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It was dark and windy outside. Right after my robot teacher, Mr. BHB-044, dismissed the class, I hurriedly boarded the Hyper-magnetic Metro Train to our apartment. I rode a vertical capsule to B77, which is 77 floors below ground.
“Quick, George. Mr. Garner has sent me a brain signal saying that they would be here very soon. Please take all the plants to the storage. I bet the NEA would fine us millions of dollars if they see green stuff here. Let them see as much steel, plastic, and silicon as possible,” my mum said frantically when I entered our unit.
“OK.” I clicked the Removal button on the control panel and eyed the desk plants. Steel hands stretched out of the Tech Cupboard and took them away into the storage.
“George, It’s time to wake Jeff and say goodbye to Ginger,” my mom said when she saw everything neat and tidy. Her eyes were wet with tears.
I walked into my five-year old brother Jeff’s room. He was comfortably snuggling with Ginger, our dog. Ginger was smiling contentedly. It looked as if they were having intersecting dreams. I didn’t want to wake them up, but I had to. I tapped Jeff softly and he woke with a start.
As Jeff reluctantly left the room to dress, I scooped up Ginger gently and took him to the living room. I wrapped it in my arm and stroked it the way it liked. I felt the warmth as he licked me.
A few minutes later, there came a slam. Four robot men in diamond armory came in, followed by a tall, old man. It was Mr. Garner, the head of the NEA, with a document in his hand. He reminded me of Cruella de Vil.
As the NEA men came into the living room and surrounded it, Ginger looked at them suspiciously. Mr. Garner stood near the door and started to read his paper in a tone as cold as Antarctic ice.
“ According to the 121th and 123th Technology Development Law of the Australian Parliament, all living pets and natural greenery shall be banned. All families shall switch to Artificial Intelligence pets by June 1st, 2103. As the last dog in Australia, Ginger is to be euthanized at the Sydney Clinic of Animal Euthanasia in The Rocks, NSW on June 3rd, 2103 by the National Extermination Army.”
When he finished, the four NEA Men took Ginger, who was barking furiously, and the five stumbled out of the apartment.
Thunder roared outside and from the Main Screen, I saw heavy rain splattering on the ground above.
“Ginger is just getting a vaccine,” Mum tried to assure Jeff, who was a statue, horrified. I saw tears racing down Mum’s cheeks.
I pressed the Reset button. The plants reappeared. The refreshing smell filled the room again. At least we still had these, though deep down, I knew they would be gone someday as well.