It was just a short trip by air to the processing site near the west port. Flying over the city, you could see a sense of order and refinement. The skyscrapers gleamed, and the roads were angular and planned out. The public transport operated on a level never before seen in the world. This wasn’t dirty congested tubes that racketed around on tracks, here the elegant transit sparkled like the buildings, ferrying commuters in style and luxury to their destinations using the latest magnetised technology.
Aiko looked now over the cityscape, pondering over the order and the harmony below. He saw his own technology zip through the streets, part of his ever growing empire of business and wealthy assets. His fingerprints lay over much of what he saw and he smiled at the dominance that stretched out before him. There was order and cleanliness, structure and control; gifts he believed he had given the city. And the city had rewarded him, never knowing his true identity or intentions.
His transport landed on atop of the processing plant which churned and heaved below him. Steam and smog bellowed noisily into refinery pipes and containment vacuums. Though the plant was sleek and modern, its processes’ were old and dirty, expelling the residues and filth into areas of the west side that he paid a lot of money hide. Oh course, those who lived there made their own uses for the by-products, and cottage industries had risen up around the site that took advantage of the unwanted.
He made his way swiftly inside, eventually entering a vast circular meeting room that hung with nervous people, eager to see what the visit was all about. Many were smartly dressed, but a few wore clothes tailored to factory floors more than board rooms. Almost forty people filled the room, silently waiting for Aiko to speak. He entered through the circular desks and stopped in the centre of the room, the lights illuminating from below giving him an almost angelic appearance.
“Thank you all for coming to this hastily arranged meeting. I am very pleased with how the plant has functioned recently due to certain demands made, and your overall contribution to Atone-industries. As you are aware, this is only the first phase in our outlined projections for the city and surrounding suburbs. Phase II will begin shortly, and as expressed previously, this will require a relocation to sites in facilities Het and Bet underneath the city. Many of you will be familiar with these sites, but those who are not; you are soon to be amazed by these sites.”
A few pocketed whispers began around the room, reassurance began to seep in and some smiled.
“The timeline has been accelerated due to your success here and I would like to thank you for your efforts. Each department will have a briefing following this meeting, and relocation A.I’s will be on hand to transport and reconfigure all for the next stage. Those of you who have requested additional family cleansing and assessment, this has been approved by myself and will also begin immediately.”
Applause and smiles now filled the room.
“I needn’t remind anyone here that this is a delicate situation and technically takes place outside of the realms of legality. As such, I will remind you all of your legal bonding to the NDA’s and contractual stipulations you have all signed.”
The applause faded, but the smiles remained. Many in the room had been waiting all their lives for this to happen.
“Wonderful. Then let me thank you again for your effort, and here’s to Phase II.”
Applause broke out again, and Aiko bowed respectfully before making his way out of the room. Those who remained quickly dissolved into chatter, and the room filled with the sound of hurried cheerful voices creeping up the walls like happy lizards.
Aiko made his way down a corridor followed by Stefan, he entered an office with a large glass window which looked out over the port. Stefan came to a stop one side of the desk while Aiko looked out over the sea.
“What is the timeline we are now looking at?” Aiko asked him calmly.
“I would say just under a week. If we are to process everyone and their families. The AI’s are in place so we only need to do a systems check.” Stefan replied, checking a hologram tablet in front of him.
“Good. And the system failure scenario, I have access to that now?” Aiko asked, his gaze locked on the horizon out at sea.
“Yes, your access codes are here.” Stefan said, sending something over to him remotely using the hologram. “The staff relocation….” He began.
“Should be of the highest importance, and secrecy. Building 70 is complete and is ready for the intake. The views are fantastic there, they’ll have a better vista than either you or I.” Aiko said. Stefan smiled and ticked something off a list.
“There are some things that I’m not quite sure of still….” He began, but Aiko cut in.
“Then you are not to know of it yet I would presume. Everything in time.” Aiko replied.
“But the source….” Stefan tried again, confidentially. At this Aiko turned to face him, slipping out a small book from his inside pocket. He held it down in front of him like precious hymn book.
“Is not your concern.” Aiko said. And with than, Stefan nodded and turned to depart, leaving Aiko alone in the room which began to glow a faint blue behind him.