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Excerpt for Minjy the Robot Returns: The Sequel to Minjy the Robot by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Minjy the Robot Returns

Copyright © 2015 by Steven Michael Krystal

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or

transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photo-

copying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.


This book/e-book story is a work of fiction. All names, characters and incidents depicted in this book/e-book story are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, organizations, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and is not intended by the author.

Published by Steven Michael Krystal

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

E-mail: smkrystal@bell.net

eBooks

By Steven Michael Krystal


Minjy the Robot


Minjy the Robot Returns


Minjy the Robot – A Pirate’s Life


Minjy the Robot in Glitter City



Rhona...thanks for your encouragement and support!

Chapter 1

It was a very exciting day, especially if you loved to play with computers, tablets, or phones. Who would have ever thought that the world’s two biggest electronics companies - Singsong and Pineapple - would partner to become the world’s largest technology company?

Indeed, it was very exciting news, especially for Julien.

Julien

As he sat at the computer and sipped his morning cup of hot chocolate, Julien’s brilliant mind was already thinking about what this news might mean to him. After all, he was a real ‘techy’ and always thought of himself as a big computer geek.

Julien enjoyed reading about the latest gadgets to come on the market from Singsong and Pineapple. He thought both companies made great products. Julien liked completing online surveys for Singsong and Pineapple in hopes of receiving exclusive deals from them. After a few minutes, Julien’s mind began to wander as it often did. He started surfing the web and checking his favourite sites for news, weather, sports, entertainment – whatever suited his mood.

Julien also enjoyed looking at all of the different ads that appeared on websites. As he glanced through them, Julien noticed one for a brand new lottery called ‘One in a Billion’. Tickets were one hundred dollars each and sold only in the U.S. It claimed to have the biggest jackpot ever – one billion dollars.

The ad explained that when someone bought a ticket they would get one thousand computer generated random numbers between one and one billion. If the number on the ticket was the same as the number drawn, the lucky ticket holder would win one billion dollars. Julien laughed to himself. He was so smart and very good with numbers - he knew that the odds of winning were practically impossible. He thought it would be easier to walk to the moon than win the lottery. Yet he also knew that people loved to dream. They’d buy lottery tickets and think of the great stuff they could buy if they won.

In any event, lotteries always created a lot of excitement, and the One in a Billion lottery was sure to be a hit. And despite Julien’s skepticism he would always say, “You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.”

Once Julien would finish surfing the web, he’d usually check his e-mails for messages from friends, family and work. On that particular morning, however, he decided to visit one of his favourite websites - ‘Cops n’ Robbers’. It was a fun site that had comics about dumb crooks getting caught by the police. It also had a lot of detective stories, and Julien was fascinated by clues that were pieced together to solve crimes and put criminals behind bars.

What Julien enjoyed the most about Cops n’ Robbers was reading articles about famous law enforcement organizations like the FBI and Scotland Yard. Julien really liked glancing over stories from police forces in far off places. As he was about to leave the Cops n’ Robbers site, Julien noticed an article which caught his attention. The headline read: ‘Clock Maker Crook Out Of Jail’.

For a split second he felt a chill run down his spine, and then he wondered.

“Could it be?” he asked himself. “Are they talking about who I think they’re talking about? Is it possible that the police let him out so soon?”

As Julien read the article he realized it was true – that wicked man had been released from jail. Very few details were given and Julien was determined to find out what happened. He decided to e-mail his old friend, Simon, who had worked at the same workshop as him.

Simon

Later on that day, Julien was at his parent’s medical clinic where he managed the office. He was sitting at the computer when received a reply from Simon. He wrote that it was good to hear from Julien, and it was true that Nash was freed from jail. Simon wrote that he was also shocked to learn that Nash had been let out so soon and few details were given about his release. However, some news reporters speculated that Nash may have been ill and was being transferred to a hospital.

Nash Develand

There was a photo of Nash leaving jail but it was dark and grainy and difficult to make out. He appeared to be carrying a striped knapsack. It looked like it was hand made from the black and white fabric of a prisoner uniform. The knapsack had a long chain attached to it that was wrapped around Nash’s waist. It must have been quite valuable.

Simon thought it was strange that more information about Nash’s release was not made public. Yet he didn’t place much importance on it, nor did he care about what happened to Nash. As far as he was concerned, Nash was scum. Simon told Julien that he would send more information as it became available. He ended off by wishing Julien well.

Julien was grateful to Simon for taking the time to reply to his e-mail. He liked Simon and they both felt the same way about Nash – he was bad news and nobody cared about him anyways.

It was late in the day and things had gotten quieter in the office. This was Julien’s favourite time as it was a nice break from the otherwise hectic pace. He was on his computer and noticed that there was a message in his junk e-mail.

“That’s unusual,” he said aloud.

The subject line of the e-mail read: ‘SUPER DUPER DEALS’.

He did not, however, recognize the sender of the message – ‘SuperStar’.

Julien was unsure if he should open the e-mail fearing it may have a virus that could harm his computer. Yet he was curious because the subject line mentioned something about a deal.

Julien couldn’t resist.

He clicked on the e-mail and it made him smile from ear to ear. It was from the new company - SuperStar - who had taken over from Singsong and Pineapple. They were running a promotion giving special loyalty deals to its customers. Since he had completed many of their online surveys, Julien was rewarded with a truly awesome deal – buy any Singsong or Pineapple product and get any second one for free.

Julien couldn’t believe it. He never imagined that anything would come from the surveys that he completed.

“Who really cares about my opinion anyways?” he often asked himself jokingly.

Julien was pleasantly surprised.

When he clicked on the SUPER DUPER DEALS icon, it burst into thousands of specks of every color imaginable. Julien had never seen such dazzling optics. It was hard to imagine that such a brilliant display of colors could appear on a computer screen.

“Wow,” he thought, “this must be new technology from SuperStar.”

Julien couldn’t believe the great deals. They were offering special, low prices on a wide range of discontinued Singsong and Pineapple products, which included computers, tablets, phones, and other electronic gadgets. They all came with warranties and money back guarantees.

What’s more, SuperStar was having a contest to win a free trip to the annual ‘Gadget World Technology Expo’. This was the biggest technology show of its kind and introduced new products from the world’s largest electronics companies. This year’s show was sponsored by SuperStar, and as part of their promotion they were giving away the free trip.

The contest was only open to customers of Singsong and Pineapple, was free to enter, and one lucky winner would be chosen. Julien immediately proceeded to complete the online entry ballot in hopes of winning. He hadn’t been on a trip in a long time, and going to the Gadget World Technology Expo would be a dream come true.

Julien’s busy day had come to an end and it was time to go home. His mind was filled with many thoughts.

“What’s the first thing I’d buy if I won the One in a Billion lottery?” he asked himself. “I could care less about Nash getting out of jail. Wow, the SuperStar contest for a free trip to the Gadget World Technology Expo! The days and weeks ahead are going to be exciting.”

Julien was right about that. Little did he know that things wouldn’t turn out exactly the way he thought they would.

Chapter 2

It took some time for Julien to fall asleep that evening. His mood became more serious whenever he watched the news on television before he went to bed. Some of the stories were sad and would often upset him. Julien was a sensitive, kind soul.

As he was trying to doze off, Julien’s thoughts turned to his job at his parent’s clinic. He was in charge of the main office and was always thinking of how to make things better for the patients and staff. The clinic had become Julien’s true passion in life and he loved working there - it was a real labour of love. He was smart, considerate, and was always trying to improve patient care. Julien knew every person - both patients and staff - and he liked them all.

They all liked Julien too. He would meet the staff daily and with a friendly smile would ask how they were doing. To make their workplace better, Julien would inquire if anything was needed. If it was, he would get it immediately.

Julien was fond of the patients as well. He visited frequently and engaged them in light hearted conversation. He always tried to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. Julien was gentle and compassionate towards them and took a special interest in their individual needs. Julien was a caring, gracious person, to say the least.

Julien knew that his parent’s clinic had a good reputation and was one of the best in St. Belle. Julien couldn’t help but notice, however, that it hadn’t changed much since he left years ago to work for the workshop that built clocks. Although the clinic’s interior and exterior looked modern and well maintained, Julien felt that the technology that was used was outdated.

He would often ask his parents why the computers in the office were running slowly. If staff were using the internet, their computers would not be able process the vast amount of data and would freeze up. It was difficult for them to research healthcare websites which were a growing source of information on patient care. Julien also told to his parents that their computers routinely caused delays in the patient admissions department. The clinic’s computer system was a source of frustration for Julien, and he knew that upgrading them was a rather simple solution to the problem. After all, he was a computer geek.

Another serious challenge that the clinic faced had to do with managing the growing number of patients. They were well taken care of by the staff, most of whom had been working there for a long time. In fact, many years after Julien returned from the workshop that made clocks, the same staff members were still there and quite old. Although they were skilled and experienced, Julien couldn’t help but notice their slower pace. He thought the clinic had become under staffed and was in need of more help.

Julien would often read up on the competition to learn what other clinics offered to their patients. He would check the web, newspapers, magazines – whatever he could – to see what was happening in the healthcare industry. If other clinics were advertising or running promotions, Julien would try to learn from his competitors and make improvements at his parent’s clinic. Julien would also check the prices that other clinics were charging and made sure that his prices were competitive.

Julien was most impressed by a brand new clinic called ‘Maple Leaf Clinic’. It was overseas, and the remarkable thing about this particular one was that it was completely digital. This meant that its staff only used computers and tablets to read and record patient information – it was paperless. These devices were very modern ran on the newest software programs.

Maple Leaf Clinic was also experimenting with robot technology to assist its staff with patient care. Robots were performing basic tasks such as distributing meals, assisting patients who needed help walking, picking up items that had fallen on the floor, and alerting staff if a doctor was needed.

They were having a lot of success using robots. Since routine tasks were done by them, it allowed staff to spend more quality time with patients. The clinic ran more efficiently and they were saving money and lowering prices to attract more customers. It was a ‘win win situation’ - great for the clinic and great for patients.

One day Julien was on the internet and decided to check ‘WowWeb’ for videos about Maple Leaf Clinic. Julien was pleasantly surprised to see that there were several to choose from. He was immediately drawn to the one that featured its robots.

Just like their ads claimed, Maple Leaf Clinic’s robots were busy assisting patients. As well, patients looked quite happy receiving their help. Even happier was the staff that appeared cheerful and relaxed as they cared for their patients. It seemed almost too good to be true, but it wasn’t. Julien was smart enough to know he was watching their promotional video that was designed to attract potential customers. Yet he saw beyond that and instinctively knew that the addition of robot technology would definitely help. To Julien, this was the way of the future.

With thoughts of robots in his mind, Julien had grown sleepy.

“Tomorrow is another day,” he reminded himself as he comfortably fell asleep.

Chapter 3

“Wow,” thought Nash, “that was easier than stealing candy from a baby!”

As he sat on an uncomfortable wooden bench at the bus station, he thought about how he had just been released from jail.

“I must be a great actor. I guess it’s not too hard to pretend that you’re sick,” he said to himself.

Nash hugged his knapsack and thought about what to do next.

It was a very cold night, and the falling rain kept changing from drops of water into flakes of snow. It didn’t seem to bother Nash, as he didn’t mind the cold weather and needed very little to keep his skinny body warm. He did, though, begin to cough. He had more important things to worry about, like where to go from here.

After months behind bars, Nash looked unmistakably worse than ever. He had grown thinner and looked weary. It was no surprise, as jail food was not appetizing, nor was his jail cell pleasant for sleeping. But that was all behind him now, and he couldn’t help but grin every time he thought about his winnings.

While in jail, Nash gambled with the other inmates and had won a lot of money. As it turned out he was very good at it, especially because he cheated. His striped knapsack with the chain on it was stuffed with cash.

No matter what the game, from playing cards to running a shell game, Nash had a knack for winning. That is not to say that he wouldn’t cheat whenever possible. But that didn’t bother him in the least as he was a crook at heart.

Nash was gambling with inmates that were just as dishonest as him. He was in a jail with white-collar criminals that were serving time for fraud or cheating on their taxes. Many of them were rich, and Nash kept winning by cheating them out of their money. That was a fortunate thing for him, as he had lost his life savings when he was thrown in jail after defrauding the Department for People’s Safety.

As he sat in a momentary daze, he was brought back to reality by a sudden shove on the shoulder. Nash turned his head and found himself sharing the bench with a stranger. A man decided sit down on the same bench as him, even though there were plenty of other empty benches in the bus station.

Nash became annoyed.

“Hey, wait a minute,” said Nash. “There are so many empty benches for you to sit on. Move!”

The man turned and looked at Nash, and then he stood up. Nash didn’t expect what would happen next. He couldn’t tell how big the man was while he was sitting. Once the man stood up, Nash realized that this stranger was the size of a giant lumberjack. He was tall with big, broad shoulders, and he looked displeased at being told to move.

He looked down at Nash, who was now nothing short of scared. Nash had seen big guys like these in jail and no one messed with them for fear of getting beaten up. The man extended his hand towards Nash.

“My name is Francis.”

Francis ‘Armie’ Armstrong

Nash looked up at the giant stranger.

“Francis? That’s a girl’s name.”

The man had heard that comment many times before and wasn’t bothered by it.

“I’m Francis Armstrong. If it makes you feel any better, you can call me Fran. My friends call me Armie.”

Nash slowly extended his arm towards Armie and the two men shook hands. Nash was nervous and afraid. He could not tell if Armie was trying to be friendly or not.

Nash was overwhelmed and intimidated by Armie’s huge stature. Yet his tone of voice was quiet and gentle.

“You look worried, chief. Don’t be - we are friends. What’s your name?”

“Nash.”

He momentarily covered his mouth and coughed again.

“Where are you headed, Nash?”

“Away.”

“What’s in your knapsack?”

“Dirty clothes.”

Nash continued coughing - louder this time. By now he was starting to feel more at ease with Armie but was becoming annoyed with his questions.

“You seem to ask a lot of questions, Armie.”

“Yah, Nash, that’s what I’ve been told. Say, you’ve got a pretty bad cough there, chief.”

Nash didn’t respond.

Nash had trouble figuring out if Armie was a good guy or a bad guy. He decided to try an old trick on Armie that he learned in jail. It was called ‘the hustle’. Nash would begin to gamble with someone and intentionally lose the first time. Then he would ask his opponent for a re-match and would bet a lot more money. The second time around, he would try to win by cheating as much as possible and he usually succeeded. That’s why he called it the hustle - because he would trick his opponent into thinking that they could win.

Nash reached into his knapsack and pulled out a crumpled paper bag. He emptied it onto the bench, removing three clam shells and one black ball.

“Want to try your luck and win some easy money?” asked Nash.

Army glanced at Nash and pretended to look confused.

“What do you mean?” asked Armie.

“It’s very simple,” he replied. “See these three shells? I’ll put this black ball underneath one of the shells. Then I’ll move all three shells around. All you have to do is bet that you can pick the shell that has the ball underneath it. If you pick right, you win the bet.”

Armie continued to act as if he didn’t understand the game and gave Nash an even more confused look. Armie, however, was very smart and had seen this game played many times before.

As the two men had just met, Nash couldn’t have known that Armie had travelled all over the world and had seen almost every betting game imaginable. Armie pretty well knew almost every trick in the book when it came to gambling, and he decided to have some fun at Nash’s expense.

He accepted Nash’s invitation to play his shell game. The fun began, but not for Nash.

“So how much do you want to bet?” asked Nash.

“I don’t know. What do you suggest?” he replied.

At this point, Nash was still unsure of what to make of Armie and if he was really as simple as he seemed. Nash knew very well that a lot of good gamblers would often give the impression of not knowing how to gamble. Nash proceeded with his usual hustle routine and suggested to Armie that they each bet ten dollars. He told Armie that he would win the bet if he chose the shell with the ball underneath. Armie agreed, and each man placed ten dollars on the bench.

The shell game began.

Nash lined the three shells side by side in a row and placed the black ball under the middle shell. Then Nash began to move the shells around in every direction possible. Both men concentrated hard and had their eyes glued to the shell with the ball underneath it.

Nash wanted to lose intentionally so Armie would bet a second time. Nash moved the shells around slowly so Armie would win. But Armie outwitted Nash and chose the wrong shell – he wanted Nash to lose a much larger bet on the next game.

“Ah, you lose,” said Nash as he quickly grabbed the money.

At this point Nash was convinced that Armie was really dumb and continued the hustle.

“Nice try, Armie, but don’t feel bad. You played really well and almost won. I’m sure you’ll have better luck next time. Do you want to play again?” asked Nash.

Now it was Armie’s turn to out hustle Nash.

“I’m not too sure if I should. You did say that I played well and my luck will improve. And it sure would be nice to win back my money. As a matter of fact, if I could win even more money that would be great, but that’s impossible,” said Armie cunningly.

Nash was quick to respond, saying, “I really admire you, Armie, and you’re such a good sport. You almost beat me on the first game, and despite losing you’re still up to the challenge. So how much would you like to bet this time?”

Armie knew that Nash was very good at figuring people out. Armie continued to act dumb in order to outwit Nash.

Armie suggested that they bet fifteen dollars each on the next game, explaining that if he won he would be up by five dollars. This was part of Armie’s act so he could trick Nash into placing a much larger bet.

Nash fell for it.

“Fifteen dollars? Armie, I really like you and want to be fair. I want you to have a great second chance to win back as much money as you can. I really think we should each bet one hundred dollars,” said Nash.

“Hmmm,” responded Armie, “that sounds like too much. But you did say that I almost won last time and I’d have better luck this time. Do you think I should, Nash?”

“I would if I were in you,” said Nash.

Armie had Nash just where he wanted him and all but set himself up for the win.

“Okay,” replied Armie

Then he took one hundred dollars out of his pocket and placed it down on the bench. Nash put his hand into his knapsack and took out one hundred dollars and placed it down as well. The betting was done and the second game was about to begin.

Just as before, Nash placed the three shells side by side in a row and put the black ball underneath the middle shell. As Nash moved his hand away he accidently knocked one of the bills onto the floor.

Nash and Armie looked at eachother as if to say that each one knew what the other was thinking. As Armie bent down to pick up the money, Nash quickly removed the ball that was underneath the shell.

Armie knew what Nash had done but said nothing.

“So let’s get started,” said Nash.

Armie nodded his head in agreement.

Nash placed his hands on the shells and was about to begin to move them around. Suddenly, Armie placed his very large hands over Nash’s hands and stared coldly at him.

“Wait,” said Armie, “let’s make this bet a little more interesting. Why don’t I move the shells around and you guess which one has the ball underneath it? And while we’re at it, let’s raise the stakes to two hundred dollars each.”

Nash looked into Armie’s eyes and knew he’d been outwitted. Nash realized that Armie knew all along that the ball had been removed.

“So what will it be, Nash?” asked Armie. “Should we stop now and shake hands, and I’ll be on my way with my winnings?”

Armie’s large hands pressed firmly down onto Nash’s hands.

“So do we have a deal, Nash?” asked Armie.

Nash was no one’s fool when it came to gambling, especially when his opponent was as big and strong as Armie.

“Yes of course,” replied Nash, “go ahead, the money’s all yours.”

Armie lifted his hands off of Nash’s hands and flipped over the three shells.

“See? There’s no ball. I won fair and square,” said Armie.

Armie quickly gathered up the money and stuffed it into his pocket.

Their conversation was interrupted by an announcement on the bus station’s loud speaker. A woman’s voice could be heard, saying, “Attention all passengers. Bus number seven with non-stop service to the coast will be boarding in five minutes. Passengers are now requested to proceed to the bus, and boarding will commence shortly. Thank you.”

Armie grabbed his belongings.

“Well, that’s me. It was nice meeting you, Nash, and thanks for teaching me how to play that game. It was fun! Good luck, chief.”

“Wait, where are you headed, Armie?”

“To the coast to catch a ship. I’m a deck hand on a cargo ship that sets sail tomorrow. It’ll take about five days to cross the ocean, but I don’t mind. I’ll catch up on my sleep. What about you, Nash, where are you headed?”

“Don’t know.”

Then Nash coughed quite hard.

“Come with me,” responded Armie, with a care free spirit in his voice. “You can hop a ride on the ship for dirt cheap. Just slip the captain a few bucks. The seas can be a bit rough but it’s well worth it. It’s really pretty on the other side of the ocean, and so are the women! Besides, it’s better than sitting in this crummy bus station trying to cheat chumps out of their money. What have you got to lose?”

Then he stared at Nash and his tone became serious.

“Chief, you’ve gotta take care of that cough.”

Nash thought for a moment.

“Yah, I got nothing to lose,” said Nash to himself.

Nash grabbed his knapsack and the two boarded the bus for the coast.

Chapter 4

Julien couldn’t wait to take advantage of the deal that he received from SuperStar - buy any Singsong or Pineapple product and get any second product for free. He had difficulty deciding what products to order as there were so many exciting possibilities!

Julien spent several hours browsing SuperStar’s website and looking at all of the Singsong and Pineapple products that were on clearance. The selection was enormous and included computers, tablets, phones, as well as many other interesting gadgets such as flying drones!

Julien knew that the practical choice was a new computer for the clinic’s office. There happened to be a great one on sale that he had his eye on for quite some time, and that ended up being his first choice. It was harder to choose the second free item that was part of SuperStar’s deal.


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