Chapter 04: Mr. Kitty

This lovely Saturday morning brings us one of my favorite perspectives to write from in this novel. Inhabiting the mind of Mr. Kitty is something I’ve done plenty of times in short form, and I think I’ve done my best work of it here. Take a look at this illustration I did of our Mr. Kitty then enjoy the chapter. And click here if you want to buy the full novel on amazon.

Mr. Kitty

< III. Russ             [Table of Contents]             V. Ellie >

IV. Mr. Kitty

The bed was soft and it smelled like home, that’s why Mr. Kitty kept going back to it. It was soft because it was a bed. It smelled like home because it was in the house he lived in.

While he was drifting off to sleep, he liked to think about who’s bed it was. Mr. Kitty slept in the thing. He undoubtedly got the most use out of it compared to anyone besides a few short-lived fleas. Yet still, he couldn’t help but imagine that one of those humans would say that they owned it. They always had to own everything.

He also like to eavesdrop on the humans around him. Sometimes he would pretend to be asleep and listen to what they said when they thought they were alone. Humans were always more honest when they thought they were alone. One of them was in the room with him now and he thought he was alone. Mr. Kitty stretched his back, climbed out of the bed, and jumped up onto the desk the human was sitting behind. Still the human thought he was alone. Mr. Kitty could see everything he was doing and the human didn’t care one bit. That was another thing about humans. They always underestimated the power of what they didn’t understand.

The human sat in front of a long desk with four computer screens stacked up on top of each other like a window pane. For most of the day he watched as numbers on the screens rose and fell and changed color, and he listened to the beeps and blips the computer made. Each different combination of bleeps and hues and digits elicited a slightly different response from the human. Each time he would hit a few keys on the keyboard or move the mouse—Mr. Kitty thought they were talking about a live mouse when he was younger—and click a few times. It all seemed repetitive and boring to Mr. Kitty. Though the colors were pretty. And the sounds were strange.

While the human watched the numbers, a phone rang. Mr Kitty jumped at the sound of it. The human laughed and pat him once on the head. “It’s just the phone, cat,” he said.

Mr. Kitty went back to licking himself like nothing had happened while the human answered the phone.

“Hello,” the human said.

“Yeah, well, I saw the numbers drop. I transferred production to 05437.”

“Really? That many? I swear the old models had less problems.”

“Uh…Yeah. Putting in the order right now.”

“Alright. See you tonight.”

“Yeah, you know it, because you already voted for me.”

Ha ha ha. Alright. Have a good one.”

The human hung up the phone and pet Mr. Kitty on the back a few times before typing in another set of keystrokes. He groaned and leaned back in his chair.

“You know, cat,” he said. “You have got the life. Even better than one of those actors or musicians in the advertising department. You don’t do any work at all. Not that they do, either. Heh heh.”

Mr. Kitty stretched out on the desk and yawned. If the human only knew the work that he did, the places he had been. As if looking at numbers and hitting keystrokes was any more important than Mr. Kitty’s chores. Why, if he stopped hunting mice for one week, they would probably overrun the entire house. Well, maybe he didn’t hunt mice that often these days.

“But what do you know of work?” the human went on. “You’re just an animal. It takes a human to work, to earn their keep. Cats are nothing but pets. You’re as much property as a robot.”

And there it was again, the curious human notion of ownership. As if anything could be yours beyond what you consumed and made a part of yourself—or whatever you were willing to fight to defend. This human here thought he could own Mr. Kitty. Ha! Mr. Kitty traveled the worlds while the human sat in his house all day like a caged animal. If anything, the human was the pet.

“No,” the human said. “It takes a human brain and a little bit of responsibility to truly be able to enjoy life. Something your cat brain will never understand.”

Mr. Kitty had heard about enough. He stood to stretch, and was about to leave, when the phone range again. This time he didn’t jump.

“Tillie, dear,” the human answered.

“Oh, no. Of course. Holiday traffic.”

“Yeah, I’ll be here. I’m just giving the numbers one last—”

“No, no, no. As soon as you get here all work dropped, just like I promised.”

“Okay. No. Okay. I love you, too.”

He hung up the phone and patted Mr. Kitty on the head. “You hear that? Tillie’s gonna be late.”

Mr. Kitty had almost forgotten that she would be coming home today. He decided against leaving, and laid back down on the desk. Tillie was the one who really loved Mr. Kitty. In fact, he expected that her dad—the human at the computer screens—only kept him around as a reason for her to visit. If she was out of the picture, the supply of cat food and his welcome would wear out fast. But Tillie was always a joy to see.

Numbers flipped, noises beeped, and colors changed while the human moaned and groaned and clicked and typed. It was so boring Mr. Kitty didn’t have to pretend to be asleep. Sleep came naturally. He didn’t wake again until he heard the doorbell, the human cursing a few times, then the sound of him walking out of the room. Mr. Kitty followed behind, trudging along on the soft puffy carpet. That was another reason he kept coming back. The carpet felt so good under his paws, he loved to tear it up.

The human took a few deep breaths before opening the door and smiling. “Tillie!” he said. “So nice to see you. How are you?”

Tillie hugged him but it was awkward with the big backpack on her back. “Fine, fine,” she said. “It was a ridiculous line, though. You wouldn’t believe.”

“I’m sure,” her dad said. “Traveling during the holidays and all.”

“Yeah,” Tillie said. “Yeah, the Christmas Election. But could I put this stuff down?” she added, adjusting her obviously heavy backpack. “It’s really heavy.”

“Oh, yes, dear,” her dad said. “Of course. I fixed up a room for you. Follow me. Though I don’t know why you brought so much stuff. We do still have a printer, you know.”

“Yeah, well,” Tillie said. “I have some library books I thought I might get a chance to read. And the pajamas I like to sleep in. You know.”

“Ah. Of course of course,” her dad said. “Well, let’s go.”

They started down the hall, but Tillie saw Mr. Kitty and dropped her backpack to scoop him up in her arms. “Hey there Mr. Kitty,” she said in a babying voice. Normally Mr. Kitty found that offensive, but coming from her it was almost endearing. “I missed you so much. Yes I did. Has daddy been taking good care of you?”

Her dad laughed. “Heh heh. Yeah, we’re great pals,” he said. “Mr. Kitty here loves to watch me work. Don’t you buddy?” He scratched Mr. Kitty’s ear.

Awww,” Tillie said. “You love computers, don’t you Mr. Kitty? Yes you do.” She set him down and scratched his stomach. “I’ll give you some wet food in a minute, okay Mr. Kitty.”

“The room’s right this way,” her dad said

“I really love this new house, dad,” Tillie said, following him through the halls, lugging her heavy backpack, as Mr. Kitty slunk along behind them. “Where’d you import this one from?”

“Got it from New Orleans,” her dad said. “I was lucky to pick it up when I did, too. They were putting a restaurant there, or something, and the buyer who was gonna take it fell through. I got it for a steal. Not to mention I made a profit on selling the old one. Not bad, wouldn’t you say?”

“It’s just beautiful,” Tillie said.

They dropped her bag in a spare bedroom, then Mr. Kitty followed them to the kitchen where Tillie pressed the voice activation button on the 3D printer.

“Cat food, please,” she said.

Please?” Her dad scoffed. “You don’t have to say please, dear. It’s a robot you’re talking to.”

“Well, my parents taught me to be polite,” she said, getting the bowl of wet food out of the printer and setting it on the counter for Mr. Kitty to jump up and eat.

“Yes,” her dad said. “To be polite when necessary. In this instance it’s not, however. But could you get me a beer, please, dear.” He chuckled.

She pressed the button again. “Beer, pl—” She stopped herself.

Her dad laughed as she handed him the frosty pint glass. “So, how are your classes going?” he asked, taking a sip. “Still doing well?”

“Yeah, well,” Tillie said. “I have some difficult professors this semester, but I’m learning a lot about statistical analysis. I think I might want to go into operations programming.”

“Coding?” her dad said, shaking his head. “Are you sure about that, sweetheart? Computer programs will never outwit the human brain.”

“Sure,” Tillie said, nodding and giving a thumbs up. “And not too long ago robots would never match human physical precision, either. Now they’re working in every factory that still turns a profit. So we know what never looks like, don’t we?”

“But creative work is something completely different, sweetheart. I mean, imagine a robot that could think like a human. How would it be any different from anyone else?”

“It’d be immortal for starters,” Tillie said.

“It’d be impossible for starters,” her dad said. “No. Leave physical labor to the robots and the creative labor to the only ones who can do it: us humans.”

Mr. Kitty finished licking the juices off the wet food and started licking himself. There were those strange human tendencies again. As if they were somehow unique, somehow different from every other natural phenomenon. As if the processes in their brains were fundamentally different than those in his brain, or the inner workings of a robot, or the processes that made the computer screens change color and beep. Always the humans tried to put themselves above nature so they could justify their own need for ownership over everything.

After throwing his mostly full bowl of food into the trash chute, Tillie carried Mr. Kitty into the living room with her where her dad was already sitting in a big, comfy rocking chair, flipping through the channels on the TV until a football game came on. He only partly listened to Tillie after that.

“Speaking of robots, dad,” she said. “Have you watched the news lately?”

“Huh? What?” her dad said. “Oh, no. I try to stay away from it. What happened?”

“Well, you know that Russ Logo? He’s like—well, I guess he’s like the it star right now, or whatever. Anyway, he’s the most viewed ever, and he does this daily talk show, right. Dad, are you listening?”

“Huh?” her dad said, still looking at the TV. “Yeah. Russ Logo. Go ahead.” He waved her on.

“Anyway,” Tillie said. “He has this show—Logo’s Show—where he talks about, just life and movies and restaurants and stuff. But they’re like, these restaurants that don’t exist—right—or only exist in the show or something—I don’t know. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve watched a few episodes and researched it, and it would be really helpful if you were actually listening to me right now and not watching this stupid game. Because, honestly, I’m pregnant and it’s quadruplets.”

“Right,” her dad said. “Logo’s show. I’m listening. Go on.”

“Well,” Tillie said. “The father’s literally a dog, and the babies might come out with four legs. Soooo, you’re a grandpa of puppy centaurs. Congratulations!”

“That’s nice, dear,” her dad said, nodding.

“Dad!” Tillie slapped his arm, rustling Mr. Kitty in her lap. “You’re not listening.”

“I am, dear,” he said, rubbing his arm and staring at the screen. “I am. Let me just…watch…this…one…more…play…ohhhh! And commercial. What were you saying, honey?” He turned to her and smiled.

“This guy Russ Logo does a talk show, and he said that someone came up to him on his way home from a restaurant claiming to be a factory—or—er—an assembly line worker, or something.”

Her dad laughed. “That’s rich!” he said. “Was he dressed up in silver and doing the robot? Ha ha!”

“First of all,” Tillie said. “She had dirt all over her face, and she was wearing rags. Dad, she said that there weren’t robots on the assembly lines at all. She said they were humans.”

Ha ha ha!” her dad laughed. “Humans on an assembly line!” he said, slapping his hand on his knee. “Next you’ll tell me we have robots inventing new technology, or managing corporations even! Ha ha ha!”

“Dad. But what if it’s true?”

Her dad scoffed. “What if Santa Claus is real? Then we’d all get what we want for Christmas. But he’s not, so what’s the point in asking?”

“But why would someone do that?” Tillie said. “Why would they show it on TV?”

“I think you answered your own question, dear,” her dad said.
“How’s that?”

“Well, it was on TV,” he said. “You can’t believe everything you see on TV, sweetheart. People will say anything to get you to watch.”

“Yeah,” Tillie said. “Then why did the Protectors interrupt his show?”

“How’s that?”

“Right after the intro, the show got cut off,” she said. “He never got to say what happened, but the papos are supposed to have it all on film.”

“Then what’s the point in not letting him talk about it?” her dad said, sighing and looking back at the TV.

“You tell me.”

“I will,” he said. “At the next commercial, dear. Could you get me another beer?”

Ugh. Fine, dad.” She stood, forcing Mr. Kitty off her lap onto the couch, and went to the kitchen.

If only those humans knew what was going on around them. But no. They were stuck in their animal cages like his pets. The worst part about it was that they couldn’t even see their chains.

Tillie sat back on the couch and handed her dad the beer. “You know…” She paused, thought about stopping, and went on. “I’ve been thinking about going into lobbying, too.”

The sound of the word flipped some switch in her dad’s brain. It was enough to draw his attention away from the game.

“Tillie,” he said, raising his eyebrows. “Lobbying? You can’t be serious. I’d believe that wacko nut-job who was talking about human factory workers before I would believe that my daughter would be a lobbyist. It’s out of the question. Impossible. I won’t hear it.” He shook his head, gesturing with his hands as he spoke.

“That’s exactly why the lobbyists are necessary, dad. Because you won’t hear it. You never listen.”

“I’m listening right now, aren’t I? And I’m saying no. Lobbyists aren’t necessary. Far from it. I tell you, if you just got rid of all the lobbyists, my job would be all that much easier.”

“Then how would you know what people want?” Tillie asked. “How would you know what they need?”

“The same way we have forever,” her dad said. “The same way we always will. The market. They can buy whatever their heart desires, and anyone can sell it.”

“And what about those who can’t afford it?”

“Those who can’t afford what?” Her dad scoffed. “Look around you, dear. Everyone has everything they need. You’re asking about humans on an assembly line again. You’re asking about Santa’s elves. Why waste your time worrying about things that don’t exist?”

“That’s not entirely true, dad,” Tillie said. “There are—”

“There are what?” her dad said. “3D printers in every corner store. Homelessness eradicated. A longer life expectancy than any time in history. All thanks to the market, no lobbyists needed.”

“But lobbyist have been there guiding it along the whole time.”

“Lobbyists have been there holding it back,” her dad said through gritted teeth. “The less they do, the more we get done. Come on, honey. We’re Managers. You should know that. Who would you lobby anyway? Lobby yourself for yourself? It’s silly. What’s good for you is what’s good for production, and the market knows that best.”

“But dad,” Tillie said. “I don’t think it’s—”

Shh.” Her dad looked back at the TV. “Now that’s enough politics,” he said. “You didn’t come home just to argue with your father, did you? This is the holiday season, Tillie. A time for family.”

“And there’s no coincidence that the election is during the holiday?” she asked.

“What’s that, dear?” her dad said, lost again in the game.

“Nothing, dad,” Tillie said, shaking her head. “Nothing. Go ahead back to your game. I’m gonna go put my things up, okay. I’ll be right back.”

“Alright, honey,” he said. “I love you.”

“C’mon, Mr. Kitty,” Tillie said. “Let’s go unpack.”

They walked back to the spare bedroom where Mr. Kitty jumped up onto the bed. Tillie sat down next to him and patted him on the head.

“You don’t think I’m crazy,” she said. “Do you Mr. Kitty?”

Mr. Kitty meowed. If she knew his language anywhere near as well as he knew hers, she would know that he meant to say that she was as far away from crazy as humans got these days. Instead she only heard a meow.

“You know, humans did used to work on the assembly lines,” Tillie said. “I learned about it in history class. So its not that outlandish. They were phased out for robot labor to make management that much easier. But there’s one thing I wonder…” She shook her head. “No.”

Mr. Kitty meowed again. “Go on,” he said.

“I mean, I know my dad says its impossible, but what if the robots did have the capability to think like humans? What if, in order to work in our factories and serve our food, they had to be able to think like humans? Well then, who will speak for the robots if there’s no one to lobby for them?”

“Well, you could let them speak for themselves,” Mr. Kitty meowed.

“Yes. Exactly,” Tillie said, standing up and pacing the room. “I should look into this. I should speak for them if no one else will. But first, but first… But first, what? What, what, what?”

“That’s not what I said,” Mr. Kitty meowed. “You’re not listening. Just like your father.”

“Great idea, Mr. Kitty,” Tillie said. “I’ll see if I can… I’ll see if I can contact Russ Logo somehow. I’ll ask him about what really happened and about what the protectors had to say to him. That’s the perfect place to start. You’re so smart, Mr. Kitty.”

“I give up,” Mr. Kitty meowed one last time. “Do what you want and learn from it.” He stretched out and laid on the bed, pretending to be asleep while Tillie made the call.

“Hello,” she said. “Is this Russ Logo?”

“Oh. Well, is there any way I would be able to speak to him?”

She walked around, unpacking her pajamas into the drawers and her books onto the dresser, while she talked.

“No. Does this have anything to do with why his show was cut short?”

“No, sir. No no no. I’m sorry. Thank you. B—” She hung up the phone. “Bye.”

Ugh, Mr. Kitty,” she said, plopping onto the bed next to him. “Some people are so rude. He said I’ll just have to watch the show to find out.”

“Tillie!” her dad called from the other room. “Tillie! Turn on the TV!”

“What?” she called back.

“The TV! Turn it on!”

“What channel?”

“All of them!”

She stood and flicked the TV on by hand. Mr. Kitty yawned and stretched to get a closer look at what was so important to her dad. On the screen was a human face with lots of makeup painted on, clearly being used to cover up bruises and other injuries. Tillie gasped when she saw it. She must have noticed what the makeup was hiding, too.

“I repeat,” the human face repeated. “It has been verified that the woman who spoke to me outside the Plantation today was an independent filmmaker working on a yet unreleased prank reality show where historical figures interact with modern celebrities. In no way do I believe that humans are working on assembly lines, and I do not wish to promote such an absurd idea with my unknowing participation in a work of art that may or may not promote that idea. That’s all there is left to say on the matter, and I would appreciate it if we could lay this to rest. Thank you.”

The picture of the bruised and painted human gave way to a barrage of prediction numbers. Tillie turned off the TV and threw the remote down on the bed, almost hitting Mr. Kitty who jumped out of the way just in time.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Kitty,” she said, sitting on the bed next to him. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Mr. Kitty rubbed his head on her hand.

“Something’s going on here, Mr. Kitty,” she said. “Did you see Russ? His delivery was so dry and monotone. And he didn’t even plug his show. He always plugs his show. Something happened to him, and I think it’s because of what he said on TV.”

Mr. Kitty meowed in agreement. He followed Tillie out of the room, and stood behind her in the door of the living room where her dad was still watching the game. “Did you see that?” he said without looking away from the screen.

“Yes, I did,” Tillie said. “You didn’t—”

“And what did he say?” her dad said. “Just a publicity stunt. Some independent artist putting on a reality show. I told you it was for TV. Was I right or was I right, dear?”

“That is what he said,” Tillie said. “But you didn’t—”

“But, but, but,” her dad said. “I told you not to believe it because it was on TV, and now that the TV tells you it was a prank, you don’t want to believe that. I don’t understand your insistence on believing in fairy tales, honey.”

“You didn’t notice anything strange about him, dad?” Tillie said. “Like maybe the bruises under his makeup, or the way he had none of his usual inflection in his voice. No. You wouldn’t, would you? Because its all numbers on a computer screen for you. There aren’t real people behind them.”

“I wouldn’t notice because I don’t have time to watch every clown with a camera who wants to rant at the world,” her dad said, getting red faced and loud. “I’m busy doing the work it takes to keep everything running the way it does. For me to do that effectively it requires that I stay grounded in reality. I don’t have time for La La Land like you students do. When you get older, you’ll grow out of this phase just like everyone else.”

“Unseen Hand, you’re impossible,” Tillie said. “I’m leaving. I’m gonna go see Shelley or something. I’ll be back for dinner.” She grabbed her coat and left before the play was over and her dad could break away to stop her.

Mr. Kitty stretched. Football was boring and the human could be staring at it for a long time. As he jumped down from the couch, though, the human stood up, mumbling to himself, and went back into his office to sit in front of the pane of computer screens. Mr. Kitty followed him and sat on the desk, cleaning himself from a good vantage point to see what was going on.

“Show’s how much she loves us,” the human said, his eyes flicking across the screen.

Mr. Kitty wanted to mention that Tillie was mad at her father—not at Mr. Kitty—but he decided to keep his mouth shut and busy cleaning his coat.

“Just numbers,” the human said. “Just numbers. As if that’s all I care about.”

Mr. Kitty thought that there were also colors and noises—not just numbers—but he kept that to himself, too.

“She simply doesn’t understand what I really do. Sure, there are a lot of numbers. But that’s not all I do. Why, take this right here.” He made a few keystrokes and clicked something. Mr. Kitty tried to bat at the mouse as he did.

“You see. They don’t just show me numbers. Right here they had some cleaner bots malfunction, or a textile machine malfunctioned, I don’t know. But look.” He moved the mouse on the screen as if the cat would know what to look at, and Mr. Kitty did. “They give us the production numbers here, of course, but this here”—he pointed to a tiny camera icon—“also gives me video evidence of the accident so I can prevent the same occurrence in the future. You get it?”

He looked at Mr. Kitty then shook his head. “Of course not,” he said. “Why am I telling all this to a cat?”

“You should tell it to Tillie,” Mr. Kitty meowed.

Ha ha. Maybe you do understand,” the human said. “Well, don’t tell our Tillie this, but I rarely ever look at the photos. There’s never really anything there to see. Ha ha!”

“Click this one,” Mr. Kitty meowed.

Almost as if he understood, the human clicked it and a photo came up. A bunch of children were all trying to pull three or four others—it was hard to tell how many exactly because only parts of them were still visible—out of the bloody jaws of the machine. The blood looked black like oil spread all over everything. Mr. Kitty could see the horror on the children’s faces as they pulled the pieces of their friends out of the cold metal jaws of death. He wondered what the human could see, and the human told him.

“You see. Robots cleaning up the mess they made. That’s all it is. That’s what they do, they’re cleaner bots. You know, maybe if I show Tillie this—show her that it’s not all numbers…”

“Do it,” Mr. Kitty meowed.

“You’re right, cat. That’s against policy. And I’ve had about enough of work for today. Back to the game.” He pet Mr. Kitty on the head and left.

Mr. Kitty curled up into a ball on the desk to get some sleep. He just had to wait for Tillie to get home and hope that her dad would show her. Otherwise he’d have to find a way to show her himself. She would see it one way or another, the terror on those kids’ faces, the humanity. Maybe then she’d find what she was looking for.

He woke an indeterminate time later to the sound of Tillie sitting at the desk and clicking around on the computer. She was searching through a law database for any signs of “human” and “factory” or “assembly line” in the same file, but all that came up were stories about how the “Logo stunt” was a hoax and how the video footage would be coming out soon. She clicked and typed and clicked, then slunk back into the soft, leather chair with a huff.

“He didn’t close it,” Mr. Kitty meowed. “You’re so close.”

Awww. Mr. Kitty.” She pet his head. “I know you care. You never let me down.”

“Look. It’s still open.” He walked across the keyboard, trying to bring the picture back up.

“Mr. Kitty, stop it!” She scooped him up and sat him on her lap. “I’m trying to find out more about the assembly line workers,” she said, scratching his ear and squinting at the screen.

Mr. Kitty wasn’t able to pull the picture up when he walked across the keyboard, but he did pull up the production numbers. Colors changed on the screen, and numbers flipped, but there were no beeps.

“What’s this?” She clicked around on a few icons.

“Click the camera,” Mr. Kitty meowed.

“I knew it,” Tillie said. “Numbers, numbers, numbers. That’s all he sees.”

She clicked back through the historical data. There was so much to see it took a few pages to get even to that morning.

“What’s the point in looking at all these stupid numbers?” Tillie said.

She was about to give up when Mr. Kitty bit her wrist. She flinched, clicking something, and yelled, “Ouch!”

“Are you alright, sweetheart?” her dad called from the other room.

“Shoo, Mr. Kitty.” She pushed him off her lap. He jumped up onto the desk and started licking himself. “Don’t do that, Mister.”

“Tillie!” her dad called again. “Do I need to come in there?”

Tillie looked at the screen. The picture her dad had been looking at was on top now. She gasped at the sight of it. She stared in shock at the faces of pain and anguish on the children, at the blood on the floor and the machinery and their clothes—which had clearly been retouched to look black instead of red—at the mold on the walls and the youth in their eyes, caught just as it disappeared.

Her dad walked in and said, “Tillie, what are you doing?”

“I was just trying to look up information about the scene with Russ today,” she said. “But I accidentally found this. Why were you looking at historical photos of factory accidents?”

“Historical photos?” Her dad looked at the screen, frowning. “Oh, dear,” he said, shaking his head. “You should not have seen that. It’s against policy. You should not have seen that.”

“Against policy?” Tillie frowned.

“Yes,” her dad said. “You shouldn’t be looking at it. It’s a photo of an accident that happened this morning. We lost three cleaner bots. You see, I told you it’s not all numbers with me.”

“Three cleaner bots, dad?” Tillie scoffed.

“Yes, dear,” her dad said, pointing at the screen. “Right there. You’re looking at it.”

“Dad,” she said. “Those aren’t robots.”

“Sure they are, honey. What else would they be? Humans that bleed oil? Ha ha ha!”

“Look at their faces, dad. Why would they look so terrified if they were robots?”

He squinted at the screen. “I don’t know,” he said. “My eyes are going again. The hazards of work, you know. I didn’t notice. But those robots are getting more and more realistic every day. Who am I to ask why they design them the way they do?”

“But, dad—”

“No more buts,” her dad said. “It’s almost time for dinner, and I have some people coming over who I’d like you to meet. They’ll tell you all about lobbying, dear. Now come on.”

He left, but Tillie stayed seated and pet Mr. Kitty. “Those aren’t robots, Mr. Kitty,” she said. “And I’m going to get to the bottom of this.”

Mr. Kitty purred in response.

#       #       #

< III. Russ             [Table of Contents]             V. Ellie >

Thanks again for following along. I hope you enjoyed reading today’s chapter as much as I did writing it. Stay tuned next week for chapter 5 and, if you can’t wait, you can get a print or eBook version on Amazon through here.

Have a great weekend.

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