NaNoWriMo: Date At The Museum
Posted by BigWords on November 7, 2009
Charlie sat on the steps outside of the now-closed building, smoking and watching the passage of hovs, pedestrians and time. The door had been locked, so even if Charlie had wanted to know what was happening, Talos ensured that no interruptions to his work could occur. Charlie had grown up on the streets, knew the ways he could survive on his own, and had made enough connections to ensure that there would never be a time when he was in need of anything ever again.
Doogs dragged himself to the bar stool that awaited him beside the door. “He’s still in there. Doin’ whutevah a box o’ bolts does I guess.”
“He likes the solitude, or… Maybe he’s building things again.”
“Yeah, th’ stuff wus pilin’ up the last time I went in there.”
“You’ve seen what he has been doing?”
“Kinda. The stuff’s in boxes an’ in li’l stacks.”
“What kind of things is he making?”
“Don’t lookit me. I don’t even know what th’ trinkets are that he keeps addin’ to the bar.”
“I think they’re sensors. He’s been watching the inside of the bar, which is why I’m out here.”
“Humph, th’ robot’s a damn pervert, whoulda thunk it.”
Charlie caught sight of Lara. “I gotta go.”
“Yeah kid, I see her too. Yah be careful.”
Standing, Charlie whistled.
“‘S always th’ same. The old guy’s left sitting on ‘is own while th’ kids run around.”
Lara greeted Charlie with a smile. “Those guys been back to the bar again?”
“Nah, Doogs is just a bit upset at being left behind while everyone else is off doing their thing.”
“So you’re ‘doing your thing?’ That’s a nice way to think of me.”
“You know what I meant.”
“Did you see those trucks earlier?”
“No. Heard about them, but I didn’t see any.”
“Doogs reckons they’re the new KC thirty-six hov-bikes.”
“They can’t be. The bikes don’t go on sale until next month.”
“Do you want to go find out? See if they are all they are said to be?”
“You are very sure of yourself, Charlie. What if we get caught?”
“Are you frightened?”
“Hmmm. I have a better idea – one that doesn’t run the risk of us being shot.”
“The question is… Will it still get the blood pumping?”
“You’re going to take me somewhere nice for a change.”
“Welcome to the Kitzmiller Museum. To ensure that your experience is as enjoyable as we can make it, there are various interactive displays and synthetic tour guides are available on request. If you have any questions or comments during your time in the museum please address any of the staff.”
Charlie peered up at the dinosaur, wondering why anyone would manufacture such an ugly and unproductive robot. The reptile continued its’ pre-programmed spiel.
“If you are in possession of a Museum Club card you can get a fifteen percent discount in the museum restaurant and the gift shop. Replicas of all the robots on display in the museum are now included in our special offers.”
“Is there a point Barney here, or is he just for show?”
“He’s fun. Jeez, you should lighten up.
A small boy walked past with his parents, eyeing up the dinosaur just in case it fancied a snack before whoever fed it took to their duties.
“It’s programmed to respond to certain vocal commands.”
“It’s a toy. It can’t think for itself. Under all those scales is a Turing collar just like every other robot in these kinds of places.”
“Every robot has a Turing collar.”
“Still. It doesn’t look like it is much fun.”
“You don’t believe me? Watch.”
Lara leaned into the dinosaur and whispered, “My, what big teeth you have.”
The dinosaur leaned back on its’ hind legs, opened its’ mouth and shook its’ head wildly as a roar emanated from a vocal processor somewhere deep inside the creature’s throat. Lara grinned wildly, bouncing on the spot, enthralled by the spectacle.
“All the better to eat you with,” The dinosaur finally spoke again.
“That… Was interesting.”
Charlie looked around, wondering what trinkets the Museum had on offer. Ignoring his obvious disappointment with the dinosaur, Lara dragged him into the main hallway, hoping that there would be something in the building that engaged him.
“C’mon, there’s lots of stuff you’ll like.”
“Yeah,” Charlie spotted a gold bracelet in a display case, “I’m sure there is.”