In the last few months, the bunker had begun to smell. The inactivity was one thing, andthe isolation, and the atrophy of the muscles, but the smell was the last straw. But months of enclosure will do that, John supposed. The air filtration system could keep could keep the air breathable and clean, but there were things it couldn’t deal with; namely, the absence of ashower. The builders, in their infinite wisdom didn’t consider that essential to survival. Were theywere still alive, he would have a few things to say about that.Thanks to their oversight, he had been breathing in his own grime day after day, withnot so much as an air freshener in sight (or more likely, anywhere within miles of his currentlocale). He stood, and walked the twenty-two steps - he counted them many times - over to thepantry, and grabbed a can of rations. They tasted like shit, but when shit is all you have, youmake do. Twenty-two steps later, he was sitting once more on the musty armchair- the onlypiece of furniture in the central room. The “Big Room,” he had come to call it with something hesupposed resembled affection. The wall to his right was inlaid with shelves holding a great dealof books- all classics: Ulysses, War and Peace, and so on. The builders must have thought theyhad great taste, but John bitterly cursed them for not including movies. Not a one. Now thatwould have done something about the damned loneliness, because that was what was killinghim.More than a few times, he imagined that all the dead skin that had found his way into hislungs would collect cell by cell, and incubate until one day in a fit of coughing he would hack upa clone of himself. The company would have been welcome.-John, you appear to be sad.More welcome, that is than his current companion. TR-18, model 003; Tim, for short. Hestood about a head taller than John, but unlike his brethren, which is to say other androids, hehad apparently eschewed the whole skin-cover idea, in favor of letting his cold metal and gearscall out his true nature. Not that anyone but John could see that now. He wondered, for thatmatter if anyone ever had. After he’d been in the bunker a full three days, he awoke from hisusual troubled sleep to find Tim standing in the center on the Big Room. He had been activated,he said:-Having sensed the presence of a singular biological life-form within the boundaries of the structure. The readings awoke me from Sleep Mode so that I may resume my primaryfunction.-And that is? John asked, genuinely curious.-Providing information on a variety of topics. He replied.John laughed at this. The metal bastard could relate in precise detail the answers to theuniverse’s mysteries, and he would hear none of it. He draped his jacket over himself, andturned away from his new companion.-Fuck your information. He told the android.Those were last words he spoke to him for some time; at least a few weeks, as far as hecould tell. He tried carving marks into the Big Room wall for the first chunk of time, but after hegot to twelve days, he missed a few, and he gave that up. Still, he guessed a few weeks hadpassed before Tim spoke again.-Human, how did you come to find yourself down here?John gave nothing up.