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Sorry, I'm Busy Tonight

Posted on June 25, 2010 at 3:25 PM


Unit C12-Rom, nicknamed Romeo, awoke with a startled whir, both eyes blinking sporadically. He always slept, or more precisely assumed Standby Mode, in a vertical position, usually in a corner of the room. No electrical outlet was necessary, C models from C10 forward required none; they were equipped with wireless recharging: a fifty foot distance from any electrical source was adequate.


Romeo was flat on his back in an upstairs hallway of a sorority house. Both of his 400 Gig hard-drives began rebooting. C12’s were not designed for total shutdown. Obviously, a severe malfunction had occurred. Drive A: began an FDR, or Full Diagnostic Report, a programmed response after a Total Shutdown. Both drives never shut down simultaneously: even in Standby one slept while the other switched to Low Power Mode.


He could not move his arms or legs, and Visual/Thermal Scan was operating at low-pixel levels. His Odor Analysis Sensor was detecting an electrical shortage, possibly from overheated circuit boards located in his abdomen area. Drive B: began clicking, then whirring, and a beeping sound from his human-like head accompanied the erratic blinking of eyelids.


Suddenly, high-pitched giggling noises erupted from the end of the hallway, and several young females passed by his prone form.


“Good morning, Romeo,” one said, as the rest giggled loudly.


“Up and at ‘em, Big Boy,” another said.


“ Rest up, Lover Boy. Tonight’s another all-nighter,” the last one said, as they headed down the stairs.


Romeo’s head jerked sideways so he could see towards the stairs. Too late, the girls were gone. His synthetic blonde hair was matted and stuck to his tan silicon-rubber face. Several lipstick smears adorned his face, neck, and torso. There was a scattering of clothing in the halway, but he recognized nothing of his. A few chirping noises indicated his Synthesized Voice Modulator was coming online.


“Cold today, hot tamale.” came the programmed audible speech test phrase, as both eyelids clicked shut, a waving hand fell to the floor, and smoke began emitting from his nostrils.


A deep, slowing voice from behind closed, lipstick-smeared lips said, “ I can’t, sorry, I’m busy to-to-…….ssszzzzt.

Categories: Short Story, Jip Morgan, Humor

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Reply El Roi' Jackson
10:42 PM on June 25, 2010 
This was a trip to read! and I enjoyed it immensly.
The story was well told and well descripted.
The wording was excellent also.
Great job Jip.
Reply Phil Neale
10:40 AM on July 14, 2010 
Fascinating topic, Jip, and I can't make up my mind whether this stops here, or becomes the beginning to a comic sci-fi adventure.

"Intriguing" as Spock would say.
Reply RitaT
2:28 PM on August 4, 2010 
I'm still smiling. Good read, and I'm still smiling.