a guest May 19th, 2019 65 Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
  1. "Do I have to sign?"
  2. "Yes Mr. McCafrey, it's just a formality anyways, I'm dropping this off here with or without your permission."
  3. The old man picked up the chewed ballpoint pen from the metal tab of the clipboard and signed his name on the bottom line, "Robert McCafrey"
  4. "Her job being finished, the young delivery lady took the clipboard and pen in hand and began wheeling the large crate through the thin doorframe, almost rolling over Robert's foot in the process.
  5. "Is there anywhere in particular you want this thing?Or should I leave it in the living room here?"
  6. "Here's fine, it will be moving itself around soon enough." said McCafrey.
  7. The lady shook Robert's hand and left the aging house behind, chewed pen and clipboard tucked underneith her right arm.
  8. Robert stared at the imposing figure in front of him. There stood in the center of his living room was now a large wooden crate, about 8 feet tall, with small spaes between the boards allowing one's eyes to glimpse inside at the shadows in an attempt to guess the contents tucked away.  Robert, however, knew full well what was inside this box. Branded onto one of the center boards was a company logo, a pegasus flying alongside a pointed star. The entire logo was framed with a circular enscription {Right Word?} "Ascension Robotics: *Helping build a new you.* Robert walked over to the side kitchen that was attached to the main room. Bending over, Robert pulled out a large knife from a cabinet and took it back to the crate in the living room, which now stood like an arborious monolith, completely out of place compared to the pearl-white modernesque room.
  9.      Robert took great delight in tearing apart the packaging. Jamming the knife, Rob pryed back the wooden boards one at a time, revealing the contents of the package with every struggle.  Outer packaging shedded, all that remained on Robert's floor was a loose spattering of boards, packing material, and what appeared to be a young man, still, breathless like a porclian doll. Despite expecting such a sight, Robert was still taken aback from the scene laid in front of him; his eyes scanning into every nook and cranny of this body's skin to look for breath or a pulsating vein. There would be none to be found of course; Designated STEP-54N, (Ascension's marketing always tried to give name-like serial numbers to their flagships), the robot laying down was around 2 meters tall, and had stark blue eyes, so blue that they looked almost too fake, but was seen as a quaint flaw from most public opinion tests. From the neck down the robot was almost stark naked, wearing little else but the federally mandated permamently affixed underwear that nearly drug down to his kneecaps.
  10. Having spent too much energy opening the crate, Robert sat down next to the machine's head, and gently raised it, not knowing how much pressure it could endure before it could break. With a gentle hand, he slipped his nail into a small crevice in the back of the machine's neck, opening up a control panel with bright switches and buttons. There was a small green switch in the gap connecting the metal spine with the skull. Robert flipped the switch, and immedietly the drumming hum of fans lurching into a steady rhythm cam in tune with the other mechanical bits and pieces lighting up and begun to move on their own. The back of the robot's skull snapped shut suddenly, almost trapping Robert's fingers inside. Within the empty room, the multitude of varying noise came sudden like an unexpected storm. One sound distinguished itself from the others:
  11. "Booting process complete, super-positioning enabled, room scan active."  uttered the blonde robot, somewhere distinctly not from a vocal cord. The robot's torso slowly rose to an upright position, it's head swirveling from side to side, not unaturally so but such movement would cause strain or discomfort for a human, and not a single muscle in the robot's face twitched, a trait that Robert just realized that he didn't care for.
  12. "Are you going to do that all day? You're freaking me out you damn machine." said Robert, now a few feet further away from the robot than he was previously, arms crossed in a defensive position.
  13. "No sir, I was simply testing my motor functions, and taking in the wonderful ambience you have here."
  14. "Don't patronize me, I know my taste in decor is good, an idiot could see that, tell me something I don't know."
  15. "That bookcase on the far wall is about to collapse under it's own weight." spoke the robot, bluntly and without a hint of sarcasm, or anything else.
  16. "Bullshit, I built that myself years back, its good lumber."
  17. "The front left leg is cracking, you can see it strained already, its almost split in two."
  18. Robert put his hands back in his pockets and shuffled over to the bookcase. Before bending, he lingered for a second and stared at the end covers that were at eye level. "Do you enjoy collecting old books Sir..."
  19. "Robert, just call me Rob, I don't want to be referred to like a knight thank you very much."
  20. Rob began kneeling to observe the leftmost post, his knees cracking audibly, "no pain?" rob thought to himself, more of a warning sign that the usual pins and needles he felt.
  21. "Arthritis?" asked the machine.
  22. "Mind your own damn buisness." said Rob, leaving a quiet pause in the room, as he bent further and confirmed, yes, the bookcase was cracked and on unstable footing. Sighing, Rob said,
  23. "Yeah its arthritis, I used to have medication for it too, but I can't take it anymore."
  24. "Why?" the machine pondered bluntly, standing up from the slightly dusty floor, leaving a human shaped dust print behind.
  25. "Didn't they program you right? Your job is to make sure I hate being alive."
  27. **Chapter 2**
  28.      Robert stood from his $300 therapudic chair and began packing his things into a small drawstring bag he held firmly in one hand. The office was quiet and empty for this time of day, most of the interns had taken the day off to celebrate the 4th of July. Robert wasn't very much into celebrating anymore, especially ever since he quit alchohol. God, he could still taste it in his mouth, the very idea of a cold drink in his hand simultaniously made his throat parched and liver cry out in pain.
  29.      After fumbling around in his pocket for a few seconds, he found it. It was a gold coin, an old Inidan dollar minted a few decades ago. Rob had tossed every challenge coin he recieved for reaching a sober milestone, not that he got that many in the first place of course. The millimeter ridges on the edge of the coin gently scraped the skin of his thumb and forefinger, bringing him back into the present. Just as Rob's heart-rate returned to normal, a familiar buzz came from his front pocket, the phone playing some pop tune his daughter installed to personalize her number.  Robert quickly let go of the coin and snapped the phone into his right hand, even though age had been reaching Rob as of late, a smartphone was firmly in his realm of understanding.
  30. "Sup dad, how are you holdin?"
  31. "I'm doing fine Janet, whats the occasion?"
  32. "I wanted to  and 'vite you to the party im having tonight, going to have some aquaints o' to watch the fireworks and maybe play some vidia after. You good?" said Janet over the sounds of drinking and partying in the background.
  33. "Thanks honey, but I think I'll just stay in for this one, you know how I was told to avoid parties? I have to set up the machine anyways."
  34. "Oh right, literally slipped that you had that bot ship in." she said over the sound of crashing dishes in the background. "Shit, you have a shock with that bot now, I need to go, take care!"
  35. "Love you hon..." Rob's voice was interrupted by the dull tone of the phone reminding him that the call was over. Rob sighed and slid the phone back into his front pocket, taking note of the time.
  36. "Might as well head straight home." he thought to himself as he straddled the strings of his cheap backpack over his slumped shoulders and began walking back to his home.
  38. **Chapter 3**
  39.      "Welcome back Rob, can I help you with anything?" said the machine, smiling from the kitchen where it appeared to be doing dishes.
  40. "Please just be quiet, I had a rough day and I don't want to deal with your shit right now." said Rob, tossing his shoes into the bin next to the door.
  41. "Understood Sir, you have 3 new notifications if you want to hear them."
  42. "Notifications?"
  43. "Yes Sir, your friend Janet linked all your accounts with Ascension's servers. I can tell you your email, vidia news, and purchase history at will."
  44. "Janet's my daughter, an..."
  45. "Understood Sir."
  46. "Goddamnit don't interrupt me like that" yelled Rob, throwing his body on his used couch, "let me finish my point before you go on and kiss my ass."
  47. "Yes Sir."
  48. "Doesn't any of this bother you? You're intelligent right? Why stay here? Couln't you just walk out the door and do your own thing, ruin someone else's life?"
  49. "It's not that simple Rob." Said the machine, it's face turning stern and serious for the first time since it's arrival yesterday.
  50. "I was assigned to you by your daughter as part of the rehab program that, reminder, you failed 5 times before. My job is just to sit here and make sure you don't end up hurting yourself again. I won't ask anything else from you if thats what you wish."
  51. "No... thats fine, it would be even more freaky to have you just sit in the corner and stare at me all day, feel free to help out aroud the house, there sure ain't anybody else here to do it 'sides myself."
  52. "Thank you sir. If you have a free moment, I do have a request."
  53. "Shoot." said Rob, surprised at the machine's agency.
  54. "Can you give me a name sir? It would assist with helping our relationship. You can of course decline, it is up to you."
  55. "Even when you ask for something, you can't seem to keep a backbone." said Rob as he sat down onto his cheap leather couch.
  56. "How about I name myself then?" said the machine, slowly lowering his metal frame on the opposite end of the furnature.
  57. "Thats more like it, I didn't want to think of a name anyhow."
  58. "You can refer to me now as Edward, or Ed for short."
  59. "An English name?"
  60. "Yes, I figured a historical name would be best, I doubt either of us would feel comfortable if we were named Xavient, or something similar."
  61. "Good thinking, do you need anything else Ed? While I still find you novel of course."
  62. "No Sir, I'm just fine, thank you for asking." (Reuse this line a lot in the story?)
  63. Rob shrugged as he reached for the romate to turn on the curved screen in front of him, videos of people's lives started flashing in every corner at once, reality streams, vidia streams, and general live-casting entered Rob's brain in eight different ways. Rob hadn't always been on top of the latest tech, but a few years ago when the information  multitask implant became available to the public, he quickly picked one up with his savings. Now his mind could dissenimate a maximum of ten sources of information at once without loss of data, his eyes twitching back and forth like he was having a seizure. It took him a while to get comfortable at this level of information gathering, the first time he dialed the switch to four streams, he ended up vomiting al l over the couch, a smell that still faintly lingered on the hotter days of the summer.
  66. "World Leaders summit..." "Latest series of firings..." "Top 43 most adventurous RPGs" "Cute ferret dancing..." Rob sifted through the monoteny of his daily feed of media select-branded shovel eye ware. With small gestures, he nimbly dodged around the matrix of garbage data and clickbait to delve into the chatrooms in commentary sections. The netscape infrastructure he was using was merged with a few other corporate bands, his attenna reached outwards for a few miles, so he could pick up on the connections of all the major netscapes in the city. Being connected to all of them gave Rob a sense of comfort and familiarity to how the old-internet used to work. Nowadays, its so legacy, the few service providers that exist mostly are just in collaboration with archival systems to keep essential tools like Wikipedia alive for those too poor and old to have a working smart device in the current year. Rob always felt dissapointed in how his daughter used her netscape, singular by the way, she, like many other beta-babies, didn't like having to shift back and forth and maintain multiple connections on differently abled services. They would pick one or two major ones and stay completely dependant on those platforms. Made some sense too, what Rob gained in diversity, he lost in familiarity. Very few people followed his tru-ID, and the ones that did hardly ever kept in contact with him. Rob prefered it that way anyhow, the constant pings and notifications from some asinine converstion piece in a group chat never really tickled his fancy.
  68. Time passed as
RAW Paste Data
We use cookies for various purposes including analytics. By continuing to use Pastebin, you agree to our use of cookies as described in the Cookies Policy. OK, I Understand