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It was a regular day at the headquarters of the Maxwell Corporation, one of the world’s most powerful companies due to the unparalleled quality of the services provided. Sought by millions of avid consumers throughout the five continents, it had specialized in all things regarding cybernetics, including some things considered unethical by a great number of activists, but ultimately deemed appropriate by the highest spheres of authority that allowed the business practices to continue without any shred of guilt whatsoever.
The normality of the working schedule was interrupted by the sound of a female mechanized voice that was heard in every nook and cranny of the main building:
“Attention! All Robot Units are to present at the Maintenance Rooms in the 15th floor for a mandatory software upgrade immediately!”
Upon hearing the commands given, dozens upon dozens of silver bodies marched obediently across the corridors, taking the elevators or climbing the flights of stairs next to them. Once, they had all been ordinary men and women but now they were nothing more than programmable automatons, created for the sole purposing of mindless submission. Most of them had been tricked by the Corporation into signing a contract that effectively was a forceful way of surrendering their bodies and minds to the mechanical transformation but a handful had chosen that fate of their own free accord, driven by the fetish needs of transcending the limitations of the human existence and be able to achieve immortality in the form of computerized servants.
In this world, personal identity had ceased to exist, having been replaced by numbers and specific codes. The moment they were robotized, they also became a property of the Corporation and as such had no need for inconsequent rights like the ones of a salary for carrying out their assignments. With a completely cost free work force and a pocket of ever increasing clientele, it was no wonder that the prosperity seemed to know no boundaries at all.
Only a group of labourers performing administrative functions maintained the illusion of being nothing more than subservient machines by using actual names. One of them went by the designation of Heather and had been the responsible of transmitting the message to all the other equipment in the facilities. It was also in charge of Maintenance Room number 3 and had been one of the first to experience the bliss of the new upgrade.
In just a couple of hours, almost all of the humanoid machinery had been duly processed, only one remaining to close the day. It entered the Room as blank as all that had just left and waited for additional instructions.
“Designation?” Heather inquired, its synthetic voice cold and completely emotionless.
“Robot Unit 8, Batch 51/2009.” responded the other fembot.
“Very well. You are to sit on that chair to the left and remain perfectly still whilst the download takes place. It will be a quick one… two or three minutes, nothing more than that.”
“Robot Unit 8 obeys.” It responded walking steadily to the white chair filled with a series of tubes that immediately latched to the area where the positronic brain was located. A switch was flicked and the transference began.
Strings of binary code were instantly channelled through the various connections, updating the file system and introducing a couple of new sub-routines to the expected behaviour of one of its kind. A series of images with the new logo of the Maxwell Corporation logo were also added to the main programming, the download coming to an end with the common sequence of sentences that were the motto of every piece of unthinking chattel:
Service is everything. Absolute obedience is perfection. Nothing else exists.
As the cycle came close to an end, Robot Unit 8 squirmed in the chair, experiencing the equivalent of one hundred consecutive human orgasms rushing through every piece of its shiny framework, the wave of pleasure locking all of the new ciphers into place. The tubes retracted soon afterwards, signalling that the mandatory software upgrade had been completed successfully.
“You may now resume your functions, Robot Unit 8.” Heather droned, just like it had been programmed to do. “The Corporation wills it so, and service is everything.”
“Yes, it is.” responded the fully improved machine. If it weren’t impossible because of the predetermined commands that suppressed all human emotions of yore, one could actually be fooled into believing there was a hint of a smile underneath the layers of silver metal that covered its face.
All an illusion, of course… Feelings have long ceased to exist within the compound. Service is everything, now and forever.