Ashlynn and Alexander: The STEAM Team Engineers
Ashlynn and Alexander, the latest additions to the STEAM Team, await your introduction here. If you have yet to meet the other members, please do stop by and say hello to:
But for now, please do go on and meet Ashlynn and Alexander. They've been waiting to meet you.
Ashlynn turned to Alexander and snapped, “WE need to get the project going, kinda like soon, if you get my drift.”
Alex shrugged his shoulders as he stared into his new book, well old book but new to him. “We have time sis. Besides, we need the tail for it before we can finish anyways.”
Ashlynn looked annoyed and turned back to the saw table, putting her goggles back in place, as the whine of the saw began. Sawdust flew all around her like fairy dust, but with a woody smell and not sparkly at all. She absolutely loved to shape wood, she would do it with a knife and had several small figurines laying all over her office table off in another room.
Alexander kept reading even through the noise. He loved books about architecture and building things. He was trying to get ideas for new designs to implement into the current project. So, he really wasn’t in a rush to finish the thing because then he could add more details over time.
Alex turned to his sister and sighed, “So, what do you think they are going to do with our little invention?”
“Well, I think that’s up to whoever is in charge…which you are not.” She huffed at him a little.
“Yeah…okay…you have a point…”
Ashlynn swiveled her chair toward his location. “Listen, I know you want to be doing something. Just weld something or fix something! We have tons of things that need fixing, especially the lighting in the lower parts of the dam. It’s super creepy down there!”
“Just use a helmet light, I made several last month…. It’s not that creepy….”
Ashlynn harrumphed and just glared at Alexander.
“Okay! Fine! I’ll go fix the electrical system to the lighting! It might just blow a fuse though!” Alexander stomped off toward the dam’s interior entrance. Ashlynn could hear the metal door bang closed. There was a lot of room out in the workroom, since it used to be a docking bay for large trucks that would bring supplies to the dam. They had two of these workrooms. The other area was down an L-shaped hallway that could be entered from the end of this large workroom. Alex didn’t like to go to it, because there were spiders. She would always lead her brother down to the other workroom, waving cobwebs out of her way. That other workroom was where the main project was kept. She could go there now, but they were expecting a delivery. A delivery that would finish the technical aspect of the project, at least in one important area.
She started the saw table up again and decided to pursue a destructive path by whittling away a beam to what would amount to a toothpick. She hated waiting.
As Alexander entered the lower depths of the dam, the whirring of the engines and the friction of the water passing through it numbed him. With the light of one simple helmet, he watched as his walk downward made the light bounce off the dull concrete. He shivered, just knowing that there could be spiders down here made him nervous. He saw little specks on the walls and imagined them as large tarantulas waiting to drop down on him from above. Ashlynn would have laughed, which made him shake it off. His anger at her kidding with him always snapped him out of his fear. He was starting to think she did it on purpose.
As he stepped onto a landing, he could see down the right-side hallway that the electrical box he was looking for resided just within reach. He picked out a set of wire cutters and snipped the wire lock off the latch. Opening the case, his helmet lit up a world of corrosion. The fuses were switches set into the interior of the box. He pulled each one out and examined them. Corrosion left a dry white film all over each switch. He dropped them into his utility belt pouch, quickly and lightly. He flipped the box’s case closed and turned to start his hike back up the dam. “Gonna need some baking soda…” The darkness and the mustiness of the interior of the dam were starting to get to him, so he increased his speed. The fear of spiders helped a little as well.
Ashlynn looked up from her whittling as the old security door creaked open. Alex made his way in quietly, removing his helmet and turning the helmet-light off. He sighed, turned to Ashlynn and started talking quietly. “Let’s go over to the project; it makes me feel better.”
She turned to him with a genuine smile, “Let’s do it then! Here, I made you something to battle the spiderwebs with.” She tossed him a smooth cane, with a nice handle carved into the top. He smirked, “Thanks, Sis!” Alex swung it in arcs, looking almost like, what Ash imagined, a swordsman of the dark ages would. They both started toward the hallway that led to the ‘project’.
Just as the twins started to open the main door to the ‘project’ room, bells started ringing from every corner and back down the hallway. “Um, we have an intruder!” Alex yelled to Ash in an irritated voice. “Yeah…I kinda know this, since we both set up the system….” Ashlynn stated in the same irritated voice he had used on her. She pushed through the door into the massive garage where a large vehicle of some sort lay in the center of the room. A dusty gray tarp was draped over it, which only gave away a bulky squared-off frame. The tarp covered most of it, and at the corners a rich dark wood could be seen, sanded smooth and polished. Several small tires were attached to the bottom rails of the thing. Ashlynn maneuvered around the vehicle towards the large aluminum garage doors. She pulled on a chain near the edge and the door started to lift slowly. “WAIT! Do you really think we should open this door when we have an invasion?!?” Alex shouted at her above the din of the ringing bells. She turned to him and put her hands on her hips, “You know we were expecting a delivery! It makes no sense to wait for them to be run off by the alarms! Then we have to wait another month for them to come back, okay?!?” She huffed at him and then turned back to opening the garage door. Alexander moved to her side and started to pull on the chain as well, each of them grasping just past the other’s hand. The work went fast, and the door opened onto a bright day. The end of the garage bay ran right up to super muddy ground. In the large muddy yard, which surrounded the dam maintenance area, were huge rusted-over bots slumped all over. At the edge of the yard ran an old chain-link fence, torn open in places. In the middle of one of the tears stood a tall girl, older than each of them by at least a couple of years.
Ashlynn waved at her and yelled, “Come on over! It’s safe! We’ll shut the alarm off in a second!” The girl waved back and started her way down the muddy landscape. “We don’t really know if she’s the one we’re supposed to meet, Ash!” Alex warned. “Look at her back, brother! She’s got a pretty big backpack for not being the delivery we are expecting…” Alexander looked closer, and sure enough, she had a large backpack with red ribbons sticking out of it. “Okay… Fine, I’m gonna go shut the alarm off.” Alex sprinted across the yard toward the huge garage bays.
When Ashlynn approached the girl, she found her to be far taller than she had thought. “Hello, stranger…. My name is Ashlynn, and yours?” The tall, dark-haired girl smiled, “My name is Victoria…. I am here to give you the part you requested. It took a while to design it for what the project needed….” Looking around, Victoria hesitated, “I…uh…are those really bots stuck in the ground?” Ashlynn gazed around her with a smirk, “Yep, my brother and I designed a powerful network of magnets under the ground. They are directly tied to the dam’s electric generators. The bots can’t step further inside the dam’s territory than this.”
Victoria unbuckled the package from her back and gently pushed it into Ashlynn’s unready arms. She held it there until Ashlynn took it from her. “I need to go. I have a lot more projects to work on. And, honestly, this place creeps me out.” She glanced around at the bots again, quickly, trying not to stare at them too long. Ashlynn’s shoulders slumped, and she nodded miserably, “Yeah, okay, well…. It was nice meeting you….” Victoria took that as a signal to leave and turned on her heel, quickly walking across the yard. Ashlynn sighed and shrugged her shoulders, holding the package tightly to her body, she grinned. One more piece of the puzzle that was their project. She made her way quietly toward the garage bays that contained the project.
(Academic Resources in the Works)
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