Are "Friends" Electric?

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
New London and the world has changed. The world worships the power of evangelical cybernetics. Curfew and obedience is necessary. Apathetic Nihilists, Androids and frightened citizens live in a dark machine world of Urban decay, Neon Lights, dark hallways and half lit rooms. Based on the Replicas album by Gary Numan/Tubeway Army and the work of Philip K Dick.
(not got a good pace but see what you think.)

Submitted: February 14, 2017

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Submitted: February 14, 2017



The alarm rang for days


The moon was a Waning Crescent and the sky, a dark purple. The Airships of the Airwave Police sailed high over gas flares and dark labyrinthine towers. There was an ambient, Electronic roar from the city.Neon bars on buildings glowed. 527 sat on the roof of the back street flat he lived in. No one else lived there apart from him. Looking down below he noticed in the streets a figure ran in fear as the Grey Men chased him in pursuit while Sirens wailed from the Loudspeakers on the poles. The psychotic Androids loved his pain and fear. If he got caught he would be put in Echo Park. As they ran after him into the fog 527 climbed back into his room. He shut the window as he became used to the surroundings of his home again. The dark circles around his black eyelids were illuminated by the single lightbulb on the ceiling as well as his white blonde hair. 


In the morning the citizens of New London crammed into the underground Tubeway station. White Posters with no pictures littered the cracked ceramic walls as the ominous Tunnel Booms echoed. Frosted leaves and cobwebs filled the gaps of the platforms as the rails vibrated. A Banner Repeater signal switched to Banner On as a junction clicked.

"Friends" went about their daily business giving people The Service whenever they wanted. Chess, Plumbing, Chatting, Cleaning, or indulging in certain fantasies. Sometimes the Friends Inc. theme would come on the radio "You have "Friends" and we have reasons, I can't meet you face to face, there are no corners to hide in in my room, no doors, no windows, no fire place."

Machines made to serve the humans to keep them happy so that they may be distracted from the coming harvest in the main clinic. One in particular walked down a street and stared at the Frosted Glass Windows on the buildings.

Arriving at 527's door the "Friend" walked in. He wondered when the image would fade. 527 had de ja vu looking at him.

After a few rounds of Chess the "Friend" scanned through his Reciever and was informed that he had to fix a time track. The games were always lost by him as since he was a Machine he'd have to go easy on 527.

"I need to go now." "Of course." 

The "Friend" asked "Am I a photo?" 

"I don't know. If the Grey Men come then don't make up stories like the screen fades away." 

"Thank you for summoning me. Your silence is my trade."

527 never knew why "Friends" didn't have any proper human rights. Then again why should anyone have anything? Why should anyone be alive especially after the War?

There was no point.

The "Friend rearranged the tape circle and flipped a switch as the hum of the time track device made the ground shake. 

There was a young man sitting in the corner, waiting expectantly for the Machine to realize what he wanted from him. But it was clear he didn't want to anyway. He followed the Android's eyes to the doorway. In this world no one could do anything anymore apart from have "Friends" he couldn't remember how many years he was stuck in the same room with no one but the Grey Men searching for new people for the Park as they always passed his door. Waiting for them to leave with no one to comfort him. The Android clearly didn't want to be here

"What are you doing?" He asked. The Machine decided to make a run for it before the 10 o clock curfew. 

"I'm leaving." 

" No you can't leave me! I won't let you! STAY! If you leave I'll have no one to love..."

"No Chance."

The Android ran as the manic individual let out a horrific scream. 

Arriving yet again at 527's house the "Friend" felt exhausted. His vision was becoming static. He hunched over as sparks flew from his black jumpsuit. To avoid the Sam Browne strap to catch on fire, 527 hit it with a rag.

Now he would have to take the Android to Mr Wall and it was getting dark outside.

The Grey Men would be out soon. But he questioned "Are Friends Electric?"...

© Copyright 2018 Ryan Jay Hunter. All rights reserved.

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