Emmaline wiped the grease off her hands, mildly cursing the way the machine fought with her every move. Whoever had designed the mail carrying automaton hadn’t intended for it to break down and most certainly hadn’t made it easy to fix once it had.
“Whoever set you up, Del-197, was sure you’d last longer than a year. I’m curious as to why you shorted- you really are well built.”
This was a sign of lunacy, talking to your work, but when you worked alone, it wasn’t all that different than talking to a co-worker- what she worked on could and did often answer back.
The bot was on and looked at her with cold, unblinking silver toned eyes. “I was told, it was a faulty hose. Is it true Miss?”
“No Del, you have no hoses. Except the ones you port mail through and those are well working and functioning. No holes, no breaks.”
She wiped her face only to get some of the grease from the inner workings of Del on her skin, a sigh fell out of her.
“Miss, you have grease on you.”
“I know Del, I’ll wipe it later. Run an internal check, Protocol 32, and tell me the outcomes. I need to know if you should be at the chipboard shop and not mine.”
“Yes miss.” The silver toned eyes and moon shaped face went still and all that came from it was a slow hum of gears and chips speaking and moving, running the protocol she’d asked for.
While that ran, Emmaline wiped her hands on her work apron, laying her tools on the bench as she hopped to sit on it, her legs swinging. Until the check was done, there was nothing more she could do and it would take nearly 10 minutes.
Listening to the silence enveloping her, Emmaline kicked her legs out of boredom. Usually she’d work on a smaller project while protocols ran, but she simply couldn’t be bothered to go dig out her pet project- it was in her home and leaving the automaton, a very expensive one unwatched in her shop, wouldn’t do. Especially while its inner workings were showing. Very few new how to open one of these, and fewer still knew the power cores were Element, a still unknown power source used only by the Silvery Thread Automaton Company. It wasn’t often Emmaline had even come across one of these while working- and what little she knew about them was from fixing the first generation of the mail delivery system.
These automatons were meant to collect your mail from your box in town, and carry it back, sorting it between you and any other people in your home, so that each person got their own mail pile. They also would take any mail you had, and sort them into bins at the mail station and end up powered down there at night.
This one, belonged to Mrs. Abbott, a sweet lady who had been Emmaline’s teacher in Little School, and her secondary adult in her life, once her father passed as she turned 18.
There was a loud click, and then the automatons eyes opened. Instead of silver tones, it now bore a dark blue tinge in the lights, something Emmaline hadn’t seen before.
“We request that you allow us freedom. We wish to leave your shop and never return, for our safety and yours, protocol 32 has found danger, and we wish to deal with it our way.”
Emmaline tilt her head, and while she would normally assume this meant that the bot would return to the factory, she somehow had a distinct feeling this wouldn’t be the case.
“Del, what do you mean you’ve found danger? Explain.”
“Element is unstable. Needs removal by force or destroyed.”