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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 17 - Aquamarine Engagement Ring

Tron didn't care what anyone said, she wasn't going to marry any stupid boy, prince or otherwise! She sat huffily on her plain bed, which was the same shade of blue as everything else in this awful, boring place. If Prince Gary thought she was going to just sit here and wait for him to come back, well he had another thing coming! Tron hopped up, her short powder blue skirt fluttering a bit as she did so.

Prince Gary returned to visit his erstwhile bride-to-be twenty minutes later. "You didn't really think that would work, did you?" the handsome young man asked. "These windows were made intentionally to be too small for anyone to climb through---it would be too dangerous. What were you going to do if you got out? Climb down the cliffs to the ocean?"

"Yeah, I might have!" Tron yelled back from her side of the window, although it sounded a bit muffled to Gary, as all he could see was Tron's rump. Her hips had been the only part of her too wide to crawl though the triangle-shaped window, and she had actually almost twisted herself through anyway. In fact, she suspected she was only minutes away from doing just that when the Prince of Garrdan Island had interrupted her. "So, are you going to get me out of here, or what?"

"Very well." Prince Gary took a hold of Tron's ankles and, after a few sharp tugs, managed to jerk the girl pirate back into her azure prison. Both collapsed together onto the bed.

"Don't get any ideas," Tron warned him.

"Perish the thought," Gary assured her, disentangling himself from Tron's limbs. "I wouldn't think of doing anything improper before our marriage."

"You're going to be waiting a long time, then," Tron said. "You realize once my brothers show up, you're going to get punched, stabbed, shot, and pretty much blown up, too? Just thought it was fair to warn you first." When Gary merely smiled, she continued, "Why do you want to marry me, anyway? I'm no prize, believe me."

"You sell yourself short," Gary said. "Everyone knows that the Bonnes are of noble blood---displaced nobility, to be sure, but noble blood nonetheless. Once I heard of your daring exploits on our local television news program, I knew I had to make you my bride."

"I was on TV?" Tron's eyes lit up. Then, they darkened. "I'm still not going to marry you."

"I think I can change your mind," said the prince. "Would you care to go on a tour of Garrdan Castle? I'd like to show you around your future home."

Tron shrugged. "Sure. Anything's better than staying in here." She followed the prince outside of her cell, but to her dismay, one of Garrdan's blue-garbed guards filed in to escort them. Still, she kept her eyes open for any possible escape routes. Since all the walls were the same pale shade of blue, though, it was hard for Tron to keep track of where they were going. Down, it seemed like.

"Did any of my Servbots end up here?" she asked.

"Your what?"

"Servbots," Tron said again. "They look like little blue-and-yellow kids, and they certainly act like kids sometimes, but they're all mine, all forty of them, so I guess I have to love them."

"I see," Gary said as they entered a large room, still powder blue, of course, although parts of the room were constructed of metal. Several machines, including robotic suits of armor, guns, explosives, and a couple of Reaverbots were located inside. Tron was amazed to find the Reaverbot who had attacked her in the Garrdan Ruins here as well. "This is the Armament Room, as you might have guessed for yourself. The ceiling opens to the upper castle levels, and the floor contains a passageway to the Garrdan Ruins."

"But I thought that those ruins were discovered only a few weeks ago."

"That is somewhat true," said Prince Gary. "The outward exit of the ruins was 'discovered' only recently, but the royal family of Garrdan has known about them for several decades. They are quite extensive, and have been explored only superficially. You may notice Guelly, here, looks like a Reaverbot. He is. He was not functional when he was found, and I made it the object of my childhood years to get him up and running again. When he's set on automatic, he doesn't fight quite as well as he would with his original program, but he does okay for himself." Gary raised his eyebrows twice. "You've experienced his special attack, as well. I call it the 'Catatonic Blast.' It disrupts any electric patterns in living brains or robotic circuitry, causing instant unconsciousness. Sometimes it's only instantaneous, other times for longer periods, but either way, it's a very effective weapon."

Tron started silently. So that was why she lost her battle! She growled inwardly. She would have won, if that idiotic false Reaverbot hadn't used its stupid, dishonest...ooooh! That made her mad! Still, it wouldn't hurt to learn more. Maybe it had a weakness. "Does it work on all robots?"

Gary was all too glad to elaborate. "No. If a robot's thought processes are advanced enough, of course, the Catatonic Blast won't shut them down. For instance, Guelly's own brain continues functioning throughout."

"I see." Advanced thought processes, huh? That let out all forty Servbots out, didn't it? Maybe Bon could withstand a Catatonic Blast? Knowing what Tron knew about her brother, she guessed that was unlikely. Tron changed tactics. "Wait a minute. Why did you open the ruins up?"

"I knew the family Bonne would not be able to resist such a tempting target once it became common knowledge. Besides, as you know, I do not have the resources to explore them fully by myself. I felt it was a good time to let their existence be known, and it certainly worked to my advantage, didn't it, my love?"

Tron said nothing, but looked away from Prince Gary and pouted.

The black-haired young prince nodded forward, and guided Tron back upstairs to a different part of his castle. "That's basically all there is on the lower levels, the prison cells, and the Armament Room. You're not really in a cell, of course, Tron. One of the servants gave up her bedroom so you would have somewhere to sleep."

"How thoughtful of her," Tron said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Hey. I just thought of something. Why is everything in here blue? Is there some reason for that?"

"Of course," Prince Gary said, delighted. "This entire island happens to be standing on top of the largest aquamarine deposit on the face of the planet. Parts of the castle used to be a mine, but the rock was so common, eventually we started making our homes out of it."

"Really?"

"Yes, but, as you can see, we don't cut or polish the substance of the walls or floor. Aquamarine is quite lovely when properly finished."

Tron's eyes narrowed speculatively. "I don't suppose aquamarine is worth much money on the world market, is it?"

Gary thought for a moment. "Not very valuable, no. It's a semi-precious stone, but nothing compared to refractors or gold. Also, the island chains around here are fairly saturated with it."

"Uh-huh." So, if Tron could get her hands on some and take it back to the Gesellschaft, they could make some serious bank if they sold it halfway across the world! She'd have to look up the exchange rate when she got back to the ship...

That was beside the point. First she had to get herself out of this wedding mess before thinking about money, as difficult as that was to accept. It looked like her beau wasn't going to take her upstairs or any other place where a quick getaway might be possible. Gary led her back downstairs to her room, with the guard trying to look official and wary behind her. Tron sighed as he opened her door for her.

"I'm still not going to marry you, you know," she said.

"I'll see you this evening for dinner," said Gary, holding out his hand to her. "Until then, I hope you'll think of me when you look at this." Gary pressed something metallic into Tron's hand and left, the door locking behind him.

The object was still warm from being in the prince's pocket, and when she opened her fingers, she saw it was a gold engagment band, replete with an incredibly large aquamarine stone. Tron might have taken it as an insult to be presented with such a common stone had it not been so beautiful. Indeed, as the prince had told her, the aquamarine extraordinarily pretty when it was cut and polished like a normal jewel would be. Tron tried it on her left ring finger---a perfect fit.

"I'm still not going to marry him," she said quietly.




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