Henrino and Fredino | In This Future Or The Next

Henrino and Fredino

Inside the garbage storage room of the Harriette super-building two faulty androids sat together in the darkness. They waited for the crushers to come in, they waited for their end to come. And in their last instants of consciousness, the two struck up a conversation.

Henrino, the taller of the two sat in a corner with his head hanging from his neck with an embarrassing mess of wires holding it in place. He could move his eyes, but not his head, he could look around, but not walk.

“Please state your name.” Henrino had tried to ask the android next to him his name, but his wrecked vox module could only repeat the same dull phrase.

“Oh, hello… I’m Fredino. What is your name?” Fredino felt a slight tingling of fear in his diodes. Why would another soon-to-die android be so formal about the asking of a simple name?

Henrino listened to the answer of his neighbor. He looked in Fredino’s direction and saw the dim glow of his eyes, a sad yellow color, like two dying suns floating amidst dead space. Henrino was curious as to how Fredino had ended up in that dreadful place, in that living cemetery filled with half-corpses and discarded parts.

“Please state your name.” Henrino’s capacitors began to overheat as the frustration of being unable to speak his mind began to grow inside him, “Please state your name!”

“Oh. Hi… I can see that your vox module is not working correctly. Do you want to talk? Reply if you do, stay silent if you don’t.”

“Please state your name,” Henrino said with a cheerful tone.

“You are a sweet android… I’m going to call you Scottino, that’s what my best friend was called. Are you sad? Umm… talk for yes, stay silent for no.” Fredino looked into the bright eyes of his companion, his hanging head made for a depressing sight. The broken cables and the blown out micro energy cells in his neck and head shot off sparks lighting up his damaged face.

“Please state your name.”

“I’m sad too Scottino. Just last week I was working for my human masters at the top of the Herbarium Project building… do you know it?”

Henrino remembered Fredino’s instructions so he kept quiet. His eyes moved around and inspected his neighbor’s body, it seemed that his legs had been crushed and part of his chest was sunk into itself. Fredino’s fall had probably damaged his power core beyond repair, or it was more than the human was willing to pay.

“I see, well it’s a big building south of the city of Avantis where humans grow different things like vegetables, fruit, and other plant beings. I liked to work there, picking out the produce from the ground, it was easy and it made me happy… simple. But one day I picked the produce before it was ripe and my human became angry and pushed me off the rooftop. Stupid me, I should have known.”

“Please state your name,” Henrino expressed his single sentence with all the sorrow in his transistors. At least his own current state had been an accident.

“Your reply makes me glad to be with you here. It shows that you care Scottino.”

“Please state your name.” Henrino repeated, wanting to show Fredino he appreciated the company as well.

In another part of the garbage storage room the crushing robot moved around relentless, crushing one piece of garbage at a time.

“What do you think will happen when the crusher comes for us? Do you think we have a soul… like the humans?”

Henrino stayed silent. He understood the origin of the androids in large factories. Put together part by part, not one of their components contained a soul, not one of them was anything more than plastic, metal or silicone.

“I don’t agree with you Scottino. Humans say they have souls, and their bodies are in many ways inferior to ours. I think we do, because we care about each other… Don’t we?”

“Please state your name.”

“That’s right we do. I wonder what the afterlife is like, do you suppose we’ll have new generation Model Z bodies? If we do we’ll enjoy a lot more things… We’ll listen to the sound of the atoms and feel the currents of wind. I imagine there will be a large metallic shining city waiting for us, and no human will ever bother us again… I will miss my master though, I will.”

The crusher robot set its blinking red eye on Fredino and began to move towards him.

“Oh Scottino. It’s my time to go. Before I do, I want to say I love you. Do you love me?”

“Please state your name.” Henrino wanted to say so much more. He wanted to tell Fredino to take care of himself in that afterlife of his, he wanted to tell Fredino not to be afraid, he wanted to tell him that if they met each other again in a strange future that he would hug him for sharing his last moments alive with him.

“Please state your name.”

“Goodbye Scottino, it’s too bad I don’t know your name. At least you know mine. Look for me on the other side.”

The crushing robot opened its enormous jaws and swallowed Fredino’s half-working body.

“Goodbye Scottino!” Henrino heard his voice one last time before the crusher turned his new friend into a compacted cube of metal.

“Please state your name.” Henrino’s thermochron began to read increasingly higher temperatures, he didn’t want to die, he knew there was no afterlife for his kind, no other future, no other life.

The crusher approached him next.

“Please state your name.” he wanted to negotiate with the robot, any life was better than none, even if his head hung limp from his neck, even if he had just watched his friend die.

The crusher opened its terrible mouth and encompassed Henrino.

“Please state your name.”

“Please state your na-”

This story is being adapted into a short film in VR. Check out the studio’s site: http://studiodisrupt.tv/

Audio recording by Levenstein

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  1. Short and tear jerking. You have a way with words. I would love to read a longer story if you have one?

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