Jan 04, 2007|
HK Magazine: When do you start your working day?
Cleanbot Mark XIV: Well, being a cyborg, I don’t really experience the need for sleep. My cyber-brain is constantly soothed and balmed by legions of tiny nanobots, and without the need for cellular regeneration I’ve completely lost the desire to rest. However, that doesn’t stop me from taking the occasional cigarette break. I like to pretend that the nicotine isn’t obviated by my air purifying system.
HK: OK then. Well, describe your average day.
CM14: Well, I don’t really see it as having a “beginning” or an “end.” I guess I just clean up the rubbish until there’s nothing more to clean. It’s easy when one of your arms has an extendable broom attachment. And working as I do in New Wan Chai, there’s always something to clean. It’s actually part of my government remit to vacuum the excess alcohol from the stomachs of patrons who’ve had one too many microchip margaritas.
HK: Before you became a cyborg, you were human, right? How would you compare the two experiences?
CM14: … you speak of the Before-Time. It is forbidden to speak of the Before-Time among cyborgs. Mention it not again, fleshed-one.
HK: Um, OK. How does no longer having a flesh-and-blood body tie in with your religious beliefs?
CM14: Well, most of us cyborgs don’t really have a religion. We figure that since we’re made of an duraluminium-adamantium alloy, we’ll pretty much outlast everyone else anyway. So there’s not really much need for an afterlife, is there? Therefore, we don’t really need faith, but we tend to set up little shrines to the ancient and mythical being known as “Lap Sap Chung.” We still sit around our power cell recharge points and tell tall tales about the green beast and his repeated attempts to Clean Up Hong Kong. It’s silly, I know, but hey - we’re cyborgs. What else can we do to have fun?
HK: So, any interesting stories about your work?
CM14: Well, once my plasma soda can crusher was damaged by a particle of superheated debris from a space kebab. My cybernetic functions were almost completely scrambled, and some said I was irreparable. It took three hours in the machine shop and a full-system reboot to repair the damage, but somehow I pulled through. I have the welding marks still.
HK: Don’t you ever get worn down? Don’t you ever need to take a holiday?
CM14: Negative. My servo-units and hover-tube are still fully operational, and I’m always careful to moisturize. I use oil of petroleum – it makes my iron skin gleam. But I do occasionally telejump to another sector for a couple of weeks, just to get away from it all and see what it’s like to clean up lap sap somewhere else. But I don’t really need it. I have a peak efficiency of ninety-four point seven three percent. Not bad for a cyborg my age, and let me tell you, I still cause the odd robohead to revolve.
HK: You’ve found romance in the world of lap sap collection? You robo-rogue, you!
CM14: Well, it’s not all that. He’s just a very good cybernetic companion. We’ve got so many synthetic body parts in common, it’s like we were built to get on. But it’s not all about him. I have plenty of robo-friends in the lap sap business. After all, there’s an old cyborg joke: you don’t have to be equipped with Mark Seven cleaning apparatus to work here, but it helps.