Machine Code

June 8, 2022

18 – The Stepford Cheerleaders

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Robot Cheerleader Terrorizes

By Tucker Burns and Damon Furberg

ROBERTSTOWNE, N.J. — The students of Robertstowne High School come in all shapes and sizes, from jocks to geeks to preps to goths. They even have a cyborg.

For the past several weeks, the school has been terrorized by a spate of vandalism that includes bent parking meters, torn-off locker doors, and twisted metal bleachers. Most recently, Lyle Killory, captain of the school’s football team, was assaulted and strung from the top of the goalposts on the school’s football field.

“I have no idea how he got there, but he was dripping blood,” said Lauren Gloss, who found Killory the next morning.

Killory refused to comment on the attack. We discovered that his silence was the result of wounded pride — Killory didn’t want to admit that his attacker was Robertstowne High’s head cheerleader, a petite girl named Alexis Carson.

“Her cheers were amazing,” said Sperry, a self-proclaimed cheerleading connoisseur. “She was so strong and flexible. We just thought she was really peppy. We had no idea she was part machine.”

Indeed, Alexis’ prowess came not from practice, but from science. The daughter of Lionel Carson, Robertstowne High’s chemistry teacher, Alexis was the guinea pig in her father’s cybernetic research.

Mr. Carson, the former head designer for the experimental bionics division of Dynomec, a top prosthetics manufacturer, continued his work after leaving the company. Using contractile polymers to mimic muscle fibers, he started his mad-scientist routine by reconstructing his own hand after an accident approximately 18 months ago. The result was a perfect blending of human flesh and robotic muscles that was stronger and more durable than anything created by nature.

“I spilled some acid on his hand, and he barely noticed,” said Wes Freewald, a Chronicle staff photographer. “I was thinking he was either an alien or undead. But cyborg makes sense, too.”

Carson’s next step was to transform the entire body of his daughter into a man-machine hybrid. With her new robotic body, Alexis quickly outshone all the other cheerleaders. However, she began to feel increasingly distant from her friends, worried that her father had turned her into a freak of nature. Lashing out with her attacks on private property and Killory, she wanted her father to make another student just like her so she would feel less isolated.

The next victim was to be Jennifer (whose last name is being withheld because she is a minor), another Robertstowne High cheerleader. The Chronicle discovered Jennifer in Caron’s basement moments before the surgery was to take place.

However, before these reporters were able to save Jennifer, Alexis Carson attacked us. “She had me by the neck and she had quite a grip,” Freewald said. “She was indestructible. I bet she would have kicked butt at Battlebots.”

Also present was Mr. Carson. Realizing the consequences of his experiments, he stopped Alexis’ attack using a remote control. Unfortunately, Alexis refused to give in. Fighting the impulses in her muscles, she shorted out her wires, leaving her paralyzed.

Saved from the bionic transformation, Jennifer was nonetheless upset. Unbelievably, Jennifer claimed that she wanted the procedure.

“Fortunately, we were able to stop it,” said Chronicle reporter Grace Hall. “She’ll thank me when she’s older.

“High school is difficult, especially for girls,” Hall added. “The pressure is so great, and they want to fit in. She should ask herself, ‘If everyone jumped off a bridge, would I?’ I guess she could if she had the bionic operation, but that’s not the point.”

“The Stepford Cheerleaders”

Written by Henry Myers
Directed by Perry Lang

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