said a voice. “Hello, darling!”
“Nice to see you too, Deeds.”
“Preventum abductus!” Bella said.
It was as if all Dina’s cares were wafted away with the wave of a wand. Like she was light as a feather, yet not light enough to make it out of the Sim Earth atmosphere.
“Preventum abductus!” Bella said again, more firmly. “This isn’t working.”
“It’s not?” Dina’s heart dropped into her stomach. “But I feel all tingly and stuff!”
Bella raised an eyebrow. “That’s…nice, dear, but if the spell had worked there would be sparkles. It didn’t work on your sister either; it must be genetic predisposition.”
“Are you sure you’re saying it correctly?”
Bella’s body remained completely still while her head swiveled on her neck to face her brother. “Michael,” she whispered, “I may not be the best spell caster in the world, but with enough reagents I can at least do a simple anti-abduction spell. As I have done for you, my daughter, and my husband — none of whom have been abducted! It’s not me, it’s them. But if you think you can do better, then by all means…DO BETTER.”
Dina didn’t want to cry in front of Bella, but she did anyway.
“Calm down, Bella. I’m questioning your diction, not your worth to Simkind. Er—Dina, do you have any jewelry with you?”
She perked up. “Yeah, it’s all 25% off this month.”
“Deeds,” said Nina, gently. “I think he’s suggesting that Bella enchant the jewelry instead of us and then when we wear the jewelry it will prevent us from being abducted.”
“Will that work?”
“Uh, ask Bella! She’s the expert. I just saw it in some fantasy movie.”
“Which movie, Michael?”
“All of them,” he said through gritted teeth.
“It’ll work,” she sighed.
“Oh Mike, you’re a genius!”
“Thank you for everything. If I ever have another meltdown I know who to call now.”
“Well he’s attentive.”
She ignored her sister’s raised eyebrow. “He’s that way with everyone.”
“He’s not expecting something in return, is he?”
“He’s not like that. He never tried to badmouth Ocean or turn things in that direction or anything. And even if running into each other after all these years managed to stir some nostalgic feelings, he knew it was not the time to even bring it up.”
“Feelings stirred up in him or you?”
“Well, that sucks. I mean, a math teacher is really not up to your standards, huh?”
Dina rolled her eyes. “It’s too soon to even be thinking about another relationship. I certainly didn’t get closure with the last one.”
Dina did not follow the supposed ex-girlfriend tradition of returning and/or burning everything her exes gave her. She sold her painful memories for cash. It was kind of necessary; her room in the apartment was smaller than Ocean’s closet.
Nina gave up and changed the subject. “So Deeds, once it gets dark I was thinking I should go check on ‘Count’ Servo. Unless you don’t think you’ll be okay alone?”
“Go. He needs you more than I do.” Nina was the one person Dina couldn’t stand to lie to, but withholding upsetting information was not exactly the same thing. She felt a pang of guilt but she knew deep down she was not sending her sister into any danger. “That reminds me, I still need to call Ocean’s sister. I think I have her number somewhere.”
In the most bizarre of coincidences, said number had a Strangetown area code. What were the odds?
“May I speak to Grainne Salamis, please?”
“She’s not in,” said a cheerful voice. “May I take a message?”
“I should probably just wait until she gets back. It’s about her brother, Ocean.”
The girl laughed, drawing it out just a bit too long. “My mother has no brother named Ocean.”
“Ocean Big is a silly made-up name for my silly, silly uncle. You’re speaking to the niece of Gwrtheym McGork Jr.”
Mr. Big’s whole place was dark save for a flickering light in a tiny upstairs window. Nina headed straight for that part of the house, trying to remember all the answers from that vampire quiz she’d taken in her 12th grade health class, wondering if they applied to this situation. The most relevant information had never left her: the bit about the blood types.
She went upstairs and through an enormous closet only to find herself in a laundry room that seemed to double as someone’s bedroom. Somebody who had a thing for books and human women.
“Nina! You can’t be here! It’s dangerous!”
“I trust you.”
“I’m a bloodsucking creature of the night now!”
“You won’t hurt me.”
“The house is a mess! I haven’t had a chance to clean up since your sister was here alone!”
“I don’t care.”
“I have an insatiable craving for human blood now!”
“I don’t have human blood. Not human enough, anyway.”
“My dad’s half alien.” She shrugged. “Pretty weird, huh?”
He waited a moment, as he always did, before he replied. “Well, I certainly wouldn’t know anything about weirdness.”
She smiled, stepping closer to get a closer view of his new look. “I’m here to apologize for breaking you.”
“It wasn’t your fault, Nina.”
“But it still wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t—”
“It was worth it.” She’d never heard him cut off anyone’s sentence before. “And I don’t think it’s going to happen again. I’ve got the forces of darkness holding me together now.” It was hard to tell whether that was a joke or not.
“Well don’t be worried about the alien thing, Servy. I'm not going to impregnate you.”
“At this point that’s the only thing that could surprise me.”
AUTHOR’S NOTES: I cannot claim credit for the two Kaylynns idea. I stole it from Tvtropes.