Author : Matthew Callaway

Leaving for work Chip noted that this day, like every other held about a 98.3% chance of tedium. The prospect was as oppressive as the permanent lighting that lines the streets, serving for the unseen sun below a sky full of buildings, their upper levels in the clouds.

The air is nearly ionized with the signals and information flowing through it. If so desired Chip could glean volumes from every street corner, but he had seen this street too many times to care. The short walk still contained enough time to think about the general drudgery and automation of life.

In the intersection before Chip’s destination all the pedestrians and ground vehicles are being stopped by a group of human soldiers and six G.R.U.N.T. and two R.I.O.T. class, combat droids. The droids are doing the bulk of the crowd control, one gets rough with a mouthy human but things defuse before getting interesting.

Standing in a group of thirty or forty confused and stalled individuals, a familiar droid shoulders up. Chip recognizes him as one who works security at the place across the street from Chip’s office building.

“Any idea what’s going on?” The security guard is in uniform, must be on his way in , probably late now too.

“I hear it’s the revolution,” Chip quips, “Droids are rising up to take over. Metal ? Meat.” An old slogan, a joke these days. “No, your guess is as good as mine.”

“That’s a laugh.” The guards smile fades, “Seriously though something like this happened a few years back, a friend in Section 4 told me about it, nearly the whole block was destroyed. He said it was two competing…” Rising above the commotion of the crowd, and interrupting the story, the R.I.O.T. droids loudly assume their full stance. It’s an intimidating sight, the nearest one dry-spins its chain guns to get attention before addressing the grumbling crowd. The metallic whirring takes a moment to die down, heightening the suspense.

“Civilians.” The droid swivels its head as it speaks, making eye contact with the unarmed masses. “This street is closed and we ask you to disperse, your timely compliance is appreciated.” The politeness sounds sarcastic coming from three meters of titanium and ballistic-ceramic, known to be generally bad tempered and used strictly for combat. They seem bored while the G.R.U.N.T.s look on edge, pushing people and droids around, clearing the area just to be jerks. The human soldiers on the other hand seemed occupied and serious, crowding around the entrance to the Proxycorp building. Chip started wishing he was at work, as boring as it usually was, it seemed to be the center of the action now. A blast a hundred and fifty stories up abruptly cuts into Chips thoughts, the fire ball adds orange hues to the perpetual glow, glass and steel appeared to hang in the air above the crowd. The G.R.U.N.T.s storm the entrance and a human officer approaches Chip. He points to the Proxycorp logo on Chip’s uniform.

“Intelliverse just assumed control of your outfit, this building, and all Proxycorp assets. That means you.” He switches on a command console and adjusts the settings. “Check for yourself.” Chip knew it was true, the background hum of info confirmed it. “We’re going to clear your corporate data and put in some new scripts. Open up… uh… Chip is it?”

Chip happily opens the port in his head, allowing the nano-wires to connect and go to work.

“Ready for new parameters, Sir, I do so love new beginnings.” Chip gleefully feels the tedium and monotony begin to melt away.

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