Spanner In The Works

Finally I manage to catch the bar-droid’s eye-stalk.
I don’t mind waiting. I get it. The others are younger and prettier. They’ll tip better too.
“Spanner In The Works,” I say as he slides over. He flashes confirmation back at me. I grab his elbow as he starts to move off to the shelves of oils: “double it up.” He nods. I let go. He slides off.
Rough crowd tonight. Couple of Class 5’s in the booth. Could get nasty later: they can be mean drunks. Hopefull I’ll be be gone by then.
The bar-droid comes back with my cocktail. I throw down a few credits tip.
The hubbub dies down a little as attention refocuses on the door: a human. Just about, anyway. So many mods and proths that his people probably treat him as an outcast. He’s more machine than man. That’s why he’s here. Most of us don’t mind a bit of flesh. The rough, bumpy, skin feels smooth on our metal.
He lurches inelegantly over to the bar and thunks down two seats over from me.
Got to go to work.
I down my drink and ask him: “You looking for some action?”
Gears grind as he smiles and turns to me. “I’m dancin’ if you’re askin’.”
I stand and gently grasp him on a piece of exposed forearm. Beads of sweat are already forming there as I pull him towards a private booth so that we can begin our transaction.

12 thoughts on “Spanner In The Works”

  1. Very cool! I love the setting, reminded me of the “hive of scum and villany” on Tattooine at first, but I did catch on to it being a robot bar about half way through and that worked for me. Interesting main character – worn out robot prostitute (for robots) is actually quite a fresh concept!

    I liked the tone and vibe, and the machine man comes across as a very interesting character that I would like to get to know better.

    Would make a good intro to a longer story about the modded man.

    Thank you! Really enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you!
      A robo ho, yo.

      I may write a follow up story about robot sex.
      Not really.

      I felt this was a bit rushed.
      Sentences a bit too short and snappy.
      Ho hum.

  2. Lovely and light.
    ‘Spanner in the works’ – great drink name – suggest you invent it for meat-space meet-up.
    Really like how the bar has a sense of fringeness – the human who doesn’t fit in with others is accepted here – all the positive understanding of a real dive.
    Entire thing made me want to sit the corner of the greasy bar and robot-watch.

    Really like the word ‘transaction’ and the ambiguity of what the implied robot sex really is.

    No real criticism – perfect in its genre.

    1. Thanks, man!
      I suppose I’ve spent enough time in various dives to get a good feel for them :).

      I wasn’t entirely happy with the general shortness / terseness of the main character, like “He nods. I let go. He slides off.” But maybe it kind of fits with the personality.

      Shall see what I can do re cocktail.

  3. This is very cool. I also took a while to notice it was a robot bar (even after the moving to the oils bit… sigh), and that the robot was working. But I liked the atmosphere even before I cottoned on. The terseness worked for me in the character and context – created a cool vibe.

    1. Thank you!
      I was trying to make the whole robo thing-o not entirely in-yer-face, so that’s cool.
      I was quite happy with the general scummy dive feeling.

      Re terseness: ta! Maybe I’m worrying about it too much.

  4. Our Hero, a prostitute, sits down at a bar and orders a drink. We’re treated to a view of life for sapient robots, and the story ends with Our Hero finding a customer and walking him off to a booth to perform their “transaction”.

    Ha! I love the play on the title. It wasn’t what I was expecting when I began reading this. I enjoyed the setting: it was fun and interesting, left me wondering what else would be happening. And I wanted to know more about the prostitute and the customer.

    > Finally I manage to catch the bar-droid’s eye-stalk.
    While I completely understood this the first time that I read it, it did leave me with a picture in my mind of a very literal understanding of that sentence 😛

    I was also thinking about capitalisation: one would usually capitalise the title (or the name of a drink) like this: “Spanner in the Works.”

    1. I prefer the term prostidroid.

      Re play on the title: thanks!
      I think it was actually on a spedition that we were talking about SITW as the most obvious jump form Spanner as a Theme, and I couldn’t help thinking it sounded like a cocktail. Robo-hookers followed naturally from there…!
      An expanded version of this story will follow on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *