Waiting For Godot-bot
by Jennifer-Oksana

"Hi, I'm Buffy. You're very pretty. And a robot!" the perky blonde girl said. Sharon looked at her dubiously. She wasn't a Cylon; that much Sharon knew for sure. But she didn't think the girl was human, either.

"How did...how did you know I'm a robot?" Sharon asked, folding her arms around herself. "I mean, I'm not...I'm not exactly a robot, but how did you know?"

Buffy beamed proudly. "I'm also a robot," she said happily. "My ocular units are equipped with special scanning equipment. Using them, I discovered that while you are a biologically-oriented android, you have certain cloning markers as well as nano-robots that send information back and forth on a subspace frequency. That's really neat and advanced. Will you tell me how it works?"

Sharon shrugged and looked around her new surroundings. It looked -- it looked like a stage. A blank and featureless plain with black curtains. Which was pretty weird, but when Sharon looked up, she could see light but not lighting sources.

Definitely weird.

"Do you know where we are?" Sharon asked, taking a few steps forward and back on the stage-construct and discovering that it was almost the same as standing still.

"I'm not entirely sure," Buffy-the-Robot said. "We appear to be on a stage, though my last memory is of perishing during a fight. Maybe we're dead."

"If I die, my consciousness downloads into another model," Sharon said, running as fast as she could in the direction of the audience and discovering they shrank away and never got any closer, no matter what she did. "So if we are dead, that's pretty weird."

"Maybe we're in Robot Hell!" Buffy said cheerfully. "That should be fun. There's singing and dancing and the Robot Devil! If you best him in a fiddle contest, you can escape, you know."

Sharon's brow crinkled in complete confusion. "The Robot Devil?" she asked. "I don't know any Robot Devil. Cylons believe in the one God anyway, and he wouldn't give us over to a lesser creation for eternity."

Buffy smiled politely. "What's the one God?" she asked. "Is that El, Yahweh, Jesus, or another of the approximately two hundred monotheistic deities I have on file?"

"Okay, you're crazy," said Sharon, backing away from the smiling, perky blonde robot who looked confused. "I want out of here. I don't want to meet the Robot Devil. And I don't think I should be here."

Buffy-the-Robot looked at Sharon's abortive attempts to escape with polite exasperation. "It doesn't work that way, you know," she said. "Remember when you tried to run toward the audience and the location of your being didn't alter? The locational normality of this plane of existence appears to be fixed. Or, you know, you can check out any time you want, but you can't never leave. The Eagles, Hotel California."

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Sharon cried, near tears. "I am so completely confused and I JUST WANT TO GO HOME!"

"I understand," Buffy said. "You are emotional and your programming promotes that you don't access certain subroutines that would promote calm in this unknown. I can give you a shoulder massage and allow you access to my files on Futurama. Also, I have approximately ten thousand illegal MP3s on file, from ABBA to Frank Zappa. But no Barry Manilow, because Angel likes Manilow and Angel's a poofy-haired pillock with no taste."

Sharon sniffled and slumped to the ground. The Buffy-robot sat down next to her and took her hand with another friendly beam.

"This is stupid," she said as Buffy started rubbing her hand. "Who's Angel?"

"He is a big wanker vampire with a soul who loses it if he has an orgasm. He thinks he is a champion and a big cheese, but he has lame angst and awful hair and can't dance," Buffy said. "He's not as sexy as Spike. Spike is also a stupid vampire. Mostly, they're why I have sworn off boys and thought about lesbianism, because Willow programmed me to realize I don't need a man to be sexually satisfied, especially when they treat me like a Real Doll."

Sharon nodded, deciding that it was better not to ask about Real Dolls, vampires, or why any grown man would use the name Angel or Spike. "I had stupid boyfriends, too. Now they're in love with another me, who got all pregnant and stuff," she said. "Also, one of the other models is the sexpot anyway? So maybe I'll think about lesbianism, too."

The blonde's smile was so bright that it nearly blinded Sharon, and then she felt an odd little twinge in her hand. "That's fantastic!" Buffy said. "You don't mind that I'm uploading files, do you? I think the Futurama episodes will make you laugh, and then we can discuss lesbianism, and maybe you can tell me about other robot stories in your universe."

"This feels funny," Sharon said, wrinkling her nose. "Do you really believe this is the afterlife?"

"Or a waiting room. We could be waiting for Godot!" Buffy said. "But that would require the existence of Godot, and I'm not sure robots have a god."

"I told you that I follow the one God," Sharon said. "If you accept him, maybe he'll take you with me when he allows my consciousness to continue its journey -- hey, that tickles! But, oh, neat! I can remember the episode of Futurama now. Ha! Robot Devil. That's funny."

"Futurama's a great show. Vice President Al Gore was in an episode where he saved the space-time continuum. Read the Constitution, people!" Buffy announced in a voice Sharon assumed was Vice President Al Gore's.

"Our Vice President is named Gaius Baltar. He's a dick," Sharon said. "Hey, did you infect me with your slang, too?"

"Communication is important, Sharon," Buffy said. "Does Gaius Baltar protect the space-time continuum?"

"No," Sharon said. "But I guess he's better than the human president, Laura Roslin. Roslin spaces Cylons. Out the airlock with us! Bitch. I bet she's a repressed Cylon."

"Faith is a repressed lesbian," Buffy said, apropos of nothing. "She wanted to sex me up all night long. Spike wanted to watch, and cover us in baby oil."

Sharon sighed. The mix of inane and inappropriate to vital and important information Buffy-the-Robot gave Sharon was not at a very good ratio. As if Sharon knew who this Spike guy was, or who Faith was.

"How long have you been here?" Sharon asked.

"I'm not sure. My internal chronometer is working at an erratic rate. It says two seconds and two years, maybe more. How about you? How long have you been here?" Buffy asked.

"It feels like I just got here, but I don't know, either," Sharon said. "So, if I get interested in lesbianism, will you have sex with me?"

"Yes, but not here," Buffy said automatically. "It's too public."

"Nobody's here but us," Sharon pointed out.

"But it's a stage. That means that probably your one God is watching, and who knows who else," Buffy said. "And the only person I want to watch me have lesbian sex is Willow. And maybe Spike. But no one else, because that would be exploiting the intimate sacredness of a sexual bond."

"Frak," Sharon said, trying to follow that sentence to its conclusion and giving up. "You're crazy, aren't you?"

"If I am, it's because of my programming," Buffy said. "Are you sure this isn't Robot Hell?"

"I don't THINK it is, because there's not enough singing," Sharon said. "But I don't know. I don't know. I just want to go home!"

"Do you want to play a game while we wait?" said Buffy, shrugging her shoulders. "I know many games, including hide the sausage."

Sharon snorted. They were going to be at this a while.

"What the hell," she said, leaning back. "Why don't you sing Hotel California while you're at it? I could use the entertainment and you can tell me all about The Eagles..."


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