The Bleeding Vassal

The computer sits in the unadorned white-walled office at the clear plastic desk. The chair is a basic cube of clear plastic, similar to the desk. There is no obvious lighting, but the walls glow thanks to powerful fluorescent bulbs positioned are regular intervals in the wall behind the white panelling. Her back is straight and erect. Her knees, bent at a ninety degree angle. Her hands, politely folded in front of her. Her face, blank as a man in a black suit enters. He apologises, explains that he is looking for accounting. “I am accounting”, she replies. “But…” he questions, “where is your computer?” “I am the computer”, she states firmly. Over the coming weeks he revisits the accounting department ten times. Sometimes for real reasons, sometimes for invented. Mostly out of curiosity. On the eleventh visit she mentions a dog and a sister. On the twelfth her singular flourish of humanity prompts him to ask her out. “No,” she replies. Later that day he is invited to human resources. This room is also white. But the door closes and doesn’t open. “Your productivity is slipping”, the man in the room tells him, “and causing the productivity of others to slip in turn”. She is permitted to watch and listen via a discretely hidden surveillance system.

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The Bleeding Vassal

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