Old Friend

“There’s a patch over there that needs scrubbing.” Bert pointed out a lump of plaque, then watched, sadly, as his partner struggled to locate the fatty deposit. “How are your eye sensors today?”

“Couldn’t be better,” Eric replied, cheerfully. After he finally spotted the blemish on the artery wall, he stiffly extended his scrubbing arm and wiped the plaque clean with awkward, jerky movements.

“Did you hear about the boss?” Bert asked, ignoring his friend’s discomfort.

“Nope.” Eric motored back to Bert’s side.

“We can take it a little easy for a while,” Bert said. “The boss and his wife have assembled a baby bot, and they’ve gone for a break to the kidneys to teach the little one how to look after the filters.”

“Good for them,” Eric said, genuine excitement in his voice.

The janitors moved with the flow, on the lookout for other areas that need maintenance. Suddenly Bert spotted a small, malignant growth.

“I’ll take care of this one,” he told Eric, pointing at the lump with his laser arm. “You just take it easy.”

Eric gratefully anchored nearby and went into low-power mode. Bert looked at his partner, quite tenderly.

“Nobody will know about your malfunction while you’re my partner,” Bert whispered. “I won’t let anybody disassemble you, old friend.”

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