Fiction

Flicker.

“Busy!” Favro yelped as he pushed passed Wills.

Given the standard size of offices at the assembly this was more of a dismissive notion than an actual attempt to get anywhere. Favro, it seemed, was up to his neck in glass tablet reports. There was an out of commission sonatime machine in the corner, one of the older wired type, that had spilt it’s cables like guts into the tiny gap between desk and guest chair.

“Just a quick question.” Wills pulled the guest chair back and, with a neat little kick, cleared a space for his feet and sat down. “About how you, I mean, I know you agreed to not mention the, ah, systemic problem with anyone, but your assistant?”

“Vernon? No, you were first on the list. Can you pass me that stack? It’s a bit late now. Seems like the situation has escalated.”

“Precisely. Niobe has something in mind but she’s keen to keep it quiet. AI business, so to speak, so she’s going to need absolute silence on the shut down.” Will handed over a handful of glass, but not before a quick scan of the contents. He picked up another stack and held it ever so slightly below the desk.

“You do know the tone of the dreams has changed? I must get these data glass in order to present to the assembly. We must go offline. The assembly will see that.”

“You forget, matters of the mind are my domain. I am perfectly aware of the problem. Letting the AI repair it is my professional opinion.”

“So we agree, but the question that divides us is when.”

“Tonight or tomorrow night at the latest. Niobe has someone to meet with first. Goodness, is that the current figures?” Wills watched Favro’s attention flicker up onto the glass display and quietly pocketed a slate.

“Well I am still pulling together the data. I could stall for a full council meeting before turning in my report but the assembly will be discussing it today.”

“That will do fine. Now if you will excuse me, yours is not the only department with a full case load.”

Favro grunted at Wills but he’d already left.

He nudged the commtap: “Vernon! Come shut this door! They’ve got no manners at all!”

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