Monday, March 20, 2017
1st 5 Pages March Workshop - Park Rev 2
Name: Silvia Park
Genre: MG Sci-Fi
Title: YOYO and PHANTOM M
Pitch: It's the year 2112, and twelve-year-old Yoyo has never gone to school. One, it's illegal. Two, he's a superhero robot. Everyone knows him as the Golden Giant.
But no one knows him as Yoyo.
After Yoyo rescues the Mayor's daughter from a kidnapping attempt, he's given his most terrifying assignment yet: infiltrate an elite private school as a student and protect her from a mysterious criminal known as Phantom M.
Yoyo might have been (over)confident as a superhero. But lose the shiny gold armor and he's just an ordinary kid, a self-dubbed "worrier warrior," prone to mood glitches and anxiety fits. He’s never had any friends, except his human siblings—and they grew up. Worse, Phantom M is known as the Magician because he can “hijack” and control just about any robot. And everyone knows where all hijacked robots end up: the Junkyard.
As Yoyo navigates a new kind of battlefield, dodging bullies and befriending jocks, he has to stick close to the Mayor's daughter, who’s hiding a scary knack for robotics and an even scarier secret. Yoyo must bring down Phantom M before he blows his cover with the smartest kids in school, especially his assignment.
It’s 2112, the Year of the Monkey. Fun fact: I was created on a monkey year, which makes me twelve. Problem is, I’ve been twelve years old my whole life. It’s a lot suckier than it sounds.
Today was Grandpa’s big day. 342 humans were crammed on the white steps of the Xia Museum of Robotics for the Grand Opening. As the new Museum Director, Grandpa bounced anxiously on the stage behind the red ribbon. The Mayor was supposed to arrive at 10 for the ribbon-cutting.
I was in position, of course. Equipped in full armor, gold and handsome under Xia’s cheerfully frying sun. I stood on the roof where I could scan everyone with my optics system, in case of bad guys, the usual. The sky was cloud-free blue, but it’s like that all year in Xia, China’s southmost island.
Mo-B the sperm whale soared over the museum, like a giant white blimp, crooning hello. He’s part of the Whale Way, our flying train service and Xia’s #2 tourist attraction. I waved at the people in Mo-B’s belly, who waved back.
Today was going to be amazing.
“I’m frying,” Jun said, his voice crackling inside my helmet. That’s my brother down there, that big, buff guy in the police uniform, with the undercut and crow tattoo on his neck. Yeah, the guy who just started stripping in public. “How hot is it, Yoyo? Be straight with me.”
“Dude, it’s not that—oh wow, it’s 36°C. Okay.”
“Get your monkey butt down here.”
“Can’t. I’m in full armor.”
“Then de-armor yourself.”
I groaned. When I was first made, Jun was only ten, which automatically made me boss. But like all humans, Jun grew up. He’s almost twenty-three, so now he’s boss. And ever since he joined the Robot Control Squad (RCS, though Jun calls them the Ricks), he’s gone from Cool Bro to Crabby Bro to Perpetual Pebble in My Cogs.
I jumped off the roof like a majestic eagle, swooped into a palm tree, and dropped a coconut on a reporter.
The reporter squinted around, rubbing his steel head. That was way too close. Everyone knows the Golden Giant, but no one knows about Yoyo. If anyone found out Yoyo = the Golden Giant, I wouldn’t just be dead.
I’d be recycled.
I slid down the bumpy trunk, straight into a thicket of large purple flowers. Ta-da. I may be big and gold, but I can be stealthy too. Like a big, gold ninja.
Once I was safely hidden, I removed my armor. Don’t worry, nothing PG-13. The helmet went first: visor lifted, antennas retracted, the helmet folded into the back of my skull. My golden plates flipped inside-out. Shoulder guards. Chest plate (Jun likes to say ‘breast’). Gauntlets. Propeller boots. Two meters of me, compressed into 1.56 meters of me. The real me. I’m compact.
I whistled as I skipped up the museum steps past the coconut reporter. He probably thought I was human. Most people make that mistake. Even robots.
Grandpa says it’s because I look so “realistic.” My creator modeled me after someone, so I inherited all the original’s scrawniness and freckliness, and staticky black hair, like I was hit by lightning.
A barricade of policeBots blocked the way to the top. I flashed the policeBots my RCS badge, hidden under my yellow shirt. They grunted in unison and opened a small path. The whole museum was under “M” alert, which stands for Phantom M, the world’s worst criminal, enemy of all robots. Man, I hope he didn't come.
I found Grandpa pacing behind the stage, probably calling someone about the Mayor. I waved at him, but I don’t think he saw me. He was punching his palm a lot. As one of China’s most famous roboticists, Grandpa was top choice for Museum Director. People call him the Father of Zoobotics because he likes to build giraffes, emperor penguins, and anything else that went extinct in the last hundred years. He’s not so great with humans.
To be honest, I was also pretty worried. I know Mayor Yu and he is never late.
I saluted Jun, who’d stripped down to a black shirt and rolled-up trousers, showing off the surgery scars on his neck and shoulders. “What seems to be the problem?”
Jun tossed me his Scopes. “Could you lend me your tail?”
“You called me all the way here to charge your battery?”
“I’m on Level 68 in Evil Cupcakes. Don’t leave me stranded in Mt. Marshmallows, soldier.”
I sighed, “Yessir.” I checked to see if the coast was clear, then pulled out my brass tail. Extractable, stored in my spine, with a socket at the tip. Most robots have standard black cords for connecting and charging and stuff, but mine is a prehensile tail, which is a fancy way of saying “my tail can open the fridge and zap bad guys.”
I plugged myself into Jun’s Scopes, which look like aviator sunglasses, very classy. Mine are embedded in my helmet’s visor. Grandpa upgraded my AR (Augmented Reality) screen last week, so I can watch a movie while I’m flying! Isn’t that cool?
Technology is the best.
Jun’s Scopes lit up. “Di says she’s coming,” I read aloud her message, “‘right after my boss drops dead.’” I frowned. “Why's her boss dying?”
Di’s our sister. She works for a company called Imaginary Friends Inc., known for making “devastatingly beautiful” robots, whatever that means. Her dream is to make the perfect boyfriend. She calls it Operation Mr. Darcy.
“Tell her to get bubble tea,” Jun said. “I want taro.”
I snickered as I texted Di to get Jun peppermint. My tail gave a twitch. I unplugged myself from Jun’s Scopes. “100% charged, free of charge.”
Jun ruffled my hair, which used to annoy me because it felt like he was rubbing it in, like, “Haha! Look how much I’ve grown!”
I’m okay with it now.
I watched Jun kill a couple more cupcakes on his Scopes’ AR screen, then checked the time.. Still no sign of the Mayor.
“So.” I cleared the static from my throat. “Is the Mayor coming?”
“I wouldn’t bet on it,” Jun said, tongue between his teeth, as he blasted a Red Velvet to crumbs.
“Did something happen?” I waited. Nothing. “Did his hovercar crash into the Razer Rail? Is it something I did? Is it,” I lowered my voice, “Phantom M?”
“Ha, I wish.”
“Dude, the Mayor’s a robot-hater. Total nutso. No idea how he got elected. Chief Wang said he wants to scrap the whole Superhero Initiative by June.”
“Booyah! Level 69. Eat that, no, I’m eating you!”
I poked Jun repeatedly with my tail because I was kind of going Code Red here. “What do you mean he’s scrapping the Superhero Initiative?”
“Right, I forgot to tell you.” Jun put his hand on my shoulder. “Bad news, Yoyo. The Mayor’s getting rid of you.”
“Kind of,” Jun said. “The Mayor wants you canned. Literally. He wants you recycled into a tin can.”
“I’m made of prolixium!”
“You’ll be an indestructible tin can,” Jun said, trying really hard not to laugh.
I couldn’t believe it. I’d served Xia for three years. That’s 1,096 days, including the leap year! That’s 26,304 hours. 1,578,240 minutes. 95 million seconds. Okay, I exaggerate. Obviously, I didn’t protect Xia every second, but I protected it for 80% of it!