Author: Michael Anthony Dioguardi

I’m getting too old for this shit.
Suzie Zapach. Serial number 386D1286. She’s got the m-series processor and the defect: emotional evidence displays. Category: Lacrimal system malfunction.
There’s been a lot of these since they started autosplicing in the newborns. I’m glad I don’t have any of that junk in my head.
It started with simple additions. People wanted to remember more, so they got the memory unit.
It was small and innocuous—you’d forget it was there at times, ironically. But folks always wanted more. The reaction time and physical strength chips were so damn expensive at first. Now every kid’s got one.
I guess I should count my blessings and be thankful I have a job. When I first started, I was told human chip mechanics would be obsolete in a decade or two. Turns out even the best AI couldn’t repair malfunctioning emotion units. I feel like a damn shrink half the time working on these poor people. The AI just couldn’t think like a human. Technically I’m fixing these folks by getting them to not show a shred of emotion anymore—so they get their money’s worth.
But they’re starting to develop prototype mechanics—only a matter of time I suppose. I just keep on reminding myself: just one tear; keep that lacrimal system working as God intended—for some reason, nobody wanted to cry anymore. I’ve always silently disagreed and that’s all I needed to do to keep myself employed.
My pops was a mechanic. He worked on cars when people still drove themselves. He always mangled the engine parts. I never understood why he did that until I started working on cerebral processing units. Folks would bring their car back in a week with a new problem and he’d do it again. So always break something. They’ll come back.
But there’s nothing to break here. The m-series processor always comes with this defect. I’m surprised the manufacturers haven’t fixed it yet. My guess is, most repairmen are keeping their mouths shut.
Well, you’re about ready, Suzie. Let’s see how you do:
Execute module 36.
And there’s a smile!
Alright, let’s try another. Execute module 53.
And there’s a tear.
Let’s close you up and bring in the next one.