Author : L.Hall
The mousy haired woman sat with tears rolling down her face in front of a cold steel table. Broken plastic, silicone pieces, processors, ball and socket joints, gears, pieces of leftover motherboards, all lay shattered, broken before her. The Omnicarp Corporation public relations representative sat on the other side of the table, watching her dispassionately.
Her eyes refused to look up from the remains as his mouth, monotoned, listed off the damages.
“Major structure damaged. Personal vehicle, demolished. One person deceased.”
As he finished each sentence, he punctuated his words like an evangelical preacher; The last consonant becoming two as he tried to give it emphasis.
Her high quavering voice the first indication that she was paying any attention to the gray gentleman behind the table. He paused and took a deep breath.
“Miss… Holyfield. We created our line of personal assistants to help with the mundane chores of the working person. To cook, to clean, to run errands and well, assist you. The mild Emotional Processing Unit was to help the unit be empathic and anticipatory to your needs.”
Her hair fell over her face as another sob wracked her slight frame.
“He was just trying to protect me.” she blurted out, her breath coming in gasps. The Representative walked around the table, and as per protocol, gently patted her shoulder in a show of sympathetic support.
“Miss Holyfield, Omnicarp recommends that you replace your units every year. How long had you had your assistant? Over time and…”
He paused, looking down at the broken pieces.
“wear, your unit became defective and it simply overloaded the EPU. When the deceased touched you, it caused a malfunction. We are citing that your unit was defective and per your default contract with this company when you purchased said unit, you will be held liable if you impart any other information to any media sources.”
The mousy haired woman shakily reached out to touch a small broken bit on the table, choking on her sob.
The Representative reached into his jacket and pulled out a small white envelope. He took her hand from the table and pressed the envelope into it.
“The Omnicarp Corporation would like to offer you a small compensation to help with replacing your Personal Assistant.”
The mousy haired woman looked up at the Representative, her mouth trembling. The Representative gently put his hands on her shoulders and began to guide her from the room. As he led her down the sterile hallways, quiet except for the momentary hitching of her breath, he began to speculate on the various ways their units had been used against warranty specifications. As they reached the main lobby, he pointed her in the direction of the showroom.
“Miss Holyfield, the Corporation is sorry that this event happened. Please bear in mind that many of the newer models are equipped to handle your sorts of needs. The smaller units just cannot handle the strain on their EPU’s.”
The mousy haired woman nodded slowly, tears still rolling down her face. Looking down at the white envelope in her hand, she wiped her face with her other sleeve and began to slowly walk toward the showroom. The Representative watched her for a moment, then started back down the hallway. As he walked, he pulled a folder out of his jacket and began to skim through it, sighing as he flipped through images of a Personal Assistant Unit that had been mangled, the stomach ripped apart and patched together with duct tape. The gentleman waiting for him in the third office had violated the warranty.
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