The large metallic doors slowly opened with loud grinding sound, as though protesting years of neglect.
Ceiling lights lit up one by one. Some blinked into existence from its slumber. Some never bothered.
You are in a warehouse. A very large one. So large that one would say, it could fit the people of the whole town in it. And they'd be correct.
You had a normal life. Grew up in a suburb not too far from the city. Went to college a few miles away before deciding to return again. Friends. Unrequited love. Disapproving parents. The normal stuff. But at some point, the normal became the abnormal, when you found out that your folks, your friends, and in fact the whole town were robots. That's right. Not some social statement relying on heavy metaphors. Actual robots! Whether they were originally robots or humans later turned into robots were beyond you. But they were robots!
You see, there was a war. Not one between country and country. It's Aliens vs Aliens. And one of such alien factions happened to preside over your little home town. As the war dragged on, more resources were devoted to the fighting, leaving infrastructures lacking in maintenance and surveillance. For a human government, this would mean cracked roads and shitty lights. But for your town, it meant glitches in robots, leading to mom's jerky robotic motions, dad's jump between his rage and the warm calming smile he greeted you with as the rubble of the table and the mailman lied beneath his feet.
The oversight resulted from the war made you realize that you were living in a cage all along, but at the same time gave you the opportunity to escape. And so you did, leaving it all behind.
Fast forward to a few years later, the war was over. The aliens had decided to pack up and move. Not because of anything any hero of the humans did. It was just, how it happened.
The town was a cage for sure, but it was the only place you could ever call home. So you decided to return.
The town had not really changed that much. Except that it was a ghost town now, empty of its inhabitants, almost like a movie set after hours. The war had "drafted" the people of the town into service. Not all robots could be converted into battle bots, but they would have to do. After the war, as the alien's presence waned, they gave up this part of the world, packed up neatly and left the human robots in storage.
You walked through the empty streets. With some effort, you found the storage that housed the remaining town's people, in the warehouse just outside of town, the obscure warehouse usually belonging to some obscure company you never paid attention to. With some effort, you bypassed the system and managed to get inside.
Rows of three high shelves filled the warehouse. Instead of food and items like in a Costco, it was filled with people. Men. Women. Young and old. Held into their own little compartments in standing position with mounts and straps. Naked. With open eyes not responding to the change in light stimuli. Some are completely intact. Some have damage, a few singes here, a hole right there. Mostly cosmetic that do not affect function. Some were missing parts, missing arm or leg, or some parts inside the torso. Mechanical parts and circuits could be seen from where the synthetic skin ends.
The war must have required them to swap out parts that were damaged, and even swap in good parts from their fellow robots.
So of course, there was the repair shop. The shop was not empty. There were robots left in half dissembled states on the tables and frames. While the aliens were fairly neat, guess they didn't bother to finish the jobs on robots they were going to leave behind anyways.
And then there's the trash heap. Robots damaged beyond repairs, or simply don't have enough to be called a whole robot anymore were left in this messy corner of the warehouse. Maybe they were going to sort them out, maybe recycle them. Or maybe they just didn't get to melt them all down. Again, they didn't care for things they were going to leave behind anyways.
In any case, you have the entire robot storage all to yourself. Though maybe not the return or reunion you had in mind, your entire past is here for you to explore. You get to tweak with any robot you want. Who would you like to visit first?
- The cool cousin.
- The teacher
- The hot barista
- The childhood friend
- The sempai.
- The cheerleader
- The celebrity
- The internet sensation.
- The trainer