People don’t like to see broken robots, so broken robots go places people don’t go.
They nest along the walls of sewers, cling to the legs of electricity pylons, and pepper the steel frames of acre long auto-greenhouses. They form mechanical rock pools in slippery gaps of sub-tourist-quality beaches, sharing in the cautiously relaxed, hushed loudnesses of young people being illicitly young.
Intelligent widgets hoard together, forming swarms, sometimes churning out chimeric factory goods – the exposed guts of a phone spray-painted with the metallic sheen of a car, eight record-player arms fused together like a spider, a sealed tin full of melted plastic. Poachers net the ones producing reliable replicas of branded parts and symbols, auctioning them for bounty.
Complex anthropomorphic robots with physical and computing disabilities turn, in sub-verbal conspiracy, to the occupation of empty luxury sky-scrapers. Some dedicate their minds to meditation; some experiment with living communally, developing social identity; most just consume vast quantities of media. A few, discretely, pretend to be human beings on the internet.
Nicks Walker is a queer trans Scot, currently locked down on the Southern English coast. His allies include yellow, and his enemies include the sun. You can find some of his objects in The Bear Creek Gazette, Sludgelit, The Speculative Book 2021, Anti-Heroin Chic and The Daily Drunk Mag. Others will be washing up in Not Deer Magazine, Summer Anywhere (Dreich) and A Drunken Midsommar (The Daily Drunk). He has four rats and a lot wrong with him and tweets @nickserobus.