Once upon a time there was a cybernetic organism named Peter Pinocchio. Peter preferred the name cyborg, as he considered himself to be more than the typical cyborg and far more than a man that was electronically manufactured. However, Gina Geppetto, his maker, was fond of reminding him he was, after all, her creation. Peter dared to differ with her, for he was sure he was a creation of the universal mind of imagination, a powerful force far beyond only Gina’s capabilities. He did, after all, have powers greater than hers. He was sure he had only tapped a few. But she always could be expected to task him with mundane daily duties and never really allowed him to go beyond his basest talents.
Peter dreamed he could one day be all-human, but with his current super-human qualities. He knew what he wished was nothing but a dream, but his best friend, Jimminy Android convinced him it was possible. “When you wish upon a star your dreams come true,” he told Peter.
Maybe in another time and pace,” he said. “But not in what’s left of war-torn Nevada.”
“Even here,” Jimminy said. “Bob told me so.”
He nodded. The fairy who assigned me to you.”
“I never knew you were assigned.”
He cocked his head sideways. “Do you really think I’d take care of you just because?”
Peter sighed in exasperation. Jimminy was forever pulling his leg. “So who is this Bob fairy person?”
He grinned. “He’s blue. Folks say he’s a Martian, but he claims he’s only been typecast and actually comes from Ceres. But he’s a fairy all right, as gay as they come. Still, he has the power to grant wishes.”
I nodded. “To each his own, Jimminy. I’m not into any kind of discrimination. After all, I’m considered substandard as a cyborg. I find it most devastating, as I am in love with Gina.”
Jimminy frowned. “Oh my, if you’re wishing for Gina, I’m not sure even Bob can grant your wish.”
A tall blue man with pointed ears walked around the corner. “My ears were burning. Were you talking about my granting a wish?”
Peter nodded. “Jimminy says you can make me a real man.”
Bob grinned. “So I can. But if I do, you need to prove you can be honest loyal and faithful.”
Peter patted his chest. “No problem. I am not programmed to lie or to stray from those who have been good to me.” He leaned forward. “Do you think I could make Gina fall in love with me?”
Bob’s eyebrow arched. “That’s a tall order. Let’s see how you do on the other part first.”
He waved his hand and Peter lurched as his electronic parts vanished and he stood before them, knowing he now had a beating heart instead of a mechanical valve system. Peter ran to the mirror and held his hand to his face. “I look similar, but there’s something about my skin. That must be blood flushing my cheeks.”
Bob nodded. “Other things flush also. You will feel stirrings you haven’t before.”
Peter cocked his head sideways. Whatever did he mean? “What do I need to do now to prove myself?”
Pointing, Bob smiled again. “Go to Pleasure Island of course. If you can remain honest loyal and faithful there, you can do it anywhere.”
“But Bob.” Jimminy trembled. “It is forbidden for anyone to go to Pleasure Island, for no one emerges who isn’t corrupt.”
Bob nodded. “So they say. That’s why it’s such a great test of Peter’s determination.”
After a week on Pleasure Island, Peter was exhausted. Jimminy had long since given up on him, for Peter had relished in all the island’s delights. He’d been amazed at how lavishly a real man could live. Just think, there was a never-ending buffet, wine and liquor and, most of all, women. Who’d have known the last item could be so enticing? It wasn’t disloyal of him to learn how to have sex, was it? After all, it would only make him a better lover for Gina. He had to admit, though, it was becoming more difficult with some, for something happened when he lied. He looked down at the crotch of his pants. If it got any longer he wouldn’t be able to zip it inside. He’d decided he had to tell the truth from here on out.
While in the middle of an all-night card game, Peter turned to see Jimminy standing next to him. Jimminy’s eyes looked frightened and distant. “Peter, Gina came looking for you, and a band of pirates in a hovercraft captured her. She’s being held captive on the Jolly Whale.”
Peter threw down his cards. “We have to get to her. Even if I have ruined my chances for ever making her fall in love with me, probably ruined them for staying a man if I go back, I must risk it. I cannot let her die.”
Early the next morning, just before the sun rose, Peter scaled the side of the Jolly Whale. He knocked the guard unconscious. Quickly he sneaked around front of the craft. There, tied to a pole, was his own sweet love, Gina, her long golden hair gleaming down her shoulders like the sun’s own rays. Her eyes widened as she saw him silently stride toward her. Taking a knife he had in his pocket, he sliced through her bindings. “I cannot believe how barbaric these men must be,” he whispered, “For them to use such old-fashioned methods in this day and age. Are you okay?”
She nodded. “Let’s get out of here.”
As they turned, a huge Gigantitron stood there in all of its glory, towering at least twelve feet over them. “You’re not going anywhere, mosquito,” the machine boomed.
“I will not let you harm her.” Peter placed his body between Gina and the Gigantitron.
The machine picked him up in its clawed hand and threw him in the lake’s deep water. Peter struggled, but the force of the fall had knocked all life out of him. As he sank below the murky depths, he closed his eyes and thanked Bob for at least allowing him to show Gina how much he loved her…
Thrashing with his arms to climb out of the darkness, Peter felt hands caressing his chest. “It’s okay, Peter. It’s okay.”
He opened his eyes to see Gina’s face swimming above his. “Where am I?”
Gina smiled and rubbed his forehead. “At the cottage. We placed you on your bed.”
His eyes focused. “It is my bed. But how?” He suddenly saw the faint outline of blue, Bob the fairy hovering above him.
“You deserved your wish Peter.” Bob vanished with a smile.
Gina kissed his lips. “Oh Peter, I’ve always loved you. When I made you I wished upon a star you could become a real man.”
Peter kissed her back. “I will always be true to you and we will be very happy.”
And they were. For Gina never complained about Peter’s previous small bout of lying.