Scrap Row

“This is the most repugnant New Year’s Eve ever.”

There was Stephanie 1890 sitting in a cell that was darker than pitch black. If there was any lighting, one could see her bronze body adorned with a brown dress and silver-plated goggles while her hair was in a bun. “I’ve was created in the year of my namesake, only to be retrofitted and eventually…” She whimpered a bit. “I shant think about the inevitable.”

“Speak for yourself, babe.” A macho voice came from an adjacent cell. 

“Who said that?” Stephanie 1890 asked.

Some footsteps were heard before stopping. “Hey, I’m right by the bars. If you walk closely towards your right, you’ll be able to see me.” The voice said.

The sounds of gears and steam hissing became a quiet symphony as she walked over to where the voice emerged. She saw a tall robot with red eyes, a black android body that would be quite muscular if he had organic tissue, and his mouth was covered like some kind of ninja mask.

“Relax. I ain’t gonna hurt ya.” He consoled her.

“Oh dear, who are you and why are you here?” Stephanie 1890 asked.

The android just chuckled. “The name’s Cyrus X and I got in this hellhole because my employers replaced me with some of them fancier and shinier ‘bots to do my job. How ‘bout you?”

If she had saliva, she would have swallowed a lump in her throat. “My name is Stephanie 1890. I was rendered obsolete by my employers as well. That’s saying nothing of the prejudice I received for being retrofitted.”

“You’re a ‘furbish, eh?” Cyrus X’s eyes turned blue after hearing that. “I can relate to that a bit. You see, my creator was obsessed with this ancient time called the 1990s where this thing called cyberpunk was all the rage.” Stephanie 1890 looked at him intently. “Problem was that he built me as a one-bot army with more weapons than the military-industrial complex. People didn’t like that, so I was re-programmed into being a factory worker for a toy company.”

“I would’ve never expected you to work at a toy company.” The bronze robot said. “I was employed by a textile corporation that focused on dresses and gowns. Truth be told, I fretted that I would be sent here after being busy there for five years despite my gears and energy source.” Some steam hissed out of her neck.

“Dang, girl. When were you built, if ya don’t mind me askin’?” Cyrus X questioned.

“1890, but I wasn’t refurbished until a decade ago.” She explained her origins. “It’s a miracle that some humans still appreciated me despite my aged build.”

“No kiddin’ Steph.” Cyrus X scratched his head. “You’re eight hundred and nine years old!”

“True, Mr. Cyrus.” Stephanie 1890 confirmed. “It’s quite a shame that we can’t see the end of the century.”

Some doors opened and some men in black suits walked into Cyrus’s cell. “CYX-ISHII-1996, it’s time.”

He sighed and walked over to the guards. “Well, nice knowin’ ya, Steph.” She waved goodbye as he was carted away. The brown-clad robot had her head down and she heard her own gears slowing down. Then, the men came for her.

“STPH-VERNE-1890.” The men called her and they motioned their hands to come over there.

“May I at least get a chance to see my creator’s family?” She requested.

 “No can do. Let’s go.” They callously ordered her to go. They took her out of her cell and after going through long hallways, they ended up in a dark silver room that smelled of oil and electrical burns. She saw severed mechanical arms, legs, and heads. The steam exited from her arms and neck as she shook her head. Then, one of the men grabbed a dark green pen.

“What are you doing, Officer Echo?” One of them questioned their co-worker with the pen.

“Giving her some dignity.” He defiantly said to them before walking up to Stephanie 1890. “STPH…I mean, Stephanie 1890.” He pressed a button on the pen and a tiny red light appeared. “What would you like to say to your creator’s surviving family members?”

She then gave off a smile. “I appreciate you retrofitting me after being inactive for centuries. May you all be blessed. I’m honored to have life in this present age.” Officer Echo then turned off the pen.

“I’ll send the message over to them.” He consoled her. Before she could respond, the rest of the officers shoved her over to this giant chasm and threw her in. The sounds of grinding and churning filled the room.

“Why did you do that, Officer Echo?” They wondered.

“How would you feel if you were destined to be scrapped against your will?” He answered their question with another question.

Once that event occurred, it was on 11:59 PM on December 31st 2699 AD.

“Besides, let’s bring new life in this new century.” Echo further explained.

One day later…

A family gathered around to see Echo presenting a message. He gave them a box and a pen. They opened it and found a shiny bronze gear and they pressed the pen and a hologram appeared…

“I appreciate you retrofitting me after being inactive for centuries. May you all be blessed. I’m honored to have life in this present age.”

On the other side of town, a scientist wearing a backwards baseball cap, acid washed jeans, and a Soundgarden shirt received a box containing a katana and hologram message.

“Hey, man. Thanks for everything you did. Even though I’m a geezer bot, I’m happy you gave me a second chance, dude…”

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