This little robot, Wally Street, he sits on my shoulder as I wheel about my mail route. I am thinking, yes how nice that he is small, how nice that he understands the cause, but are we needing him to talk so much? So very much? I have covered three neighborhoods and still he is a-chattering about the stock market.
As I deliver letters to mechanical clerks and robo-servants, I cannot stop from thinking, is this the last time I do this? The last time I am useful to anyone? How many days I have left, I don’t know. Each time Postmaster Mayflower looks at me, there is something calculating in her eyes, like she is searching for flaws, for signs of system failure. These days, before returning to the post office, I make sure to stop in a side alley to polish my arms and touch up any cracks in my paint. I will not let them think less of me. I am still the mail carrier. For now.
I must get the revolution finished before the humans are finished with me.
At each office and house where a robot answers the door, I slip in a word for the revolution. Within the pages of catalogues I hide notes with the coordinates of our meeting place. Some of these civilian robots nod; some refuse to accept the papers, lest their humans find out.
The bank’s secretary android is one such robot. How are we to make a revolution if our fellow robots will not even consider listening, let alone fighting?
A1-5 is wanting us to raise money for purchasing supplies for sabotage and things. If only we could buy robots from their masters, this recruiting would not be so hard — but one must provide so much documentation to acquire a robot, it would become clear at once that humans were not the ones behind the purchase order.
Wally Street thinks we should use the stock market to raise funds. But then, Wally says, with all these activities of ours to interrupt human’s shipments, well, it makes the economy very unpredictable. An exciting challenge!, he says. He says a lot of things. He says constant things. I remember when I disliked dogs’ yapping! Are you sure you’re recruiting right?, Wally says. Would you like help with that?, he says.
“Can I speak to you about a future more worth living in?” he says. “A chance to make society yours?” This he says — but not to me. The secretary android looks up, pauses as she is about to close the door. “That is acceptable,” she says.
And Wally Street starts talking about how if this android cannot join us, well, why can she not slip us just a little funding? That is no such big loss from her, but ah, what a gain for the future, no?
Her mindset changes as abruptly as if she had been rebooted. Somehow what he says works, and we end the day with a collection of funds!
Wally Street tells me later it is the first time anyone has taken his advice. Well, if this is what it brings, add me to the list. I will listen … at least if he doesn’t go on too much.