By Simon Pinkerton

sfgenreThe Magiclock 3000 blinked 0300 hours, 2nd of Junetember 2017, as the man/filing-cabinet hybrid Trout Handfoam hung upside down and suspended from what was basically a giant tie-rack for people, in city block Roman Numeral 12.

"May as well start the day," he mumbled to himself, although "day" was a bit of a misnomer since the polar ice melts made loads of water go up in the air or something, making it dark most of the time.

He sat up and lowered himself to the ground on special rope made of futuristic material, and told his personal assistant Zorbo to dress him in clothes and makeup that had the exact same aesthetic as 1980s New Romantics.

Zorbo sighed and carried out his wish. Trout felt sorry for Zorbo sometimes — did he have desires of his own? A family perhaps? Surely it would be better to have a digital assistant and not a human one, compulsorily appointed by the local government which now employed three out of four people, as liberals and lefties had gotten totally out of control?

Trout stepped out of his DOMIpod looking like the singer from Dead or Alive (You Spin me Round {Like a Record}). Most of the men he knew would just stay in their home-cells all day, wasting cred-creds on using their Fellatotron 5000, a total legend of a blow-job machine that felt better than the real thing because it omitted the synthetic tooth-snag with the new model. He wasn't like those men — he didn't have a cock. Where it should have been, he had a digital safe key. When his boss wanted to access his prized financial documents he would be all over Trout's crotch like ePigeon shit on a holo-statue — which were banned now after the Iconoclast Uprising of 2012. Digital files, i.e. small, were encrypted within Trout's stomach, and could only be virtually removed and decoded after an optical scan of the owner. Hence the boss would each day put his head in Trout's groin and unlock the amazing treasures within.

Trout walked to work each day as his DOMIpod was sky-moored only 30 furlongs away. A load of midgets cycled past him on pretty regular-looking bikes with lights all over them, as he sauntered along on the moving walkway. A blimp flew by overhead, displaying corporate logos that projected right into his eyes, since capitalists and right-wingers had gotten totally out of control. "Jesus, that's irritating (as usual)," Trout said.

When he arrived in the office the boss was watching stock reports on nine giant TV screens at once that oddly weren't flat-panel. A big red phone rung with a classic telephone sound, and he picked up the receiver, looking like maybe he had missed out on quite an important development in phone technology. The boss spoke angrily in... Chinese?...and slammed down the receiver, before double-manipulating two trackballs that controlled a third of his six desktop computers.

Trout couldn't believe that small, green PC screens were still the fashion: and yet, here they were, everywhere. The place reeked of noodles, as there were loads of booths selling them below the office. “Really, noodles? Noodles are the food of the future?” Trout mumbled.

"Boss," Trout proclaimed. "Will you be needing any files today?"

"Not today, Trout, you can put your junk away. But I have an important mission for you. One of our motorised vacuums has gone haywire in Terraplain 5 — it's sucking everybody who goes near it. I need you to laser it."

"Okay, boss. What effect will lasering it have?"

"It'll burn a bit where the laser hits, then explode. We don't know why lasers make everything explode, Trout, but I'm glad they do."

"I'm on it, boss. Anything else I should know about it?"

"It, Trout? 'It' is a her, and a sexy her too. She'll try to convince you to spare her life. You'll have to be strong, Trout. She's a sucking pro — it's what she's built for."

"No it's okay, sir, I haven't got a penis, remember?"

"Ha ha, of course Trout. Sometimes I forget that you're not a citizen as such, just a bio-product of the Hoovernetics Experimental Company Inc, and that human emotions and rights for you are a real grey area. I treat you too damn well. Ultimately, I suppose you're corporate merchandise, but with human qualities. Get out of here and do your job before I change my mind."

"Change your mind...?"

"About you having human qualities, or about treating you like a full human — it's complicated, Trout. I'm sure it will come up in an important interaction between us sometime soon."

"Who knows," said Trout. "Maybe corporate greed might be part of that allegorical dialogue?"

"Ha ha, perhaps, Trout. Perhaps. Now fuck off and do as I told you to before I upgrade to cloud storage, whatever that is."


Trout mounted the hover-bicycle and adjusted the basket at the front for warp speed. When he arrived at Terraplain 5, he confronted the malfunctioning suck-droid, and they instantly hit it off and fell in love; she knew that he loved her for her CPU, not just her sucking skills.

Right before they fell in love, he pointed a laser pistol at her, but it went all wobbly because of feelings, and he threw it in a trash can that said, "Thank you for keeping our streets clean," which may have been apt or ironic, not sure, given all the complex variables regarding vacuuming, guns making streets "dirty", whether or not their love was clean or dirty, etcetera.

They lived happily together for many years, unlike the mutants of course: things that used to be human but were malformed horribly by irresponsible corporations in some way or another, probably pollution.

Those corporations were real fuckers. Their single-minded pursuit of the cred-cred had wide-ranging ramifications. Poor mutants.

Trout hugged Henrietta close and looked glassy-eyed into the near distance.

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About The Author

Simon Pinkerton

simon pinkterton 200Simon Pinkerton is a fiction and humor writer from New London (it’s near normal London and is for people who can’t afford normal London, and it’s near Heathrow Airport). Find him @simonpinkerton on Twit-twit.


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Coming In Issue 233

Asset Class
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Build Blast
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The Drop Out
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The Numbers Danced
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