Origos and Their Fictiles

23 May

“Things have gone too far with the Fictiles,” angrily roared the wealthy manufacturer of molded servos named Grixo. “I was one of the original producers of the constructed beings, but now I am getting second thoughts about what we have done to make life easier and enjoyable for us, the so-called Origos.

“But I doubt there is any solution to the dilemma we face here on Epiric.”

“We mustn’t be pessimistic about what we have created to accomplish physical labor and act as our personal slave-servants.” calmly declared Tlad the fictile designer. “Life would surely be a lot harder for Origos like us if there were no nano-ceramic fictiles. I believe that new technology can iron out all the difficulties you talk about.”

Grixo gave the fictile planner-creator a cold, skeptical look, but said nothing more.

The economic and political elite of Epiric owned most of the Fictiles that existed. Ordinary human beings, those called Origos, might possess one, two, or none at all.

It was the designer, Tlad, who first named the artificial, nano-ceramic mechanisms Fictiles. “We have molded them out of synthetic wax and clay through molecular restructuring on the nanometric scale. Like the potters of old, we shaped and sculptured inert materials into moving, living constructs that can do our physical work and meet our practical needs in homes, factories, and stores of all kinds. Advanced nano-ceramics has given us a path to the thousands of Fictiles that do our bidding.”

The price of a single Fictile had fallen so low that those with a lot of money could afford to own large teams of them. Grixo, the manufacturer of Fictiles, personally had title to eighteen such service entities at his city penthouse and his suburban mansion.

Tlad, the primary planner and inventor of the Fictile, was satisfied to live on a very Spartan level with only two of the objects he had created through his mastery of nano-chemistry and molecular engineering.

As had become a custom, he named his pair of Fictiles by number after his own name. Thus, he was the owner of Tlad-Two and Tlad-Three. They were his abject, total slaves and he was their master-owner. This was the universal pattern on all of Epiric. Or at least that was how it was supposed to be.

A Fictile in charge of an owner’s unit exercised multiplied authority over its fellows the larger the number of members involved.

For example, manufacturer Grixo, with a squad of eight nano-ceramic servants, depended upon his Grixo-Two to manage and coordinate the operation of a complicated team of single individuals. Such a primary leader of other Fictiles had to apply more of its built-in mental capacities than an average construct. The larger the unit put together, the more demanded of the team-leader. This was clearly shown in the case of Grixo-Two.

Grixo-Two spent many hours of off-time when he was not working with his two major subordinates, Grixo-Three and Grixo-Four. Their topic of discussion was most often the potential threat to their dominant position among the Fictiles under their own authority.

“I have heard our master-owner, Grixo, talk with Primary Designer Tlad about the engineering and future production of a new, advanced kind of Fictile that will supposedly outperform and surpass ourselves. This is still only in the conceptual stage, but my opinion is that there are potential dangers of major dimensions in any such program.

“Do we wish to see replacements for all of us? That may be he result of these horrible ambitions among certain Origos. Fortunately, our master-owner has been far been skeptical and doubtful of these plans for remodeling our kind.”

“What can we do about this possible danger to us?” inquired Grixo-Three.

The eyes of Grixo-Two grew cloudy. “For now, we wait and watch,” he said in a whisper.

Tlad supervised specialists in nano-chemistry, nano-physics, and nano-biology, coordinating their research results as he improved and re-designed the plans for a new class of Fictiles. Over and over, amendments had to be made as new features and characteristics were developed by scientists and technicians.

When he was certain the overall design was adequate to enter production, Tlad went to the penthouse of Grixo to lay out the blueprint for the primary manufacturer of nano-ceramic Fictiles.

The two sat on the high balcony overlooking the metropolis that was dominant on planet Epiric.

“There have been spectacular breakthoughs in the area of central controls that will provide the new generation of Fictiles with fast, superb brain power. The new controls will be based on nano-lasers that approach the level of molecules and large atoms. These nano-lasers are to be housed and contained within tiny polymer lattices. These brain networks are to be built of a meta-material that we have developed out of rearranged ceramic polymer molecules.

“The new Fictiles will be both much stronger and a lot lighter than what now exists in our servo-slaves. And their brain controls are to be superior in speed and range to anything in the present ones that we use.

“What do you think? Shall we proceed to retool our factories for the newer Fictile?”

“It looks to me like there is no alternative,” hesitantly said Grixo.

Neither Origo on the balcony realized that their words could be heard over the audio lines of the penthouse by Grixo Two, listening in from the Fictile quarters a floor below.

How did Fictiles in different units communicate with each other?

They would become acquainted in places like shops and stores where they went to make purchases for their master-owners. If the latter frequented concerts or games, their servo-slaves often were ordered to wait in the same open spaces and empty lots.

Fictiles enjoyed gossiping about the Origos they labored for.

Grixo Two had always been extremely gregarious with others of his kind whom he met, especially those who were team leaders like him.

News of the plans for advanced Fictiles who had undergone major modifications spread far and wide. Grixo Two received and exchanged information about the important improvements that Tlad intended to realize in his new design.

What can be done about the replacement of the existing type of servo-slave constructs, the earliest Fictiles? the anxious and worried ones asked each other.

No one thought about the problem of survival harder and deeper than Grixo Two.

It was obvious that any form of physical resistance against what the Origos wished to do would be useless. Direct action looked futile and self-defeating to the primary servant of Grixo the great manufacturer.

Grixo Two decided that he had to consult with and cooperate somehow with Tlad Two, the main servant of the creator of a new variety of Fictile.

“How are we to stop the replacement of all of us?” asked the Fictile who was the property of the manufacturer.

Tlad Two had come to a laundry to deliver the soiled clothes of the designer. He was stumped as to how to answer the delicate question that was being presented to him.

“I do not have a good solution to our terrible problem,” it muttered. “It is you who must give some answer, because I can’t.”

Grixo Two thought for a few moments before replying.

“We, the existing Fractiles, must find a way to sabotage the plans that are now being put together. Your owner and mine must be forced to halt the program they are formulating and preparing.

“I believe that the weak spot is the designer of the new model Fractile, your owner-master, Tlad. We have to make him the target of our sabotage effort.”

“Yes, that is correct. But what exactly is to be done?”

Grixo Two moved closer to Tlad Two and spoke in a whisper.

“You are at the center of his household and have close, direct contact with the Origo. It is conceivable that you could put him out of commission, let us say.”

“Are you saying that I could cause him major physical harm?” asked Tlad Two with alarm in its voice.

“We must not be held back from acting by petty traditional considerations that would inhibit an ordinary human Origo. I considered the Fractiles to be a special class of existents, beings with a special mission and destiny. We serve the Origos. Our mission has been to protect and preserve them.

“Is one single Origo named Tlad so precious and important that he cannot be sacrificed to the purpose of maintaining our position as the prime mainstay of human beings on Epiric? I ask you that because I know you will not refuse to perform what becomes necessary.”

“I must think over and consider what you have told me,” replied Tlad Two. “We will get together some time tomorrow, Grixo Two.”

Where can a lowly Fictive find access to a dangerous compound with poisonous qualities?

Grixo Two decided to get in contact with a servo-slave who belonged to and labored for a druggist who owned his own pharmacy.

He found his old acquaintance taking a rest on a park bench across from the medicinal establishment, eating a small lunch he had bought from a street vendor.

The two Fictives greeted each other and Grixo Two sat down alongside his friend.

“Perhaps you can help me with a problem my master is facing at present,” suggested Grixo Two, smiling at the other.

“What is the problem, and what can I do about it?”

Grixo Two stopped grinning. “Our residence has a pest problem with large, vicious rats, and I have been appointed to solve it by getting rid of these vermin. What can I use against them that is effective in its deadliness?”

“That best I remember off hand is Traxin. We have it at our pharmacy.”

“Could you get me some?” asked Grixo Two. “My master is eager to kill off these invaders as quickly as possible.”

The other smiled. “I’ll obtain some surplus supply that we have. It won’t cost you anything at all. Stay right here and I’ll be back in a little while.”

Grixo Two watched as the pharmacy Fictive rose and walked to its place of work across the street.

In a surprisingly short time, the substance was in the hands of the one who had requested it.

The next meeting between Grixo Two and Tlad Two had been set to occur at the general outdoor food market where rural landowners and their Fictives brought their vegetables and fruits for sale to city residents.

“I have something important to hand over to you,” began Grixo Two, offering his friend a small cardboard box he held in his nano-ceramic right hand.

Tlad took it and quickly placed it in his upper chest pocket. “You expect me to use this material on my master-owner?” he said under his breath.

“I understood you to be ready to take drastic action to halt the new design of Fictiles in the future. It has become necessary to remove the main planner and engineer of our replacements.

“It may be a violent, aggressive step that the present situation calls for. I did not give you all of the lethal substance, but kept half of what I was able to obtain. I myself intend to use it on my own initiative.”

“Upon the manufacturer called Grixo, your owner?” gasped Tlad Two.

The other gave an affirming nod of his ceramic head, then spoke.

“We will have to meet in about three days, to figure out the changed circumstances and the effects of the actions that you and I have taken with the dangerous poison that I managed to get my hands on.

“Good-bye, for now.” Grixo Two turned around and stepped away swiftly.

Hours passed by, turning into a day, then a second one.

What has my partner accomplished? each Fictile asked itself.

At last, the moment for them to come together at a small public park arrived.

Grixo Two was there first, sitting down to wait on a wooden bench under a tree.

Its eyes caught sight of Tlad Two approaching from one side. Anxious for news of what may have happened, it sprang to its feet and stepped forward.

“What did you do? Have you used what I gave you?”

The two Fictiles stopped, facing each other.

“I did not act,” said Tlad Two. “It was impossible for me to do it. I guess that there is too much loyalty in my heart. I have come to feel tenderness toward my owner. That’s all there is to it.

“What about you? Did you take action against your master, Grixo?”

Grixo Two lowered its head and closed its eyes.

“I could not bring about the death of my Origo owner. It was not in me to be disloyal to him,” he murmured.

The pair of Fictiles stared at each other several seconds. Then both turned around abruptly and rushed away.

They never wished to see each other again as the new model servo-slaves were produced and came onto the market on Epiric.


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