Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 4
Dr. Alexander

Kayla’s Advanced Robotics I class was crowded with students.  She looked up and saw Durk and Gordon walk in a few minutes after she did.  The teacher was at her desk, sending emails to each student through their Z-700.  A few minutes after the second bell rang Kayla felt her gizmo buzz noisily.  She quickly took out her Z-700 and saw that she had one message waiting in her inbox.  Other students got a message on their gadgets around the same time Kayla did.  Before she opened the message, she shortly looked up to see Kira rushing in a few seconds after the bell rang.  Kayla rolled her eyes and shook her head as Kira walked to the back of the class.  Kira sat down in an empty chair across from Gordon and Durk.


1 message waiting from  HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]" [email protected]read the message.


When Kayla opened the message, attached to the email was a file named RIASAR1.rtf.  She opened the file eagerly, skimming over the curriculum.


“Good morning class!” Prof. Olive greeted in a southern American accent.  “My name is Prof. Simone Olive, your Advanced Robotics I teacher.”


Simone looked briefly at her computer screen, reading her syllabus aloud. “Following what the syllabus says about what yall will be learning in AR1, first of all, many of you many wonder… Doesn’t MCLT have a similar course? Well, yes, but it was more or less, uh, how can I say this? Demonstrate that you can build a robot effectively and all that related minor jazz.  The good news is that Mr. Mellis was kind enough to save the bigger stuff for his nephew, Raylor.  So in this class, building a robot is only the fundamentals.  MCLT doesn’t go quite into detail about how a robot functions and more importantly, the SECAIs were corporate funded already made bots. Yet the geeks I know wouldn’t have had a problem with handling corporate mankind’s robotic failures and prototypes!”


She paused as some started laughing at her joke about geeks knowing almost everything there was to know about robotics.  To that Kayla could sympathize.  She began remembering the first days of when she started building Taizosu.


“But that’s baby steps!” Simone continued and paused to grin.  “Making a robot doesn’t just include building and then equipping it with all the bells and whistles.  They’re like little kids that need to be trained!  The latter is what’s going to be happening on the final—a robot with personality! STAT!  …And a little FYI, don’t think that this project is going to be a walk in the park—all of you are in groups and are responsible for training your bot each day past the midterm.  The midterm will be yall’s proposals including a set personality all of yall must agree on—sorry, no MPDs.”


“Bleh… I could just build and train one by myself.” Kira mumbled to herself at hearing Olive mention teamwork.


“Now, straight down to business.” Simone started again, opening a file on her desktop.  “Starting this Friday, yall will be assigned to work on your proposals for the midterm due on week three.  I suggest yall get a head start on it!  Now if they’re any questions, I’ll be here to answer any.  If not, I’ll be seeing ya.”


The class was dismissed.  Kira walked out with her arms folded.


“Kira!” Gordon called, swiftly walking up to her.


“What do you want?” Kira snapped, turning to him sideways.  She wasn’t in the mood to talk right now.


“Hey, chill, girl,” Gordon put his hands up at her in defeat, slightly caught off guard by her spicy mood. He then continued after shrugging, “I just wanted to ask you if you’d like sit with my brother and I at lunch.”


Kira thought about the idea for the moment, grinning at it and him all the more so.

“I’d love too, Gord, but I got something planned this afternoon.” she said in a mellow tone.


“Waah?” Gordon sounded shocked. He would try to persuade her as he continued slyly, “What’s more important than—”


“I HAVE A LIFE?  WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” Kira screamed, getting in his face.


“Okay, okay, I’ll see ya around.” Gordon backed away from her.

“Whatever…” Kira trailed off, walking down the hallway in silence.  She walked up the stairs to the third floor.


Upon reaching the third floor, Kira walked down another long hallway.  On the third floor were faculty offices.  Kira stopped at the last door on the left side of the hallway.  The name above the glass window read, “Dr. Alexander.”  She knocked on the door lightly and waited a few moments.  After not receiving a reply, Kira started to turn around in the other direction.


“Why should I bother.” Kira mumbled to herself as she remembered the day Raylor made it mandatory for her to see the school Psychologist.


Raylor felt that Kira had problems only someone qualified could solve.  Though Kira often argued that she needed no one, her bad behavior said otherwise.  Raylor believed he was doing her favor. Rather, it was saving her from being locked up again by Naira II.  Though it was Naira I that had jurisdiction over Kira, all of that was passed on to “the Princess” when she passed. Kira had the same problems and they only seemed to get worse. The 40 year old defense administer believed that Kira could only be ‘saved’ if she went to counseling since Kira’s sore spot with religion inhibited her from attending sermons in any religion.


Kira took another step away from the door, remembering that since the day Durk broke up with her, she believed she was beyond redemption.  Suddenly, the door opened.  A woman appearing to be in her mid 30s was standing behind Kira.  Her two piece yellow and purple blouse glittered in the light.


“Kira!” Dr. Alexander greeted. 

Kira had her back turned to her. 


“Didn’t know you were standing there—I was just about to get something to drink.” Alexander continued.


“Don’t mind me. I was just about to leave.” Kira said, coldly.


“How about I buy you a drink?”  Dr. Alexander asked, ignoring Kira’s annoyance, seamlessly combating the younger woman’s hostility with kindness.


“Sure. I’ll take a bottle of Pinot Grigio.” Kira grinned, twisting around to Alexander.

“No, no. Non-alcoholic.” Amaris laughed at Kira’s hint.


“Okay…” Kira averted her eyes elsewhere as the two walked down to the hallway.


The area opened up into a small vending area.


“What’ll it be?” Amaris asked, smiling at her as she took out her wallet from her purse.  She pulled out a card with the word ‘RIAS’ engraved in blue and silver lettering.  Alexander then swiped her card on an ATM like mechanism built into the vending machine.  The machine beeped after displaying the words, “Hi Amaris!” in a scrolling horizontal text across the LCD screen.


“Mountain Dew—I guess.”  Kira shrugged.

“You watching your sugar intake?” Amaris asked, concerned.

“I’m not diabetic.” Kira countered, darting her eyes at her.

She sighed, turning away from Alexander, shaking her head as she spoke, “FINE. Sweet Tea then.”


“Which kind?”  Amaris pointed to the bottom row.  There were at least a dozen brands.

“Half ‘n’ half.” Kira answered, slightly interested.

“That’s a creamer.” Amaris joked with a grin.


“Funny.” Kira paused with a grin, shortly looking at her before she continued.  “I meant—”


“I know what you meant.” Amaris interrupted, looking at Kira from the side with a smirk.


“How about—that?” Amaris pointed to a tall bottle of tea with a picture of an older gentleman in golfer’s attire on the front.


“Arnold Palmer Iced Tea? My favorite!” Kira licked her lips.


“Good choice!” Amaris giggled.  She pressed the number for the drink twice.  The machine spit out two of them.  After taking the drinks from the dispenser, Kira and Amaris went back to Dr. Alexander’s office to sit down.


“So how things been going with you lately?” Amaris asked after taking a sip of her drink.  She had an iPad sitting on her lap.  The doctor was sitting in a chair before Kira who was lounged back on a dark red couch.  Her head was laid back on its headrest.


“How do ya think I feel?” Kira started defensively. She raised her head from the headrest and cocked an eyebrow at Amaris.  “I just got out and going back to school is a pain as usual!”


Amaris stayed silent, waiting for Kira to cool down.  She anticipated on something else that was going to happen.  Amaris slightly leaned forward and then backward, resting her back on her chair, and looked around for a few moments before Kira sighed hopelessly.


“Sorry.” The British-speaking girl apologized softly.  “I’ve just been under a lot a stress lately.”


“Tell me about it.” Amaris urged.

“You wouldn’t want to know.” Kira grumbled, looking away.

“Why?” Amaris asked, trying to be sympathetic of Kira’s situation.  “I’m a—”

“The only two people who could help me are now gone.” Kira explained firmly, darting her eyes at her.


“That’s not true! I’m sure they’ll be more if would just give them a chance.” Amaris raised her voice.


“Chances are what I’ve finished giving people. Every last one of them blew their chances as they made my life more miserable!  So, why should I give a hoot about the rest of the world that just doesn’t give a care!” Kira grumbled.


“There are those in this world that do care—like me!” Amaris answered with a smile.


Kira stared at her for a few seconds.  She was at lost for words.  Yet she began to believe that typically, doctors are supposed to care for their patients.  The girl reasoned that it was their job to show sympathy—especially if you’re a doctor in the field of Psychology.  It was common knowledge about Dr. Amaris Alexander.  She in fact was RIAS’ school “Shrink” as the people in the old days called them. 


However, Amaris had two degrees.  The other qualification Amaris held was that of being a Psychiatrist.  The thought of that made always made Kira shutter.  She never did like taking medicine but unfortunately, thanks to a court order signed by Naira Hill-Adega II, she had too, though under Naira I, she didn’t.  Everyone in office knew Kira had a problem and Naira’s job was to make sure she didn’t stop taking her meds.


“You still taking your meds?” Amaris asked as the thought crossed her mind.


“Interesting that you asked me that!” Kira stopped to laugh as she too was thinking about the same subject.  She added while turning her head away after grumbling, “I do but to keep Princess Saul away from me.”


“Good!” Amaris commended.


“But why can’t I just take myself off them when I want?” Kira asked. She was a bit annoyed with her predicament.


“Because you’re not well.”  Amaris answered softly, taking another sip of her drink.  She then returned it to its place beside her on the ground.


“There’s nothing wrong with me.”  Kira answered in arrogance, folding her arms.


Amaris explained, still in her easygoing tone, trying to reason with Kira. “You may say that but your jail record—but more importantly, your past says—”


“And what do YOU know?”  Kira interjected, darting her eyes at Amaris.  Her arms still folded.


“You call starting fights in school normal?” Amaris asked, sounding upset.


“If they asked for one! Heck yeah! God forbid if they don’t back off.” Kira sneered with a smile.


“And she would’ve wanted you to not return that evil to anyone.”  Amaris paraphrased.


“How the heck would you know?” Kira yelled while dropping her smile, making Amaris flinch.


“I know because your mother was a God fearing person.” Amaris answered calmly, unfazed by Kira’s hostility.


Kira stayed silent, trying to take in what Amaris just explained to her.  She wanted to dismiss every word but she knew it was true.  Marta wouldn’t have wanted Kira to act like this.  Yet, Kira believed she had no control over it.  Furthermore, hiding it wasn’t as easy as it use to be.  The longer Kira lived on Zyra, the more people she knew.  Going through school meant meeting new people although Kira believed it could be done without them.  There was no way of avoiding people easily on Zyra as it was back down on Earth.  Then again, Kira believed she didn’t have that problem because it was the other way around—people didn’t want to be around her.  She had her father to thank for that!


Online schools = I get to stay in my room all day!” Kira often thought. 


That was when the number of online classes diminished.  Zyran schools were slowly heading towards classes with students and teachers in the same room physically.  Kira then thought of Earth and the lunar colonies.  Online schools were plentiful there.  Kira often wished she could go back, however; there was something that prevented her from doing so.


One, Naira, and two, that good-for-nothing father of mine!” Kira thought.  She looked away from Amaris, unfolding her arms.  The girl quickly plopped her head into the palm of her left hand.


“God was with Marta and still is with Naira II. But he left me a long time ago.” Kira said, defeated.


“Don’t say that!” Amaris cautioned.


“Don’t bother going any further on the matter. It’s a sore spot with me.” Kira warned as she looked up at her. She didn’t want to be lectured on the matter. She always heard "God is near the depressed ones" from her mother, both Naira’s, and from random people on Zyra. But in her own life, it didn’t seem like he cared about her suffering.


“Fine.”  Amaris sighed in defeat.  Yet she knew it wasn’t the end.  She anticipated on Kira saying more. Kira started crying. Tears started rolling down Kira’s face.


“He allowed the Devil to rip my mind into two halves! God knows how many more he’s planted within me!” The British-speaking girl said in a grieved tone. “I don’t know who I am anymore.”


“Tell me more?”  Amaris asked.

“It’s too painful.” The girl shook her head.  Her hand was still covering her face.

“Take your time.” Amaris assured her.


Kira sat up in her seat.  Her bushy hair now hid most of her face reddened by the tears.


“I still can’t explain to why I keep waking up somewhere in Sector C.” the British-speaking girl was confused.


“Is it still on the streets?” Amaris asked.  She remembered in past counseling sessions when this girl mentioned she sometimes woke up on the streets on Sector C.  Kira would find herself in a box surrounded by homeless people.  Her raggedy attire blended in with those around her.


“No! I’m in an apartment that isn’t mine.” Kira shook her head.


“Does anyone else live there beside you?”  Amaris continued with her questioning, sounding more interested.


“There’s pictures of some chick in a hooded robe on the wall.  I can’t see her face because it’s hidden within her hood.”  Kira looked around, trying to recall.


“That’s all?”  Amaris pressed, believing that’s all Kira remembered.


“No, she’s with this guy who isn’t hooded.  He looks familiar but I can’t place the face with a name.” Kira answered.


“I see. So tell me more about this apartment.” Amaris nodded.


“Well,” the girl paused with a sighed, trying to remember more.  “Bottles of every type of alcoholic drink on the ground.  Some empty, some new or half drunk out of—but that’s all I remember!”


“There is something relevant from your—”

“I don’t wanna know!”  Kira interrupted angrily.


“You use to drink a lot among other—things.”  Amaris continued, ignoring Kira’s interrupting.


“And about how many DE’MS fools did he plant in my mind?” Kira sounded hopeless.

“From the records,” Amaris began, pausing to look through her digital notes of Kira’s past sessions for something.  She stopped at finding something and resumed, “There’s Laura—”


“I’m not one of them!” Laura exclaimed with certainty.


“But then there is Kira and this other girl who calls herself Katia.”  Amaris explained.  “But I don’t have a whole lot on the latter.  She’s so hard to talk to!”


“I refuse to believe there is more than one of me!”  Kira turned her nose up at Amaris.

“Kira, you have to believe that—”


 “I WON’T!”  Kira turned at Amaris, screaming.  She changed her tone to a low growl, “How do I know that you’re not just making this up?”


“Just take a look at yourself Kira—really! One moment, you’re on the defensive and then in another, you sound like a sweet little British girl.” Amaris explained with a sigh.


“Quite moody from my standpoint! I’ve been through a lot.” Kira shrugged.


“That a lot stretches into your childhood. All of you display different traits and personalities that never stabilize.” Amaris explains.


“What about Gordon?”  Kira’s tone changed to a thick Italian accent after rolling her eyes at Amaris.  She grinned after asking her question.


“What about him, Tia?” Amaris asked.


“Is it normal for a guy to be a high-tech playa but get shut up by his overly religious brotha?” Katia asked, cynically.


“That’s his overall personality!”  Amaris tried hiding her laugher.  Katia was quite the jokester when she wanted to but getting her to open up any further was harder than it was with Kira.


“I see.” Katia rubbed her chin.


“Look, you can’t go around thinking you’re okay, when in actuality, you’re not!”  Amaris rushed, trying to get the girl to talk.


“Should I do anything about it?”  Katia looked at Amaris, uninterested.

“You should!”  Amaris nodded.


“Should what?” Laura asked Amaris, lost at what Amaris was asking.


“One of you said you weren’t going to do anything about your behavior.”  Amaris answered.  She suddenly began to think that the three were at it again.  Amaris remembered that something like this happened before but not since she had last seen Kira—about a year ago.


“THAT’S A LIE!” Kira yelled after cocking an eyebrow at Amaris.

“That must’ve been Katia talking.”  Amaris assumed.


“I know no one by that name!”  Kira stamped, folding her arms and looking away from Amaris.


“Oh my God, no!”  Laura cried as she covered her face again but this time with both hands.  She let out a muffled scream.


“I’m here to help you.”  Amaris guaranteed in a warm tone.


“Please do! I can’t control what’s going on inside my head!” Laura said, scared as she slid her hands back through her hair.  He face was red from gripping it.


“Well, the first step is recognizing that you have a problem.”  Amaris clarified.

“I’m past that step.”  Laura sniffled.

Amaris shook her head. “Not you, I meant them.”

“I still don’t have a problem.”  Kira barked.

“Oh really? That’s not what Laura just said!” Amaris argued.


Kira waved her hand at the thought. “Bump her! Like I care about that goody two shoes?”


“How is she a goody two shoes?”  Amaris raised an eyebrow at the insult.


“She claims to be all good like she’s she can’t do no wrong,” Kira sighed angrily.  “With a blabliblah—thou shouldn’t do this and that.  And who is this Katia anyway?  If she’s the foo who has me up in Sector C, she’s gonna get it!”


“Like you were one time a few years ago?”  Amaris asked, slyly bring up some of her past.


“That’s none of your business!” Kira snapped.  She looked away and blinked.


“That wasn’t her doing. That was mine—you see—I didn’t feel there was anything else to live for.” Laura coughed, looking ashamed.


“Suicide, but why?” Amaris asked.

“Because of him.”  Laura replied with a sniffle.

“What did he do?” Amaris leaned forward.

“Who?” Kira said in confusion. “Durk or Aaron?”

“Your ex-fiance.”

“Oh yeah. That jerk left me when I needed him most!”  Kira growled.


“Are you sure?”  Amaris asked, raising another eyebrow at her.  She paused to look through her notes, trying to find something on the situation.  “You mentioned to me a while back that he said he caught you with another man.”


“Bullcrap! I was just talking to him!” Kira yelled.

“Yet cheating begins with intimacy, Kira.” Amaris noted.

“Whatever…” Kira trailed off.  “That’s what everyone says… Right…”


“So what about your relationships after Durk?”  Amaris asked, wanting to know more.


“Epic fails across the board! They were full of trash when you take away the looks!” Kira scoffed.


“What about the one who gave you that ring?” Amaris asked while pointing to the diamond ring around Kira’s left ring finger.


“That’s personal.”  Kira replied, drawing her ring away from Amaris, hiding it near her drink tucked between her seat and her leg.  She took the can out and drank from it.  After taking a few gulps she returned the drink to its place.


“Is it Aaron?” Amaris believed.

“Guess the cat is out the bag now.” Kira laughed.

”So who is he?” Amaris asked again.


Laura finally spoke, “Who?”

“Kira knows a guy named Aaron. You know who he is?” Amaris explained.

“Uh…” Laura trailed off in thought. “I can’t—”

“Aaron, uh yeah. That’s my hubby.”

“So you did get married again?”

“For a while now. Eh, it’s nothing. He was there when Durk should’ve been.”

“Do they know each other?”

“Nope. It’s best if they didn’t.”


“Aaron is extremely jealous.”

“Okay, I get it.”

“So you’re married and Laura use to be or does she—”

“He’s still out there.” Laura said in a hopeful tone.


“Tell me, what was his name?” Amaris asked.


“His name was David.” Laura sounded happy then the tone became melancholy as she added, “But I can’t remember what happened to him.


“You don’t remember?”  Amaris asked after Laura sat there in silence.


“Remember what? Didn’t I tell you it was none of your business?” Kira asked, aggravated.


“But Laura believed it was!”  Amaris pleaded.

“That girl needs to stop talking so much!”  Kira yelled grudgingly.

“But it’s between you and me!”  Amaris rationalized.

“Wrong! It’s between YOU and HER!  I ain’t in it!” Kira corrected.


“So Laura’s a problem because she talks too much?”  Amaris queried, she shortly smiled at Kira noticing something wrong about her other personality.


“Heck yeah! I always wondered what fool kept telling peeps stuff I normally keep to myself.  Then I found out it was that motor mouth renting space inside my brain—It’s so annoying!” Kira answered.


“Are sure it wasn’t any of your past boyfriends or girlfriends that told them?”  Amaris continued with her questioning.


Kira laughed. “Durk didn’t tell all and the others only liked me because I was hot. Beyond that—those gullible fools didn’t care and probably wouldn’t remember all the details even if I told them.  And the last girl I had as a friend…”


Kira stopped to remember—she didn’t have any.  But she tried to make up something.


“Gordon’s got a female posse that he always hangs around!”  Kira smirked.


“Does he let you come with him?”  Amaris looked at her strangely, leaning forward.

“If I felt like going—I did.”  Kira shrugged.

“Why not go for the association?”  Amaris recommended.

“With who?”  Laura asked, lost again from the transition.

“With Gordon and his female posse!”  Amaris shortly chuckled.

“Gordon? Ewwww!” Laura said, slightly disgusted.

“Why ew?” Amaris laughed at Laura’s disgusted attitude.


“Seriously? That guy has issues! Every girl around Gordon just likes him because he’s an X-Games snowboarder!” Laura shuttered.


“But that’s the in crowd, right?”  Amaris asked, laying her head back again.


“The in crowd often goes down the wrong path.”  Katia finally said after looking away.


“We’re talking about Gordon Mellis, here.”  Amaris said, trying to bring Katia into the conversation.

“You mean that wannabe playa?” Katia laughed.

“The one to whom you always called a high techie.” Amaris nodded.

“He’s cute.” Katia said bashfully.

“But Laura doesn’t think so!”  Amaris added, slightly instigating.


“That woman never knew what she wanted! Even if it hit her in the face!  That’s why she lost Durk!” Katia scoffed.


“Or was it you?” Amaris dimmed her eyes at Katia.

“I don’t know him.”  Katia looked at Amaris deep in the eyes.

“From the looks of things, Kira is wondering why she ends up in Sector C sometimes.”

“I live in Sector C!”  Katia exclaimed with a smirk.

Amaris sighed with hope. “Okay! So who’s the guy in those pictures?”

“I told you I don’t know!”  Kira yelled.

“Who, Laura?” Kira blinked.

“No, Katia.”  Amaris answered.

“Who’s Katia?”  Laura asked, looking at Amaris in confusion.


“Apparently, she’s another one of your personalities. And probably the one responsible for you ending up in Sector C.” Amaris said, informatively.


“You mean the Devil’s new throne?”  Laura asked, somewhat scared.  She suddenly got the chills after thinking about the idea.


“Yeah, the place now known as Neo Pergamum.” Amaris hesitated in her response. Sector C wasn’t a good subject to be on because of the evil that spawned there.


“She better not take me there anymore! Someone—hurt me there!” Laura exclaimed in fright.


“What were you doing in that place anyway?” Amaris sounded suspicious.

“I dunno. I woke up on the streets and—”


Laura closed her eyes to shut out the rest of the details.  She subconsciously ran over the scar above her left elbow.


“It was a bunch of weird looking freaks!”  Laura started crying.

“That place is full of em!”  Amaris sympathized.


“No, not the human sicko type! I’m talking about freaks of nature!  Like something escaped outta Frankenstein’s lab!” Laura shook her head, believing that she was misunderstood.


“Well, I do have a record of how you use to take powerful hallucinogens back then!”  Amaris laughed at Laura’s description of the assailants.


“Amaris, please believe me! I know it’s true because Naira told me that monsters like that do exist in Sector C!” Laura cried more.


“Really? So how did you get out of that one?”  Amaris stopped laughing, knowing that anything coming from Naira’s mouth was not hearsay.  Furthermore, Laura wasn’t accustomed to lying as opposed to Kira.


“The Princess’ Royal Guards! Veni Vidi Victory!” Kira answered triumphantly after a cough.


“It’s good to know that they were looking out for you!”  Amaris coughed, trying to stop herself from laughing at Kira’s molding Julius’ Caesar’s famous words into her own. “Yes but—”


That’s when an alarm went off from Amaris’ clock on her desk.  She looked back at it reading, “12 pm.”


“Looks like we’re out of time.”  Amaris said, apologetic.


The two women rose from their seats.  Both of them had their drinks in hand while heading to the door.


“Thanks Amaris.” Laura smiled at her.

“For what?”  Amaris was caught off guard by Laura’s suddenly thanking her.

“For understanding me.”  Laura answered before leaving her office.

“You’re welcome!”  Amaris nodded at Laura before closing her door.


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