A wealthy business man gets into a sticky situation.
|The man slouched on his couch while his robotic maid was washing off the kitchen counters. He was enjoying the football game on his holographic television cheering for his favorite team, the Vipers. His house was large and richly decorated. On his walls were electronic pictures that changed images every ten minutes. The floor was layered with a soft but durable material called cethaline. Suddenly there was a ring on his video phone. He pressed a button and an old woman appeared on the small screen.
“Lewis, it was my birthday three days go. How could you forget your own mother’s birthday?”
“I’m sorry mom, I’m just always so busy. Being assistant chairperson for Apek Enterprises keeps me really occupied.”
“Does wealth and your job take priority over your own mother?”
“Its’ not that mom, I just have responsibilities that affect a lot of people. Apek Enterprises is the largest producer of robots and electric cars.”
“Family comes first.”
“Try to understand mom, I barely have time for friends and…”the image disappeared and the sound went dead.
“I can't believe she hung up on me!”
He ran his palm down his face and took a deep breath.
“Oh well, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.” Lewis looked at his digital clock display inside a glass ball that indicated thirty minutes until noon.
“Ah, my meeting. I should leave now.”
He walked down his wide hallway out into his grassy courtyard with garden bots trimming the hedges and made his way to the wide parking lot filled with expensive cars. Lewis looked them over and chose the 1971 Jaguar 300zs. He strolled over to his one-hundred-thousand dollar electric vehicle and got in and started it then drove through the gate that opened automatically. Lewis drove through the busy streets of Las Vegas to the high rise building in the business district that was in the North part of town and parked the car in his reserved spot. He got out and strutted through the double doors and was remedially greeted one by one by the employees of Apex Enterprises.
“Good evening Mr. Thatch,” said a woman in a dress blouse.
“How are you today sir,” said a man with a smile.
Lewis just grinned as he got closer to the teleportation pad and stepped on along with a few employees. In a flash of light they were on the 50th floor. He stepped off the pad and traveled through a long hallway filled with holograms transmitting the Apek logo which was a Celtic circle. He approached a wall with a small square panel and placed his right hand on it. Suddenly the wall disappeared revealing a small staircase leading to an arched entryway. He walked up the steps and entered into a large room with a long metallic table. People in suites sat at the table waiting for him. Lewis took his place at the head of the table at the chairperson’s side.
“Good morning Mr. Thorn,” Lewis said to the chairperson.
“Ah, Lewis, were ready to begin. The first thing we need to address is our new x-33 accounting robot. Sales have gone down since the anti-robot fanatics have been soliciting their views in TV and tablet mediums. Do we have any suggestions on how to approach this?”
A pretty young blond haired woman spoke up.
“Sir it will be hard to combat anti robot sentiment. It is reaching and apex. The idea of robots replacing humans is deep rooted into the very moral consensus of society. “
Another man spoke up. “Perhaps if we were to present it in a different light.”
“Go on,” said Mr. Thorn.
The rest of the meeting went on as usual with discussions about budget, advertising, and sales. Afterwards Mr. Thorn approached Lewis and took him aside privately.
“Lewis I need to talk to you about something. Follow me.”
He led him into an empty room with no windows. “First you must promise you keep what I say secret.”
His words made Lewis sick to his stomach. Lewis responded against his will but he feared for his job
“For the past few months I’ve been doing business with some special clients. You’re my right hand man and you’re perfect for the job. I’ve been dealing with a clandestine government department. My company has been covertly manufacturing robots for the military. I need you to deliver a disk that has technological schematics on the latest prototype. You are to take the next international telepad to Washington DC.”
Lewis was livid. Was he about to take part in a volatile conspiracy? His common sense was contesting this action yet he gave into pressure. “When do I leave?”
“Immediately. When you bet there, ask for John Havoc.”
He left the room in haste out of the building and into his car then to the telepad station. Once inside, he took the first telepad to DC. He walked into the Whitehouse and immediately asked a woman with a tag for the man. She quickly led him into a dark office.
“Wait here,” she said.
When fifteen minutes had passed a man with an intimidating gaze met him.
“You have the disk?”
Lewis got the disk out of his jacket pocket and gave to him.
“There is one more thing I need to show you. Come this way.”
Lewis sheepishly went after him to the outside of the building into the parking lot and stood facing him. Then the man pulled out a gun.
“What I don’t understand!”
“Thorn organized the whole thing. No one in the middle can know. I’m sorry friend.
Just as he was about to fire, he was shot in the arm and fell down.
It was the police. One of them approached him.
“We’ve been watching Thorn’s whole operation. All we needed was for the man to mention Thorn.”
I hurriedly teleported hoe to Vegas. My biggest concern was who would operate Apek now?”