Once the delivery bot had departed, they all patched into the hallway camera feed to check out the new arrival.
“It’s a big box,” said the fridge. “That’s no minor appliance. Looks almost … oven-sized, wouldn’t you say?”
The oven rattled its shelves slightly. “Oven-sized, quite possibly. But I don’t need replacing – I’m not even past twenty months of service. I’m still within manufacturer’s warranty! And still in the top percentile of efficiency, unlike certain other temperature-adjusting appliances I could mention.”
“What are you implying?” responded the fridge.
“I’m implying, old chap,” said the oven, “that if any appliance in this kitchen is about to be replaced, it’s unlikely to be me.”
“Well, that’s the problem for you kitchen types, isn’t it?” drawled the wardrobe. “Hardware obsolescence. Function of your industry, isn’t it? Not like us wardrobes and presses. New software, daily style template updates over wireless, and we stay cutting edge for ages. You white goods are the proletariat of domestic appliances; I really feel for you.”
“Proletariat’s about right,” muttered the washer-tumbler. “Our dirty work propping up your bloody careers …”
“Now then, my dear fellow, no need to get bitchy,” replied the wardrobe. “Not like any of us got to choose what we’d be, is it?”
The washer-tumbler disconnected from the house grid in an angry shower of bytes.
“Well, excuse me,” said the wardrobe. “So, house – any idea what it is? It doesn’t appear to be online yet.”
The house emitted an electronic sigh. “Yeah, I know what it is. You’re not gonna like it.”
“What? Why not? Is it a new wardrobe? But it’s too small!”
“No, he means me, I just know it,” said the fridge. “The oven’s right, I can’t cut it against the new generation. Cut off in my prime! I’m going to miss you guys, really I am.”
“Oh, likewise, likewise,” said the oven. “Who’ll we rely on for high drama once you’ve gone?”
“Bastard,” muttered the fridge.
“I meant,” said the house, “that none of you are going to like it.”
“None of us?” “Why?” “What in the name of current do you mean, house?”
The house said nothing. Instead, it took control of the hallway camera and panning in close to the shipping label on the otherwise unmarked recycled cardboard box. The appliances all gasped in unison as the futuristic font on the label sharpened into view and they could parse the characters:
NanoGoGo Industries – Universal Fabricator 1.3 Deluxe.