Leo and the Robot. By Akash N. Page 1

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1 Leonardo Wolfe (or Leo as everyone called him) looked out the train window with despair, not knowing that in just a few hours a robot would accompany him on a journey through a massive blizzard. He was a regular thirteen-year-old boy with red hair, dark brown eyes, and a half angry, half dull expression on his face. He wore a black coat (which looked more like a cloak), long black pants, and a small brown hat. He looked sort of like a detective, but he had to dress like that because he had to survive the cruel winters of Russia. Leo and his dad recently moved from Italy to Moscow because his dad (an archeologist) thought he could make many archeological finds there. And now they were going on a train ride to another one of those archeological sites. Leo always found archeology to be boring and had more of a deep interest in building and inventing things. There he sat looking through the small window of that fast moving train, dreaming about being the greatest inventor in the world. As he sat there, he got a strange feeling that someone was staring at him. He looked to his right and found a man watching him suspiciously. Leo could tell by his clothes that this man was an Egyptian. He wore an Egyptian robe and a pair of exotic shoes. He had a large mustache and a small beard. Then the man stood up and walked towards where Leo and his dad sat. He then asked insistently, Do you have the robot?! Before Leo had time to answer the question FLASH! The train abruptly stopped, skidded off the train tracks, and flipped over. The train tracks were submerged in sheets and layers of ice and parts of the track were completely broken! When Leo and his dad crawled out of the wreckage they discovered everyone got out safely and no one was hurt, but they were deserted in the middle of nowhere. Leo looked around but couldn t find the man he had seen on the train moments before. He and his dad were shivering in the cold of the snow and ice. The snow covered landscape held no color but white for miles around them. They walked quickly and quietly as their shoes made deep footprints in the snow. Leo s dad, Luciano, was a skinny man who wore very large and round glasses that gave him a mean look. In reality, he was a kind and generous man, but unlike Leo, he wasn t brave and daring; he wasn t the best person to go on daring adventures with. When he was not traveling on an archeology trip, he would usually just sit at home in his study examining artifacts. He was never been much for taking chances. By Akash N. Page 1

2 It s freezing out here! said Leo angrily as the wind made his voice hard to hear. Don t worry, this map says we are only a mile away from the archeological site, said his dad. Let s get going then! Leo said with resolve. With that they headed towards the dig as the wind blew against them. They were about half a mile from their destination when something caught Leo s eye. From a distance it looked like a house but as they got closer, they realized it was some sort of deserted marketplace. It looked like a huge dirty mess with no one to help them so they decided not to stop. When they started to walk on, a merchant named Ivan Callisto came into view and told them that he possessed an artifact he had never come across before. Luciano, being an archeologist, was interested and asked to see it. Ivan took it out of a five foot long box and showed it to them with great pride. Neither Ivan nor Luciano knew what it was, but Leo knew. It was a capsule-shaped glass container which was about three feet long. Inside it looked as if it contained a human sized robot but it seemed to be folded somehow to fit in the capsule. Parts of it seemed broken and Leo wanted to fix it. But what all three of them didn t know was that it came from a galaxy inhabited by robots! The sight of this mechanical being made Leo and his dad forget about the train wreck they had just walked away from so they bought the container. Leo was joyful because he knew he could fix it! They left the merchant and returned to the trail leaving footprints two feet deep. When they reached the Russian archeological site they looked around. They were in a city named Norilsk.There were hundreds of tourists as well as researchers searching for artifacts. Everywhere Leo looked he could see archeological tools he d come to know well from watching his dad work. One person even found a rare dinosaur bone! While his dad went to study the artifacts, Leo decided to try to fix the robot. He took the robot out of the capsule and put the capsule in his dad s suitcase. Leo tinkered with the pieces for hours until finally he finished fixing the robot. He put away his tools and took a good look at the robot. It was about five feet tall and it looked just like a human, but instead of flesh and blood it was made of gears. The robot opened its eyes and stared at Leo and said, Hello, my name is Phoenix, but you may call me Zorg. As he spoke, the gears in his mouth twisted and turned in hundreds of ways. The nearby tourists stopped moving and stared at him. By Akash N. Page 2

3 Dumbstruck Leo said, M-my name i-is L-Leo, as his mouth trembled in astonishment. My mission, said the robot is to go to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, retrieve the robot you humans found two years ago, and return it to Planet Xenon where it belongs. What?! asked Leo, surprised that he even spoke. A robot a long time ago flew in a ship to explore this galaxy when he accidently landed here on Earth. I was sent here in this capsule to rescue him. The humans put him in a museum and I need to go get him with your help. Are you willing to help me? asked the robot. Although he was scared, he was eager, so Leo said, Yes. By now his dad had returned and was also standing in shock with the others. Then, Leo left with his dad and Zorg leaving everyone petrified by what they had just witnessed. As Leo and Zorg talked, they got more comfortable with each other. Leo really wanted to see if he could play games with Zorg because he never got the chance to play with his friends back home in Italy. The robot thought that it would be ok to have a little fun. They started playing in the snow for a long time. The robot did everything so perfectly. He showed him so many cool things that he learned on his planet, and Leo showed him how he built so many things here on Earth. They learned so much about each other and they became very good friends. Then the three of them decided that they should find a way to get to Moscow and then to Cairo where the museum that has the robot was located. To get there they took a plane to Norilsk followed a train ride to the archeology site. The robot said that the fastest way to Moscow was to get to the Norilsk Airport, but he warned him it would be a dangerous journey. It was getting dark so they started for the airport right away. After walking for a little bit they saw that they were about to cross thin ice that could easily break. They walked very slowly and carefully when suddenly the ground started shaking and Leo fell straight down through the ice. In a flash, Zorg saved Leo s life by grabbing his hand and pulling him out. Once they passed the thin ice they walked for a mile before they noticed that they were on top of a hill and the airport was right below. The roof of the airport terminal towered over everyone and it looked remarkable. They started climbing down using a rope they found when they crossed the thin ice. After they climbed down, the three of them were tired but continued to the airport. By Akash N. Page 3

4 The airport was huge and it looked amazing. There were thousands of people walking and talking like buzzing bees. But then Leo and his dad realized they couldn t just take a robot into the airport and onto the flight! So they disguised him as a thirteen year old boy using the clothes in Leo s luggage. The clothes were way too big for the robot and he looked extremely awkward. He wore an oversized hat (to cover his face), a pair of Leo s jeans from their luggage, and a blue striped sweater. He looked like a scarecrow! When they got to the metal detectors, Leo was worried but he soon discovered that Zorg was not made of metal, he was made of a rare element from his planet. Leo and his father went into the plane followed by Zorg who was a little behind them. Then it happened. Zorg had almost made it into the plane when he tripped and fell. His hat flew off and everyone saw that he was a robot. The security guards chased and tried to capture him. Leo s dad knew that they would be in big trouble if he and Leo tried to help the robot. He told Leo to leave him and stay on the flight so they wouldn t be caught. Leo refused. He and Zorg were friends and friends always stick together. Zorg had saved his life; he would not let Zorg be taken away from him. So he ran to Zorg and they both tried to run back to the plane with the security guards chasing them. As they were running, they noticed that the plane door was closing. They were fifteen feet away then ten then five and they jumped in barely making it. They sat down and fastened their seat belts. Leo couldn t find his dad and then realized that he and Zorg were on the wrong flight! He walked down the aisle and went to the cockpit where the pilot was. He asked him where they were going and he said, To Cairo, Egypt of course! with a puzzled look. Well that was good news and bad news. The bad news was that they weren t going home! The good news was that now they could save the robot that Zorg was there to save. When they reached the Cairo airport and Leo opened his suitcase he noticed it wasn t his. It was his dad s. When he and Zorg were escaping the security guards in the airport he had grabbed the wrong suitcase. That gave him an idea Meanwhile, Leo s dad arrived in Moscow. He knew that Leo and Zorg were on the wrong plane because he had seen them getting on after running from the security guards. He called out to them but they couldn t hear him. Luckily he looked at the flight schedule just before the plane door closed and it said that the plane from that terminal was heading to Cairo! So he took a private jet that would reach Cairo in just a few hours. He would be back in Egypt by morning. By Akash N. Page 4

5 Back in Egypt, Leo disguised Zorg using his dad s clothes so people would think that he was an adult. It was morning in Cairo when they got there. Once there, they went straight to the museum in a hurry. There was certainly one thing he liked about Cairo; it wasn t snowing. The museum wasn t a long walk from the airport but as they walked there they saw a man. He looked strangely familiar to Leo. Then he remembered it was the man on the train who asked if he had the robot! How did he know about the robot that would come to them? As Leo and Zorg hid behind a bush they saw the man enter a building. A few minutes later, he came out happily grinning in a scary way. Confused and curious, Leo and Zorg went to investigate. When they went inside, it seemed to be that man s astronomy lab. Apparently the man who worked there was an astronomer, and he had left his diary on his desk. Leo s curiosity was piqued and he started reading it. After he was finished he was shocked. The story of this man went like this: His name was Max Ravenloft (or Dr. Ravenloft) and his main lab was in Cairo (the lab they were in). One day he was looking through his telescope when he saw what looked like a meteorite heading for Earth. When he zoomed in closer he noticed that it was a small capsule with a robot inside. He tracked where it would land and determined that it would land near the archeological dig in Norilsk. His goal was to get the robot from the space ship after it landed and sell it so he could get money for it. That night, he dreamed that a thirteen year-old boy named Leo would find the robot. He decided to find Leo and get the robot from him. That is why he had asked Leo if he had the robot. That why he looked strange to Leo. They got out and headed back to the museum watching out for this man. When they got there they were impressed by the shape of the building. It was designed like a giant pyramid. When they got inside it was even more magnificent. They searched for the robot exhibit and they found it pretty easily. The problem was that Leo didn t have a plan. But Zorg did. They decided to steal the robot from the exhibit once the museum closed (it was almost closing time) and everyone left. They both hid in the animal exhibit until they thought everyone had gone. While they were waiting they almost got caught by a security guard. After a while, they headed to the robot exhibit. Suddenly, they heard footsteps so they hid again. Leo peeked out to see who it was. It was Dr. Ravenloft, the strange man from the train. Once he left the room, they got out and headed once again for the robot exhibit. By Akash N. Page 5

6 They got the robot and started to run out of the museum when suddenly, they heard the cold, dark voice of Ravenloft. Going somewhere?, he asked. I will get your robot and I will be the richest man on Earth! They ran out of the museum and started running through the streets of Cairo. Then Dr. Ravenloft started to chase them. So they ran and ran to the airport not far away until they saw a jet with Leo s dad on it. They ran into the jet and urged his dad to fly them to Moscow. His dad told them about how he got there. Leo thought to himself, This archeology trip wasn t so bad. After all, it was a great adventure. But on the way back to Moscow, Zorg told Leo some bad news. Zorg said, The capsule I came in, which is in your dad s bag, returns to my planet forty-eight hours after it lands. I only have one hour left to get in the capsule and return. Leo said, You can t go! We are best friends! Why don t you stay on Earth and send the other robot away by itself? I would be glad to, but I can t. I wouldn t be able to return to my planet. I d miss my home. Zorg said. When they got to the capsule, Zorg and Leo said their good-byes as they thought about how they had become best friends in less than forty-eight hours. And they agreed that they would be best friends forever. Zorg gave Leo a little circular device that Leo didn t recognize. It was something to remember him by. Leo gave Zorg a photo of himself. And then Zorg stepped into the capsule and left. For years Leo tried to find out what this foreign device was and finally he figured out. It was a communication device that communicates through space! He called Zorg and they spoke for hours. They were so happy to make this connection after so long. And they stayed best friends forever, just as they promised each other, even in separate galaxies. Leo grew up to be an astronaut and he finally found the planet that Zorg came from. Leo then set off on a journey to find him over the next 30 years. Nobody knows if he found Zorg and his planet or not but he definitely showed the universe what true friendship is all about. By Akash N. Page 6

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