The saga continues…
Meanwhile, or so it would appear, Fanangy Panakan was herself awakening from a mental fog. She too didn’t know her arse from her elbow. To her best awareness she appeared to be lying upon her back in a hospital bed. Certainly the aroma of freshly poured antiseptic suggested this. But it made no sense: She should be standing in the Artefact Store: what was she doing here? Being extraordinarily bright, she decided to look about the room for clues. But, oddly, something seemed to be blocking her view of the room. Odder still, the offending item seemed to be under the bedclothes with her. Suspecting that she might be naked, and that the mound was a perverted hamster that was contemplating oral sex with her, she slapped it with all her might. The resulting pain made her cry out in agony and surprise. Clearly the mound was part of her body. Then she screamed in sheer horror as realisation struck: The perverted hamster hadn’t sought oral sex at all: He hadn’t even had casual non-reproductive intercourse with her either: He’d clearly ‘knocked her up’. She was ever so slightly, horrendously, pregnant! Fanangy screamed again for good measure. Then she leapt to her furry feet, and dashed from the room in a perfect panic.
If time were linear, then just as this was happening to Fanangy, Colin was experiencing something quite dissimilar. The android hamster seemed to be seated in a small, grey-walled cell. His forepaws were in manacles, and his hind paws in shackles. Clearly someone wanted him to stay put; but didn’t appear to know the location of his ‘off’ switch.
“Hello?” He called out.
His hopes were dashed against a wall of silence. But this didn’t stop him trying further…
“Excuse me: I appear to be both manacled and shackled at the same time. Doesn’t someone consider this potential overkill?”
This time his hopes weren’t so much dashed: More they were crushed and mangled beyond recognition. “Shut your hole, Obbo.” A monotone response permeated through the heavy metal door that filled the only gap in the otherwise featureless walls.
“Obbo, is it?” Colin chose to reply curtly, “Well if that isn’t rude and unpleasant… then I don’t know what is. You should feel ashamed.”
A small hatch opened abruptly in the door. Through it Colin could see a Sentinel Robot peering back through at him. “You aint seen nothing yet.” It spoke once more in the inflectionless voice so common of its type.
Colin stood, and hopped to the window – rather like a school-hamster in a sack race, he thought. “What do you mean?” He inquired.
The Robot leaned closer, until Colin could detect its foul exhaust fluttering gently on idle. “Can you accept direct data transfer?” It asked.
Colin assured the huge device that he could indeed accept direct data transfer, and usually found it quite provocative.
“Good.” The robot replied. Then it promptly rammed a huge fist through the opening.
Colin wasn’t alarmed at this. He didn’t even take a precautionary step backwards. After all why should he? The other robot was a kindred spirit, wasn’t it? What harm could one pseudo-intelligent servomechanism do to another?
“Ready?” The unnamed Sentinel Robot inquired.
“Ready.” Colin assured it
An instant later, as though upon command, the huge machine thrust its smallest finger right up Colin’s nose, and waggled it furiously – as if searching out an elusive bogey. This had two effects upon Colin: firstly – it made direct contact with his internal data transfer node: secondly – it startled the shit out of the kindly android, causing him to leave a nasty, frothy, oil stain upon the floor directly beneath him. Then the data began to flow…
The data came in the form of sound and vision. Clearly it was an audio/visual representation of Colin’s near future, as imagined by the mean device that now held his nostrils in its steely embrace. The Mayor of Gerbil’s Ruin appeared to stand before the vast landfill site. It had been recently opened in a colourful fanfare of pomp and circumstance. She now read from a scroll…
“Are you Colin the Android Hamster, currently employed at The Where House?” She demanded.
“Good.” The mayor wrung her paws together before delivering the words, “Then it becomes my burden to tell you, Colin the Android, that you are an Obbo: An obsolete mechanism.” Then with more than a trace of maliciousness in her smile, she added, “And what do we do with obsolete mechanisms?”
Colin had to think fast if he thought that he was going to survive this. “You put me in a nice museum where I can spend the next century or two in splendid comfort, being admired, collecting dust, watching football on my internal TV set, and not being a burden to anyone?” He suggested.
“Wrong answer.” The mayor bellowed meanly. “Go and join the stink.”
Upon an unspoken command, two burley robots grasped Colin by the shoulders, and threw him, end-over-end, into the most vast garbage tip ever seen.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2012
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