…Or Is It Memorex?

“This is it.  You don’t get another chance.”  She pulled the trigger, and he took a blow to the chest, all the air knocked out of him.  He collapsed as the world went black.

His eyes flicked open to see a sterile white room, made even more impersonal by the overhead fluorescent lights.  A clerk ran over and tipped his table so that he was nearly upright.  “Sir, we weren’t expecting your extraction so soon.  Is everything alright?”

He shoved the young man away.  “No, everything isn’t alright.  Everything is a mess.  Somebody shot me.  I don’t know how much progress I lost.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir.  Would you like something to eat?  It’s morning, and I can have some breakfast…”

“Haven’t you been keeping the nutritional regimen running?  I eat inside.  No need to waste time eating out here, too.”

“Of course, sir.  My apologies.”

He looked over at a woman on the other table.  Her eyes were closed; she was still plugged in.  “When is she supposed to come out next?”

“Not for another hour or so.  Shall I arrange for you and your wife…”

“She’s not my wife.”

“Oh?”

“I mean technically, legally, we are married.  But that’s really just a matter of convenience.  My wife is inside.  And probably wondering where I am.”

“I see.  Another player, then.”

“Don’t you dare use that slur in this house.  I will have you fired.  We aren’t ‘players.'”

“I apologize, again, sir.”

“Fine.”  He shook his head.  “Anyway, no, she’s not another eperson.  She’s an AIE*.  As I said, she’s waiting for me.  I’ve got to get back in there and explain the situation to her.  She may be able to help me undo this loss.  I only need a few minutes.  Have the connections clean and the processor cycled before I get back.”

“Yes, sir.”

 

*Artificial Intelligence and Emotion

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