Technically, robots weren't programmed to feel fear. They were created for specific purposes, and more human things like emotions just got in the way of getting the job done. There were, however, a number of self-preservation routines needed to keep a robot from getting itself damaged, and Lord Business' sunny disposition set all of them to high alert.
"Ah, you're back!" he said cheerfully, resting his interlocked hands on the desk. "So… your report?"
The robot nodded. "Yes, Lord Business, sir. We have finished our surveys of the walls, and have marked all identified Master Builder bypasses. They've been designated for immediate deconstruction and we should be done within the week."
"Good, good." There was a squeak as Lord Business got up from his chair and turned his back to the robot, rising several plates into the air in the process. "And the search parties? What have they found?"
"Our search parties have swept all known Master Builder hideouts. There is no evidence of post-TAKOS Tuesday activity, sir."
Lord Business was silent. The robot mimed a gulp.
"You know, I'd call myself a pretty patient guy," he said, turning towards the robot with his face all smiles. He walked towards the robot, his boots ticking taller as he descended the stairs, until he was towered twice as tall over it. "I've given you robots aaaaall the time in the world to do this one simple job of finding out where the escaped Master Builders went."
"B-but sir, the Think Tank explosion eliminated them-"
"NOT ALL OF THEM!" Lord Business suddenly roared. He grabbed the robot by its collar and raised it to eye level, his face the definition of fury. "I checked every single stud of rubble that came out of that tower, and I know that not everyone was accounted for."
The robot frantically checked its records for an explanation - anything that would get Lord Business to put it down - and latched onto the first reasonable one it could find. "The… the Abyss, sir! With it's proximity to the tower, it's assumed that anyone unaccounted for fell in!"
For a moment, Lord Business's face seemed to relax, and for a moment the robot let itself do the same.
Then Lord Business brought the robot close to his face. "Emmet Brickowski returned from the Abyss, in case you'd forgotten." His eyes narrowed. "Do you really think a Master Builder would be capable of anything less?"
The robot looked away, unable to formulate a reply. With a scoff, Lord Business let it drop to the floor. It made an unpleasant cracking noise as it impacted, and it watched him turn his back through one flickering optic before it shut down.
Lord Business sighed and settled back into his chair, looking down at his desk with a tired expression. "Man, you just can't find good workers these days, eh?" he complained to empty air, before clicking a button on his desk. "Send someone up to my office. There's a mess that needs cleaning up."
He released the button and spun in his chair. The window behind his desk gave him a beautiful view of Bricksburg as it glittered in the sunlight. Without even thinking about it, he found himself tracing the path to the construction yard. He'd been avoiding it lately - it wasn't really healthy, and it made him think about unpleasant things. Even if Brickowski was probably a better listener than every darn robot in the tower…
No. He wouldn't go back there.
At least, not until tomorrow.
So, uh. I know this story was tagged as complete and all, but... well, here we are! Another chapter. Who'da thunk.
Thanks for all of your reviews and favorites and follows! There may be more of this little AU after all. I've got some ideas...