Author : Lucy Mihajlich
I thought there was a grace period.
That’s what you think. You miss a payment, and you get different colored emails for a few weeks before the repo man comes. Turns out that’s a load of trollshit.
The repo man came one day after my bill was due. I didn’t even know he was a repo man at first. If I’d been expecting a repo man, I would have been expecting some thug in a tow truck and plaid flannel. Not a short man in a Subaru and a hurry. The minute I told the door to open, He thrust a tablet in my face.
“Are you Tanner Green?” he asked.
I almost said no, but not because I’d finally figured out he was a repo man. I’d gotten used to going by my Flame War usernames: boobz, xxxboobiesxxx, bo0bs, 80085, and global warmers. It had been a while since I’d gone by any of my professional usernames. Hence, the repo man.
“Excuse me, sir. Are you Tanner Green?”
“I need your digital signature, please.”
“For what?” I asked, already taking the tablet. It felt heavy for something that weighed less than a Quarter Pounder. I’d also gotten used to not needing things like tablets.
“Acknowledgment that I notified you of your repossession.”
“Fuck,” I said. “My car?”
“Not my house?”
“The terms and conditions, which you indicated you had read and understand upon purchase, contain the terms of repossession.” The repo man spoke on automatic. They might as well have sent a robot. Or a singing hologram. “Surgical removal of the Brainframe™ is expensive and resale is impossible. Therefore, repossession entitles Brainframe™ to take possession of your brain.”
He actually said the TMs. I reached out to make sure he wasn’t really a hologram. I’d been to Madame Tussaud’s last week, and they were pretty realistic these days.
“Please don’t poke me, sir.”
“Wait what?” I probably shouldn’t have vaped a synthetic weed cartridge for breakfast. “Take possession of my brain?”
“It’s all in the fine font.”
“Killing their customers if they miss a payment is in Brainframe’s terms and conditions?”
“No, no. Of course not. They’ll just access the RAT- That’s Remote Administrative Tool.” He spoke slowly, as if I was stupid or Siri. “They’ll take control of your Brainframe™ and make you do manual labor in one of their factories until your bill is paid in full. You’ll probably get sent to China. It’s practically a vacation.”
“Manual labor? What do they need me for? Brainframe makes, like, all the robots. I thought the robots took our jobs.”
The repo man shrugged. “Robots are more intelligent than humans now. They took the skilled labor. We’re only good for manual labor. Oh, and the CEO of Brainfrme™ is a robot, so I suspect it’s probably biased.”