Office Life

February 11, 2021

Buzz Buzz Buzz BUZZZZZ *tap*

The alarm is silenced.

Franklin groans, gets up and walks to the bathroom.

Lights on, he looks in the mirror. Piss, shower, brush teeth, all happen automatically.

Conscious brain not bothered to wake yet.

Franklin continues automatically, dresses, grabs some kind of fiber bar from his pantry and heads out the door.

Stuffing the bar in his face Franklin rounds the corner at the end of his street to the autobus stop. Waiting, still no thoughts, and Franklin seems to enjoy that emptiness as the calories from the bar begin to allow his neurons the chatter more.

Bus arrives, doors open, Franklin’s retina is scanned for his credit details and he takes a seat in the back.

Not too crowded this morning.

Bus drives, Franklin stares out the window into the middle distance.

After time bus arrives at WorkCorp, Franklin’s job. Generic 30 story concrete slab of a building, holds about 1,000 people.

Franklin exits bus and heads up to the front door. Retina scanned again. A directed audio beam tells him to go to floor 7A today. They need his head this time it seems. Franklin seems glad that he didn’t try to think. He must have suspected they’d need his head today, after all he had been on treadmill duty for weeks.

Franklin gets to floor 7A and a hologram line ushers him to his seat.

He sits, then bends down to retrieve the helmet from under his chair.

He places it on his head and hits the “WORK” button hologram that has appeared in front of him.

The helmet intercepts control of Franklin’s motor system just before he can elicit an agonizing scream. His consciousness is ripped away and Franklin’s whole experience becomes abstract forms and sounds and smells and colors punctuated by spiky mathematical constructs tearing into his mind. All is agony as his brain is ramped up to 100% utilization and merged with the WorkCorp BrainComp. Smells like rotten eggs and feels like a trillion daggers, must be an optimization algorithm Franklin’s solving today. Those tend to be most unpleasant, but they do pay well to solve.

All around Franklin the helmeted employees of WorkCorp floor 7A twitch and try to moan, but remain silent, as their minds are smashed together to solve the algorithm.

A thin strand of drool slides from Franklin’s mouth as his head lists to the left and his brain is cooked in its own skull.

Just another day at the office.