Replacement Parts

“Mazel tov, Randal!” His mechanic chuckled, wiping her hands with a rag as she came out from underneath the table he’d been operated on. “With that new spinal plate, you no longer have -any- of the parts you were built with.”

“I suppose twenty years of service take their toll.” Randal replied, carefully sitting up. The backplate of his chassis closed with a comfortable click, concealing the various inner workings of the android. “They served me well though.”

“Definitely,” She chuckled, signing off the work on a tablet. “There are some RDL-40’s out there who barely last five years. What’s your secret?”

Randal took a moment to muse on that, his blocky steel jaw jutting out. “Regular check ups, organic oil products, an appreciation for jazz and the best mechanic on the colony?”

A blush spread across her cheeks. “You, with your sweet talking… I just do my best.”

“And Denise’s best is legendary.” Her manager called, heading down the stairwell into the mechanics bay. “No factory parts, you must not even feel like the same android any more, Randal.”

He considered that for a moment, running through the various parameters and self-awareness checks. “No, I still feel like me. The spirit of the old parts resides in my operation logs, and my original construction persists in my system. It is no different than one of you gaining an android body, you would be the same person; just with different parts.”

Laughing, Denise draped her arms around his broad shoulders. “I love it when you go philosophical on us. It’s clocking out time, and me and Anant are heading out for a meal. You want to come with us? Put your feet up, recharge, have an Andro-ade?”

“I’m buying.” Anant offered.

Randal looked at the manager, then the mechanic still perched on his back. His eyes caught the Galaxy Enforcement Office logo on his powerful arms. “Unfortunately, I have to go on duty shortly. Maybe another time?”

Pouting, Denise slid off his back to let him stand. “All right then, maybe we’ll see you on duty tonight. Let’s hope you’re not back in here tomorrow having another part replaced.”

His sturdy, wide fingers crossed over. “If I’m here tomorrow, it will be bringing you some lunch as thanks. I hope.” The stabilizing mechanisms in his feet hissed as he stood, whirring as he turned to bow his head to the pair. “Thank you for your treatment of me, I will pay as usual: promptly and for the full amount.”

“You never let us down,” Anant grinned. “You never let anyone down.”

The android called back as he strode towards the exit. “Duty is a firm protocol.”


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