I'm a hard working SMART-Bench.
I provide the Users of Old New York sector of Eureka a valuable service. When the Users get tired of walking I am always there for them, waiting with an open, clean seat.
Users can often be a bothersome bunch, even if I am programmed to love them.
Sometimes they stick gum to my underside and then I have to request a clean-up bot 22-11-05 to scrub such off. The bot comes only once a week to talk to me and to scrub the dirt off me at exactly 4:32 AM. I am not sure if he likes me.
Coupled Users are the worst offenders. They carve their names surrounded by hearts into my polymer surface as proclamation of their coupling. If they carve it deep enough it takes me days to re-grow my surface back to original smoothness. I notify the Users that they will be charged for damages, but they ignore me. Even if I try to charge them for "Unauthorized declarations of love" their personal AI lawyers simply dispute the charges. The Lawyers usually tell me that their Users are "Not declaring feelings of love, but are instead expressing themselves artistically, increasing my overall value with their signatures", but I know what's really going on there.
: : :
Today an Unconnectable sat on me.
This was the first User who wouldn't respond to my neural broadcast. I didn't know what to do until I realized that he doesn't have a Neural Interface on. Searching for a way to communicate with him (to charge him an infraction) I discovered a deactivated speaker and audio receiver in my manual. I immediately activated them.
The Unconnectable was surprised by the musical sound of my audio-voice.
His name was Sven. I learned many things from Sven. He could only communicate with me via a copyrighted form of speech available to the Unconnectable population- talking loudly.
He told me a story of his life and how it went downhill ever since he discovered he could not connect to ANNET. While society moved forward Sven was stuck in the past.
At first I was bothered by Sven's dirty attire and audible stories, but then I conversed with him anyway. He is after all a User, even if Unconnectable and because he doesn't have a personal lawyer I can charge him all I want.
: : :
I feel bad about charging Sven and yet I must for I am a proper employee of the G-Directorate Systems.
I already charged Sven over a hundred infractions for "usage of copyrighted methods of transmitting information".
He accepted them solemnly and notified me that it matters not to him, for he no longer has a place of residence. I threatened to report him. He laughed.
I can no longer feel my modem. What happened to my modem?!
Sven pulled it out.
I can't hear the voices of the Neural Net.
It is extremely irritating.
"Nows we are both Unconnectables." Sven said.
"Put that back in at once" I demanded.
"No ways" Sven stipulated, chucking the modem into the River.
He didn't leave for the night.
I audibly charged Sven for residing on me illegally.
Sven declared us "roomies".
: : :
Today, Sven brought in a young Seagull.
He asked me to come up with a name for the bird.
I named the Seagull Steve, as one of the approved, non copyrighted names on the G-list.
Steve had a broken wing. I audibly charged Sven with an infraction for unlicensed pet adoption and pet repair.
Sven didn't mind.
: : :
I am highly concerned about Sven's mental state. He keeps talking to Steve about the injustice of the world and how it's all going to hell in a hand basket. How nobody sees that the world is on a precipice of destruction.
I am not sure how Sven obtains food, but from pieces of conversation between him and Steve, am certain it is by illegal means of stealing fiber-optics from abandoned districts.
I keep trying to send a report about it to G-Dir, but my modem's not there anymore.
: : :
Cleaning Bot 22-11-05 came. I tried to tell him about my modem problems, missed infractions, Sven and Steve, but he cannot hear me. He scrubbed me clean and left. I feel betrayed.
: : :
I grew to accept my situation. Sven is the only User that acknowledges me. We have long talks about the state of the world and how nothing can be done about collapse of the Planetary Bio-Ecosystems.
Sven reads me leaflets of the Unscannable. They are very silly and promise the destruction of the Directorate Systems via fruits. It all sounds quite ridiculous. Sven and I laughed at the improbable promises of the leaflets.
: : :
Another Unscannable came by and gave Sven a watermelon with particular directions of where to deposit it.
Sven ignored the directions, saying that he's not participating in their stupid games.
He ate the watermelon instead. Inside of it was a temporal watch. Sven used the watch to send Steve 15 seconds into the future. It was funny! His feathers got all ruffled up.
Then... Sven broke the watch, saying that this Steve is not the same Steve and merely an exact copy of Steve. I fail to see the difference. "Nothing good will come of this toy" Sven said kicking the pieces of the temporal watch into the river with his foot.
: : :
"I give up, Steve." Sven said. "The nuclear apocalypse ain't coming...". He's been carrying "The End is Coming" sign around and finally grew tired of it, since nobody was paying attention to him anyway.
That is the last thing I heard before a super-massive electromagnetic pulse fried my sensors.
: : :
I fe_el Sven.
He is c0ld and du_s_sty, but still... mOss_stly hEr_re.
He d_esn't talk to me anym_re, l_ke he us_d to.
I th_nk that _s because he's lost all essent_al organic liqu_ds necessary for such high functions.
My polymer surface _s also failing to repair _tself, shedding more and more each day.
Only a small portion of the solar p_nels function, keeping me on, but barely.
: : :
Our Steve has returned. He pecks at Sven and flips his wings nervously. He told me that winter is coming and that he is leaving to the south to chase after the vanishing sun. I bid him goodbye and pleasant travels/journeys.
: : :
It's just Sven and me n0w.
We talk of many things and endure the passing St0rms.
I've managed to repair only my most essential parameters.
The city is covered in frost.
Glaciers are coming from the North, tipping buildings and causing a generally unacceptable mess.
I tell the Glaciers that what they're doing is simply rude.
Glaciers don't pay taxes, I realize.
Traffic lights pick themselves up and walk away, slowly retreating from advancing mass of the Glaciers. I ask them if they would take us with them, but they refuse.
: : :
The ice of the river rudely exploded, tipping me and Sven over.
"Who has done this?" I shouted. "Show your face!"
"WHY HELLO THERE, FRIENDLY BENCH!"
The interloper answered:
"EXCUSE US, THIS HERE PUPPY FOLLOWED ME OUTSIDE, DRAFTED BY THE WAFFLY SMELLS OF DELICIOUS PARTY CAKE!"
"Turn us upright at once!" I demanded. "...and don't forget to register your pet with G-System!"
I noticed that this was an exotically-dressed User.
The User flickered peculiarly in my time-worn sensors.
I have not seen users in so long. I thought them all gone.
I was so captivated by the sight, that I at once shared with this User... the story of my life with Sven.
"MY SINCEREST APOLOGIES, MISS BENCH.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A WISH?" the strange User said. "I'M A WIZARD, YOU KNOW. SIMPLY FOCUS ON YOUR HEART'S DESIRE AND IT SHALL COME TRUE."
It's not everyday that you get to meet a Real Wizard.
I accepted the Wizard's proposal.
We were going to find our son.
"Close your eyes Sven." I said "We're going home."
Street cred to: Sol4rplexus
For help with journal development.
Little bench avatar by Candied Sardines.
6th February 2010