• T. Mark Mangum

On the Move

“The rich get richer, the rest of us die.” I was driving from Phoenix to Butte, a thousand miles shouldn’t take long. The radio played a talk station not sure how to describe it, radio tabloid?


“The rich get richer, the rest of us die.”


I was driving from Phoenix to Butte, a thousand miles shouldn’t take long. The radio played a talk station not sure how to describe it, radio tabloid? Anyway, the host pushed back a bit.


“Regardless of how rich they get, they need people for labor, right? Even if it is slave labor in China or India, the labor movement will catch up there, right?.”


I’m not sure why I listen to talk radio but I do. That is how I found out about Stem Cell treatments, that would’ve saved my pops life, but we weren’t in the money club, so pops died a few months back. The guest answered.


“OH, my friend you think that. But they are relentless, paying billions to politicians to break down organized labor, they fight for lower wages, they don’t provide benefits, and They will eventually automate away every job a human can do.”


I had to agree with him there. That is why I’m going to Butte. A dammed machine took my job. They say Montana’s laws are still people-centric and there are jobs available. The host asked another question.


“So what do you think of the reports about Frame Industries’ Model 7.”


I personally don’t keep up with current events so this was new to me I listened close. Frame Industries is a robotics manufacturer and the reason I was leaving hot, sunny, swimming pool in the back yard, Phoenix, for Butte, cold-ass, Montana, damn near Canada.


“It is real, and it is the end of humanity. All the Terminators come to life right before our eyes.”


“Wait, wait, the Johnson, Clyde act of 2022 prohibited replacement of soldiers with robots.”


“Right, they will just add to the ranks, not reduce the human force.” The guest responded.


I should have joined the Army when I got out of Highschool, I would have 20 years in by now, or be dead or maimed. Then there were some bangs, like gunshots, and commotion coming from the radio, some protests, some more bangs, then the guest came back.


“What the hell is going on here. You killed him, why!”


I pulled over and stopped the car.


“Sit down and Listen. The machines are everywhere, look, he is one.”


“What the, oh my.” I heard the guest say.


“To all listeners, look, the machines are everywhere, and they look like us. This fraud, Ted Delta is one! Right man? Tell them what you see!”


The guest spoke. “I am looking at Ted Delta, he is laying on the floor, there is no blood, I smell smoke, and a steel-head beneath the skin? I think I’m going to be sick. I shook his hand earlier, I couldn’t tell.”


The guest said to the intruder. My train of thought was interrupted by a whoot of a siren, and blue and red lights flashing.


“Remember, they are everywhere.” The intruder whispered I turned it down.


Under the Bridge is published in the Medium online publication Illumination. Please consider joining Medium as a paid subscriber. When you read my stories on Medium I get paid.

Copyright: T. Mark Mangum, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of my story may be copied, reprinted, or published without my written consent.


T. Mark Mangum, is the product of the 60s and 70s, his imagination, wonder, thoughts, and ponderings, emboldened by Star Trek, Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hobbit. He loves a good story and hopes you will love reading his stories. Veteran, Father, TTRPG, and Board Game Junkie. He spent 20 years in the United States Army, another 10 working for the government, before realizing he should write.

About Me

I am the product of the 60s and 70s, my imagination, wonder, thoughts, and ponderings, are emboldened by Star Trek, Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hobbit. I love a good story and I hope you will love reading my stories. 

 

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