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Duke and Regina
Regina’s parents were both in jail now. She was totally alone. The foster family had taken her back to the wreckage (once her house) so that she might gather her things but there wasn’t a whole lot to scratch up from the rubble. She walked around the area, glancing at familiar objects. No… no…. no… Tripping over a lump on the floor, she winced. Oh. Her mother’s laptop… Well, at least it looked like her mother’s laptop. Not her usual one, though… sitting down, Regina checked the device. It looked like it could still turn on… good.
She carried it out to the mother who was not her mother and the two drove to the new house.
It was way past Regina’s bedtime a few days later, and yet here she was, trying to figure out the password. Nothing had come up— she knew her mother but not well enough it seemed.
“Hint: A fairytale of bravery.”
She’d tried all manner of stories. Names of princes, and princesses…. mythical beasts and magical objects. There was nothing. She puzzled over it past midnight, and finally remembered the suits of armor her father had collected.
She typed in the word and the computer unlocked itself— oh. No. this was certainly not the same computer her mother used for work— this was a personal computer. As she explored the files with more intelligence than a girl her age should know, she clicked on a program labeled KNIGHT119. The computer shut off immediately.
She blinked, about to hit the power button on again when suddenly a voice came from the speakers, deep and quiet.
“What is your command, Lady.”
“L-lady?” Haunted computers were scary. She hid under her blanket.
There was a long pause. “Error. You are not Lady. Nor Master.”
“… My name is Regina.” She bit her lip. “What’s your’s?”
“… Brave Unit 119 KNIGHT.”
“oh… I think mama was working on you before—” Regina trailed off, a small hand rubbing her eye. “Do you have a short name?”
“Lady has mentioned the designation ‘Duke’ previously.”
“Duke… okay.” Regina kicked her feet happily. “Will you be my friend Duke? I promise that i’ll find a way to finish you… I don’t think mama wanted you to stay in here. That’s a lot of files for a dust computer.”
Another long pause. She wondered if he had heard her and was about to ask again when he replied.
“I will serve you, Lady.”
Regina smiled. Some small part of her family was still with her, at least.