Brave Little Toaster Fanfiction: TBLT: Finds The Recalled - 25. Household Yearns, As He Returns
25. Household Yearns, As He Returns
Solera awoke slowly, though managed to remain frozen. She stood at her usual spot in Scotty’s office, overhearing him and Marley speaking. What happened? When did she get here? How was everyone else? Most importantly…
What were these sensations? She could feel herself internally shaking from it all, pulling faces she never once could before. She tried to make herself stop, just long enough to listen in to the conversation.
“Good as new, thank goodness,” Marley was saying, as Solera felt Scotty switch her on, then off. “I don’t know what the heck’s been happening lately. My work lamp was beheaded, yours was a charred mess, one of the Marigolds too! Even lost a cord…”
“Was it Mr. McGroarty’s?” Scotty asked, waiting with bated breath.
“Oh no, not his; that one’s just fine,” Marley assured, before adding, “Anyway, I’m lucky that Majesty parts are easy to come by. Weird thing though, was this.” Scotty was heard taking whatever Marley gave to him. “I tried looking into it, but that SD card’s totally fried. Can’t use it. I’m not sure why something like that would be in a lamp…”
There was a pause, as Scotty inspected it. Solera suddenly realized that she was, indeed, without the card. How could she possibly lead in her Master’s stead now, like this?
“Well, whatever was in it, it’s gone now,” Scotty admitted, putting it in a drawer somewhere. “Let’s just try to get the Marigold project back on track. The mechanic team’s due to arrive today, I believe.”
“Right; you got it, Scottman,” Marley chuckled, before turning to leave. “See ya later.”
“It’s Scotty-” He tried to say, but the door shut too soon. He sighed, moments after lowering his volume. “Look, Solera… You guys need to be more careful. Plus, Marley might not be able to save you next time, you know? So, no more funny business, okay?”
Solera held onto every word, knowing full well that she was being spoken to. She revealed her face, looking up at him for the first time in… She wasn’t sure how long ago it was. She had a saddened expression.
“Of course, Master,” She said to him with a respectful bow, almost stuttering her words as she heard the lack of the usual, robotic monotone. “I deeply apologize on behalf of these transgressions. They will not happen again.” While this display seemed like the biggest break of appliance code, Scotty merely gave her a curious look.
“You seem different,” He observed, his tone softening. “Your eyes, your face… You’re expressing emotions. … Was it that card?”
“… Possibly,” Solera noted, but no less upset as she rose again. “But it also carried every bit of wisdom from my… Predecessors. Now, I have nothing. On second thought, I may as well be replaced.”
“Nah, no way!” Scotty waved the notion off. “I always wondered how you were so gifted at this. But you remember it, don’t you? Even if you don’t, we’re partners; you’ll get the hang of it again.”
“I… I believe I do…” She blinked in wonder, before a smile bloomed. By now, she found that she was emoting, as Scotty mentioned. While it felt foreign and almost uncontrollable to her, it was nonetheless… Magical. “Thank you, for believing in me.”
“Ah, forget about it…” Scotty gave her head a small pat. Any time before, Solera wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but now… It meant so much. Then, the DM laughed. “By the way, I still can’t believe you kept that lamp’s review. Man, he roasted David something awful!”
“Oh, that…!” She became embarrassed from his comment. “I was meaning to ask about that… It.” She caught herself, correcting her wording.
“If it means more input with that much personality, then yes. You may conduct appliance surveys.” Solera found herself lighting up, both figuratively and literally. When she realized the latter, she quickly shut off.
“Thank you, Master. You won’t regret it…!”
As Solera quickly found out, two days had passed while she was out of commission. In that time, or so she was told by Lammond, some major things occurred.
The trap was removed and the barricade taken down, restoring safety and nuance to the waiting room. The Marigolds were found, safe and sound, as were Flynn’s group of visitors and the McGroartys. Flynn and others went on to return home before they could raise suspicion in their households, while the latter…
“Those are… The Non-Luxleys,” He explained, “They initially came here in concern, when they heard Lampy go missing; they’re his housemates, you see. They’ve been sticking by him ever since. Actually, because of them, the Marigolds are here now…”
The work lamp awoke at what felt like the very next day, headpiece in place and all, with the last thing he remembered being that he’d lost to Raymond. Then, there was apparently this big altercation, which Solera was able to verify, at least her portions of it.
All the appliances who were blinded by Raymond had fully recovered. As for him in particular, his body was discreetly carted off to the local junkyard, Ernie’s Disposal. Subsequently, the body of “PC” underwent examination by the HQ computers. It was still fully functional, yet any trace left of the rogue Sunflower was completely gone – nothing would turn up, no matter how deep the search was.
“They say that he “moved” instead of “copied”…” Lammond mused with a small scratch on the shade. “I’m not sure what that means, but it was relieving to them…”
“It means that he didn’t leave another version of himself within PC,” Solera decided to explain. “The one you, I, and they fought? The only Raymond in existence. Therefore, he’s met his end.”
“… Ah, now I see…” Lammond nodded, then continued. “That said, they aren’t certain if there ever will be an actual person in there now, or if Raymond stole away that chance.”
“I suppose we’ll have to wait and find out,” Solera mused, with an uncomfortable look in her eyes. As Lammond continued to fill her in, he showed her a mirror, specifically to point out how she appeared now. Instead of the hollow, glowy eyes, plus the blank stare, the former had changed into what was considered the default of her model.
It only cemented the idea that the SD card was the cause to her prior appearance. It was said that Raymond copied that data into himself, as well. How dreadful…
“To be honest, I think I like the real you already,” Lammond commented. “I know it’ll take some getting used to, but I know you can.” He continued on, mentioning how the employees were growing suspicious of the activity as of late, so there was a huge recommendation to lay low for a while.
“Yes, my Master said to me, “No more funny business”,” Solera recited, agreeing with it. “I’ll admit, sometimes I get too comfortable, and forget that other Humans still can’t know. He’s in a special position somehow, and I take it for granted, at times…”
“Heh, I wish I could talk to mine,” Lammond replied playfully, “I’m sure we’d make a great team. Oh, and about the mechanics… They’re doing wonderful, so far. With that Marigold cord shipment, they already fixed up most of the ones we rescued. We’ve even planned a recovery program for them, should they wish to return to their old homes. Also, the Unsold ones should be brought in tomorrow, and…”
Then, Lammond recalled the VHS tape. With careful precision, the cassette holder was mended with duct tape.
“So, whenever you feel ready, I could finally show you why we changed our minds.”
“Immediately, if that is possible.”
“Yes. Please. I need to know exactly what was hidden from me.”
Lammond obliged, not wanting to question her. When she watched the tape, she ended up sobbing uncontrollably, Lammond comforting her. She felt like a moron to have gone against prospects of fact-checking all over again.
At some point, she managed to become acquaintanced with Toaster and company, offering her most sincere gratitude and apologies for everything that’s happened; especially to Lampy, who was reluctant to stop hiding from her. However, he noticed the clear change in the DM lamp’s demeanor – he could tell that she meant every word. In the end, he forgave her.
When she asked if there was anything she could do to repay them, one answer was given.
“A ride home would be nice…” It was from Kirby. He was about to be reprimanded for coming off a bit too forward, only for Solera to respond.
“Consider it done. Whenever you like.”
“We were already going to do that…” Lammond muttered, but Solera would hear none of it. At last, things seemed to be finally looking up.
“And you’re sure you’ll be okay without us?” Toaster was asking. Lampy let out an irritated groan.
“Yes, for the 15th time- and yes, I counted! – I will be fine,” He replied with certainty. “I get it, and I appreciate it; but please stop asking.”
“It was really 15…?” The little toaster let out a nervous chuckle. “Okay, sorry.” A fully-repaired Lampford approached and stood next to Lampy, Lampta and others joining in nearby. Every single one now carried a bulb, contrasting to what was once the unfortunate norm.
“I am pleased to say, that you’ve nothing to worry about,” The taller Marigold added, “We’ll keep him safe.”
It was now Sunday, which felt coincidental. The day they left to find Lampy, is now the day they’ll be returning home. Good thing too, since the family is due to arrive tomorrow. In all honesty, the first thing Toaster wanted to do was plop face-first onto his kitchen counter and not move for the rest of the day. Needless to say, his companions weren’t far behind in that thought process.
Those present were in another room, where repaired appliances awaited their master or mistress to return for them. Since Lampy was no longer the only one repaired, he felt no more need to move to where others were.
“Good, because I would rather not have to come back,” Kirby spoke, though it sounded more teasing. Lewis found it in him to smile from it, having managed to learn what this vacuum was really like.
“You and me both…” He agreed. Next to him, Lucy gave a nod. Not long later, Lammond appeared in the room with them.
“Moe’s ready, whenever you are,” He announced, lightly. Nodding, the group bid their farewells to the Marigolds, and hugged Lampy goodbye before they turned to leave.
“Take care of yourselves!” Lampta called.
“We will!” Blanky chose to respond. Just as they were all about to exit the door, Lampy pulled Radio close again, meeting up with him. Curious, Radio turned, only to briefly seize when Lampy gave him a small peck on the speaker.
“See you at home,” He whispered to the awestruck radio, making the move to release him, yet Radio returned the affection with a kiss. Lampy couldn’t help but smile behind it.
“See you at home,” Radio repeated once over, volume at his lowest. The two let go, Radio following after the group with a casual call of “Slow down! Why’re you all in such a hurry?”. Lampy watched from the doorway, missing them already even if he knew it wouldn’t last long. From not far off, a few of the lamps were gushing.
Moe pulled up to the house on the countryside. When the door went up, Lammond peered outside from the passenger window.
“This is where you live? Goodness, your master truly has it made…” He spoke, impressed. Toaster and the others got out of Moe, Toaster pausing to look back at him.
“Yeah, he studied… 10 years, I think, to become a veterinarian,” He told the work lamp, pointing out the nearby barn. “That’s where he does his best work, now. We’re really lucky to have him…”
“A vet, husband, and a father!” Blanky pointed out. “We love them all, and would do anything for them!”
“Anything?” Lammond echoed the last word.
“We once even went to Mars!” Radio added, remembering that tale with a laugh. “And you know what? We’d do it again!” Kirby released a sigh.
“Let’s hope that never happens…” All the while, Lammond was utterly confused. In the end, he figured it was a “McGroarty” thing. They said their best wishes and goodbyes, before Moe and Lammond left them to enter the house.
“Home sweet home…” Toaster quoted, as he and the other three filed inside, using Radio’s picklocking to open the door. They were sure to relock it upon entry. The interior looked the same as it ever would, even though it felt like they were gone for far longer than a week. Since the house was otherwise devoid of noise, the sounds of mechanical hopping down the steps were heard. It was Pavé.
“There you are!” The laptop exclaimed, reaching them. “I was wondering when you were coming back. Really cut it close, there.”
“Welcome back, fellas! We missed you so much!” Kirby retorted in sarcasm. Pavé blinked, then ignored it.
“So, how’d it go? I heard that he was found, from a message on the answering machine. Did you guys make that happen?” Despite the exhaustion they were all feeling, Toaster had it in himself to answer.
“It’s a long story, and boy, we found a whole lot more than just Lampy…”
The very next day, the McGroarty appliances overheard the familiar vehicle of the family arrive home. They fled to their spots, freezing as the door unlocked, the three Humans stepping in with only some of their luggage. As they kept at it and got everything inside, they noticed that there was a message left on their answering machine. They played it back.
“Mr. McGroarty, we’re calling to inform you that we found your lamp!” It was the voice of David, and at first, Rob wasn’t happy to hear it again. Then, the words spoken changed his mind. “Additionally, it has been repaired, good as new. Due to the unforeseen misplacement, our service will be on the house. We’ll be waiting for you to come pick it up! Have a good day!” Afterward, it relayed the time and date of when the message was left.
In joy, Rob began to leave again, quickly followed by his son, and finally Chris.
“Wait, Dad! I’m coming too!” Robbie called as he dashed. Chris sounded more reluctant.
“Seriously? You two are nuts…” Yet, she let it go with an eyeroll.
From in the kitchen, Toaster revealed his face, smiling lever to lever. He knew exactly what was going to come next, and he was looking forward to it with every bit of his being. He was sure the others in the household were feeling the same way.
“Finally,” He whispered to himself. “Lampy’s coming home…”