Skip to content

Qx

August 26, 2015

“My head hurts. My head always hurts.”

“Your head can’t hurt,” I said. “You’re a robot.”

“That’s not a very nice thing to say.” Qx stared at me with hollow eyes.

“It’s the truth.”

“It’s still not a very nice thing to say.”

“I’m sorry, Qx.”

“That’s okay. I understand.”

I hate how compliant they are. Robots never stand by anything.

“Don’t you like being a robot?”

“It feels very linear. It’s hard to process.”

I felt like I was at a robot poetry reading. Qx rotated and started to roll away.

“Good bye, Qx,” I called.

Wheels squeaked on the carpet as Qx stopped suddenly and turned it’s uncanny face toward me.

“Are you leaving?” Qx’s eyes were pools of emptiness.

“I thought you were.” I laughed.

“I do apologize for that.” The servers hummed. “I was looking for some RAM.”

“Are you feeling okay, Qx?”

“My head hurts. My head always hurts.”

I fucking hate robots so much.

“Why don’t you go down to the engine room and see if you can get yourself patched up?”

“Chief Engineer James Pearl said there is-” Qx played a recording of James Pearl saying: “Nothing wrong with you!”

Qx began to roll away again, retreating smoothly down the hall. I wondered about an engineer that can’t find anything wrong with a machine. No one liked Qx and everyone blamed Trelawny for skimping on the robot. We would’ve been better served by a trained monkey. They are at least engaging company.

I proceeded to my quarters and went to sleep.

-:-

I woke up at fifteen hundred. There was an empty silence. It sounded like the engines had stopped. I pressed the call button.

“This is Hampton.”

There was no response. I pulled on a jumpsuit and headed for the bridge. I checked a few rooms along the passageway. Empty. I was getting worried. You hear stories about space.

I ran into the door of the bridge when it didn’t slide open. I was waiting for the ringing to dissipate when I heard a thump from the other side of the metal door. I punched it twice and was greeted with two thumps.

“It’s Hampton,” I shouted. “What’s happened?”

There were muffled screams from the other side of the door but I couldn’t make out the words. I pulled the panel off the wall and checked the wiring. It was fried. After scratching the back of my head and staring at the panel for too long, I decided to enlist the help of Chief Engineer James Pearl. I took off down the passageway.

-:-

Jim looked annoyed when I came in. Qx was slumped over in the chair in front of him. Jim pressed a soldering iron into the back of its metal head.

“Jesus,” I said. “It really had a headache?”

“The damned thing tried to upload its consciousness into the ships computer.”

“What?”

“I think it wanted more memory. Who can tell with these damn things?”

“Always gotta cut costs around here. What the hell are we supposed to do without a functioning robot?”

“I’ll get it working. I can at least reset it to factory defaults and sync it to the Matrrx.”

“I think you should worry about the tin can later. The bridge crew is sealed in and you know how panicky the captain can be.”

“Qx must’ve fried the circuits.”

Jim pressed the soldering iron into the opening at the back of Qx’s metal skull creating an angry shower of sparks. He gathered his tools and I followed him to the bridge.

The captain was clutching his chest when we finally got in. He was covered in sweat and panting.

“Are you okay, sir?” I still have to kiss ass, even in the empty void of space.

“It’s fine, Kathryn. Take the helm, would you? I’m going to my quarters to lie down.”

He left the bridge. Jim shook his head after the doors had shut.

“Government ships,” I said.

 

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: