Jimmy met Katrina in her store.
He was not looking for anything.
He just wandered in.
He wandered in because he had seen something interesting in the window.
He had seen something interesting in the window.
Katrina had her own fashion store.
Her dad was the robotiks millionaire Abraham Vortik and he had set her up.
A Rich Kid
She was a rich kid.
Although she had been poor for a while after her mother had left, her dad had managed to pull it together.
They had set up a robot repair and conversion shop and ridden the crest of the wave of revolution that was happening in robot engineering at that time.
he had made
Vortik had made millions from applications for modifications for cyborgs.
he had sold
When people en masse gave up on their physical bodies and started lining up to have their brains implanted in super powerful sleek beautiful sexy machines, Vortik had sold the equipment.
he had built them
He was an engineering genius and as applications were called for he had designed them and built them and built an empire doing that.
Katrina watched the quiet lost looking young man wading through racks of fashion clothes.
he did not look
He did not not look fashionable.
He looked like a robot geek or computer nerd.
But he had that aura of the prankster about him in his eye which she had seen darting about as he entered.
He had not just wandered in.
He was hiding from somebody.
Some Dialogue – Direct Speech
A waitress came to the door.
“Jimmy,” she called.”I will wait in the Mercedes.”
The waitress left.
“Is that woman waiting for you?” said Katrina.
“Yes” said Jimmy “but she is just a robot.”
Robots Have Feelings
“Robots have feelings too, they say” said Katrina.
“No, they don’t” said Jimmy. “They are just machines. They are just machines with no emotions”.
“They develop emotions and anyway some humans have no emotions” said Katrina.
“It is true that the distinction between humans and machines has been blurred, but we do not have to be polite to machines because they have been programmed. They are commercial agents which have a real intention to divest us of our investments.”
It is not just robots that want money. Humans want money too” said Katrina.
“Money makes the world go round” said Jimmy.
“Do you think so?” said Katrina.
“Actually it was money that stopped the world from going around” said Jimmy. Before the Ooze, I mean. Before the disaster..the deluge..or whatever it was.”
“Life was not always how it is now” said Katrina.
“Of course not” said Jimmy. “It was different.”
“How was it different?”
“Are you an interrogation robot?”
“NO, I am an inquisitive human being.”
“What do you want to know?”
“I want to know everything that ever happened. I want to understand everything.”
“It is not possible to understand everything.”
“How do you know?”
“How does anyone know anything?”
“By personal mental experience. If you lose sight of that, you are lost.”
“If you lose sight of that you are lost and you belong to someone else.”
The self does not exist. How can someone belong to the self or to any other self? How can anyone belong to anyone?”
“Why do you say that the self does not exist?”
Jimmy walked to the window of the fashion store and looked out the window.
“The waitress is waiting” said Katrina.
“The robot waitress is in the car” said Jimmy. He laughed. It sounded like a Doctor Zeus book title.
Katrina laughed too. “That sounds like a Dr Zeus book” she said.
Jimmy looked at her. “I love Dr Zeus” he said.
“I love Dr Zeus” said Katrina.
They looked into each others eyes. They had read the same books.
They talked in the same metaphors. They saw things in the same way. they had never met but they shared a sense of humour and a natural affinity for one another.
“Is this love?” said Jimmy.
“Perhaps” said Katrina. “Take it slowly. Relax. Enjoy it.”
Outside int he car the waitress was weeping. She was weeping and the tears were running down her neck and dampening her dress. She had real human circuits in her neck and throat muscles and there were real human brain circuits in parts of her head, though most of her was electronic by weight.
She was designed to wait. It was her job to wait. She was a waitress.
She was a waitress and she waited but she still wept while waiting.
She wept and she worried and she wandered about the car-park while she waited.
She smoked a whole packet of cigarettes which were illegal and drank some of the oil from a bottle in the trunk of the car. (Robots can drink anything.)
It was a Monday. Katrina liked to work on Monday. The other days of the week she hired somebody to mind the store but she liked to start Monday with a day at the shopfront.
There had been no customers today. Just this young good-looking man with the feverish inquiring conversational style and the waitress outside waiting for him.
He was intriguing.