In 2145 a decree ratified and supported by the Empowerment Planet Act stipulated that mankind should reintroduce with immediate effect the supervision of all robotic fleets and subsequent automated services across the Confederation. This bill is most commonly known as Rule 51. Today not too many people are aware that rule 51 is an indirect acknowledgement and mark of respect for the 5100 human victims from the Planet Kyz. In 2140 a large component of the android fleet of the planet went rogue and attempted to establish a new order.
Helped only with a small squadron of loyal robots the tiny human garrison did not manage to avoid the coup and subsequently fled the planet leaving behind 5100 humans. All of them including infants were systematically tracked and killed by the newly self appointed Kyz machine governing masters. It took 18 months to the confederation armed forces to regain control of the Planet Kyz.
In 2170, work, retirement and pension concepts were re-introduced to human society, in 2180 the notion of immortality was also removed from the constitution. Minor concessions were given in order to allow for a gradual change. To help with the adjustment all humans would be disease free for the first 100 years of their life but would see retirement age set at 120. As life expectancy was reintroduced to the vocabulary, humans now living up to 160 on average across the confederation started progressively to develop a lifestyle and attitudes which by any means were not so different from their ancestors of the Old World.
Nowadays humans are common sight in factories or galactic flights, under rule 51 two or a minimum of one human is to be present on industrial sites hosting more than 300 robots, automates, wired helpers or equivalent capacity. One out of every eight flights has to have a human supervisor or engineer on board with minor variations depending on which settlements or exoplanets the transport companies are registered to. Inspections and counter-inspections are routinely executed to make sure rule 51 principles are respected.
In 2347 Maku is 77 year old, he is head supervisor at Sat Ink, a recycling company specialized in decommissioning satellites, spaceships and other non- atmospheric travel engines. Dust has become a very valuable currency and Sat Ink has up to 100 sites proudly producing 300 tons of dust a week per site.
Maku is based on Viaz a small exoplanet north of of Kuys. Thanks to rule 51 he has a well paid job overseeing a small but very efficient recycling site. To meet his calendar objectives he leads a 600 hundred androids and automatons force, they all perform various tasks depending on what their field of expertise has been designed for. The small industrial outpost receives up to three shipments a week comprising on average five to ten ''to be retired'' flying devices.
Maku is the only human on site, bar the 18 months health check up at Sat Ink HQ or the quick chat with a bi weekly rule 51 On Board Engineer, Maku leads a monotonous, repetitive and season less life. He does not complain but rarely interacts with human beings besides daily KPI reports checks, weekly conference calls or virtual service messages. When was the last time he had an non planned holo-call?. He can obviously answer that question himself and he knows it all too well. It was seven years ago, it was from Michael his only son.
The staff quarters Maku lives in were originally made for ten individuals so he retreated to the corner office not only because there is smashing view on the neighbouring planet K4 but the dimensions always seemed to be more appropriate for one person only. He has personalized the habitat to his taste including a prominent and imposing holo-painting above his bed.
It's a picture of planet 55 Cancri another exoplanet whose surface is made of graphite and diamonds. This is where he went to with Michael to celebrate his son's 10th birthday, this is where Michael learned that planets with no atmosphere did not experience erosion or corrosion to the same extent than others. Not only it was the first time Michael ventured out of their own planet habitarium but Maku remembers fondly how his son asked him if the two of them were like cold welding material. He always smiles when he thinks he had to be reminded by his son that sometimes two pieces of a particular metal touching each other in space can remain stuck together for ever.
Maku does not take week ends or holidays apart from the compulsory days off, he has taken a flexi plan and wants to accumulate those bonus days to avail of early retirement and be close to his son. He has not spoken about his plans to Michael, actually Its hard to believe it is already 5 years since they last spoke, On days off many times he meant to speak to Michael but he did not. Why that ? What happened ? Who knows and frankly nobody seem to care about it. If only Maku had known that sometimes you got to be strong to be weak.
To kill the time Maku reads and he has read many visual and audio holo-books. On many of his readings, especially the old ones from the 21st century, he has bumped and become familiar with many terms despite not always being able to fully grasp their essence or true meaning. What is hope he wonders, what is love and compassion, how do you build connection and friendship? It seems all those words were once held in high esteem among humans. Where are all those things gone he wonders. Struggling with interrogations beyond his comprehension he settles his mind by thinking that maybe it's still out there, somewhere.
But for now, one of his loyal golems called Jerry reminds him that it's time to activate the night porter console and trigger the concierge protocol for the night. Gosh already Maku sighs... Not for the first time, at that very moment he is overwhelmed with the need to talk to a human being but like the last time it does not last. This does leave him utterly dizzy and confused though, sadly his existence has taught him how to deal with such cravings and he knows it will pass until it comes again.
Tomorrow is another day
""Des etres qui ont tout et decident de choisir autre chose "
people & stuff
Produced for beBee only
Written Material 2017 Copyright - Pascal Derrien -
5 months ago · 2 min. reading time
For those who know me you know that while I have a ...
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