Thursday, June 07, 2007


Created from a prompt for a writing exercise.

Calvin once complained there were not enough mechanics in the world. When he said this, he didn’t mean individuals who tinkered—to use the professional jargon—with complicated machines. He meant he felt the workings of the world had failed to be properly laid out. As a result, the world failed to operate in any logical way.

Our Calvin came from a simpler time of telephones and customer service that required interfacing with someone outside of our home.

“Convenience be damned,” he used to say. “Just let me speak to a person.”

Somehow he could tell, despite that the help AIs sounded like people to us. No, Calvin knew. We used to test him, playing the audio clips to him one at a time. Without fail he could identify which ones were synthesized and which were authentic.

“Authentic” was one of his words—strange vocabulary that referred to a time long before we’d been born. We started calling it the Mechanic’s Time.

Calvin smiled sadly when we did, his wrinkles wrinkling. I guess he thought we didn’t understand—or that we couldn’t.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Oooh - scifi beginning.