Yarah de Silva is allergic to animals — all animals. However, she really wants a puppy, and she has even dreamed up the perfect puppy. Her father works in robotics, and one day Yarah watches a tour group go through the factory. She takes notice of a man in a strange coat who makes funny faces at her.
One Christmas, her father gives her a robot puppy prototype. It has been programmed to obey, love and protect her. She takes the puppy to the back yard to play. When Yarah gets hurt by one of the plants, the puppy, whom she has named Digger, digs up the offending plant. To Yarah and her father's surprise, Digger digs up all the plants in the garden. Eventually, Yarah's father gives up replanting the garden and instead covers it with concrete.
Later, Digger breaks into the robotics factory to activate one of the robots meant for fighting in war. The strange man from the tour group, who calls himself the Doctor, informs Yarah's father that Digger is trying to keep Yarah safe and won't stop until everyone on Earth is killed. The Doctor deactivates Digger and all the other robots in the factory.
For Christmas, the Doctor gives Yarah a shape-shifting alien that can transform into whatever Yarah wants. The alien transforms into Yarah's perfect puppy, whom she calls Patch.
- Yarah has seen on the news that there is going to be a war with either Russia or China.
- Yarah's father works for Positron Incorporated.
- Yarah's father made Digger from rigidium, a substance he invented.
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