Author : Timothy Marshal-Nichols

“I haven’t time,” Ujala said, “where is it?”

She set the House Bot on the kitchen table and stared at it intently. It looked like a small upside down metallic tea cup, pure white and hovering millimetres above the perfectly smooth table surface.

“Come on. I have to get to work,” she pleaded. Ujala was already late, she was always late, and miserable job that it was she needed the credits.

Ujala was becoming more frustrated as the Bot remained stationary, watching and – was it grinning? If it was then it was extremely annoying.

As Ujala bent down to scrutinise the bot. Her long straight hair cascaded across the table. One of the Bot’s six antennas telescoped out and almost stroked her brown hair. Annoyed Ujala flicked it aside and the antenna slunk back into the Bot’s frame.

“Next time I’ll remove your power cell,” she said.

The Bot looked up at her forlornly. Why did they give these bots these evolving characters? When it had first been allocated to her it have been so docile, so compliant. Now it was becoming so mischievous and always wanting to play.

“Where’s the transport keycard?” she demanded. “I have to go. Please.”

The House Bot waggled its antenna and started to dance about on six mechanical legs. Its movement reminded Ujala of something – what was it? – something she had seen in the old days. It was like one of those dog type things when they wanted to play.

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