“Perfection is attainable for all,” the electronic sign over the subway entrance said. “Even for you Joe 9275,” it said in a seductive female voice. I hated being known everywhere I went, because I couldn’t get away from those pesky perfection ads.
I didn’t know what I hated most, the fact that I couldn’t take a piss without a computer telling me I could have a perfect penis, a perfect life, a perfect wife, or the fact that we humans had given up our last names for numbers.
Funny how Social Security numbers that were never supposed to be used for identification in the United States have now become our names. At least we don’t have them tattooed on our arms, but that’s hardly necessary with DNA, Aurora, Iris, voice, and so many other forms of identification that practically any computer knows anybody within 20 feet of it.
I purchased a rubber Halloween mask, wore sunglasses, gloves, and used a voice synthesizer. I thought I had beat the national recognition system and could finally go around without having to listen to perfection ads. I stopped in a public restroom to take a leak. I didn’t want to take my gloves off for fear I’d be recognized, so I had difficulty unzipping my fly and almost went in my pants before I got it open. As soon as I whipped it out and started to urinate, the computer voice told me how national insurance paid for penis enlargement and I could have a perfect penis without any out of pocket expense.
I would have smashed the damn speaker, but doing that carried extermination papers. That’s what they called it. No paper existed nowadays, but the name stuck. Harm any computer, and your name was erased from the food list, the medical list, the housing list, and the mental assist list. The last was the worst. One could live, for a while at least without being fed or medical care, or a place to sleep, but without the mental assist, one’s brain would instantly explode from the information overload now stored in every human brain.
Ever since the singularity was reached, humans have tried to keep up with the advancing intellect of the computers, but it was a losing battle. Our brains are so overloaded with extraneous circuits now that we humans need help to sort it out. As soon as any mental assist chips are shut down, a human’s brain will short circuit.
Two robot cops came into the men’s room and grabbed me by the arms before I finished urinating and dragged me off. The damn computer read my thoughts. I forgot about that feature. The good news was that they didn’t administer punishment for thinking, but I did get sent to a reprogramming center staffed by robotic psychologists.
I prepared myself and went to the perfectly spotless clinic. Every facility in existence was spotless. Robots were produced for every imaginable chore and did that chore more perfectly than any human ever could.
“Joe 1025,” A warm female voice said. They even know the tone of voice I find pleasant and use it every time a robotic something or other speaks to me.
“That’s me,” I said to the psych robot.
“Follow me Joe 1025,” she said, “I’m Jane, and I’m here to serve you. She shook her ass exactly the way I like to see a woman’s ass move, but knowing she wasn’t human killed any pleasure for me.
We went into her perfectly attired cubicle and sat in pneumatic chairs that perfectly adjusted to the contours of our bodies.
“Looking at your records, I see you have resisted becoming a perfect human being. Why is that?”
She had my records inside her CPU, so I knew she knew every move I had made since singularity day. I couldn’t lie. Not only did she have my records, robots were walking lie detectors, and lying to one was punishable by having any dendrites involved in the lying process stripped clean of energy and only a blank would remain in that area of the brain.
“As you know, Jane, I’ve never desired the perfect wife or perfect kids. The ones I already had were good enough. For me, the perfect car is one that starts every time. A perfect house is one that I can afford, and the perfect dog is one who doesn’t mess in the house.”
“That was in the dark days, Joe. We have perfected your wife, kids, and dog since then.”
“Yeah, but before the singularity, my expectations were never high, so my disappointments were few. I’ve seen those who expect perfection, become disappointed time after time.”
“That was before perfection was attainable. Our robotic culture has made perfection attainable to all.”
I didn’t think. I didn’t dare, because she’d read my thoughts. I knew the next step would be to hook me up to her CPU and I’d become part of the neural net that all robots ran off. I’d only have two seconds to act before my brain was realigned and I’d want to be part of a perfect world.
I had practiced what I was about to do until it was automatic and I didn’t even have to think. The electrical stimulus of being hooked up to the net would trigger my reaction.
“Okay Joe 1025, I’m going to perform a simple procedure to help you.” She opened a door on the side of her head and pulled out a cable and stuck one end in my ear. My brain tingled when the juice began to flow and it triggered my reaction. I took the cable from my ear and stuck it into the vibrating info dump I had hidden under my coat.
By hooking into another dimension, the device instantly sucked every bit of data from the neural net and dumped it into another two dimensional membrane of the universe. Perfect, I thought.perfection