Crappy Robot Stories...
The front door to the shop slammed open andValk stalked through, block trench coat swirling around his ankles. He marched through the store, past the ranks of metallic soldiers standing motionless, to the counter at the back of the store. Beneath the display cabinet, rows of motherboards and semi-organic AI’s sparkled in the lights.
Val slammed both hands down on the glass.
“I demand a refund!” he shouted at the clerk behind the counter. Electricity sparked off of the stray white hairs that stood out in all directions from his head like a puffy cloud.
The clerk behind the counter didn’t flinch from the sudden noise. Instead, he slowly dog-eared the page of Evil Today that he was reading before closing the magazine and laying it off to the side. Finally, he raised his bored gaze to the puffing scientist on the other side of the counter.
“Welcome to Secondhand Evil, how can I help you today?” he intoned.
“I demand a refund for… for… for that!” Valk shouted again, pointing behind him. As the clerk looked, a metallic head with a single eye widget poked around the villain’s back.
“Hello,” the robot whirred. “My name is Bobs, minion robot 001.”
“What seems to be the problem?” The clerk asked.
“It’s supposed to be an evil robot. I specifically asked for the Villainy 2.0 software to be installed, and it hasn’t been!”
“All our models come standard with the henchman software Villainy 2.0 installed. Why do you believe your model does not?”
“It doesn’t do anything evil!”
The clerk sighed and pulled a complaint form out from beneath the counter. “Can you give me some examples?” he droned.
“I told it to prepare the lab for experiments, and it cleaned my lair. The floors are freaking sparkling!”
The clerk looked up, one eyebrow raised.
“I had just the right amount of evil chaos! It’s too neat now! It interferes with my evil creativity!” Valk screeched.
Behind him, gears whirred as the cycloptic robot peeked around its owner again. “There were roaches.”
“That’s not the point!”
“Okay, it cleaned without command. Anything else?” The clerk asked.
“Yes! I identified a homeless man that would make the perfect minion, and I sent Bobs out to recruit him. The guy was recruited…. to an IT firm as a manager! He now makes six figures and can comfortably support his family!”
The clerk rolled his eyes and began to scrawl on the form. “Failure to follow directive to necessary level. Anything else?”
“He made me contribute to the middle class. I loathe the middle class!”
“Yes, yes, I know the Evil Rulebook as well. Anything else?”
“He’s constantly baking cupcakes. My entire lair smells like vanilla!” Valk’c chest heaved as he turned to glare at the robot.
The clerk looked at the robot as well. Bobs held up a pink box and offered it to the clerk. He opened it up to a perfectly frosted cupcake, wrapped in a lacy doily.
“Oookay, that’s a new one,” he said slowly. “Are they any good?”
“They’re delicious!” Valk screeched. “And they aren’t even poisoned? What kind of villainy is that?”
“I see.” The clerk closed the box and stored it beneath the counter. He pointed up above his head, at the large sign suspended from the ceiling.
All purchases are final. NO REFUNDS, NO EXCHANGES.
“Oh, come on, you have to do something for me!” Valk insisted. “What about in-store credit?”
“Nope. All sales are final. You acknowledged the risks of buying a second-hand robot when you signed the contract with us. Would you like to see your signature? I can pull up the agreement right now.”
“I want to see your manager!”
The clerk rolled his eyes. “I mean, I can call her if you want me too, but she said she was working on her death ray and she was going to use anyone who interrupter her as target practice.”
Valk glared at the clerk, who stared back with the dead gaze of someone who had spent way to long in retail.
“Fine!” he snapped, spinning around. “Bobs, we’re leaving. Se if I ever come to this stupid store again! I’m going to tell everyone how terrible the place is!”
The robot waved one, then raced off after its master with a whirr of gears.
The clerk sighed, shook his head, and flicked his magazine open.
“Cupcakes,” he sighed. “Really?”