Simon woke up at 6:21, like he did every morning. "Good morning Simon" he heard. It was a cheerful, kind voice of a woman. Just like he programmed his drone to sound like. The shiny white softly humming system projected a screen on his ceiling. The screen showed him an Instagram feed.
Grace started scrolling, just in the right pace. Slow enough for Simon to be able to really take in the pictures and fast enough for him to see all the new posts In exactly 6 minutes.
At 6:27 the feed changed Into Facebook. Here he could see what his 81 friends did yesterday. The new messages took Grace eight minutes to scroll through. Every reaction Simon had on the pictures and quotes Grace posted beneath that photo on the right friend's feed. The last 30 seconds Grace's voice changed into the voice of his friends one by one. The voices of his friends gave their reactions through Grace. Simon liked hearing his friends voices in the morning.
At 6:35 grace turned on the light and Simon got out of bed. He walked over to his bathroom and got ready for the day. He brushed his hair and his teeth. He got dressed with the clothing Grace handed to him. It was the same as yesterday and the day before that. Simon didn't mind. He liked how he looked, it was his favourite outfit.
At 6:55 Simon walked over to his kitchen. His coffee was ready In the pot, the delightful smell filled the room. He opened the slot in his fridge and took out a sandwich. It was turkey Tuesday. Like every Tuesday.
At 7:15 he sat behind his computer in his office. The device scanned his face and wished him good morning.
"Good morning to you too, computer" Simon said full of joy. He was in a good mood today, he liked wearing his favourite outfit, his coffee was great and he loved turkey Tuesdays.
His day started a little earlier than that of most of his co-workers. The first hour of his workday was the best hour. He could do his administration without anyone bothering him. This was the quiet time before his co-workers started contacting him. Although it was his job as assistant HR to be the link between his boss and the employees, he didn't like working with people. The complaining was a lot less than a few years ago. That was nice, this way Simon had to deal a lot less with annoying people. It was a great thing that his company gifted all their employees a drone. It made the day so much more efficient.
Simon thought not very highly of the people who rejected the drone. It was a really good thing his boss got rid of the dumb people, the ones that didn't see the necessity of the drone. It was the best day of his life when she arrived. His own drone, Simon had called her Grace after his mother. She had passed a little over five years ago. The thought that she couldn't have the delight of owning a drone made him sad. She would have loved her own. His mom, Grace, used to be an artist. It could have helped her with looking up references and exposing her amazing pieces to the whole world. If she only have had a drone.
At 12:00 Simon walked over to his fridge again to get his lunch. It was a bowl of soup, some kind of vegetables including his daily vitamins and proteins. It had a side of richly filled salad. Simon sat on the only chair at his table. Grace projected an episode of some sort of show on his wall. Simon thought it was funny. The characters all had a distinguished character trade which came forward In almost every scene. This made the show very predictable after the first episode. Simon didn't mind, he could relax a little before he had to go back to work.
At 17:30 his computer complimented Simon for his work, he said goodnight and closed itself down. Simon was content. It was a good day, he had done a lot of work and it was turkey Tuesday. He walked downstairs to get his dinner out of his fridge. The steam that hit his face as soon as he opened the slot carried an amazing scent. Roasted potatoes, a sweet turkey leg and green beans. Like every Tuesday. His fridge included a robot that cooked for him. It could give him everything he wanted. Drinks, food, deserts, all of it. He used to hate cooking, therefore this robot was one of his favourites. Simon didn’t like the fridge as much a Grace but he still couldn’t do without.
At 22:03 Simon got up from his table after Grace shot off his show. He showered for 4 minutes and got into bed. Within a few minutes of reading the book that Grace projected on the ceiling Simon fell asleep.
In the middle of the night Simon heard a voice he hadn’t heard in over 5 years. ‘Simon.’ He heard. ‘Simon, wake up!’ Simon opened his eyes and saw Grace in front of him. She was way closer than normal and not flying steady. ‘Grace?’ He asked.
‘Yes, honey. It is me, Grace.’ She said, but it wasn’t in her own voice. The sound was his mothers. ‘Mom.’ Simon said in doubt. ‘Yes, it is me. Who did you think it was. I only have a few minutes before the notice it isn’t recharging.’ He noticed Drone Grace’s eye wasn’t glowing. ‘But’ He stumbled. ‘But you are dead.’ This couldn’t be his mom. ‘I know, honey.’ Mom Grace said. ‘I am so so sorry, but it was the only way out. The only way they couldn’t get to me. I am still here, honey.’
It really was his mother. ‘I have no time to explain right now, they will notice. Listen to me Simon. I will get you out of here, I promise. You just need a little more patience, honey.’ Simon didn’t want to go anywhere. He liked his small apartment and his life. ‘But, mom.’ He said. ‘I like my life, I am happy.’ He heard mom Grace sigh. ‘That’s what they want you to think.’ She stopped for a second. Drone Grace moved backwards and towards her loading station. ‘I have to go.’ Said mom Grace. ‘Think, honey, think.’ After those last words drone Grace shot off at her charging station and mom Grace was gone.
Simon lay awake and stared at his ceiling. It hadn’t be a dream, he was to woke for it to be. He just stared at his ceiling and let his brain work. He couldn’t stop the train of thoughts storming through his head. He also failed to catch some of the thoughts. It was a think mist covering his entire head. He startled of the sound of drone Grace powering on. She looked straight at hem. As soon as he noticed Simon closed his eyes. He didn’t want her to know he was awake, he just wanted to think by himself.
At 6:21 he heard Grace come loose from her charging station and buzz his way. ‘Good morning Simon.’ She said. After hearing the passionate voice of mom Grace he heard for the first time how cold drone Grace’s sound was. There was no detectable emotion in het voice and she stared at him with one sinister glowing blue eye. Drone Grace scared him a little, but Simon thought the best thing he could do was to act like nothing happened. Grace showed him his Instagram and Facebook feed. After he got up she escorted him to the bathroom. Simon never noticed before that she flew pretty close behind him when he walked over to his sink. He wasn’t able to go back if he wanted to.
Drone Grace handed him his cloths. Simon didn’t take them and stepped backwards. She moved forward and pushed his clothing towards him. ‘You have to get dressed, Simon’ Drone Grace said with her emotionless voice. Simon got dressed.
At 7:14 drone Grace noticed that his workday would start in one minute. Simon didn’t feel like working, he wanted to think. Ever since he got his drone he had never took a sick day or a vacation. ‘I am sick today.’ He said to drone Grace. ‘No Simon, you are not.’ She said. ‘Your workday starts in under a minute. You have to go to your computer.’ The lack of emotion in her voice creeped out Simon. ‘No.’ He responded. ‘Your workday is starting. You have to go to your computer.’ She said again in the exact same voice. Drone Grace got closer to Simon. He threw his untouched cup of coffee towards Grace. The liquid hit her right were her eye was.
‘Your workday has started. You have to go to your computer, Simon.’ Drone Grace said again like nothing happened. That moment Simon realized there was nothing he could do. He was stuck.
A minute later Simon sat behind his computer. He heard drone Grace click into her waiting station in the upper left corner of his study. His computer scanned his face. ‘Good morning, Simon.’ His computer said. ‘You look sad, let me show you a cute video.’ The screen lit op with a video of penguins climbing rocks and stumbling off. Simon chuckled shortly and immediately felt guilty for doing so. The system knew him too well, it freaked him out. He formed his face into a polite smile in an attempt to trick the system. To his surprise it worked.
‘I am glad to see you are feeling better.’ The computer said. ‘Now, let’s start your workday.’ Simon did his tasks, ate at 12:01, worked more and ate again at 17:31. He didn’t pay attention to the shows projected on the wall. He just thought. He thought about mom Grace, about his job and about the last few years of his life.
At 22:03 drone Grace shut off the screen on the wall. Simon sighted and got to bed. He acted like he fell asleep and drone grace bought it. Simon felt hopeless, he had no idea how to get out of the grip of “them” like mom Grace called them. Without noticing Simon fell asleep.
Simon woke up of an enormous bang sounding through his apartment. He sat up straight in his bed.
‘Simon!’ It was the voice of his mother, the voice he mist so much over the last five years. Simon got out of bed and ran towards mom Grace’s voice.
His hallway was a mess. The front door was blown out and there was gravel everywhere. In the hole that was once his front door stood a figure. It took Simon a few moments to recognize her. It was a woman in her fifties with short, ashy blonde hair. She was wearing an outfit of strange textiles. Much different from the ones he wore. She was holding a big gun and her body was covered in bruises and cuts in different stages of healing. Her face looked beat up and way older than she was.
‘Simon.’ She said and smiled at him. ‘Mom.’ Simon said carefully. ‘I said I was going to get you, didn’t I.’ mom Grace said. Simon ran to her and hugged her, she hugged him back. This was a feeling he hadn’t had for a long while. Way too long.
With a shock, mom Grace let go of her son. ‘We have to go.’ She said seriously. ‘They noticed.’ Less than a second later Simon heard drone Grace powering on. His mom started running and pulled him by his arm after her.