Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Hire

"Do you have any artificial parts?"

"No.  None."

"That is a shame.  You would be sexy with some Model 7 eyes."

Things used to be so different.  New hires used to deal with fellow human beings.  Now, all human resource matters were handled by beautiful robots.  The fact that it was just called HR now officially in every government document was very telling.

"How many sexual partners have you had in the last year?"

"Eight."

"Eight?  Not bad, stud.  You must be doing something right with your erotic manipulation techniques."

The fact that those idiots in Congress removed the protections of privacy certainly didn't help matters.  Each robot was designed to ask probing questions and store them in the master database.  It allowed employers to have an extensive and shockingly detailed personality analysis of each employee.  The fact that he already had the job wasn't important.  If he refused to answer an intimate question it would be grounds for termination.  Many crusaders learned that the hard way.

"Do you like oranges or apples better?"

"Oranges...I guess."

"Have you ever punched someone in anger?"

"Yes."

"Follow up, did you enjoy it?"

"I...umm....no.  It was a bad time."

Each question supposedly was formed via hundreds of hours of debate between mental health agents.  Sometimes it made sense.  Other times it seemed like just a bored programmer having some fun.

"On the female of the species do you prefer the breasts, legs, or rear?"

Bastard programmer.  Has to be.

"Breasts."

"Do you want to have sex with your sister?  Her file says that her breasts are 20% larger than the average size of a woman of her age, weight, and race."

"God no!  What kind of question is that?"

"Excuse me?"

Monroe wanted to scream.  It was shit like this that got the crusaders all up in arms.  They kept talking about how the whole system was slowly destroying freedom question by question.  Control of course had the opposite viewpoint.  To them each question brought greater truth about the true mental well being of each employee.  If the employer knew the employee they could create a better work experience for them.

"No.  I do not want to have sex with my sister."

"The texture and artificial skin of my chassis mimics the breasts of the human species.  Would you consider my artificial breasts larger than your well endowed sister?"

Sexual harassment was also a thing of the past.  It made things fun sometimes but most of the time it created just this kind of creepy exchange, especially when robots were concerned.  Give a machine a body and they see it as just another tool to utilize.  The original designers were thankfully all dead, never seeing what their creations transformed into.  Sick little puppets of the insecurities of others.

"I'm really not comfortable answering these questions."

"Would you like to be terminated before your contract truly begins?"

A robot was asking Monroe if he thought she had a large rack.  It was just so absurd.  How did the world come to this point?  It was the politicians.  As usual, everything went back to them.

"No.  I would like to be employed here."

"Excellent.  Please answer my previous question about the size of my artificial breasts."

She winked.  They were designed to be sexy versions of real people.  It was supposed to put people in a good mood and make them more likely to answer the invasive questions.  However, the way they spoke, the way they moved, the way they processed everything always gave them away.  The silver skin was just yet another reminder or the cold disgusting truth.

"I expect your artificial breasts are larger than my sister's breasts, yes."

She was flirting with him.  At least she was flirting with him in the disjointed manner that all robots flirted.  He had heard from some of his buddies that having sex with a robot was intense, but Monroe refused to cross that line.  The idea was just so bizarre.  It would be like having sex with his coffee machine.

"Thank you.  Next question.  If you had to punch a five year old child where would you injure the child?"

No specifics of course.  She asks the question like it is a perfectly normal question to ask and not some deranged composite of personality data.

"Arm."

"When you speed on the highway how much do you go over on average?"

"12 miles per hour."

"Do you have violent thoughts at least once a day?"

"Yes"

"Do you eat three meals per day?"

"Yes"

"Do you have sexual thought at least twice a day?"

"Yes"

"Follow up question.  Do you think machines are sexy?"

"No."

He puts extra emphasis on the word and stares into her mechanical eyes.  She pauses for just a moment.  She seems to be processing the information.  Was her little mechanical heart broken?

"I think we are done here, Monroe June Smith.  Thank you for your time.  You are now authorized to begin work distributing clothes buying advice to future customers on the 3rd floor of department store number 67895.  You can pick up your work tag at desk number 74 on floor eight."

"Oh, thank god.  I can't wait to get away from you."

"Welcome to the company, sexy."

*****
The job search is finally over.  I start my new job in about two weeks.  What does this mean for you?  It means I can now write more often without feeling guilty about it.  This directly translates into more posts on this blog again.  It's been a rough 8 months or so but I think things are looking up.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Glass Lady

"Who are you?"

"I'm Manitoba."

"Like the place in Canada?"

"The place?  That the best you got, killer?  Don't know what it is?"

Kirk shrugged.

"Is it a city?"

"Nope."

"State?"

The girl made out of broken glass paused and then shook her head.

"That's pretty close, but no, not a state.  It's a Province."

Kirk was getting quite baffled by this whole situation.

"Does it really matter?  I mean, isn't that pretty close to a state?  Isn't Canada made up of the different provinces or whatever?  Isn't that like us and the states, more or less?"

The glass girl scratched her face.  She took a pebble out of it and threw it on to the ground.

"Semantics are important in life, Kirk.  Everyone knows that."

"How the hell do you know my name?"

"Oh come on.  I've been your windshield for years now.  Do you really think I wouldn't know your name by this point?  Are you really being that insulting?"

He was bleeding pretty badly.  It had to be the blood loss or a hit on the head or something.  That would make sense.  Maybe.

"I'm in a lot of pain here so I'm just going to cut right to it.  Are you real?"

"Oh, absolutely."

"How?"

"What do you mean?"

"You just came out of my windshield glass and started walking around.  Umm...what's up with that?"

"Oh, yes, that.  Yeah, don't worry about that."

"Are you kidding me?  Don't worry about that?  I'm sorry.  I'm going to kind of just sit here and freak out a lot unless you start answering some questions."

"Bah, Cindy was right about you.  Such a baby."

He should call Cindy.  Sure, they broke up, but maybe she could calm things down.  In the mean time...

"Shut up!  Don't bring up, Cindy!"

"Geez.  Touchy, aren't you?  No wonder she cheated on you with Barry that one time."

"What?"

"Right here.  Back seat.  Saw everything.  She loved it.  Can't say I blame her."

"Oh god.  Oh god.  I just can't deal with this."

"Well, you need to get your stuff together, buddy.  I'm alive for a reason.  Get the emergency kit in the trunk, clean up your blood, and get moving.  If you stay here you're going to die."

Kirk just blinked and spat out some blood.

"No."

"Don't be petulant.  No time for it.  Get moving."

Kirk shook his head.  It had to be some kind of crazy head wound.  Or drugs.  Or something.

"Why Manitoba?"

"Previous owner.  Before your time.  Crazy times."  The glass near her glass cheeks turned a slight shade of red or at least it seemed to do so.  "None of your business.  Can you clean up your blood already?"

"Yeah, sure.  Why not?  I'll listen to you glass lady, but only until I get some good pain killers."

"Yes, yes, drug yourself.  I'm sure that is going to solve your problems."

"Oh shut up."

"All of you humans are honestly just such children."

"Don't make me get a rock."

"Try it little man."

Kirk grumbled and started moving towards the trunk.

******
The 8th.  23 days ago.  That was when I last updated my blog.  Looks like I failed my personal challenge in a pretty hardcore way, huh?  It isn't completely my fault (I got sick and sickness and coherent writing do not mix well, at least for me) but it is still rather disappointing.  It's been a crazy month but I also could have done a lot more writing instead of goofing off and playing video games.

Here is a definition of rut for you from the dictionary.
2. A fixed, usually boring routine.

Can I be a video game rut?  Based off the definition above I really can't enter one.  I don't find video games boring, especially the ones I have been playing recently.  However, I think a little bending of the definition is still appropriate in this situation.

I need to get out of my video game rut or VGR.

New month, new opportunity.  We will see how this goes I suppose.

Change is hard, people.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Line

It was Friday.  The only day of the week that really meant something.

The whole week was just a build up to the line.  Every minute in his cubicle was just a minute in anticipation of waiting in line for his reward.  Everything was just a matter of waiting.

Every stupid report.  Every dance recital.  Every child vomiting.  Every boring and mundane conversation with his wife.  Every meeting.  Every red light.  Everything.

The line was everything.  Everyone knew it.  It was like electricity in the air.  Nobody wanted to live the lives that they were living.  The line was the great equalizer.  Everyone was waiting for the same thing.  It was a chance to metaphysically embrace your fellow man in something greater than yourself.  It was better than drugs, sex, and sports combined.  It was the ultimate in all of creation.

Everyone always smiled on the line.  Smiled and talked about the latest shows.  It was a happy time, with everyone embracing the best that society had to offer.  All were present with a common purpose and nobody with $100 to spare was turned away.  It was exactly how democracy was supposed to work.

Nobody ever cut the line.  It was too big.  Too important.  Sure, it happened at first but then it just stopped happening.  Society builds itself up based off order.  The line reinforced that idea with its perfection.

There were detractors of course.  Misguided poor that saw the line as some sort of elite activity that was hurting the country.  It was all total bullshit.  They were sad and pathetic free thinkers that thought their crazy off the tube lifestyle was somehow better.

The woman four places up smiled at him.  Her teeth were properly white and perfect and her body was Package 3.  Sporty with a well toned but large ass.  Always a good model.  She made a gesture at him and he knew that she wanted sex.  The line did that to people.  It got people excited.

He was a Package 1.  Well toned, perfect chin, good hair, blue eyes.  It was expensive but worth it.  Promotion after promotion came his way and he had affairs from the line all the time.  They meant nothing of course but they were a nice distraction before he had to get back to his family.

The lined moved forward and the sense of nirvana came ever closer.  Soon it would be his turn.  Soon the world would make sense again, even if only for a few seconds.

The Package 3 went into the tent.  It was her turn.  It was hard not to be jealous.

She went in and out.  The others replaced her.  Finally, it was his turn.  The end of the line.

He walked into the tent.  It was Gwen Fisher from the popular reality show Witch Detective.  She was even more beautiful in person.  He walked into the proper place.

"I'm Gwen Fisher.  Nice to meet you."

She then punched him hard in the face.

The nanobots in his body would fix the damage to his face within seconds and the  Package 3 would be waiting out back for a quick screw.  However, none of that mattered right now.  It was important to live in the now and embrace the great wonder of America.

A real life celebrity just punched him.

It was heaven.

*****
Another Friday, another day of job search junk.  I hate how weekdays and weekends start to blend together when you don't have a job.  I'm getting really sick of this nonsense.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Never Bet on Red

"...and remember, don't bet on red.  Got all that?"

"Yeah, yeah, I got it."

"Skip, this is important.  If you don't get it, don't say that you do.  We only got one chance here."

"Look man, I said I got it, alright?  Can I go?"

Herman shook his head and took another drag on his cigarette.  He was an ugly old son of a bitch but he knew the rackets better than most.  This was going to work.  It had to.

"You're too damn cocky, kid.  Don't screw this up."

"Thanks for the confidence, Mom."

"Shut up and get in there."

Skip smiled at Herman and entered the casino.  This world didn't follow Union Jack standards.  There were advantages and disadvantages to that practice.  The good news was that they never asked about the source of your credits.  Large sums came in all the time.  Unfortunately large sums very rarely left.  The house cheated often and there was very little you could do about it.  You had to get in and get out fast.  Only chance you had.  No authorities to offer comfort or investigate.

"What's your poison, blue eyes?"

The greeter was an Arv.  They were a slender and beautiful people that were well known for being excellent lovers.  They generally loved humans, especially humans like Skip.  Every Arv had black eyes with no pupils.  The colorful eyes of humans were considered incredibly decadent in their society.

"Bixli Ale and some chips, gorgeous."

He put his credits on her tray and smiled.  It was a smile that often got him both in and out of trouble.

"I'll have to keep an eye on you, Rome Tongue."

Long ago the story of Romeo and Juliet reached the stars.  Somewhere along the way the O vanished from the name and it got mixed together with the term snake tongued.  Rome Tongue was the end result.

"I look forward to it."

She came back with the drink, the chips, and her number.  It was going to be a good night.

At least it should have been.  Sadly Lady Luck wasn't in the mood to cooperate.  Skip quickly realized that he didn't understand Herman's instructions quite as well as he thought.  It wasn't completely his fault though.  Vecna was a very complicated game.  It combined elements from old Earth games and old alien games and mixed them together into a giant stew of mass confusion.

He was losing and losing bad.  He examined the odds and only one choice looked good.

Betting on red.  It was his only way out.  If he bet on red and won he would both win back what he lost and walk away with quite a tidy profit in his pocket.

Herman was always too cautious.  This was going to work.

"Bet it all on red."

The room went quiet.  It was a bold move.  Clearly these aliens and world travelers had never seen someone with such a large pair of balls.  It felt right when he did it and felt even more so after the hush.

However, then the laughter started and it didn't quite feel as right.  Everyone paused a moment and watched the turning of the tiles.  Everyone was waiting to judge him.

Loser.

All of it.  He lost it all.

Everyone went back to their business, many of them with uplifted spirits.  They still had credits to bet after all.  Watching others lose always made you feel better about your own odds.

"Better luck, next time, Rome Tongue.  You're dumb, but the offer still stands."

It was the Arv.  She smiled at him and winked suggestively.  Then the bouncers threw him out.

"What the hell happened?  Where's our money?"

Good old reliable Herman.  Could always rely on him to ask about the money first, and then Skip's general well being never.  At least he was consistent.

"I bet on red."

"WHAT?"

"You can yell at me later, Herman.  I've got a date."

*****
This is post #150.  Honestly this should really be much higher.  I can't believe I already failed at my "Post every day in March" self challenge.  This is what happens when you try to have a social life and continue to try to seek new employment.  Having a life really gets in the way of making up new ones it seems.

Who knew right?

I'm going to try to post as much as possible but obviously the "every day" plan just isn't going to happen.  I'll try to shoot for at least every other day.

Short post today because I just applied for 7 jobs today (due to the magic of the internet) and I am intellectually rather drained.  Obviously it is different mental energy than actual creation or intense problem solving but it is still tiring stuff.  I just want to goof off and play some video games.

Oddly enough, I imagine my posting schedule will be much more stable once I am happily employed again.  Having unlimited free time with job search stuff constantly looming is surprisingly hard on my creative output.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Snapshot

Target in sight
nowhere to go

I never miss
not now

Once long ago
my skill was weak
with my eye
too bold

Those days were hungry
my art alone sating me

The past melts
into the moment
my hunger dying

Targets everywhere
all asking for it

Top dollar
everywhere
begging
for it

Target in sight
nowhere to go

Button pressing
snapping eternity

Wallet filled
dream crushed

Another model
swimsuit clad
giggles away

I take the shot