"Welcome to ChronoSoft, Mr...?" the businessman shook the man's hand firmly.
"Zeefourtwo." His hands were cold and his eyes were hollow, absent of life. The businessman scratched his horseshoe hairline.
"That's an unusual name... is it ethnic?" Zeefourtwo sat without invitation.
"No, sir. I am a LifeLike Genetically Replicated Corporate-series Auto-mannequin, designation Z-4-2, assigned to ChronoSoft Incorporated for experimental research and development." Zeefourtwo glanced down at the businessman's wooden nameplate. "You are William Brunt."
"Yes, the name's Bill actually." Bill tried his very hardest not to stare at the man's features. The more he accidentally looked, the more he noticed. His clothes were quite formal at a glance, and yet completely comfortable by the look of them – a perfectly post-modern outfit. Actually, it made Bill's 2000's-era shirt and tie look like a relic of a forgotten age.
Zeefourtwo just seemed to stare at him, his eyes unwavering. His patience absolute. Having not completely lost his manners, Bill realized that the silence had become drawn-out and he hurried to break it.
"Well, excellent! I hear LifeLike does some excellent work. I've never worked with a – well, a robot."
"Auto-mannequin. Bio-engineered to perfect the human genome."
"Yes! An auto–one of those!" He shuffled some papers unnecessarily. "Very good, well. As the nameplate suggests, I am the Vice-President of ChronoSoft. I've been looking over your resume..." he said, looking it over. "And I see that you have no prior experience whatsoever. Forgive me, but I can't fathom how you even got this interview."
He responded without a moment's hesitation. "Z-series Auto-mannequins have nearly one–thousand times the brain capacity of a human being. Memory recall is instantaneous by human standards, and we are programmed with the entire knowledge bank of two–thousand years of economic theory." Bill was obviously stunned, but he still tried not to let on.
"Yes, well... very impressive. However, i'm afraid pre-programmed facts are no replacement for years of experience. I'm not sure what job they were planning on giving you, but I'm afraid that I cannot support their decision to hire you. Have a good afternoon."
Zeefourtwo stood and pushed his chair under the desk. He became more animated now, expressing a greater range of facial expression.
"I did not mean to mislead you by my patience, but I am not here to receive your approval." Bill scowled in annoyance.
"What does that mean?" The auto-mannequin bent down to lean on Bill's desk, staring boldly into his eyes.
"I'm not here to find a job – i'm here to do yours. I have been purchased by ChronoSoft to replace you as Vice-President. Your services will no longer be required." Bill's good humor had ended. He slammed his fist on the desk and flung back his chair. "They can't do this to me!"
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