(Today we have C.S. Boyack and Lisa Burton the Robot Girl from Wild Concept, which is available on Amazon. Also, don’t forget to check out Legends of Windemere: the Spirit Well to get more of Dariana.)
Roaming the stalls of Gaia’s bustling marketplace, the two women still manage to garner attention from the locals. Dariana’s silver hair and side-tied shirt make it impossible to hide from her reputation. The telepath ignores the stares and whispers, her powers working hard to filter out the thoughts and words of the locals. She repeatedly glances at the elegant redhead that is walking next to her, the woman seeming at home among the shops. Even among the elves and calicos, Lisa Burton the robot girl stands out due to her otherworldly beauty. Many of the citizens can sense that she is not what she seems, but they do their best not to stare and come off as rude. It is very difficult considering the intricate tattoo on her right leg.
“I’m sorry, Lisa, but it is strange interacting with you. Instead of thoughts, I hear echoes when my powers reach out. It’s a habit I need to stop since I don’t have to worry about everyone attacking me anymore. I’ll stop now. Still, how does your mind work? It’s oddly refreshing to have to ask questions instead of getting answers in secret.”
“I don’t know if you’ll understand the terminology, but I’m basically a walking-talking computer. Logic software helps me make decisions. My emotional software is new and unique, and can be adjusted to help me fit in. At this point in life, it almost never gets adjusted.
“So tell me about yourself, Dariana. It must be hard receiving so much information from everyone. Do you ever want to just shut it off for a day? I mean it’s kind of nice being here away from the constant stream of data the internet brings me. Oh, look at these pretty silks.”
“The urge to simply turn my mind off or cast myself into the astral void is rather tempting. I would probably be lost outside of my body for two decades if I really put my mind to it. The . . . background noise is the worst, but I have a ring to help. You have to look carefully because it’s glass and blends into my skin. With this on, I can get through the daily thoughts and ward off the stronger emotions, especially those of my friends.
“By the way, these are overpriced unless the merchant, who is hiding behind that rack of pants, is willing to negotiate after I called him out. Sorry, I’m not really sure how haggling goes. Sari says I don’t have to worry because I cheat, but I’m still curious. How do people in your world take to you? Closest thing we have here are golems, which are magical servants. It’s obvious that you’re something much more.”
Deciding to go elsewhere, the women wander along the stalls. Having very little downtime since her awakening, Dariana investigates anything that catches her eye. She examines a pair of shoes with stiletto heels, unsure of how any mortal can wear them without breaking an ankle. Stopping at an enchantment shop, Lisa tries to analyze the ingredients of the various potions. Heading to the back of the open air store, they take their time with a wall of silver charms and jewelry.
“I’m not actually a servant. I was created as an experiment; what they called a concept model. They wanted to see if they could create something with actual humanity, but it worked a little too well. I saw the value in myself and started making my own rules. There isn’t any magic involved. It must be hard being a champion. I mean lots of people here have magical skills, psychic powers, and stuff, but they expect something from a champion. That must never go away.” She selects an elaborate silver hand mirror.
“There aren’t as many true telepaths in the world as one would think. Many are casters with a mind magic specialty instead of natural gifts. They don’t stand a chance against me, which is something I’ve had to prove far too often. It’s funny that I never really thought about the expectations of a champion. The others have that because they’ve lived a life in this world. I spent most of my time in slumber until it was my time to wake up, fail, and get put back under. This is the longest I’ve been awakened since my teenage years. Nobody really pays attention to me because of that since I have no reputation like the others. I will do my job, see the world, and fade into the shadows when my role is done. Guess I’m like you in a way. An experiment, but I’m one that doesn’t really have any options.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to get sad. Try the ruby earrings that have a small fire enchanted. It’s harmless and only for show. Though it will keep your ears warm during cold nights.”
Lisa reaches out her hand and removes the enchanted rubies from the wall. “Those are beautiful. I brought some dwarven gold from a trunk in the basement of the writing cabin. Do you think they’ll accept that here? I mean it is real gold.”
Dariana leads the way to the counter, her hands tucked into her pockets. “I don’t think there will be a problem. Long ago, gold had to be in specific forms with special brands. Certain kingdoms had certain values that shifted as power changed hands. Nowadays, there are diamond spheres and gems at the top of the global currency. I’m sure he won’t be too much of a problem.”
“Seven gold pieces,” the fat old man behind the counter says.
Lisa bites her lip and turns to Dariana, who grinds her heel against the floor and says, “Sorry about that. It doesn’t hurt to ask again.”
Lisa moves her hand across the vendor’s face. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
“Two gold pieces, and not a silver piece less.”
Lisa pays the merchant, drops the earrings into her purse, and touches Dariana’s hand. “That was incredible.”
“Thanks, but I really don’t like doing stuff like that. You’re a guest, so I’m more than willing to help you get a fun souvenir. It’s just that I come from a . . . difficult family. Nyx assures me that I’m not like them, but one never knows when temptation is all around. This is another reason I’m careful with my powers and tend to use them on myself more than others.”
The women make their way to a tavern and are shown to the premium table. The barmaid takes their order and leaves.
“I never tried to resist my powers,” Lisa says with a smile. “They’re just upgrades really that help me through life. I made a bunch of money counting cards in various casinos. I figured someone has to win, might as well be me. I think we have to be ourselves. That’s how I live my life. We make mistakes and we adjust.”
Dariana scratches her head, which bobs from side to side. “That is an interesting way to look at life. Being bound by destiny has caused me to narrow my actions and view of the future. Never really had a sense of self now that I think about it. Definitely never tried to have unbridled fun until I met my new friends.”
“Maybe after we finish our drinks, we can look for some sharp pointy things. Craig loves that stuff, and maybe I’ll buy him something.”
“A blacksmith five streets over is having a secret sale if you know the secret word. It’s pineapple and his wife sells dresses upstairs. Maybe I’ll give it a look too.”
Lisa holds out her mug. “Is it really pineapple, or are you having fun with your powers?”
Dariana clinks with her own mug. “Sorry. I should have been clearer.”
“This is going to be harder than I thought.”
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
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