I am Robot #1912. I have been designated the task of finding the old telecommunication suite within bunker area 9. This area of the bunker is noticeably underutilised, deemed derelict by the Administrator.
Walking through the corridors my visual scans are detecting large amounts of dust, hamster droppings and in one case, what appeared to be some form of meat product partially wrapped in baked yeast/flour compound and coated in flavour enhancement compounds YellowSauce and RedSauce.
The map I had of the area was somewhat outdated. It was rapidly apparent that some tunnels had collapsed due to lack of maintenance in recent years. Picking my way through the rubble I started seeing more wiring across the walls. This was in multiple colours. Deep scan showed copper wiring composition. I was on the right track. I followed the trunk line until I came to the switchboard room.
The switchboard was an ancient creaking piece of technology. All manually switched wires, vacuum tubes and long rusted robot operators. I expressed a pang of sadness for my colleagues, secreting several drops of lubricant from each eye and playing the required audio files.
“Wah. Wah. Wah. How very sad.”
Having completed my sorrow and mourning subroutines, I moved forward and attempted to engage telecommunications network. The main board lit up, lights and vacuum tubes coming to life.
Having succeeded in the first of my objectives, I broadcast my progress back to base and proceeded to investigate further.
Once I had passed the operator pool I was moving into the depths of the old communications suite. There were enormous machines filled with spools of tape.
One specimen had its tape broken off on one end and rotating clockwise, the frayed end flipping past the spool over and over again. The room was high ceilinged and filled with these machines along each wall. At the end of the room was another door, marked “HOLD”. I approached the door and held the handle for 360 seconds.
Having deliberated that HOLD was the room’s designation and not an instruction, I entered. The room was a large classical ballroom, the dance floor filled with old fashioned microphones pointed towards a stage at the front. On the stage a series of robots stood, clad in ice cream white tail suits and brandishing musical instruments.
They played a strained version of “Green sleeves”. My auditory sensors were “horrified” at the sound. Apparently these robots had not been serviced for a very long time.
I approached the stage to attempt communication. The leader of the robot band turned to me and loudly said
“The Army of Toy Soldiers thanks you for your call!”
The band began playing again. This time an old Beatles number.
The band master shouted at the empty room,
“Please Hold! Your call is deeply important to us!”
I had to conclude they would be here forever. So next time we put you on hold, remember: Your call is deeply important to us….
This story first appeared on Gonzo Enterprises