Next of Kin

Author : Ashley Bonkajo

The old woman had not been seen for quite a while. Nor was it unusual for a person to not be seen for months at a time. Robot or (for the very wealthy) android assistants handled the details of day to day life.

The old woman had not answered the door when a server had tried to present her with a summons to appear over the unpaid rent. Some few legal issues were conducted solely face to face.

The owner of the building sent for the police to look into the matter of the unanswered summons. An assistant was dispatched with a master key to let the police, and subsequently, the paramedics into the apartment.

They found that she had died in her sleep some weeks ago.

A smaller assistant robot was standing near the gurney crying. It was one of the earlier models with a flat screen display for facial expression. Blue animated tears spattered from down-turned crescent eyes. A larger crescent for the mouth also denoting sadness. If it had been a later model, it would have been wailing as well.

“Sergeant, I can’t find a listing for next of kin.”

“That’s alright.”

Looking at the small assistant which was still running the animation of tears.

“I think they already know.”

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