First off, I couldn’t get any internet at home and I wasn’t in the office, so I do apologize for only now uploading this snippet. I have to find an alternate internet source stat!
Now on to the story. This is another story, tentatively titled Transference, that I only wrote about two pages of before abandoning it. And it’s a story I want to get back to, if not this year, then maybe January of next year, although I’m holding out for this year. Anyway, this was meant to be a mecha story for an LT3 call from a while back. And I do hope to write it and send if off to LT3 when I’m done with it.
As is my usual refrain, this is a first draft, so ignore grammatical errors and inconsistencies and enjoy:
A cold touch had Kevin jerking awake abruptly. His eyes snapped open and he half raised his torso off the bed, as he stared blankly around for what could have woken him up. A whirling sound on the floor had him glancing up as he blinked at his companion and caretaker; Arca:X24.5, better known as Andria; his personal robot.
“Morning Kevin. Breakfast downstairs in 10 minutes. Work starts in 30,” Andria droned; her metallic eyes staring at Kevin as she spoke. He was fairly certain that if she had been human, she would have been tapping her feet in tandem to her words to emphasize the urgency with which she felt he should be ready for work.
Kevin nodded and climbed out of his bed. He turned around to give the bed a longing look that was disrupted by another cold touch from Andria. “8 more minutes to breakfast.”
“Yeah, yeah. I heard you the first time Andria. Although I still don’t understand why you didn’t wake me up earlier. At least, that would have bought me more time to have a little snooze,” Kevin grumbled.
“I did wake you up earlier. You refused to get up from the bed. Quite frankly, I was considering having the house douse you with cold water if you still didn’t get up from the bed,” Andria replied and crossed her metallic arms. “And my name is not Andria. I’m Arca:X24.5”
Kevin laughed. Yup, if his robot had been human, she probably would have glared at him at this point. “You will always be Andria to me. Just accept the name already. Besides, I thought we were friends”
“Man and machines cannot be friends. You of all people should know that. And if you really wanted us to be friends, then you would respect my request to be called by my actual name. Unfortunately, you are not a reasonable person,” Andria replied with a loud sniff. “Besides, calling a robot your friend just makes you sound pathetic. You need to get a life,” she stated calmly, dropped the room’s temperature by a couple of degrees and activated the room’s lock system as she rolled out of the room.
Kevin smiled as the locks to his room clicked into place. Andria was having another temper tantrum and the house was acting out accordingly. Silly robot. Why was it so hard for her to see that Kevin just couldn’t treat her like a machine?
Days like today however, I really would love to drop her at a junkyard, Kevin thought as he glared at the robot that rolled about the kitchen without even giving him an apologetic look. She had turned off the hot water midway through his shower and doused him with freezing cold water that had his balls curling inwards to protect themselves.
Just as he was about to light her a new one, the coffee maker beeped and he watched as its small feet popped out; followed by its hands that held a pot of coffee. It teetered slightly at the edge of the table, righted itself, rolled over to where Kevin was seating, pulled out a cup from its side and poured some coffee into it from the pot. It placed the cup carefully in front of Kevin and with a nod, rolled back to its position; withdrew its hands and feet and resumed its brewing.
The sandwich maker presented him with sandwiches and Andria dropped eggs, bacon and a slab of butter on his plate with the words, “Eat.”
As he bit into juicy bacon, he smiled at Andria; his anger forgotten. She knew the right buttons to push to get him to forget her outbursts. Just as he was about to call out to her, the alarm on his watch beeped, alerting him that he had a minute left to finish breakfast and be on his way to work.
With speed that would have impressed his mother and even the robots, he ploughed through his breakfast, gulped down his coffee, grabbed his briefcase from Andria who was waiting with it at the door and raced to the car; calling out to the house on his way: “activate security alarms.”
From the periphery of his vision, he noted the red rays that rose around his house before they settled and it looked like there was nothing there. The house was fully secure. Any fool that decided to rob him or invade his privacy would have the burn marks to prove it.
Kevin settled into the driver’s seat; flipped the car on Auto Drive, mumbled “To the office,” and settled in his seat as his fixed his tie and rumbled through his briefcase for the case files he needed for his meeting with Drudder Corp.
“Stephan, contact Andria, and ask where the Drudder Corp files are,” Kevin called out to his car’s central control system.
“She says it’s in the car’s dashboard, where you put it last night after you got home from work so you wouldn’t have to start searching for it this morning,” Stephan replied drolly; with the silent You idiot echoing loudly in the car.
Kevin smiled sheepishly, retrieved the file from the dashboard, dropped it into his briefcase and locked said briefcase. He closed his eyes and mentally went through his day: meeting with the Drudder Corp representatives, working on the Aoika project, developing the Aerotech software, and finally paying a visit to his mother, as per her request. Hopefully, the visit would be a short one. He had a lot on his plate and his mother sometimes loved to talk his ear off on matters he was not remotely concerned about.
“We’re here sir,” Stephan said; waking Kevin up from the light doze he had slipped into.
“Thank you Stephan,” Kevin said and stepped out of the car. He placed his thumb by the keyhole so the car could read his fingerprint and activate the car’s lock system.
He glanced at wristwatch and trotted to the sliding doors of the August Tech building. He had about ten more minutes to get to his office, review his notes and head to the meeting. There was no time to waste. He hurried past the various offices; his mind focused on his work.
There was a mumbled apology as someone bumped into him; but he waved it away. Someone else tried greeting him, but stopped with a wave of Kevin’s hand. The others took their cue from the response the others received and gave him a wide berth. An act that Kevin didn’t notice nor care about. He had work to do.