The robot beeped happily as it sat by the workbench. The smell of oil and the whir of electrical tools were a constant reminder that it was in Jerry’s apartment.
He had gotten used to the noise, to the point where it had become a source of comfort. Ever since his father had passed, and the robot had been inherited by him, it had become an annoying, albeit familiar, figure in his life.
Jerry closed the door to the apartment, hanging his blazer by the door. He stepped gingerly through the corridor to avoid the new piles of copper, aluminium, wires and pipes that the robot had made whilst he was away.
The number of new piles reaffirmed his suspicion that they were slowly beginning to hoard the entire stock of the city’s best steel supplies from Melbourne fabricators. Melbourne, spread out and blinking in the dusk, greeted him from the full-length windows of his living room as he entered. That view alone had accounted for half of his apartment’s rent, but it was worth it.
The robot was crowded in front of a set of design blueprints. It had taken up a steel crafting hobby, but it was quickly spiralling into the robot’s own industrial empire. It turned to look at him, the mess of wire infrastructure that resembled a hand whizzing up into the air in a makeshift wave.
“Hello to you too,” he sighed, although he was slightly happy to see the robot. His happiness was short-lived as he noticed a package on its desk. “That better not be from your ‘friends’ – who, I’d like to add, are structural steel fabricators, Melbourne infrastructure experts, not your pen pals.”
The robot let out a sharp ring.
“No, they are not your friends.” Jerry pinched the bridge of his nose. The monitor that defined the robot’s face flashed an angry, pixelated face at him.
“Look, just no more packages, okay?” he pleaded, too exhausted to continue the conversation. The robot returned to the beam it was welding, indicating the end of the conversation. Jerry shook his head. He couldn’t understand how his father had kept this robot around for as long as he did.