“Moses, can you bring me the number 3 torsion wrench?”
My primary servitor droid spun up his fans and rose into my eyeline with the gleaming wrench held in a plastic gripper.
“Thanks buddy,” I said as he gave me the tool.
I think of him as male even though the little drone is just a rough sphere surrounded with fans and manipulators. Even though I gave him a face on one side by painting lines between some of his visible sensors nothing else really screams “male” at least on the outside. However he’s a cranky little shit with a fragile ego so it’s not much of a stretch.
I turned one last connector before I closed the contact plate, disentangled my friction restraints, and pushed myself into the open space in the middle of the maintenance room. Locked onto my workbench was the segmented body of a Crab Bot, a long droid with a wide middle that holds 137 different spoke “claws” that each end with a different tool. They really look like crabs if you welded a few cluster thrusters to their shells and made them out of titanium plating.
According to my work order this particular Crab had been found floating dead in space a few kilometers away from the Crow’s Nest. The poor thing had been pretty heavily damaged and I entered “asteroid collision” in my log as the cause.
If I only knew then what I know now right?
“Okay Chuck, you don’t mind if I call you Chuck right?” I asked the Crab as I booted up its internal systems. I name all the droids that come through my shop. Don’t look at me like that, it’s perfectly healthy!
“Diagnostics are checking out...why are you sucking up so much power?” The Crab was pulling an extra 2% over specs after the repair work. “Sorry for the shit components. You be careful okay? I’m adjusting your charge schedule so you won’t run out of juice at a bad time but keep in mind that you’ll need to recharge more frequently.”
I hit a few commands on my tablet and added him to the queue, “I should have a new shipment of replacement parts in a couple weeks so I’ve scheduled you for a checkup around then. You should be able to function fine in the meantime. If you have any unexpected drains come in immediately, your supervisor program has been alerted.”
I issued a command through my tablet and released the workbench locks. Chuck started to float free. It had a pair of camera stalks on its front about the same place a normal Crab would and they spun through a standard orientation routine. I could hear the tiny ducted fans inside its body spin up as Chuck leveled off. It looked at me for a few seconds before it issued a beep and flew lazily out of my shop.
I watched it go but the look left me a bit unnerved. It felt like it was judging me. I know, I know, servitor droids can’t actually do that. Not really.
About that time I got an alert over my tablet about a malfunctioning Shaft and Sprocket pleasure bot. I read over the work order a couple of times without really believing it. The bot was refusing commands and shut down when the owner had tried a manual reboot.
I slung my standard repair kit over my shoulder as I pushed off the wall and grabbed my nose plugs as I left the shop. The sex club was one of the rankest places in the whole station when it came to human stink and I knew from experience that I’d be a wreck without my plugs.