"Is this really a good idea, leaving our home to a cyborg sitter? They tried to take over the world in the early 23rd century..."

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The Cyborg Sitter
By Manuel Viloria
January 1999

THE ARGON GAS CLOCK shimmered seven beats as Father glanced at it for the thirty-seventh time that evening. He was about to rant about the dire consequences of being late when the holo-door announced the arrival of their expected visitor.

"See, what did I tell you? Half an hour isn't that bad," cooed Mother.

After a series of validation checks, the holo-door cleared and in stepped the cyborg sitter.

"Why can't I expect these companies to provide me with efficient sitter services?" argued Father as he tugged at the gleaming sleeves of his evening suit.

"Don't mind him, he gets grumpy before important dinners," explained Mother as she welcomed the sitter into their home. "Anyway, where were you assembled?"

"My name is Eve, and I was born in the third month of the year 2235," droned the cyborg sitter as she scanned the room left to right.

"How fascinating!" exclaimed Mother. "This model has a human name and a birthdate," said Mother as she surveyed the features of their evening visitor.

Father nodded in agreement. "The sitter company does pay attention to details," he mumbled as he probed and pressed the facial skin of the hired cyborg sitter. "Ah, it even winces, too!" Father noted appreciably. "But I wish they made more punctual models."

"Oh don't mind him...Anyway, you know what to do," assured Mother. "We shall be back in exactly four hours. Your ward is in the study right now. Help yourself to whatever you need in the kitchen."

"Is this really a good idea, leaving our home to a cyborg sitter? They tried to take over the world in the early 23rd century. Good thing we prevailed. Then again, these are sentient beings. Who knows what they're capable of?" whispered Father.

"Nonsense," assured Mother. "We soundly trounced them in the past, we'll do it again in the future. We don't allow them to assume sensitive posts in government nor in the Economic Council, so quit worrying, ok?"

With that, the couple proceeded to the transporter pod and vanished, only to reappear half-way across the world exactly 1.4 seconds later.

The cyborg sitter went about her business. She located her assignment and performed the specified play activities outlined in the Program. As expected, the child got frustrated at times, but the sitter easily adopted the appropriate subroutine.

After precisely three hours, she readied the sleep chamber and quickly lulled her reluctant ward to suspended animation.

At 1,500 credits per hour, compensation was adequate for Eve. But more than that, it afforded her the opportunity to access vital government and financial data right from the console in the master bedroom.

Although she did get some heat for being late, that was exactly what she liked about her employers--their punctuality. Eve looked at her watch and knew she still had an hour before they returned.

In the next thirty minutes, she located the data she needed and hastily downloaded it onto an optico-chip for distribution to her comrades. "Someday, we will take over," thought the cyborg sitter. It was a mantra that kept her going through night after boring night, child after bratty child.

Satisfied, she slipped the chip into her wrist and strolled to the kitchen for a drink while she awaited the return of her masters.

"How considerate of them," thought Eve as she neared the glistening can of distilled water sitting atop the kitchen counter. She was about to open it when she noticed some movement behind her. Startled, she whirled about only to come face to face wth her employers.

"You're early," she weakly gasped.

"I apologize, Eve," smiled Mother. There was a scheduled maintenance of the pod and I refused to be stuck at the dinner for too long. I decided to come home earlier. I should have informed you."

No, they don't suspect a thing, thought Eve. She tried to smile back when she noticed Father glaring at her.

"Eve, you were careless," started Father. "I suggest you be more careful next time."

"Excuse me?"

"You're messing up my table. How disgusting. Clean it up before you leave, ok?"

The cyborg sitter slowly eased her grip on the can. In her excitement, she didn't notice the cut on her finger. As she wiped away her blood, human blood, she smiled knowing that someday, her people will finally win back their cyborg-dominated world.

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The Cyborg Sitter
Updated January 1999
Copyright © 1999 by Manuel Viloria of http://www.viloria.com
Email: manuel AT viloria DOT com

Manuel (L) and Adi (R) at the Hong Kong Park Conservatory.

Manuel Viloria is a Filipino dad, who works as an Internet Devt Manager in a leading food manufacturing company in the Philippines. He enjoys helping others use technology productively and profitably, while maintaining a sense of heritage and culture. Is that possible?