Over eight hundred years earlier, The Great War changed the face of the earth, killing millions and destroying most of the world’s technologies. Fortunately, a few remaining survivors passed down their technological knowledge to their descendants, so future generations could rebuild what had been lost.
Tinker’s family was gifted with the safekeeping of the last known photos of the world, its people, plant life and animals. When Tinker realizes he’s close to dying, he passes this duty on to the only one left in his family, a tiny robot named Boy.
After his father’s death, Boy faces a world that only sees him as a robot, not someone with feelings and the ability to love, so he sets out to prove he’s more than a bucket held together by bolts – so much more.
The Making of Boy
Tinker waited until Airus had ascended and disappeared into the billowing white clouds before turning toward the homestead. He had hidden any outward signs of his failing health whilst Liberty had been here, but now there was no one around to witness his unsteady gait and heavy breathing. Tinker limped his way toward what had been his and Mary’s tiny cabin, although now only his alone.
The thought of returning to an empty cabin saddened Tinker. He was ready to be with his Mary again, but there were things he needed to do, things he couldn’t give up on until he’d finished. He’d made a promise to Liberty’s father, and so Tinker would fight to stay alive at least long enough to finish the task. But then, as soon as there was no longer anything keeping them apart, he would give up his difficult fight to remain in the land of the living.
Tinker paused and again looked up, seeing nothing but clouds. He remained this way as he pondered his decision not to tell Liberty the very thing she had stopped here to inquire about. Oh, how he wished his sweet Mary had been here to help him with the girl’s questions. His dearly beloved wife would have known what to say and how to comfort her.
Liberty’s grief and farewell kiss had almost made him break his promise to Aapeli. What would it have hurt to tell Liberty that her father’s last thoughts had truly been for her own happiness and welfare? It had been so tempting to let her know that her father had asked him to complete the project he’d begun years earlier for Mary.
Tinker dropped his eyes to the pathway that led to his home. He stared at the well-worn path without really seeing it, his voice barely above a whisper. “Mary, I do so miss you. You were always the best part of me.”
He kicked at a loose clump of dirt, missing it by a mile. “I’m just an old fool. I should have told the girl what she wanted to know. What could it have hurt?”
The longer Tinker studied the problem the more certain he knew what his wife would have said. “Go finish what you’ve started. You did make a promise, after all.” He dearly missed hearing her sweet voice.
To build a brother for Liberty was a tall order, but he well understood why his friend should want a companion for his daughter. Once Aapeli had realized he was dying he hadn’t been able stand the thought of leaving Liberty behind, not without someone to keep her company. He had been a constant presence in her life, and so after his death she would be left feeling completely alone.
“Alright, Mary. I will.” He stopped and gazed up again. What would Liberty think of her new brother? The sad part was that he would never find out. Time for him was fast running out, a thought that soon pushed him on down the pathway again, but with renewed haste. Having never had a child of his own, he now looked forward to the birth of Boy.