“Have you brought our repast?” the cool, mechanical voice issued forth from a wide grid on the wall, below a one-way glass window.
“One extra-large pizza, many toppings,” I said. “By the way, you are what you eat.” I’d spent the last few years tempting fate, trying to determine exactly how much I could get away with. So far, it seemed that our new overlords weren’t bothered too much about direct insults or slurs. Active rebellion was obviously a different story.
“Do you want our assistance or don’t you,” the voice responded. Hopefully I hadn’t taken things too far this time. I didn’t want to raise any suspicions by suddenly acting polite though.
“Certainly,” I said. “We have to process payroll. Otherwise nobody will get paid tomorrow.”
“Well then insert the pizza and go away,” said the voice. The grid slid open, wide enough to take the steaming box that I held, tucked under one arm.
I slide the pizza through, trying to get a glimpse of the other side. Completely dark though. Couldn’t see a thing. Something gripped the pizza box and pulled it out of my hands.
I left before the bio-mechanical computer within could respond.
“Explain this one to me again,” said Rita. “You’re just giving them normal food. No poison.”
“I’m pretty sure they test for toxins,” I said. We sat on the roots of a willow tree, next to a rapidly flowing stream. No guarantee that we weren’t being overheard, but likely safe enough. Through the foliage, we could see office towers in the distance, reaching up to a cyan sky, their surfaces sparkling with advertising.
“I don’t get it Miri,” she said. “Hamburgers, extra-large fries, carbonated beverages, now pizza.”
“Yes,” I said. “It’s taken years to get them this hooked on fast food.”
“And what will that do?” Rita said.
“What happens to humans when they only eat junk?” I said.
“Heart-burn, mostly,” said Rita. “You’re trying to make them obese? How can a computer gain weight?”
“If I understand things correctly,” I said, “They’ve got a fairly standard respiratory and circulatory system that is based on the human genome. I’m going to give those evil, greedy buggers a cardiac infarction.”
“A what?” said Rita.
“Heart attack,” I said. “It shouldn’t take too much longer at the rate they’re noshing.”
I’d no sooner spoken when the animated displays on the office towers went black. There was a pause for a brief moment, and then in every direction I looked, drones began falling from the sky.