I don’t know how automaton cashiers even work anymore. All I do is try to figure out why they don’t work and chase it in circles. I just agreed to install them this week even though they even work just so i can get them out of my shop. Lucky for me they just have the front of a store now so I have some time to get them to work right.”
“Psh! you think that's bad, The only place you can get speakers for radios now is EVERYTHING. They went and ate all the little speaker guys so now they sell all the speakers. Their speakers are cheap because they are made cheap, they all sound like the telephone operator talking to you through a vacuum cleaner hose.”
“Aye! You think that's bad?” Coveralls guy elbowed the automaton in the scanner and in its telephone operator vacuum hose voice squawked “UNAUTHORISED ITEM DETECTED! “ it was pointing and gesticulating at the top of the elevator where the girls were hidden “REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE FOR ASSISTANCE OF THE STORE TROOPERS”
The elevator stopped and Boomboxes guy opened it to a woman with glasses and a hand cart with four boxes of refractory cement waiting to get on. “Robot cashier?” she hissed, “ I hate those things, what's next? Robot barber?”
The automaton had shifted its attention to the new comer. “REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE FOR” coveralls shut it off again.
“Lady, those have actually existed for the past few years. We make Robots that cut yer hairs at the automatons place up on seven ‘n’ eight.”
“No way, it would keep sticking scissors in my eyes and do my bangs all wrong.”
“As an Automatonist I find your naivety amusing, they have precision sensors and feedback loops.”
“Automatons can't do bangs! Half of most people can’t even do bangs! If ROBOBARB didn't wind up shoving the scissors in my brain the best that would happen is it would cut my hair bad looking like frankenstein”
“Yo! You think that's bad?” piped up the boomboxes guy. “You wanna see a real bad hair cut scar? lookit this”
Boombox bent down and pointed at a spot on the back of his neck.
“Whoa! Now I think that is really really bad!” exclaimed refractory cement. “Was it a human or robot that did that?”
“Yeh, You’d sure think that but what if I told you it was neither? ”
An electric bell on Princess and Penumbra’s platform started ringing signalling that the proper elevator passengers were hogging the elevator. Automaton parts and Boomboxes started to focus themselves on unloading their stuff faster while cement stepped aside and checked her phone.
“We should prolly get off this thing while it's staying put for a sec.” said Penumbra.”c’mon!”
Princess followed her off into a sort of half floor between floors stuffed with desks and swivel chairs in various states of brokenness. Not far away the floor dropped down so the space was bigger and they were in a tunnel that ran next to a larger more important tunnel. Every so often there was a rectangular hole in the wall to reveal a small gauge train rack.
“Well now, the snack vendors don't start throwing out free snacks for another few hours, so do you wanna hang out in the walls of rock and roll diner perhaps? Alternately I know a certain auto showroom where we can just chill in some brand new luxury cars and listen to tunes, they have very adjustable seats. Or perhaps if you're hungry we can go grab people's room service at the Travel Holiday Resort Hotel if we’re not too late?”
“I want to see the Design and Society Institute.” Said Princess with a certainty and urgency that threw Penumbra for a loop.
“What? How can you want to go to the most filled in nailed shut and sealed off place in town?
Coming sooner than you know !
Might even actually already be here!
#magicalgirl #missmatchedbuddy #secretpassage