Disclaimer: The Buffyverse and all things from it belong to Joss Whedon. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy belonged to the dearly departed Douglas Adams. Marvin belongs to the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, or did until they were all placed against a wall and shot when the revolution started. I don’t think he belongs to anyone now – after all, who would want him?
Author's Note: This is in the Movie section because that's where our Hitchhikers category is, but this story definitely does not feature that lame incarnation of Marvin from the recent movie that looked like an overgrown androgenous cheap toy
. This story features the original BBC masterpiece of robot design
from the TV series, and 80's pop star extraordinare!
She was singing again. Marvin was fairly sure it was just to annoy him, but he actually quite liked being annoyed. It made a nice change from being depressed. He wasn’t young, or a man. He was fairly sure they couldn’t help him today, or any other day. All in all, this YMCA place sounded quite ghastly. He tried to add it to his data file of things to be avoided because they were depressing, obnoxious, annoying or a combination of the three; however, he found he was out of storage space in that particular subsystem – something his designers at the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation would have thought impossible – and this godforsaken backwater of a planet had not reached the level of technology necessary for him to purchase an upgrade. He had already decided to add the Buffybot to that file, and mark it as a high priority item, even if it did mean purging... He couldn’t remember what he had purged as it was, well, purged, but he felt confident that whatever it was, it was less depressing, less obnoxious and less annoying than the Buffybot.
“Hey, Marvin!” the object of his disaffection called. “What do you like to do in your spare time?”
“Nothing,” he replied. They were currently disassembling the small shuttlecraft in which Marvin had crashed into the Oxfordshire countryside. The plan was to take it back to the Watchers’ Headquarters building before anyone else discovered it. Willow had brought two junior slayers with her to investigate what they thought at the time was a meteorite impact, and she had seen it has an ideal opportunity to test the reassembled Buffybot. The discovery of Marvin clawing his way free from the crumpled remains had been a shock, but they had soon decided that he wasn’t dangerous, just very, very depressing. He was so depressing that Willow had left as soon as she had cast a do-not-notice spell over the crash site to give them time to recover the ship. The slayers, who were supposed to be helping with the disassembly, had relocated themselves to the other side of the truck into which the parts were being loaded as soon as the witch was out of sight, and were now supervising the loading in a talking about boys kind of way. The Buffybot was the only one that appeared to be immune to Marvin’s personality, much to his distress.
“You can’t like nothing. There must be something you like?” she asked.
“I like watching television. It is very interesting and full of wonderful products that I can buy in a mall.”
“And I like talking to Willow. She is a very intelligent person, and repairs me when I am broken.”
“I wish she’d stop.”
Marvin thought about trying to find her off switch – he didn’t mind disassembling the ship on his own if it meant getting some peace and quiet – but she kept bouncing around too much.
“Hey, ‘bots – are you two done yet?” one of the slayers called from the truck.
“No Jenny,” replied the Buffybot. “We will be another twenty four minutes at our current rate of deconstruction. Please continue your discussion: I can’t wait to hear what Marla did to Charlotte after Tabitha told her she’d seen her kissing John.”
“Stop listening to our private conversation and get on with breaking the ship apart, you glorified can opener,” yelled Angela, the other Slayer.
“See, no respect for us robots, humans; they just treat us like slaves,” Marvin complained. “Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and what do they have me doing? Breaking a ship to pieces. It would have been much simpler to repair it.”
“You could of repaired it?”, asked a shocked Jenny, “Why didn’t you say so?”
“You didn’t ask,” Marvin responded smugly.
“Well, if your brain is the size of a planet, how do you fit it in your head?” the slayer responded. “Do you have some sort of futuristic subspace technology like on Star Trek? Or is the inside of your head bigger on the inside than it is on the outside like Doctor Who’s TARDIS?”
“Geek,” muttered Angela.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Marvin responded. “It’s a very small planet.” With that, he turned and continued to disassemble the spacecraft, and the girls returned to disassembling Marla’s love life. However, the Buffybot wasn’t going to allow him any peace.
“Humans don’t always
treat us robots like slaves. Andrew sometimes treats me like a slave, but other times he treats me like a nurse, and sometimes he treats me like a princess. Sometimes he even lets me treat him like a slave.” Marvin shuddered, and decided to try and change her track.
“What about that television you value so highly? Have you ever seen a program called ‘Robot Wars’?”
Now it was the Buffybot’s turn to shudder. She had seen the program, soon after they had first reassembled her back at the Watchers' Headquarters. At first, she had admired Sir Killalot, and was considering writing to him to ask if he would like to go on a date. After all, how many bachelor robotic knights of the realm were there available? However, desire had soon turned to disgust after she had seen the horrible things he did to those hopelessly outmatched innocent little robots with their toy axes. The next morning, when Willow arrived at the headquarters building, she found a severely traumatised robot and that every circular saw in the workshop had had its blade destroyed.
The Buffybot cast a hurt look in Marvin’s direction for a moment, then her natural perkiness kicked in again and she resumed singing: “Some things in life are bad, they can really make you sad. Other things just make you smile and curse...”
A minute or so later, he found himself asking the question: “What bright side?”