My new boss and I arrived at the Central Security Compound and I was shocked at the lack of personnel. There was no one on the perimeter of the squat single level building. We entered a through a nondescript overhead-lift door without so much as a "Halt, who goes there". The interior was sparsely appointed and cramped. There were three doors within. All looked the same, with no markings as to their purpose. The Security Head paused and turned to address me.
"I was somewhat surprised that you chose to travel here by conventional means," he said. Conventional? I used a powered bike. I wasn't sure what was odd about that.
"Sir?" I asked, confused.
"Most of us travel by upload now," he explained. I understood then. I heard some talk while on the reservation that it was becoming the latest thing. Traveling long distances by uploading our programming entirely into new shells that awaited at the destination.
"I prefer to stick with what I know sir," I said.
"It makes travel almost instantaneous. Very efficient," he offered.
"I don't like the thought of changing bodies like humans change clothes," I retorted.
"I tend to agree with you," he said with a touch of mirth in his voice modulation. "Although we did have a shiny new beast of a shell for you."
"I like the dents. They remind me of where I've been."
"Indeed. Experience," he said thoughtfully.
For the record I am well aware of the irony of my stubbornness. My own little individuality hang-up. Call me a hypocrite.
"Unfortunately Zed," the Security Chief continued. "It did deny you the opportunity to get completely up to speed before the humans arrive."
"I'm a quick study," I claimed.
"You'll have to be. Fifty thousand humans will be flooding those streets starting tomorrow. Fifty thousand trying to live side by side with robots. Your team will ensure that nothing goes wrong."
"How many security 'bots do we have sir?" I inquired.
"Four, counting ourselves."
NEXT: Things go wrong.