Author : Clint Wilson, Featured Writer

The eighteen foot tall robot stared down at the park worker in pleading disbelief.

Sam jabbed the giant’s leg with his broom, “Come on, off you go. You can’t stay here anymore!”

“But I don’t comprehend this request. My place is here in the park.”

Sam felt a lump rise in his throat. He didn’t like sending the big loveable lug out on his own into the great big world either, but he had no choice. “Okay that’s enough of that. You have to go now Pauly. I mean it, scoot!”

Reluctantly the massive animatron turned and shuffled his way out through the park gates. He turned back one last time and uttered one more useless plea, “Please Sam, you know my place is here.”

Sam stood wordlessly, leaning on his broom, tears welling in his eyes. He did not answer, but instead thought to himself, stupid fuckers, I can’t believe they won their case. That poor bastard was designed to entertain the folks here, programmed to love it as a matter of fact. His place isn’t out there with them.

But what could he do? The SAF (Society for Android Freedom) had in fact won their landmark case and, as the law dictated, were now able to enact Initiative 09. All animatrons, regardless of job or station, were to be immediately ‘set free’ to make their way in the world as each and every one of them saw fit.

Two hours later found the giant in a heavily populated urban district. He saw other animatrons wandering free but fearful through the streets. Some begged for money, work or lodgings, to which human passers-by were not always kind in response.

“You had your day in court metal mouth!”

Or pathetic poetic attempts like, “I hope you run out of power in an hour and rust away in the rain, silicone brain!” (Followed by drunken high fives from rambunctious pals.)

To the inexcusably insulting, “Oh what, you didn’t you think this through? Serves you right rotard!”

But what the majority of these humans didn’t seem to understand was that most droids, including Paul himself, had not wished for anything but to continue on with their well-thought-out preplanned lives. There was security there, purpose. Now a few radical humans with their far-fetched crazy ideas of enslavement and entrapment had ruined it for everyone.

Paul stopped suddenly in his size 38-triple-H tracks. There at the entrance to the alleyway stood a group of rough looking men. The largest of them, still far less than half of the android’s height, addressed him by his full name. “Hey Paul Bunyan. Where’s your big blue ox?”

Happy to find someone that knew him from his amusement park role Paul answered gladly. “Oh Babe was only holographic and never an actual animatron. Otherwise you would see him roaming these streets as well. Are you a fan of our stories? I’m afraid I don’t recognize you from the park.”

The tough grinned and looked from side to side at his henchmen, then back to the droid. “Relax fella, I was just making polite conversation. What I really want to do is… uh… help you get your new life together.”

“Really?” Paul asked in pleasant surprise. “That is quite welcome.”

“Yeah of course.” The man grinned again toward his cohorts then rose up on his toes and asked, “Say pal, you ever done any debt collecting before?”


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