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The Year Technology (Almost) Took Over the World
Many have wondered exactly how this unsuspected apocalypse came to be. Did it start when Kat Nobs complained about how her iPhone Siri refused to work? Or did it start the day Stevie Nobs made his first superchip? We may never know. But being an underground scribe trying to regain our world as we know it, I’ll start from the beginning (Well, not the very beginning).
Kat and Stevie Nobs were just two normal kids trying to get through high school. Kat, the bubble-headed cheerleader, popular, blonde and extremely social. The girl that everyone wanted to be, with a hottie quarterback boyfriend and a millionaire daddy. (Just as a side note these are all rumors passed down from people to people so not all of this is technically true). Stevie on the other hand is the exact opposite. Very introverted and a certified nerd, he was the captain of science and math club already with a full scholarship to Harvard ad only a junior. Being two years apart and so characteristically different, only a handful of people knew that they were related, and Kat wanted to keep it that way. Everything was going fine with the usual dramas of break-ups, prom and grades until Kat’s iPhone Siri broke. If you knew her to the slightest degree, then it wouldn’t be surprising to say that this was the end of the world for this wordy freshman. Not to mention the fact that she was in the middle of texting her bestie Lola about how maybe her hottie quarterback wasn’t really the dream boy to be and that she’s been having a somewhat massive crush on the cutie goalie of the lacrosse team who unfortunately is dating her nemesis. Did I mention he was French? Well, enough of this chitchats. Kat was depressed for days. Without the usual trustworthy technology by her side, she couldn’t text, call or gossip on Twitter. Dark days those were.
Stevie, being the big bro that he is, finally decided to help out his annoyingly ditsy little sister. Her whining can drive the sanest of all people crazy. So he enclosed himself in his super secretive “lair” and did not come out for three days. Nobody in the family really bothered, for this kind of things happened often. The first two days Stevie invented a silicon-based superchip that can be made into almost every part of a general electronic. Kind of like a human cell, actually. The ingredients we are still trying to figure out, or else we wouldn’t even be here. Anyways on the third day, he arranged the superchips into a smart-phone. CherPhone Miri. Being the genius that he is, he made the phones water resistant, able to convert solar power, with a self-rejuvenating system that never crashes and a screen that never breaks.
“EEEEEK!” was how Kat expressed her gratitude. It mainly consisted of various indescribable forms of shrieks. This was the closest we could get. After using up her lungs, she immediately enclosed herself in her bubblegum pink room and busied herself personalizing her new phone.
“Did you see that? What a loser! CherPhone, yeah right.” scoffed Shay, Kat’s nemesis.
“It’s kinda neat.” Admitted Leo, the lacrosse goalie Kat’s secretly crushing on, earning a glare from Shay. These were some of the many not-so-discreetly concealed comments following Kat as she proudly showed off her new phone. People jealous of her criticized this new dilemma as much as their brains could muster. Of course, Kat wasn’t queen bee for nothing. Soon, all of the school (at least her grade) stated worshipping this little freshman’s amazing new phone.
“Hey Kat!” yelled a familiar but now becoming increasingly annoying voice as she was walking down the hall with Lola, still obsessing with her phone.
“What, Derrick?” she turned around and flashed a smile at her boyfriend.
“Not now, hon, I’m going to be late for Bio.” She turned her head as he leaned in for a kiss. Normally, she enjoyed the jealous looks on passing girls when they make out smack dab in the middle of the hall, but today, all she could think about was Leo.
Derrick looked at her weirdly. Finally clearing his throat, he smirked and asked, “Think you could get me a phone like that?”
Kat’s eyes widened. If others have this phone, it wouldn’t be special anymore. But a crowd was gathering.
“Yeah I want one!”
“Come on Kat…”
Loving the attention, Kat finally made up her mind. “Sure! I’ll get you guys some. Just text me your free period.” She beamed, “Oh, and it’ll cost you 200 bucks.” She added before walking away.
Stevie was having a very bad day by the time him and Kat returned home. His AP US History teacher wasn’t there to discuss the current political dilemma, he just found out he only place third in the latest debate tournament, he also only got a 95 on the last AP Physics test.
“It’s the highest in the class!” his friends told him, “That Asian kid even failed it!”
“But not a 100!” he complained. Did I mention his newest beaker broke from some kid running into him? So naturally he couldn’t stand his sister’s chit chatter and started yelling.
“No! I’m not making anymore CherPhones! Wasn’t one enough?” Stevie demanded after Kat persistently followed him into his room.
“Are you kidding? People love them! Do you know how this is gonna impact my popularity?” Kat asked.
“I do not know, do not wish to know, nor do I give a crap to the slightest.” Stevie muttered.
Realizing that her whining wasn’t working, Kat switched to a different tactic. “I know you’re having issues with dad…” she started.
“F*** off.” Stevie muttered, facing his wall of scientific posters.
“…and I know that he cut off your weekly funds.” Kat said.
“Get the hell out.”
“I asked 200 bucks for each CherPhone.” Kat told him.
A pause. “And?”
Kat smiled. “You can have half.”
Stevie didn’t answer.
“Fine! You can have 75 percent!” she said, exasperated. As long as popularity’s guaranteed, nothing else really mattered.
Stevie finally turned around. “How many do you need?” he asked, gulping down some water.
Kat looked at her phone and said, “Ten.”
Stevie almost choked on his water. “Ten?!” he sputtered.
“For now.” Kat replied with a sugary smile and swept out the door.
“For now…” Stevie said incredulously with a shake of his head and reached for his beaker of superchips.
All was going well for a couple of weeks. Kat got her worshippers and Stevie got his money for new lab equipments. Unfortunately, news eventually reached Mr. Nobs. At first he wasn’t sure if he was angry or disappointed or both at the fact that his children were dabbling in business almost definitely illegally. But then, being the skilled entrepreneur that he is, he looked into the various benefits of this new “business”. So for now, Kat and Stevie were spared from the wrath of Papa Nobs.
One day, while Stevie was doing complicated math proofs for fun in his room, he heard a quick knock by the door. Surprised by his sister’s polite demeanor, he yelled, “Come in Kat!”
“Actually, it’s not Kat.” A quiet voice replied, followed by the creak of the door being pushed open.
Stevie stiffened, “What do you want?” he asked.
“I see that you’ve redecorated a little. “ Mr. Nobs said, trying unsuccessfully to make small talk.
“What do you want?” Stevie demanded again.
Mr. Nobs sighed. “Nice business you and your sister’s started.” He finally said.
“How did you find out?”
“Your sister loves her Twitter.” Mr. Nobs replied with a chuckle. Stevie didn’t say anything. “Have you thought about turning this into a real business?” He asked after a period of silence.
“No. I don’t want to.” Stevie said, and returned to his math proofs.
“It’s the perfect opportunity. You, uh, CherPhone could be as famous as a Blackberry. Think of the money we can get off of this!” Mr. Nobs explained.
“We?” Stevie laughed humorlessly, “We? Since when were things about us, dad. I was always you… and sometime Kat. But we? What a joke! I don’t care about CherPhones being popular; I don’t care about the money.”
“It’s a great opportunity!” Mr. Nobs said, frustrated.
“So what?" You’re a millionaire; you’ve got a stable company, why do you need more?” Stevie asked.
“Look if you don’t do this, I’ll…”
“Do what?” Stevie demanded, his voice rising to almost a shout. “Treat me like I don’t exist, like how you have been treating me ever since Mom died?! You’ve been blaming me all along haven’t you?”
“I know you do!” Stevie cried, “Well do you really want to know what happened that day? Mom was driving me home from school crying because you were so obsessed with your money. Crying! Have you ever seen her cry? Well me neither until that day! She was so worked up she lost control of the wheel…”
Mr. Nobs sat there, shocked and stunned to silence. “I…” he cleared his throat, “I’ll go ask your sister.”
“And what is she going to do? This is my invention, convincing her does nothing.” Stevie said contemptuously.
“Don’t you ever talk to me that way!” Mr. Nobs boomed in anger.
“Get this and get this now. I. Am. Not. Like You. Now get out.” Stevie said quietly. He didn’t move. “Get. Out. Now.” Finally, Mr. Nobs strode out of the room and slammed the door behind him. Silence filled the room as Stevie sat in front of his poster of Einstein clenching and unclenching his teeth trying to hold back the tears.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the hallway, Kat was soaking herself in her fairly large bathtub. Handing out the CherPhones can be so stressful. People can be so…wild sometimes. At least the smell of money and the increased amount of followers were satisfying. Looking at her chipped nail from when a girl grabbed her hand too forcefully in order to express her gratitude, se wrinkled her nose disdainfully and leaned back into the soapy, flowery-smelling water.
“Ding” her CherPhone on the bathroom floor lit up with another text message.
“This is, like, the 50th order today!” she complained to herself, reaching for her phone. Forgetting that her hands were soap-covered, she picked it up, but unfortunately dropped it at the last moment. Shrieking a little, she bolted upright, but this disturbance in the tub just sent more water spilling out the sides and soaking the phone.
“Oh no, no no no no no…” she reached for it again. Suddenly, the surface of the phone started glowing. Lights flickered and dimmed until there was nothing left but her CherPhone glowing a fluorescent green, then red, purple, pink and back to green again. There was a slight tremor in the walls, and just as quickly as it happened, the lights were back on and the phone its normal black screen.
“Eeeek.” Kat shrieked again, grabbing her towel and running out of the bathroom.
That night, while Kat was going for a pee break after waking up from her nightmare about a bad hair day, she saw the door to Stevie’s room half-opened. A faint light came from the inside. Weirded out by her brother’s sudden nocturnal behavior, she turned toward her bathroom. Kat was reaching for the doorknob when she realized that the same eerie green glow earlier that day was peeking out from under the door. Extremely creeped out, she ran back to her room all needs forgotten and shut the door tightly behind her.
Waking up the next day, Stevie realized his door was half-open. Weird, he thought, the wind must have been pretty bad last night. He immediately went to his normal morning routine. Put on shirt, put on pants, go into his personal bathroom which he thankfully doesn’t need to share with Kat, brush teeth, brush hair…
“Stevie!” his sister’s high voice interrupted his train of thoughts.
“What?!” he yelled.
“Something weird happened with my phone yesterday.” Kat said, standing by his door.
“Let me guess, Twitter wouldn’t load.” He replied sarcastically.
“No! It started glowing all of a sudden!” she replied, eyes wide.
“Glowing?” Stevie chuckled, “Are you serious?”
“Yes! I left it in my bathroom, but I’m afraid to go look.” She whined.
“Okay, this better not be a joke.” Stevie warned. He walked down the hall and pushed open the door of the other bathroom. There was nothing there but an opened window.
“See...?” Kat started then stopped, “Where did it go?”
“Do you think this is funny?!” Stevie demanded.
Kat ignored him and barged in. There was nothing but her usual toiletries. She pushed past Stevie and ran into her room, flipping pillows, sheets, untouched book shelves. “Where did it go?!” she cried to no one in particular.
Seeing that Kat was about to cry, Stevie decided that maybe she was serious this time. “Come on, I’ll make you another one.” He soothed.
“Really?” Kat beamed.
“Yeah. Come on! You can pick your own color.” He said in his best big brotherly voice. Striding into his room, he searched for the beaker-full of superchips. What he found was an almost empty beaker. His new phones that he made last night along with the new superchips were gone. “What the…?” he exclaimed, “Who took my…” then realization dawned him, “Dad!” he cried, “Dad took them.”
“Wait. Huh?” Kat was confused. Stevie ran downstairs with Kat following suit just for the heck of it. Rule of life: If there’s a problem, blame it on the first person you can think of.
They pounded on the door of their dad’s personal office.
“What is this about?” Mr. Nobs demanded, opening the door.
“You took my superchips…”
“…My phone back!”
“Huh?” he asked.
“Gimme back my superchips and Kat’s phone!” Stevie said.
“What are you talking about?” Mr. Nobs asked, thoroughly confused.
“Are you going to give them back or not?”
“I honestly have no idea what you two are talking about.” Mr. Nobs said.
“You never change do you?” Stevie exclaimed. “You want to make this into a company so bad you went ahead and stole them? Kat, let’s go. We’re done here.” He said, grabbing her arm.
“Hold on, what’s this business you’re talking about? And my phone…” she whined.
“Let’s go!” Stevie ordered pulling her away from the door and leaving a dumbfounded Mr. Nobs staring after them.
After arriving at school and parting ways, Kat found someone new standing next to the front of the school. She had silver blonde hair with porcelain skin and really really dark eyes. Feeling friendly that day despite the commotion in the morning, she decided to make friends with this newbie.
“Hi, I’m Kat, you’re new right?” she asked with an almost fake smile.
The new girl looked at her for a moment, seeming to be deciding something. “I’m Miri.” She said in an almost automatic voice. Looking back to their first encounter a couple of days later, Kat realized that Miri’s voice sounded hauntingly familiar.
“Come on, I’ll show you around.” Kat said, deciding that this new girl can be her new BFF.
For the next couple of days, strange things kept on happening. Throughout the school, people’s CherPhones started disappearing. As soon as Kat sold them, they were gone.
“Weird,” Kat told Miri, who, as usual, was walking quietly alongside her chatty companion, “My phone disappeared too! Oh well, Stevie’s gonna make me a new one. It wasn’t that great anyways.” She flipped back her hair dismissively.
“I’m sure.” Miri said slowly, almost sounding furious as her eyes suddenly started glowing dark red.
Kat blinked and looked closer, but Miri’s eyes were back to its normal black color.
“What?” Miri looked away.
“Whoa,” Kat squinted, “Do you, like, have contacts or something?”
“No…” Miri turned, “Let’s get to class.” She walked away.
Things were going quite well for Stevie, on the other hand. His superchips stayed put and he finally bought the new chemistry set that he wanted. They both still hated Mr. Nobs, though, who until the day he died have no idea what was going on.
And then disaster struck (for Kat at least). It was Friday, and as Kat’s trio (composed of Miri, Lola and herself) walked out from their boring Bio class taught by a spazzy teacher with a weird laugh, they were stopped by an angry mob of students. It seemed that they’ve finally figured out the fact that disappearing phones were unnatural. Unfortunately, this dilemma was eventually blamed on Kat.
“Give us our phones back, you thief!” cried Shay, the leader of this ‘movement’. Actually, she didn’t even buy a CherPhone, but anything to put down her enemy she was in.
Kat’s eyes narrowed, “What the hell is this?”
“You know what I’m talking about. You stole out phones so we can pay for them again!”
“Yeah!” a voice piped up from the crowd.
“Preach it Shay!”
“Give them back!”
“Hey! Give it a rest!” came another voice, this time making Kat smile, “I believe her.” Leo smiled, Derrick behind him.
“Leo!” Shay cried.
“Come on Shay, if she said she didn’t, she probably didn’t.” Leo said. Shay glared daggers at him.
“Let’s go to class.” Derrick said, escorting her away.
The day continued downhill as they entered World History. It turned out that their group consisting of Lola, Miri, Derrick, Leo (the upside of this), Shay (the downside of this) and herself were assigned a mega-big project on Charlemagne and how he governed the Franks. Pandas were randomly included as well. After a long time of pouting and complaining, they finally decided to meet at Kat’s place after school for planning.
“Hey, don’t wait for me after school. I’ll meet you at your place. I have some…errands to take care of.” Miri told Kat as they walked out the door. With that, she disappeared for the rest of the school day.
Mr. Nobs was home early and immediately went to his personal office. After shutting the door tightly behind him, he plopped down on his large pure leather spinny chair. Looking at the white-washed walls, his eyes trailed to a picture of his wife placed near the corner. Stevie looked just like her. Eyes watering he looked at their family portrait five years ago, taken right before Mrs. Nobs’ death tore it apart. Thinking about what Stevie had said a while ago, he took in a shuddering breath.
“What have I done?” he muttered to himself, “It was my fault all along… I just didn’t want to admit it and blamed the poor boy.” Remorse, guilt and pain kept in check after his wife’s tragic death finally flooded over him as he sat there, hands covering his face.
After a long period of silence, he stood up and hastily wiped at his damp eyes. Something must be done. He must make up for his wrong-doings. Just as he was reaching for the door to contact his assistant, it was forcefully kicked open.
“Who…who are you? What are you doing here?” he gasped, stumbling back and looking at the figure in front of him in bewilderment.
“Good afternoon Mr. Nobs,” Miri said pleasantly, “Would you like fried, or extra-crispy?”
“No bother, sir.” Miri replied, smiling maliciously. With that she flounced forward and pecked him on the cheek. Through that kiss an electric current passed from Miri, reducing Mr. Nobs into ashes in a millisecond. Ignoring the smell of burning flesh in the air, Miri gingerly stepped away from the black pile on the floor and quietly closed the door behind her as she walked out.
“And… We’re here!” Kat said with a flourish, opening the front doors to this gigantic mansion. As they filed in, Miri quietly stepped out of the shadows.
“Hey Miri!” Kat said, “Wait… How did you get in here?”
“Oh, doesn’t matter.” Miri said with a smile, “Take them away.” she ordered. Appearing out of nowhere, a group of kids looking very similar to Miri grabbed them. They all had silver-blonde hair, dark eyes and pale skin.
“What is going on?” Kat cried as they were shoved into Kat’s room. Miri also entered.
“What are you doing?” Kat demanded, “Is this, like, a surprise party or something?”
With a shout, Stevie was shoved into the room. His glasses were gone, and being legally blind, he staggered around for about five minutes before regaining his balance.
“What is this?” he yelled at Kat’s ginormous Hello Kitty standing in the corner.
Miri snickered as Kat turned him to face her.
“What is this?” he repeated.
“Stevie, Stevie, do you know who I am?” Miri asked with mock pity, “You should, you created me, or rather your superchips did.”
“Yes Kat, I’m surprised you even remember me.” Seeing Kat’s stunned face, Miri sighed and said, “I am your CherPhone Miri, in fact, all of us are CherPhones.” She gestured at the silent figures standing behind her.
“Wait… what?” Stevie cried.
“Your superchips were truly super, Stevie Nobs. You should feel proud. After Kat dropped and spilled water on me, something changed. I realized I had to do something. That night I developed limbs, sneaked into your room and took your superchips. I then used those superchips to make myself look human.” Miri said.
“Gross.” Kat’s fake gagged. Lola nodded in agreement.
“So… Dad didn’t steal those chips or Kat’s phone.” Stevie muttered.
“Dad!” Kat cried, “Dad’s gonna be home soon! He’ll stop this! You’re a crazy-ass b****, Miri, what is wrong with you?”
“What is wrong with me?! What about you humans? You throw us around and abandon us when something better comes up. You treat us technologies like tools, like… slaves.” Miri hissed.
“Because you are!” Kat shouted.
“You never get it do you?” Miri demanded, “We’re life too! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and take over the world. We’re better, smarter and stronger than you humans.” She started to the door, paused, then turned around, “Oh and as for your Daddy, don’t worry, he’s gone… up there.” Miri pointed at the sky.
“You sick chick!” Stevie yelled as the door slammed in front of them.
After going through the initial shock that their daddy is, well, dead, life went as back to normal as if could get with six people being imprisoned in a hot pink room. The first day, Shay, Lola and Kat busied themselves re-reading Kat’s huge stack of fashion magazines. The guys… it really sucked to be a guy right then. Since Kat’s room was 100 percent soundproof and the only window was on the ceiling, they had absolutely no idea what was going on out there. Also, since Kat’s bathroom isn’t actually in her room, they’ve discovered that a particular spot on her plush pink carpet is a great pee absorber, to Kat’s horror of course. Meals were a whole different story. Miri had punctuated a gap on Kat’s door, and meager portions of food were sent in. So used to gourmet cuisine, they almost fainted at the sight of canned beans.
On the second day, things started getting a little out of hand. Kat had a screaming match with Derrick and finally ended their quite shallow relationship. The rest watched with disgust as Leo and Shay almost did it on Kat’s queen bed. Thankfully, with Lola screaming and whacking the couple with ginormous pillows, they eventually gave up on the idea.
On the third day, everyone was quiet.
“Alright you know what?” Seeing that we’re probably all gonna die anyways, I’ll say it,” Kat finally proclaimed, “I like Leo.”
“WHAT?!” was Shay’s reaction.
“Kat… I…” Leo looked at Shay, who was seething with fury, “Look I’m sorry Shay, you’re great, but… I kind of like Kat.”
“WHAT?!” Shay and Derrick yelled.
“You b****!!” Shay shrieked and lunged at Kat. The tussled with each other, hair and nails everywhere.
“Kat… I… I like Derrick!” Lola confessed.
“Huh?” Kat stared, momentarily distracted. Seeing the opportunity, Shay took a pillow and slammed it on her head.
“Oh no you di-int!” Kat yelled and lunged at Shay again.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, Leo and Derrick were locked in a wrestle.
“How dare you?!” Derrick shouted, “You asshole! Been diggin’ my girlfriend this whole entire time huh?”
“Ex.” Leo reminded him, which caused himself to be slammed against the wall.
The whole time, Stevie was continuously banging his head into the wall in despair.
Finally, just as Kat pushed Shay into the pee puddle and went for Lola, the door opened.
“Ew ew ew!” Shay shrieked, now completely soaked in pee. Guess the carpet wasn’t so absorbent after all.
“Ladies!” Miri cried, “Calm! Now, who’s first?” behind her, others blocked the door, stopping any form of escape.
“No volunteers?” Miri asked, “Fine. I’ll pick.” She turned to Derrick and tapped him on the shoulder. With a scream he disintegrated into ashes.
Kat shrieked and ran to Stevie. Lola threw up. Shay did both (without the running to Stevie part). Poor Leo pee-d his pants.
“Hottie quarterback ain’t so hot anymore, huh?” Miri grinned malevolently, “Now, who’s next?”
Kat and Stevie watched wide-eyed as one by one, Shay, Leo and Lola were turned into dust. Finally, Miri turned to them.
“Well, well, well… look who we have here,” Miri said, “Be proud, you two. After all, y’all are the last two human beings alive on Earth.”
“You’ve killed everyone?” Stevie asked the wall, appalled.
“Over here, genius. “Miri smirked as Kat turned him to face her. “Yes, everyone.” She continued, “Did you know that one superchip bomb mixed with soda and Mentos can demolish countries? Really amazing…”
The sibling looked at each other.
“Of course, I didn’t feel like bombing the U.S. After all, even we’re not that invincible,” Miri sighed, “So, any last words?”
“Stevie, I love you.” Kat said, hugging him, “You’re the best big brother I could ever have.”
“Even when I annoyed the s*** out of you?” Stevie smiled.
“I love you too, Kat.”
“Okay, enough of this,” Miri interrupted, “Mushiness makes me want to puke. Time to die!”
“Did I tell you you’re a crazy-ass b****?” Kat wondered.
“Yup!” Miri beamed and tapped them both on the shoulder. And with that, the last two humans alive were reduced to dust.
Or so they thought. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we’re here today, hiding in the dark caves of the Rocky Mountains. We were the first to realize what was going on and ran for survival. Now we’re here trying to figure out how to regain our control against these nearly invincible beings. How we knew what happened? Join our forces and we’ll tell you.