• Track Name

    Cerebral Plumbing

  • Artist

    Need For Speed II Soundtrack


Pairing: Guy-Manuel/Electroma Car/Thomas.

There’s no read more; set post-Electroma I guess.
Probably a lot more depressing than you think, I don’t know wtf either


"See you soon," he said before he blew up, but God damn me if I knew what he meant. Am I reading too much into a farewell, or did he mean for me to follow? Short of my arms spontaneously growing a few inches, that’s impossible. I can’t do much about you having died, Thomas, but you’ve left me in a mess here.

Everything is silent after total devastation.
Nothing does anything after devastation because there is nothing.

(Present day, present time, a walking/talking number-station screams, receiving only static in return.)

Stuck here with no friend and no way out. I wonder how our Ferrari is doing. “A real beauty,” I remember Thomas exclaiming as he first showed her off. “you’re going to like this girl, a top-class darling. I don’t understand humans - a few scratches and a couple of broken windows, and that apparently warrants just abandoning her! Key slotted in the lock and everything. It’d have rusted away if I hadn’t found her, you know? And she’s all ours.”

"Paint job like silk, luxurious leather seats, great start-up, a regular sex machine. I don’t say that lightly. A four-wheel drive like a data rush when we interface, turbo-charged desire - oh, Guy - step on the accelerator, take the surging gearstick in your hand, lean back, spread your legs. You ramp it up like you’re hurtling headfirst into the Autobahn, she shifts gears, and - bang! Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo has died and gone to heaven!”

It’s not as if he was wrong about that last bit, metaphorically speaking.
But now that this has happened - oh, Thomas. I only wish.

(Present day, present time, I am Sputnik in its lonely orbit begging to burn up and rejoin with Earth.)

Then I get an idea. I walk over to his remains. We kept the Ferrari in top condition, even having a black box installed. I never understood why Thomas insisted on that last one, seeing as we robots can’t even claim insurance - but as I straighten up, his own black box sifted out from the ashes and atop my hand - by God, I actually might, now. I clutch it tight and look out over the horizon. It’ll be a long way back, but I’m sure I can sneak back into the town.

The car key is still in my pocket.
Let me fix you, Thomas. Let me fix you, baby doll.

(Future night, future time, the static gives way to blissful silence.)

It’s a pain (especially because I’m running out of battery) fixing up the car on my own. I don’t even have that many tools on me save for what I can improvise, but I appear to have deduced Thomas’s intentions correctly at least. With my charger plugged into the lighter-receptacle and a cable connecting my helmet to the GPS, it is with great relief and exhaustion that I start up the car and his voice flickers on. Hello, sweetheart, he chuckles. Thank you. It’s nice to be back, even just for a while.

"You bastard. I missed you so much.”

And I did, too. But you kept me safe and warm.

"So what does it feel like," I say. "you know. Being a car."

Happy. Comfortable. Sleek. Sexy. Wanted.

"You could have told me earlier you had a plan. I thought I had your blood all over my hands."

I had to figure out a way, he says with that heartbreaking laugh he used to have. Take me for a ride, Guy. Take me for a ride, let’s talk about the good times.

(Sometime past, at the beginning, two number-stations awaken holding hands.)

We talk a lot on the way; strange, we were only parted for maybe two or three days in total, but we find plenty to talk about what happened during that time. We need that time to say all the farewells we deserve, and even then, eternity wouldn’t be enough. I tell you what, though. If we can’t have eternity, one last road trip with my darling will do just fine.

He drives smooth, noiseless apart from his voice keeping me company. Turn left at next junction for Death Valley, he says, and I nod a yes and throw my charger out of the window before steering us left. Every thrum of his engine, his quiet laughter, and the tracks he leaves on the sand makes me fall in love all over again. It is the most primitive printing-press, a bold universal headline that traces our path, telling them that we were here, that we lived, that we were together.

(Someday past, sometime past, one number-station turns to the other and says - here I am - and the other responds - so glad you are.)

"Looks like this is the end," I finally say one night in the middle of the desert. It’s raining, we’re out of fuel, and my scans tell me that we’re both nearly gone. "and I want to ask one more thing of you."

Fire away.

"Forgive me as I have forgiven you a long time ago."

You are forgiven, he echoes. An hour and forty-eight minutes to Heaven. Once the engine dies, he too will shut himself off. A warmth travels down my body and I know he is caressing me goodbye.

Merci. See you soon, Thomas. See you soon, baby doll.”

I love you, Guy.

The GPS shuts off and only the radio is left.
How beautiful it is to die in rain, especially where it is so rare. Rain doesn’t discriminate. If you’re under it, you’re getting wet - there’s no stopping rain and its egalitarian nature. Soon the rain becomes a veil over my optical sensors and beyond, encasing my consciousness in its gentle rhythm. I fold my hands over my chest and lean backwards, safe in Thomas’s embrace. Somewhere deep inside me another sensor beeps, but I pay it no mind; it only means that I will soon be gone.

Where I am going, all that I have lost remains there; I will find them unchanged and unharmed, and feel my lover’s arms around me. The darkness comes and I let it wash over me, melding into the final strands of the music on the radio, never alone again.

(Present day, present time, a station playing static crackles and shuts off.)

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