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Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
Author:Sylvain Neuvel

Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)

Sylvain Neuvel



Melissa made fun of me at school today. She’s all about boys now. Enzo and his friends started calling me La Evita Loca again and she joined in. She said: “Look! Crazy Eva’s gonna cry!” I hate her.

She was my last good friend. Angie goes to Baldwin now and I hardly ever hear from her. Essie moved to Bayamón. They were the only ones I saw outside of school. Mom keeps telling me to get out more but there’s no one to play with. We used to look for rocks by Rio Piedras. Essie loves rocks, especially those blue ones. I think they’re called kyanite. I went by myself the other day and I found tons of them. I told her I’d bring them when I visit, but I don’t know when Mom will let me go. She says I have to get better first.

I’m seeing that psychiatrist again tonight. He thinks I’m crazy, like everyone else. They keep telling me it’s normal to have bad dreams. But I know they’re not dreams. I have them when I’m awake now. I saw it again today at school, and I started screaming. It’s the same one I’ve been having for months. Everyone’s dead. There are thousands of them, dead on the streets, a whole city filled with corpses. I see my parents lying in blood inside our house. I haven’t told them that part. Today there was something new. I saw a robot, like Themis, a big metal woman falling into the clouds.

      PART ONE


FILE NO. 1398


Location: Regent’s Park, London, England

A twenty-story-tall metallic figure appeared in the middle of Regent’s Park this morning. Caretakers at the London Zoo were the first to notice it at around 4 A.M. Standing on one of the Hub’s football pitches at the north end of the park, the figure, or robot, bears a resemblance, in both size and shape, to the UN robot we now know as Themis. This new giant, however, appears to be a man, or shall I say is made in the image of a man. It is much more muscular than the slender feminine titan that visited London less than a year ago, perhaps taller as well. Its colour is also different, a lighter grey than the UN robot, and it is striated with yellow light, in contrast to the turquoise-veined Themis.

According to early witnesses, the robot appeared out of thin air in the middle of the park. “It wasn’t there, then it was,” said one of the zookeepers. Fortunately, the football pitches at the Hub were deserted at this hour, and not a single casualty has been reported. It is unknown, of course, whether this early appearance was deliberate, as we do not know where this robot came from or who sent it. If this is indeed a robot like Themis, and if it is controlled in the same manner as she is, there could be pilots aboard. If pilots there are, are they Russian, Japanese, or Chinese? Or are they from somewhere else entirely? We can only speculate at this juncture. There might be no one at all in this giant structure. In the four hours it has been standing here, it has not moved an inch.

The Earth Defense Corps (EDC) has yet to issue an official statement. Dr. Rose Franklin, head of the scientific division, was reached in Geneva, where she was to give a speech later this morning. She would not speculate as to the origin of this second robot but has assured us that it is not part of the UN planetary defence. If true, this would suggest that either a second alien robot has been discovered on Earth and kept from us or that this one does not come from our planet. In New York, the EDC has scheduled a press conference for three o’clock London time.

The Earth Defense Corps, which was founded nine years ago by the United Nations following the American discovery of the Themis robot, is tasked with extracting new technologies from the alien artifact for the benefit of mankind and to protect this planet against extraterrestrial threats. Only time will tell if we are facing such a threat today.