“Household message: Your maid has started the procedure to become complete tech. She will continue her maid duties for an additional two months until she is assigned a new post unless you decide to keep her. A temporary rest cabin will be provided in the next hour. In the case you decide to keep her, you will need to provide a permanent rest cabin. Thank you for your cooperation.”
He read through the message in disbelief. He had been sure this odd one would never have gone through with the operation. Regardless, because she had maintained a sense of pride in her original parts and, despite her social status, didn’t seem to have any problem with society and her life the way it was, she could not have been invited to the Ohm.
Oh no! Ohm! In less than one hour engineers would be at his home deciding on a spot to install the rest cabin. What if they picked his study and found all the fabrics...
He ran out of his office, went straight down to the basement, and asked the complete tech to provide him with the fastest personal vehicle available.
He rushed through the streets filled with complete techs just stopping and staring at him, a sight that always crept him out.
There were less than 35 minutes left when he reached home. His partner opened the door with joy.
“Darling did you get the message? We will finally have a complete tech maid!”
“Yes, yes we need to talk about that, but first I need something in my study. Give me some time darling”.
He locked his study door behind him and started collecting, in the middle of the room, everything and anything even slightly connected to the Ohm. Where to hide them? He had no idea. He checked the time: less than 25 minutes left.
He couldn’t burn them as either the smoke alarm would go off or someone would notice the smell before even one bit was burnt, and he couldn’t put them anywhere in case the officials decided to install the cabin in that spot.
If he could make it to the bedroom without being noticed he could stuff them into his pillow. Bedrooms were almost never chosen as cabin sites and his partner wouldn’t look inside his pillow.
He silently stepped out and started pacing towards the bedroom when a sound startled him.
He wondered why the pet was on and quickly responded “go to mama.”
He stuffed the fabric in the pillow and noticed there were less than 10 minutes left. He had to talk to the partner before the engineers arrived. He met his partner and the pet in the living room.
“Oh darling I am so happy. Finally, I won’t feel ashamed to invite our friends over!”
“Why would you feel ashamed darling?” he asked knowing full well that his partner did not approve of the odd ones and found them disgusting. Her friends, like her, were among the lucky ones that were either related to the rich or to the intelligent, and therefore kept pure solely on the merit of being family.
“Darling, you know it is not ‘nice’ to have an odd employee and it is...”
“Yes darling about that, I think we need to let this one go and try to find another odd one as soon as possible. We cannot... ”
The pet interrupted “Daddy are we poor?”
He realized why his partner turned on the pet. She must have known this argument was coming and decided to use the pet to back her up. He couldn’t stand her. He never wanted the pet to begin with. Initially he thought that it was the absence of work or assignment in her life that drove her to wanting a little child to play with. He reluctantly agreed, and had begun to regret it soon after the pet arrived. She only turned the pet on to show off to her friends, or to back her arguments as if he didn’t how the pet worked. When he would remind her of the fact that the pet was just a machine, like every other complete tech, she would start crying and making outlandish emotional arguments. She also refused to call it a pet.
Regardless, he decided to play along “Why would you say that darling?”
”Because my friends say only the rich pures can have complete tech maids.”
”See darling, even our darling child understands my shame.”
It pissed him off that she didn’t even try to hide the fact that she was using what was basically a part-time animate object to back her argument. A lot was at risk at the moment, and he couldn’t afford to lose time in another unending, meaningless argument. He turned to the pet and said:
”Darling we are not poor, we are just supporting the odd ones’ right to be employed. Now go rest in your cabin.”
He hated sending the pet to rest. He knew it was like temporary death for complete techs. He abhorred the fact that his partner, someone he had once loved and adored, was willing to have a small child converted so that she could have a never growing, ever cute pet that she could turn off and on as she pleased. That was what had made him turn against the system. What good could exist in a system which essentially killed children to convert them into toys for bored adults? That was when he found Ohm... or when Ohm found him.
He was trying to calm himself down. He would never be able to tell her the truth...
He checked the time. Less than 5 minutes left. With the additional stress and adrenalin caused by the sense of impending doom, he tried to come up with a lie.
”Darling, I have a very good reason why we cannot have a complete tech maid.”
”Is that right darling? I highly doubt it, but do tell.”
He knew she was just getting ready to argue against whatever he said. This was life at home for him for the past... he couldn’t even remember how long anymore. Until death do us apart became a stupidly long and excruciating time once death was taken out of the equation.
”Well, darling, I have been trying to keep this a secret to surprise you. I know you want us to move to a bigger residence, and I was recently introduced to a man who lives in one of those incredible houses. He is planning on relocating but he doesn’t want to give the house to just anyone. I think we may be able to get it.”
”Oh my god darling that is amazing! I am so excited! Oh, this is huge news, we should celebrate and plan our move and... but wait, what does that have to do with the maid?”
”Darling, he is a philanthropist who focuses his efforts on helping the odd ones. I was thinking that we might have improved chances at being considered since we have an odd maid. Now darling if we end up with a complete tech maid, we would lose that edge. But once we get the house darling, we can get as many complete techs as you’d like”. He knew there was nothing this woman wouldn’t endure if she thought that in the long run it would make her the envy of her utterly incompetent group of friends...
”I understand darling, but can we at least get one with less putrid smelling original existence pieces this time?”
Less putrid... He wondered if she knew that without the formula they took monthly, she would start rotting faster than any odd one. He stood up and the clock reminded him of the time constraint. He tried to keep his tone as even as he could, ”Of course darling, we can pick whichever one you wa...”
The doorbell rang mid-sentence and his partner let the engineers in. He moved towards the bedroom in case the engineers went in there. If he just sat on the bed with the pillow supporting his back, maybe the fabrics would be safer. And all that was written on the fabric, the details about Ohm and his connection to it, would continue to be a complete secret.
He didn’t know if the engineers or anyone who was not a part of it knew about the Ohm. He didn’t know if at some level of the administration someone was thinking about ways to find and destroy Ohm. As far as he knew Ohm was a complete secret, and would be kept one. At least until the complete tech maid finds the fabrics in the pillowcase.
He would need to find a way to store the fabric in a secure place until they get a new odd one. He would need to make sure he didn’t say anything stupid, do anything suspicious, or behave weirdly. Complete tech could automatically send an alert to the engineers. If that were to happen,everything they had been working for... the entire Ohm, would be lost forever.