Last night, Ian and I were huddled next to a space-heater on the living room floor. We were playing with a toy from a future where police officers and firefighters have overcome their differences, and share a rescue station designed by IKEA. And the police fly Kingcobras.
Then, in the middle of a fire/drug bust, Ian started to stand. He made a whirring sound and held his arms to his sides. His body was rigid, and moved slowly.
‘Uh oh. Are you a robot now?’
He brought his chin to his chest and deepened his voice, speaking in monotone. ‘Yes…I…am.’
‘No! Don’t step on me! Please!’ I crossed my arms in front of my face.
‘I’m a good robot! I want to show you my robot room.’ He took my hand, and led me from the room.
At the door, he suddenly stopped and locked his legs. He made the whirring sound again, the pitch falling, and slowly dropped to his knees. ‘I’m broken.’
‘Oh! I can’t fix you; your tools are upstairs.’ Ian briefly poked his head through the robot, and corrected me: ‘No, no. I have a key!’ He pointed to his back.
I gave the key a few turns, and the robot whirred back to life. He stood and took me to the robot room for his much-needed tune-up.