My power came back on, the familiar text of a sudden reboot flashed across my eyes.
“–ower is minimal,” someone said behind me. At least my hearing was working. I blinked, the figures around me coming into focus. I tried to turn around, but my body wouldn’t let me. One of the figures, a man with cigarette breath, bent down and looked at me in the eyes.
“How much time we got left before this bag of nails shuts off again?” he asked, looking over to one his colleagues.
“About 20 minutes,” they said. I glanced over to the best of my ability, wondering why my body was betraying. At that moment, I could feel my heart beating even though it was meters from me. The man walked over to the person he was talking to, pushing him out the way. And I saw…
My body had been torn apart by bullets, my purple dress laying in a mix of fluids on the floor. Why can’t I remember what happened? The man pushed my body over with his foot.
“You gotta go through the back, dummy. Hurry it up.” The other person nodded and opened the door on my back to my circuitry. I was so happy I didn’t have to deal with that torture. Seeing it happen was torture enough. The man came back and bent down at eye level again.
“You know who Dean is?” he asked.
“No,” I mouth.
He nodded and rubbed his temples.
“You got 5 minutes, Tone,” he said, standing up once more.
“What, what’s going on?”
“This bot is a setup. Cops will be here soon, not that it matters for her. They just gonna recycle her body. Probably refresh her memory bit and rewire her memory. They don’t keep tabs on these old models like that anymore. She’s pretty worthless, probably why they used her.”
My model ceased production 20 years ago. I am one of the few relics that still wander the streets. It wasn’t odd for people to give me things, especially older men who still live for nostalgia. But it was odd when a young man gave me a nice box with my purple dress in it. I didn’t think anything of it when I put it on, though. I liked how it fit me, how it made me look current, even though my face was ancient.
I had a date this day and my date must be worried that I had flaked. He was a regular customer and a favorite and a friend. I had waited to wear this dress only for it to betray me.
“You right, nothing in her case.” The person at my body and the man threw on masks that covered their faces and heavy backpacks. I stared at the bricks ahead of me, still trying remember what had happened.
“Just cut through the alleyway”
He sounded like my date. Did he know? Did he set me up? Was I just a pawn the entire time?
“Yo, what about this?”
One of them pulled out a gun and aimed it at my head. I had never been so scared in all my li–