September 4, 2008

They used to…pt 3b

Yes it's back, formatting issues and all. One day I'll figure out how to do one of those blog jumps (or blog-cuts, like lj-cuts :P). Not that they'll help because these parts will still be long as hell and weird lookin'.

Yay, next parts will definitely be picking up. Not shorter but picking up.

Huh, that's retarded. Why does scheduled publishing only work when it wants to? ~_~ I didn't mean to make this many posts in a day...oh well.



"Yes, I know! Alex this is so great!" Travis fairly squealed and balled his fists up in his glee.

"Yeah, great," Alex said softly. Antonio turned his head at the sound of Alex's voice.

"Voice recognition on," he said, his voice suddenly high-pitched and full of static. It returned to normal and he asked, "Who are you, sir?"

"I'm Alex, his friend."

Antonio closed his eyes for a moment then they shot open again. "I've stored you in my memory, Alex. Travis, if you don't mind I prefer Tonio."

"Right, right Tonio."

There was an awkward silence between the three men. Travis looked over at Alex nervously, who gave a helpless shrug. Antonio simply stood before them stoically, his eyes focused on the wall behind them and his body perfectly still. Alex swallowed and looked around the kitchen in panic.

"Uh…w-wow Travis you sure haven't dusted in a while. Tonio, why don't you help him?"

Antonio jerked as if electricity had jolted him to life. "I can do dusting."

"Great! Take the living room while you're at it. I think there's a Duster on the table or something."

Antonio marched into the living room and soon the soft sounds of the Duster sucking up debris were heard. Travis and Alex let out a simultaneous sigh of relief and collapsed into the two chairs around the table.

"That was rough. So, I can just tell him to do whatever I want huh?"

"Looks like it."

"This isn't at all like I thought it was gonna be…but I like it actually." Travis crossed his hands behind his head and let out another sigh. "No buttons to press or shit like that. I think I might have got you here Alex."

"How so?" Alex asked, taking off his gloves.

"He didn't seem very psycho to me at all. Very polite, actually."

Alex shot him a glance out the corner of his eye. "I said he would eventually go crazy, not now."

"Is not," Travis protested childishly. "He's gonna be fine. I think I might even have a new best friend—you've never dusted my house."

"Aw, fuck off," Alex grumbled and swatted at Travis. Antonio came back into the kitchen with the Duster and the two of them tensed up again.

"Living room all done?" Travis asked.

"All done. Doing the kitchen."

Antonio took to his task while Travis and Alex migrated towards the living room. Travis flopped on the couch and took up the whole space, leaving Alex to sit cross legged on the floor. He reached up to press the power button on the mounted lead crystal TV and immediately the evening news began flashing on the screen.

"Turn that off," Travis groaned. Alex grinned and obliged them, flicking through channels until he settled on cartoons.

"Better?" he asked.

"Much!" Travis sank deeper into his couch and Alex leaned back on his arms. The two of them howled and hooted and mocked the cartoons, drowning out the noise of Antonio's cleaning. Half an hour later the robot entered the living room and went unnoticed for another five minutes until he politely cleared his throat. Travis saw him first and did a double-take; he'd nearly forgotten his new prized possession.

"Kitchen's done," Antonio stated. "Dusted, cleaned the refrigerator."

"Oh! That's great Tonio! Man, when was the last time I cleaned that thing?"

"When was the last time we had Titan slug pizza?" Alex countered.

"Right…oh wow." Travis scratched his bald head and giggled. "Daaamn…"

"Anything else to do, sir?"

Travis looked over at Alex again but Alex didn't turn around; so he looked back over at Antonio and shook his head. Antonio gave a curt bow and backed away to the kitchen obediently.

Suddenly, Travis snapped his fingers and shouted, "Wait, I'll show you where you'll be sleeping!"

He hopped off the couch and led Antonio down the short hallway to the guest room across from Travis's own. Alex cringed; he knew that room well from the two or three nights he'd spent in it. It was small and painted a soft baby blue, with thick itchy blankets on the floor substituting as a bed and one large window that was great in the summer but horrible in the winter. The floor was hard and the carpeting had all the softness of a porcupodge. Not that a robot needed to sleep comfortably, if he needed to even sleep at all—recharge perhaps would be the better term. Still, Alex felt guilty about Antonio having such a Spartan room even though the rest of the house wasn't any more posh.

Travis opened the door to the guest room and ushered his robot inside. Antonio took a couple of glances around the room; it would be sufficient for his system to rest, but not much else. He sat cross-legged on his makeshift bed and dropped his hands between his knees, glancing out the window. Outside it was finally darkening in Tauri, the unseen sun casting a thin golden sheet across the sky, piercing and winding through the scattered cirrus clouds and casting deep shadows on the streets. The families of Tauri would all be at home, perhaps eating dinner or enjoying family time before turning into bed. Out the corner of his eye, Antonio glanced at his bachelor owner and gave a brief glower before his programming corrected his face with a sharp spark in his brain. He winced but Travis hadn't noticed; in fact, he was still standing in the door way dumb with joy, a gleeful smile stretching his face. Antonio wanted to roll his eyes but wasn't sure why or if he even remembered how, due to the Obedience chip planted in his body.

"I hope this is alright," Travis said finally. "It's all I've got."

"This is fine," Antonio said. The room went silent again, then Travis decided it best to leave his robot to his business. He gently shut the door and went back to the living room to see Alex preparing to leave.

"Goin' so soon? The fun's just started!" he whined.

"I think I've seen all my fun," Alex said. He pulled his gloves on with a loud snap. He looked in the general direction of Antonio's room and the corners of his mouth sagged. "Catch ya later, right?"

Travis nodded and watched Alex leave, only going back inside when the other man disappeared on the transport pad. He sighed and went back into his darkening home, turned on the living room light, and went to his newly cleaned fridge for some dinner.


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