We found Akio in the junkyard next to the ghetto on the 24th avenue. We could afford the upgrades but Robbie had a penchant for old things, moreover it was one of those old open sourced models so you could tell what you had on your hands.
It took him three months to fix Akio and two more to get him to look like my great grandmother’s patchwork quilt. We did 43 trips to the junkyard, it was practically our second home back then. Akio wasn’t like any other machines we had worked with, he was different in his own peculiar way. Ever since we brought him back online it felt like he had also acquired personality or maybe he had one all along and that’s why he got trashed. All his clunky steps, whirring movements became the symphony of our monotonous life.
It was Ms Nakamura that named him Akio, she lived across the hallway and made sure Robbie didn’t die of starvation in our workshop, when I wasn’t around. Akio reminded her of a gnarly cat she had inherited from her brother. A scrawny little thing that had heterochromatic eyes and droopy ears.
Akio spent hours in the Nakamura loft that always smelled of cantaloupes and cinnamon. He explored, learnt and evolved as his functions branched out. Ms Nakamura often exclaimed what an odd machine Akio was and that always puzzled me because technically he was functioning as intended and we didn’t notice any anomalies in his code. But he grew up to be a person of his own on a flung-out plane, as if he had acquired a soul.