• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 09
Image by


It was even further to the west than Westworld. Yet equally doomed. Officially, it was Central Repair 9, but everyone called it scrapyard. Even the bots. Coz that's what it was.

The frontdesk clerk greeted me friendly when I entered the compound. Friendly, as in: "I've learned that in my first lesson at Bot Camp. Please, don't complain!" Mind you, those lessons were in vain. Politeness is one thing. Here's to heart and soul!

A few hundred yards down central alley, opposite a futuristic looking diner, I had to pass a security pillbox, manned with martially equipped bot cops. The kind you normally want to avoid. Those specimen, however, apparently had other things to do and didn't even notice me. Brandon was right: "When you get to the place exactly at 2:50 pm, they will be busy with maintenance," he had advised me a few days ago, when I let him in on the plan.

Inside the disassembly plant, electronic eyes were monitoring every square inch. They wouldn't bother though, I hoped, when they noticed an entity engineer in uniform, inspecting some returned bot parts. It was only a matter of minutes, until my RFID sensor had caught the signal of Three.

Three was a special entity. Brandon had modified it significantly. While you'd find an electronic brain in other machines of this type, Three's cerebrum was of human origin. It was a transplant. That's why I wanted to retrieve it, after the repair unit had collected it from my apartment while I was on vacation.

"Your ID, please, sir!"



The electronic eyes worked better than anticipated. I produced an officially looking holo card in front of the guard, and while the bot was thoroughly inspecting it, I short-circuited it within seconds.

–– They never learn.

Three lay on top of a pile at one end of the disassembly line. Eyes open. Those eyes!

–– If you ever fall in love with a machine, remove its eyes when it's over. Unless, well …

I removed Three's cranial vault with a silenced saw. The silicon was sturdy, yet the saw held the upper hand. By the time I had taken Three's brain out, an armada of security bots had surrounded me.

"It's not what you think," I said.
"We do not think," the machines replied in unison, "What is it then?"
"I just want to save the brain of this entity."

There was a moment of silence. Apparently, a brain wasn't supposed to be found inside the compound, let alone inside a bot.

"We cannot let you go," the bots squeaked.

"You're not authorised to handle a brain," I insisted. "It doesn't belong here. It's human."

They nodded silently and let me walk towards the exit –– unimpeded.

As I got closer to the door, I turned around. The guards had disappeared. I returned to Three's body and removed its eyes. Because, you know ...