Eyes focused, skin lightly glazed with sweat, a young man clothed in white finishes the remainder of his shift on his hands and knees mopping up after old worker bots. Surrounded by the relentless hum of the computers' cooling fans; he remains steadfast and hard at work. His hands damp and shriveled, he takes a glance at the clock and proceeds to dry the now immaculate floor. On his way down the corridor, an alarm drones over the loud speaker, followed by a monotonous voice.
“Level 4 personnel, the duration of your shift has ended. You will cease your duties and exit the building. You will arrive tomorrow at 0700. Failure to comply will result in your immediate termination. Thank you for your service.”
On board the city monorail, he, along with the several other dozen passengers, sit calm and quietly. Although the interior was clean and quite spacious, the small windows, sparse throughout, rendered the vehicle quite claustrophobic; yet the passengers, facing the front with their hands on their laps, paid no attention to the lack of view beyond the vehicle. Aside from their physical attributes, there was little to nothing unique about one another; Matching white clothes, short hair, and a deadpan stare, they are totally indifferent to their surroundings. No one utters a word. While he sits there waiting with his hands on his lap, he gazes at a placard which he has observed over and over; a prohibition symbol placed atop two stick figures holding hands.
Block after block, nothing but concrete, metal, and glass ; buildings so tall that they cut through the sky, and as silver clouds blanket the Earth, he makes his way toward the residential district where he lives. He rarely comes across anything out of the ordinary, yet as he approaches his apartment building, he encounters a shiny object lying discarded on the pavement. He bends down to get a better look, carefully examining it. It was a storage device resembling a USB drive. Clearly a relic, and an interesting one at that; he takes it with him and continues on.
Like everywhere else, the decor inside his residence was dull and minimal; clinical, impersonal and bleak. There were no photos or prints to adorn the desolate white walls, nor flowers or sculptures to help fill the volume of his quarters. All that he has is all that is needed apart from the nameless storage device which he had been analyzing for the past half-hour. Flirting with his curiosity, he loads it into his computer, questioning whether it would work or not.
Without warning, an overwhelming euphony of sound emerges from the speakers. He was beside himself, awestruck and stunned. He quickly turned toward the monitor to find out what he was listening to, and found the words "Beethoven symphony No. 9" displayed. With his senses heightened and ears melting, he plunges head first into this brave new experience going through each folder. The disc contained archives of photographs, music, and artwork; a digital time capsule from...