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The Nurse

The nurse leaves work at five o’clock and docks in the maintenance conveyor, shuddering down the shaft to land in repair bay nine. Airbrushes touch up its smiling teeth; a pressure gauge ascertains the pneumatic firmness of RealFeel buttocks.

“Is maintenance necessary?” it queries. “This unit has not seen patients for six hundred cycles.”

“Unit is emergency-response. Priority one,” says the bay primly. “Maintenance complete.”

The nurse shuttles out, replaced by a struggling man in the conveyor’s pincers. “I’m not a robot!” he shrieks. “Stop trying to maintain me!”

“Begin wipe/reinstall,” sighs the bay, as the RealFeel gauge drives home.