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The repairer

By mmadson All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Thriller


“In the past, we didn’t live like this being treated no better than a mud room rug.

Chapter 1

The repairer raises his metal utensil, speared full of genetically modified ‘food’ for closer inspection when his electronic wrist brace blinks bright siren red in rapid succession!

He lowers his fork to rest next to his plate. His ocean blue eyes snap from bright curiosity to an emotionless void. He wipes his fingers and lips as he leaves the table where a few feet later; he stops.

He looks down at the soiled napkin resting in his hand. He wraps his fist around the crushed paper and tosses it to land on top of the garbage that was to be his evening meal.

On his way out he pauses by the hallway mirror to check that his attire meets the requirements per the ‘repairer handbook of rules and regulations.’

His eyes confirm his fit muscular frame is ready to respond in his worker uniform that he’s ordered to wear 24x7. His lips tighten at this thought. To expect 24x7 adherance is bullshit because the handbook was first written for the robotic repairers. When the uppers realized they still needed human workers, some asshole changed the manual title to Human Repairer.

He steps outside his mini apartment and immediately turns his head facing away from the camera hanging above.

The camera sensing his movement lights up while its lens captures a mere glimpse of him walking briskly towards the transport station where he promptly pushes the green button to activate the mega mansion’s underground electric tube.

His reflection in the transport glass reveals a ripped muscled chest under his white shortsleeved workshirt where adorned over the heart is a sewed-on patch name tag that reads simply in blue thread, “repairer.”

The identifying name is not capitalized on purpose as the uppers who control everything concluded giving his position a capital R may give the essentials like him the illusion they were somebody. The decision was to administer job titles in small letter case to symbolize the human workers’ inferior status.

He focuses on his status as he zooms across the vast home of his ancient zillionaire employer, the richest and most powerful man in the world.

Within moments, the metro stops and slides it’s doors open while a pleasant electronic voice advices he should hurry.

“The Employer’s blood pressure is rising. He keeps asking where you are.”

He raises an eyebrow in acknowledgement of the disembodied advice as he strides out into the employee tunnel where his stony face switches to a grimace. “Where’s that high pitched squeaking coming from?” His eyes look around and then settle on his rubber-soled work boots. He sighs as they prove they are the culprit while generating the irritating sound with each step on the hallway tile. “I’m going to get hell for these noisy shoes even though they were assigned to me,” he gripes to himself.

He reaches the massive gathering room in time to be hailed impatiently by his fuming pompous hoary employer who shouts and waves his cigar at him. “Why did it take you so long, jeez, we got an emergency here, you’re embarrassing me in front of my esteemed guests.”

“What is the problem sir?” he asks with downcast eyes. He is not allowed to look at any of the uppers in the eye without permission.

“YOU ARE THE FUCKING REPAIRER! his employer exasperatedly roars becoming more irate, can’t you see the robots are broken?”

Presuming his employer’s demanding rant is approval to survey the room, he raises his veiled observant eyes and takes in the chaotic scene.

Strewn about the floor is smashed remnants of crystal drink glasses. Sharp glass shards rest in various alcoholic puddles.

The servant robots stand frozen in place —like metal-skin store mannequins displayed in various distorted poses.

One maid robot is balancing a platter of hors d’oeuvre as if she’s offering them to the heavens, while another is twisted and bent over as if demonstrating a yoga stance. There are multiple butlers whose formal livery attire hangs sloppily upon their polymer encased skeleton. They stand stock-still, their cyber-claws gripping round ornate silver serving trays holding tipped over expensive scotch that drips fine whiskey onto their painted black robot shoes.

Over at the appetizer bar, a few guests, mostly snobby trophy wives, gag — one appearing to vomit into her own mouth as the food automator heaves costly caviar, blini pastries and freshly boiled lobster into a barfed up mess onto the finely engineered hardwood floor.

“I’ll get right on it, Sir,” he says assuredly.

“Well, repairer, for your own sake, you better fix it quickly. My guests are hungry and thirsty. I can replace you, you know. There’s more like you waiting for an opportunity like this,” his employer meanly retorts while tapping his burning cigar sloppily so that the burnt ash sparks a minuscule flame as it lands upon the combustible alcoholic liquid spilled about the hardwood floor. His employer angrily stomps out the flame while shaking his right fist to him as if to say, now look what you did!

The repairer expressionless heads over to a nearby custom panel that is disguised as a famous abstract oil painting. Using his index finger, he presses on a specific mathematical design that gives off a green glow as it verifies his fingerprint.

The entire wall slides sideways and then inward so that the Robotic interconnected hardware and ROS (Robotic Operating Systems) greets him with a blinking screen prompting him for his credentials.

He provides his fingerprint again and also inserts his provisioned ID that is reset randomly by his employer at whim and once logged on, he maintains a blank expression on his chiseled handsome face as his secretive blue eyes studies the core system and thinks, they act like I built this crap. It’s those jerks who created these issues, the inventors and builders who knowingly cut corners to increase their profits but it’s the repairers who get the blame.

As he checks the ROS Ecosystem program and runs the platform diagnostics to test ports to boards, he ruminates to himself on how once he used to have a real name but it was taken away as the uppers said it was too hard to remember and didn’t ‘repairer’ say it all they sneered reveling in their patronizing superiority over him.

Really, was Jim that hard of a name,’ he thinks with disgust. He has come to the realization that the greedy cold bastards

prefer to never personalize anything they believe is

to serve them. How did we let them get so powerful and take over the world?

He remembers what his own Father told him, who also was a repairer until his own son inevitably replaced him

“In the past, we didn’t live like this being treated no better than a mud room rug. We could own our homes and be respected for our skills and hard work, while being paid times more than just a living wage,” his Father bitterly explained to him when he asked his Father one day why they were begrudged even a sliver when the others had so much.

His Father would continue in a regretful tone, “We should have paid attention to what the rich and politicians were doing. But we poor slobs dreamed of being rich ourselves so we looked the other way and before we knew it, we had obsoleted ourselves!

Oh you’re thinking ‘where is the government in all this?’

Well, They had sold out and then got spitted out.

When people finally realized what was happening. It was too late even if Government were able to step in.

We voters demanded a reduced government and that’s what we got alright! So reduced that none of those assholes in government exists today. Yep, our representation went with it. The Rich run everything.

Those bastards were smart in not making their government allies an essential.

I overheard the trillionaires discussing how once power was theirs, they would no longer be able to trust their minions in government. Those losers in government will sell their loyalty to whoever wishes to usurp us…and why not, they did it for us,” the influential young trillionaire (who now is his much richer employer) advised his peers.′

The repairer grins to himself remembering the glee on his Father’s face when he told him about how all the politicians and lobbyists that did the bidding for the rich were wiped off the face of the earth. Oops, he realizes he let a smirk appear on his face and quickly sweeps his eyes to the side to check that no one saw. Cracking a smile like that could get him obsoleted.

His evil venomous zillionaire employer, still possessing shrewd sharp eyes along with cameras hidden about to monitor not only the repairer but everyone else’s every move, squints and thinks to himself. “Did that idiot actually display a moment of happiness over his stupid face? Hmmm. Surely he learned where that would get him when we had him watch his own subordinate Father dispatched to the boneyard. Perhaps the repairer figured out the fix and is gloating to himself how damn smart he is. He is the best repairer there is so I hate to get rid of him — I’ll have to keep watch on him, the Zillionaire thinks as he turns and chuckles to his guests as he nods dramatically to the repairer focused on his task of fixing the system that replaced his kind and will eventually replace him too.

“The future is ours now thanks to me who led the earths’ richest to quickly triple our numbers whilst we rid the world of human labor right under their noses; replaced most with sleek silvery machines that held brainier CPU’s, robotic circuits, tiniest of chips and wires encased in new materials that replaced expensive steel.

What a great world I own…err, he catches his ego to replace his statement with we. Robots now do nearly everything a human used to do —- serving whatever we request along with cleaning and repairing our spacious mansions that have grown to the size of Texas. These lovely robots do all the work whether for business or home so much better and NO complaints. Ha, they even perform medical diagnosis to surgical repair and the 3D maker prints our pills and everything else …..we…de..sire” He chokes out those last words as a crackling cough rattles his lung hacking up the phlegm that coats his throat.

“We surpassed our goal.” His arrogant spoiled son chimes in preening as if it was his idea though he didn’t even exist back then. Only 5% of population are essentials today, comprised of repairers and various experts of matters that seem done best by humans. Still, these essentials are leeches made of flesh and blood who beg for pay, food and a roof over their heads. So sick of their messy emotions and pleas for healthcare and time off too.”

“Why couldn’t they be happy to just serve us.” A sadist trillionaire muses to arouse himself by joining the bashing of human labor. It’s us who deservedly inherited the whole damn world with all the resources at our sole disposal. Thanks so much sir,” as he bows respectively to the richest of them all —-the repairer’s employer, their host.

“Yes, it was you and our fathers, self described as job creators, invested not into jobs but into machines———cleverly manipulating those who thought they were in power

to willingly give the richest

BIG and BIGGER and then BIGGEST tax credits to pay for it all,

so their fortunes continued to grow while the pitiful workers were tricked into their own demise.

How sweet it is! The wealthiest rejoiced on owning the new world.

“Yes, but we still need the bleeding repairers — a sly ambitious billionaire reminds them.

“When can we be rid of them too” he begs

as he eyes with malice the repairer who works nearby summoned to fix the system glitch that disabled their precious machines from doing their bidding. ‘I do hate looking at them—- their eyes bitter and full of resentment. How dare these lowers make us feel guilt.’

“Soon they will be gone - we’re working on their obsolescence too,” gloats an ass-kissing billionaire.

“Let’s be sure to keep the eye candy and the best of the entertainers” is gleefully shouted by both young trophy wives and aged cougars. A few decadent men who enjoy various perverted sexual tastes also join in the delight of mistreating then dismissing the more beautiful and talented as mere decoration for their amusement.

The astute repairer while attentive to their mean-spirited lament quietly finds and resolves the technical coding error.

Once the machines whirl back to life, he’s haughtily dismissed back to his small personal quarters where he tucks his young daughter into her sleeping cube. He only gets to keep her because of her high IQ —————— and so he ends his day with this bedtime story that needs no exaggeration.

“That’s a terrible story daddy, will there be no job, no future for me?”

“I’m sure you’ll be inventive so work hard to become a crucial essential and if not

they’ll keep you as a back-up he says with hope and sadness mixed in his voice.

“What’s a backup,” she curiously asks?

“Oh that’s to replace someone like me — once you get old enough, you’ll be stored in suspended animation until they call upon you to serve them.”

“Ewwww. That is an icky way to live,” his daughter repulsed says while scrunching her pretty cherub face.

Well dear - it’s better than the boneyard, he sighs as he pulls the covers up to her chin. That’s where the other 92% of the world’s population disappeared into.

As she falls asleep and the lights go out, his strong back muscles ripple under his shirt as he leans forward —-hands clasped in front of him. He pretends to watch over her while he really contemplates what his eidetic memory has taught him so far and how to put this knowledge to use to turn the tables once and for all. His sandy-haired head is bowed as if in prayer so the prying cameras he knows are hidden above cannot see his eyes light up as a clever idea bears fruit inside his brilliant mind.

Yes, this plan could work to bring these bastards down and take the world back he ponders as his tongue flicks his upper lip while an indiscernible smile tugs at one corner of his mouth.

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