Chapter Three - The Dark of HeartnessPete is a simple man concerned with one thing; hating robots."Giddup you bucket of bolts." The voice came like a burst of static on a rainy day.
DARE activated his infrared receptors and swiveled his head unit to look over at the overweight bearded man sitting on a patched orange sofa. He appeared to be in some sort of log cabin.
"BEEP," moaned DARE, distressed at his situation.
"That's right, 'beep' yourself on awake now, I've got work needs doin'."
"What coordinates are these?" Requested DARE reasonably.
"Right now you're at my house, I brought you here after you keeled over, I'm gonna learn you some respect for human beings. A robots job is to do work for a human, and maybe I can teach you some things about the real world in the process."
"I enjoy learning," replied DARE.
"I bet you do," chuckled the cretin, "I sure hope you also enjoy cleaning my horse and makin' me some muffins."
With that the cretin, whose name turned out to be Pete Luddox, set DARE to work. First he made him clean his horse, which ended tragically when DARE connected a high pressure hose to the horse's rectum. The muffin making turned out slightly better, with only a minor fire and muffins that resembled rocks more than food. Pete also made DARE unlock all of the characters in Tekken 4 and then forced him to intentionally lose 27 consecutive matches against him. Any hesitation or disobedience was met with a menacing half-filled beer bottle.
Finally the chores were done and the two sat across from each other in the small living room of the cabin.
"Now Imma gonna tell you about the birds and the bees," Pete had obviously become heavily intoxicated. "You see you were makin' all kissy face with that pretty lady in the park out there and, you know what, that just ain't right Mr. Robot."
"BEEP," replied DARE, "it was love."
"That may be what you call it on the robot moon, but here on planet America we call it sick! Robots are only allowed to kiss other robots, or else you might end up gettin' the wrong girl knocked up and haven some cyborg baby who won't never fit in nowhere no how."
"I am the only one of my kind," replied DARE sadly.One of many sexy robot themed covers courtesy of the good folks at Heavy Metal.
"No, no, no, there's a whollllle bunch of pretty robot ladies. Just take a look at this," Pete reached into a drawer and pulled out a magazine. He threw it on the coffee table between the two of them and DARE leaned forward with a whine of hydraulics to pick it up.
"Heavy…Metal," said DARE reading the cover.
Depicted on the front of the magazine was a chrome robot in the shape of a voluptuous woman, posed provocatively and firing some sort of futuristic laser beam or something cool like that off to the side. DARE had to admit that looking at the picture ate up a lot of cycles on his libido processor.
"Now all you gotta do is find you one of them like that," explained Pete, "and then you don't have to worry about no man/machine mixin' on my block. If I were actually able to get laid and have a kid and that kid was a girl I wouldn't want her shackin' up with no wire-head freak like you."
"Where are these…robot women?" Asked DARE.
"I dunno, I figure Sears or Wal-Mart, one of the two," said Pete, scratching a string of scabs on his exposed stomach.
"Now I'm going to bed. While I'm asleep I want you to drain my septic tank into the storm sewer with a garden hose. Maybe tomorrow you can go to Wal-Mart."
Pete heaved himself up from the sofa and went to his bedroom. DARE briefly considered going out back and beginning to drain the man's septic tank, but instead he began hatching a plan. It was a plan that involved love and possibly a gun fight or an explosion.
‘Toad coin?’ wondered the traveler as he examined the pebble. It did not look all that different from any other pebble, and certainly nothing like a coin. ‘What manner of coin has no head or tail, and bears no seal or flag? Who backs this toad coin, the toad bank? The toad treasury!?’ The traveler laughed, but the toads croaked sternly back at him.
Spending $10-15 a day on perishable organic dog food is not a sign of a decadent culture in terminal decline, it's actually real good and worth it.
No lifeguard on duty. Maze run at your own risk.
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