A poorly-lit room containing 3 medical examination tables. Each table has a body that is covered with a sheet. A boy, 15 years old, stands at a work bench in the back of the room. It is covered with electronic gadgets and tools. His dark hair is shaggy, unkempt. He looks like he hasn’t slept in a few days. He wears ill-fitting clothes covered in dirt and grease. He is JAKE. Behind Jake, a door opens. A heavy set man wheels in a gurney with a woman on it. He is FAT MAN. The body on the gurney lays face down.
Fat man: Jake! Hurry up! This one’s got an appointment in an hour and the inspector’s gonna be here soon.
Jake looks over. He walks to the body and turns it over. The woman’s eyes are closed, her skin is bruised. A small trace of blood comes from her lips. The boy grits his teeth and covers her with a sheet.
The door opens again. Fat man appears.
Fat man: Here you are, Inspector.
A slim man wearing thin, dark rimmed glasses steps through the door frame.
Fat man: Anything you need to know, Jake’s your man.
The inspector looks at Jake.
Inspector: He looks a little young to be working here. Let me see your card, kid.
Fat man says nothing, but glares at Jake when the Inspector’s back is turned. Jake gives the inspector his card. The inspector bends the card in half and an array of information on a holographic display pops up.
Inspector: When’s your birthday?
Jake: July 22.
Inspector: What year?
Inspector: Where were you born?
Inspector: What town?
Jake: This town.
The inspector hands Jake his ID back and removes a small wand from his bag.
Fat man: I’ll be tending my shop if you need me, inspector.
Fat man leaves, grinning.
Inspector removes the sheet from one of the bodies. Jake looks away. The inspector, showing no emotion, waves the wand over the body.
Inspector (to Jake): You’re the mechanic here?
Inspector waves the glowing wand over another of the bodies.
Inspector: You do good work. These bots are all above standard.
Inspector (without looking at Jake): Take some pride in your work.
Jake doesn’t respond. The inspector comes to the final body, the one that Jake just covered up. The inspector pulls back the sheet and recoils.
Inspector: Ugh. Those damned monsters. (he looks up at Jake) How do you handle this, kid?
Jake (shrugs): Gotta fix’em.
Inspector: You got more stones than me, kid. Make sure you report this to Central. Gotta keep an eye on potential perverts. I mean, criminals. Being a pervert is still legal.
Inspector pauses. He places the sheet back over the battered bot.
Inspector: If you ask me, these fleshbots are doing more harm than good. We haven’t seen it yet, but mark my words, violent crime is gonna go up. Unprecedented access to a sexual partner you don’t have to hold back your inhibitions? Can’t be good for any society... Gotta have rules.
The inspector clicks the end of the wand and the glowing light goes off.
Inspector: But, I don’t make the laws and I gotta feed my family. So here I am. And here you are.
Jake looks up at the inspector under his scraggly hair.
The inspector walks over to Jake.
Inspector (quietly, to Jake): Look, you ever want to get out of here, you come talk to me. Someone with your skills could be doing better than cleaning up depraved messes.
Jake stares at the floor. The inspector lowers his head to look Jake in the eyes.
Inspector: I’m serious kid. Get out of here before this business eats you alive.
Inspector hands Jake a card. It bears the name Inspector Dave Meryl and a phone number. Jake holds his gaze. Fat man walks in. Jake stuffs the card in his pocket.
Fat man: How’s it looking, inspector? All my girls up to code?
Inspector: Yes, all your bots are beyond code. You’ve got an excellent maintenance mechanic.
Fat man: He does a fine job, but I think he’s going to eat me out of this place.
Inspector (forcefully): Aren’t 18 year old boys done growing?
Fat man (forcefully): He’s a late bloomer.
Inspector: Not everyone’s cut out to be a parent.
Fat man: That kid’s family, my sister’s kid. I’m his legal guardian.
Inspector: I’m sorry to hear that.
Inspector shoots Jake a pitying glance. Jake’s face remains hard.
Fat man: I’m happy to call your supervisor, Inspector Meryl. And don’t you dare ever try to steal my employee, let alone my family, from their job or home again.
A sleazy-looking guy walks through the door. Fat man notices him and begins quickly ushering Inspector to the door.
Fat man: I’ve got business to attend to. We’ll see you soon. (to customer) What would you like, sir?
Sleazy: How much for half an hour?
Fat man: Three thousand.
Sleazy looks dejected.
Fat man: Oh, don’t play sad. I’ve been in this business a long time. Everyone knows the prices.
Sleazy: Would… would you take two thousand for 15 minutes?
Fat man: Now, you know I can’t do that. The government’s put all sorts of regulations on me. That wouldn’t even cover my taxes and up-keep around this place.
Sleazy continues gazing at the floor and begins to leave the shop. Fat man runs to the back room.
Fat man: Jake, start up number two. Get her in the back room.
Jake: The room hasn’t been cleaned yet. The sheets are still-
Fat man: Do it.
Fat man slams the door. Jake looks at the business card in his pocket with Agent Meryl’s information. Fat man opens the door again. He looks at the card in Jake’s hand, snatches it away and rips it up.
Fat man: Try running away again. I won’t call the merc bots off so fast this time. You little puke.
Fat man leaves. Jake walks to the work bench and takes a small tazer-looking device. He takes a small pile of clothing from one end of the work bench. He walks to one of the beds and pulls the sheet back from the woman’s face. She’s a beautiful brunette. He pulls her arm from under the sheet and pushes a switch on the small device. The eyes of the woman open. She turns to look at Jake. Her name is JEANIE.
Jeanie: Hiya, Jake.
Jake: Hi, Jeanie.
Jeanie: Thanks for uncovering my face. I hate waking up and not knowing where I am.
Jeanie sits up. Jake turns so he won’t see her without clothes. He extends his arm with the clothing to her. Jeanie laughs.
Jeanie: Jake, you’re funny. I’m just a robot.
Jake is silent.
Jeanie: Which room am I in?
Jeanie is dressed and hops from the table. She smiles.
Jeanie: Bye, Jake.
Jake follows her to the door. Fat man is ushering the sleazy man back into the shop.
Fat man (to sleazy): Don’t you go telling anybody I did this for you. You hear? One word, and I lose my license and I’m coming for you.
Sleazy (looking diabolical): Yeah, yeah.
Fat man: Alright. Room number two is all yours. Jeanie in there is gonna make your wishes come true.
Sleazy walks down the hall, laughing under his breath. Fat man sees Jake in the doorway.
Fat man: Get back to work.
Jake walks into the workroom. He uncovers the battered face of the bot who was brought in most recently. He gets a camera and takes a couple pictures of her face, then holds the tazer-like instrument up to her wrist. It beeps and displays a man’s name and picture. Jake walks over to the computer at the work station. Fat man walks in.
Fat man: Jake! What the hell are you doing?!
Fat man runs to Jake, yanks the computer cord out of the walls, then turns and back-hands Jake.
Fat man: I’m not gonna tell you again!
Fat man kicks Jake as he lies on the floor.
Fat man: We don’t send photos of abused bots to Central Policing! They can catch their own criminals. It’s no crime to abuse a bot.
Jake lays there, looking up.
Fat man: There are no heroes.
Fat man reaches on to the work bench and grabs a device that begins to emit an electric current. He lifts it to swing down at Jake when screaming breaks through the walls. Fat man runs from the work room. Jake follows.
The sleazy man is running down the hallway shirtless with his shirt in his hand. Jeanie leans out the door frame from room 2. She is still screaming. Fat man runs out of the work room, throwing down the electrified device and runs to his desk. He pulls a handgun from the drawer and holds it on Sleazy, who we see is holding Jake with a knife to his throat.
Fat man: Go on then.
Sleazy doesn’t respond. Jake is terrified.
Fat man: Kill him. Then you and I can settle this.
Sleazy: Thought you could do whatever you wanted with those bots.
Fat man: There are laws, you know.
Sleazy: You said I could do as I liked.
Fat man: Everyone knows the laws. You can get rough, but you can’t try to kill’em.
Sleazy presses the knife tighter on Jake’s throat. Jake stiffens.
Fat man: You’re gonna do it, huh? Hurry up. You’ll pay me my money, either way.
Sleazy: Here it goes, then.
From the work room, a figure appears behind Sleazy and hits him on the head. He crumples. Jake jumps away. Fat man and Jake are astonished and look up to see that it’s the bloodied bot from earlier.
Fat man: Jake! What the hell is- Where did she-
Jake and Fat man stare at the bot. She turns to look directly at Jake and remains blank-faced.
Motherbot (working title) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.