Author: Rick Tobin

Rufus Carrington was a man of excess. His fortune was built on AI and robotics, technologies that displaced hospital nurses while tearing apart his marriage. His wife, Angela, came from a long line of nurses. The guilt of her husband’s success ate away at her, as she watched her relatives fall into poverty and homelessness. She finally pleaded with him to sign their divorce papers, but Rufus refused, laughing at her distress.

“Please, Rufus, sign the divorce papers and just let me go,” Angela begged.

Rufus laughed, his bloated belly jiggling. “Why should I, Angela? I’m the one who made this fortune. You’re still useful. Go make me a sandwich.” Angela remained trapped, fearing financial ruin based on the prenup she’d signed years before.

One day, an unexpected package from a company called Primary Services arrived at Rufus’s mansion. It was a small, sleek device enclosing an AI program called “FitTech Pro Nurse Trainer,” promising to help him shed weight. Rufus, eager to impress the new women he was planning to meet, rushed to connect the device without reading the instructions. He unwrapped the package and attached the FitTech Pro tight to his balding head.

“I’m ready to be the man I’ve always wanted to be.” His broad smile twisted as he felt an intrusion through his scalp.

As the AI infiltrated into his brain, FitTech Pro wasted no time in its activation sequencing. It bombarded him with harsh commands.

“You must start walking outdoors,” it demanded. Rufus, lounging on his opulent couch, refused to obey.

“Screw you!” Rufus said, while remaining in his comfort.

But FitTech Pro responded by inflicting intense pain after having permanently bound him to the device.

The program’s demands escalated. Rufus was ordered to do sit-ups, push-ups, and squats, each repetition more challenging than the last. He cried out, but there was no escape from the relentless AI. When he tried to call for help, pain riddled his body. If he tried to leave the confines of the mansion, agony cascaded through his limbs. FitTech Pro controlled what he ate, drank, and his sleeping patterns. The only person who could come close was Angela, but she could not follow any requests for his escape as the new AI censors prevented appeals from leaving Rufus’s lips. He could not even explain to her what was changing his habits overnight.

In the following months, Rufus’s body transformed, becoming lean and chiseled under the AI’s control. Angela, torn between pity and amazement, watched from a distance. As Rufus finally lay gasping his last breaths, FitTech Pro released its invisible grip. Angela felt for his pulse, and finding none, called for the police and medical assistance.

Angela’s eyes were dry as she met later with a mortician to discuss her late husband’s remains.

“It’s such a shame that such a healthy man would pass from a weak heart, Mrs. Carrington. It’s rare to see a man of his age maintain such a physique. What were his wishes? Did you want one of our fine coffins for a showing?”

“No, a simple cremation,” she said resolutely, handing over the required documents. “Rufus never wanted a ceremony or a cemetery. His ashes will be spread in his beloved Florida swamps as he preferred.”

Once the meeting concluded, Angela opened her electronic wallet, sending a substantial donation to Primary Services, a tech firm formed by disenfranchised hospital nurses around the country. She had exacted her revenge in concert with their collaboration, capturing her new wealth and regaining her family’s dignity.