I spend the morning commute going over the status report in my head while weaving through traffic. Everything is on schedule with the software for AutoKitty, our first product and hopefully the must-have cybertoy this Christmas. This will be my first meeting with KG, the company president, and I want to make a good impression. I even have some questions prepared to show him I’m thinking ahead. My future is looking… NO!
The sickening crunch knocks me out of my daydream. My Yaris has just mated with some 1940’s era clunker. It’s totally undamaged; my car is just totalled. I’ll never make my meeting now.
A screaming rage born of shattered hope propels me out of my car and toward the offending vehicle. “Why you… I oughtta… why weren’t you …!” I can’t even form complete sentences as I approach whatever ancient geezer drives this rolling junkpile. I bang my fist on the tinted window and roar in frustration. I stop short when the driver door opens. I was expecting Mr. Midlife Crisis; I got a robot.
It? She? She's five-foot two and thin, looking like somebody animated a life-sized obsidian statue of a grade-nine schoolgirl. Chrome highlights give her lines, and her face is dominated by huge round eyes like windows into a silicon soul. I don’t know if I want to dismantle her and see how she works or kiss her.
I barely register the back door of the car opening until a female voice addresses me.
“Are you all right, Mr. Robertson?”
“I...” The words die on my lips as I look at this kid. She looks like the robot girl, only a couple of inches shorter and in full colour. Blue jeans and a red tee-shirt, brown hair in a bob and big round glasses thick as a slice of toast. In about five years she’ll be something to look at. I kind of pity her. “I’m okay, I guess. But my car…”
“Sorry about that. Driverbot’s supposed to only land the car if the lane is clear.”
“Wait! How do you know my name?”
“I know all my employees’ names. I’m Kay Gunderson, but you can call me KG. We’re supposed to meet this morning.”
“Young? I’m older than you, boy. Short? You can give me the status report on your knees if that bothers you.”
Something about the surreality of the whole thing hits me. I drop to my knees and deliver my report, which makes her giggle. The robot girl and her identical twin from inside the car direct traffic while we wait for the police.
KG loves my ideas, especially how they mesh with her plans to make the AutoKitties steal information from their owners. When we get to the office she gives me a girlbot as a lab assistant. I’m even part of the escape plan if the FBI catches on!
I know it’s evil, but so much corporate stuff is. I don’t care; this is Nerdvana!