NaNoWriMo: Death In The Family
Doogs stood from his stool and staggered to the bar, his head swimming.
“Don’ feel so good.” He struggled with the words.
Talos remained occupied with his increasingly complex array of monitors, panels and streaming connections in the back room, where he had been busy for more than a week, and the boy had yet to return from a date. Doogs reached for the comm near the bottle of scotch he had liberated earlier in the day, but his fingers numbly hit the wooden counter short of his target. A pain lurched in his stomach, his mind reeling at the possibility that salvation could lie so close yet be so far from his grasp. Fingers stretched on the wood counter, Doogs fell to his knees, wondering if someone would find him, and he suddenly felt so very tired…
Charlie slipped into the bar, carefully watching the street behind to make sure that he had managed to evade the Kings. After he shut the door, slowly and carefully, he turned… And found Doogs.
“Talos.” Charlie stepped into the robot’s room.
“What is the matter?”
“Doogs is dead.”
“Indeed. He perished two hours and thirty minutes ago.”
“You knew he was in trouble?”
“Affirmative. My sensors recorded the events. If you wish to review the-”
“And you– You did nothing? You stayed in here with… With…” Charlie swung out at the monitors, toppling over the screen, a stack of hard drives, and a mini beacon. “All this shit, it’s more important to you than people? Why the hell didn’t you help him?”
“There was nothing that could have been done for Mr. Doogs.”
“You could have tried. You could have done something.”
“I was in the middle of important research. To waste time-”
“Waste time? I don’t know you any more.”
Charlie stormed out of the room, leaving Talos to resume his search of the incoming streams that had so captivated him whilst Doogs lay dying in the next room.
The waterfront was too quiet for Charlie to completely relax, and the sound of the wind blowing over him and waves crashing against wood grated on his nerves. Too many years spent listening to the sound of Talos’ machines running constantly in the background changed the way Charlie looked at the world. Nature was the intruder in the city, not the technology which provided so much for the inhabitants. As hard as it was for him to admit, he envied Talos’ clinical detachment from the rest of the universe. Emotions were painful, and Talos had managed to suspend any feelings he once showed to Charlie as a boy.