Ugh, organics are revolting. Damp, inefficient, prone to leaking—everything Meteor despises. The last thing he and his accomplices Gloss and Spike want to do is set foot on a planet infested with billions of the horrible things. To add insult to injury, to escape detection while on Earth, they’ve no choice but to disguise themselves as the aforementioned moist bipeds. The indignity is almost more than his circuits can bear.
But there’s no alternative. For centuries, Meteor, Gloss, and Spike were nothing more than three of thousands of robots programmed to serve the whims of a hyper-advanced intergalactic species. If they want to avoid being recaptured by their old owners, they need to find a weapon hidden millennia ago in Earth’s soil. Meteor’s ambitions, however, don’t stop at merely escaping capture. He’s got big plans for the species that built him to be a slave. Big, violent plans. And it’ll all work out perfectly provided he can keep reminding the other two of what they’re on Earth to do.
What they’re not there to do is have fun. But flighty, excitable Spike quickly forgets that.
What they’re not there to do is learn about kissing. But cold, analytical Gloss finds his attention drawn that way regardless.
What they’re not there to do is become human. But Meteor has spent several hundred years bored out of his mind and humans…well, damp as they are, they’re not boring. Which is a problem, because Meteor can’t afford distractions—not with their owners searching the galaxy for them and getting closer every day.
Title: Spare Parts
Author: T.J. Land
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Genre: Science Fiction, space travel, sentient species, robots, spacemen/aliens, humor
T.J. Land © 2018
All Rights Reserved
From the moment the ship had shown him a picture of one, with its wet eyes and mouth, the superfluous strands of keratin sprouting from its blob-shaped head, and all the vestigial elements evolution had left in its shambling wake, like unnecessary teeth and organs, Meteor had decided he didn’t like them. Nothing he saw on their drive through the city served to sway his opinion.
“Why don’t they get out of the way?” he complained after the fourth near collision with a sluggish, unmindful biped.
“You see those white stripes? I think those indicate spaces in which ambulatory humans have authority over those in vehicles,” said Gloss.
“We almost squished that last one,” Spike observed. “Maybe we should dump the car.”
They found a quiet spot where several other vehicles were arranged in rows and left it there. Having noticed that, contrary to common sense, no humans walked around with poultry on hand, Meteor made Spike leave the chickens behind. They were last seen waddling in the direction of several confused, elderly men warming their hands over a fire in a can.
“There’s so many of them,” Spike remarked as they headed down the street, staying as close to one another as possible so as not to be swept away on the jostling tide of humanity.
“Eight billion altogether. Close on four hundred million tons of biomass,” said Gloss.
“I don’t get it. If there’s so much organic life on this planet, how come all the others in this system are dead and boring?”
Since breaching the outer asteroid belt, they’d flown by dozens of worlds, rocky spheres, misshapen icy lumps, and stillborn stars. Every time, Spike had peered eagerly out the portal, only to be disappointed.
“Remember that the conditions required for life are quite specific,” Gloss informed him. “For example, life requires heat, and many of the worlds we passed by are simply too far from their sun. As to why life on this planet hasn’t yet spread to its neighbors, remember that we’re dealing with a very primitive species.”
Finding the type of facility Gloss needed proved to be a more complicated task than Meteor had anticipated. To start, not only were the buildings irregularly sized and inefficiently laid out, many of them weren’t labeled. Many structures and roads had signs announcing their names, but these usually gave no clue as to their function. “Springfield Lane” offered nothing in the way of springs or fields. Then there was all the clutter, all the posters, placards, and billboards containing words that served no purpose beyond romanticizing the colorful image accompanying them, which might be a foodstuff, a celebrity, an event, a type of medicine, or a new device. Everywhere, words piled upon words.
T.J. Land is a South African writer of erotic romance and sometimes other things. Her main inspirations right now are her plants, Emily Carroll’s art, and her seething hatred for the final season of Downton Abbey. She hopes you’re hanging in there.