A New World Order

John A. Frochio

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to create him.
Arthur C. Clarke

We're getting numb to the terrorists who decimate our land, thought Benjamin. We're almost accepting it as a way of life. It's a new world order.

He stared blankly at the dead bodies, the fire, the smoke, the devastation and the ugly, gaping hole in his building. Horrific, he thought as he kicked through the ruins.

After the fire and smoke from the explosion had finally cleared, all that remained of the east end of the state-of-the-art A. I. research building was a hollowed out husk and a mass of twisted pipes and wires. Although the terrorists were still on the loose, a crowd gathered outside the ruins to gaze in wonder at the exposed guts of the building.

Alarms were still screaming from all corners of the city. Distant smoke rose from between buildings in multiple directions. The number of terrorists involved in this massive assault was still unknown.

Benjamin Burke, co-founder and developer of this first-of its-kind building, kicked among the rubble like a pouting child. He was scrawny in torn heavy metal T shirt, jeans, sneakers and thinning gray hair. His unprofessional appearance was not unusual for the eccentric computer geek and entrepreneur.

The last ambulance left the broken scene with the dead body of his partner, the formerly staid and stoic Stephen Ellison. With his partner now dead, could he rebuild without him? There should be enough money from the insurance. But would his heart be into it?

He was sure he could rally eventually. Steve would want him to.

His foot struck a cracked flat screen monitor among the debris and he nearly tripped over it. As he looked down at the broken monitor, it suddenly lit up. Schematics appeared on the screen. A metallic voice said, "Issuing reconstruction designs."

His cell phone buzzed. He held it up and watched the downloading of dozens of PDF's. Subject: "For Your Review and Approval."

Benjamin stared in disbelief. The A.I. was taking charge.

He grunted. Well, that should save some time.

He put his phone away. He would review them later. He continued wandering among the ruins.

A noisy ruckus erupted down the street. A mass of people quickly scattered as three men charged through the crowd, guns drawn and firing. They were coming straight toward his ruined building.

Benjamin hurried toward the gaping hole in the building that led into a corridor lined with office pods. He stumbled over some rubble and fell several feet from the entrance. Scrambling to his feet, he found that his pants were torn at the knees and he was bleeding.

The gunmen burst into the ruins. They weaved their way through the tangled web of warped metal, wires and piping. The piping began to vibrate and move. The piping wrapped itself around the legs and torso of the intruders, impeding their progress. The more they struggled, the more rapidly the piping encircled them like pythons entrapping their prey.

Benjamin stared at the curious spectacle, unable to look away, unable to force himself to move.

Caught off guard, the surprised gunman were quickly dispatched by the stranglehold of piping. In less than a minute, it was over. Their crushed bodies were left to hang as a warning to future trespassers and a testament to the glory of a new technology.

Benjamin continued to stare as his phone beeped. He picked up.

"Please review and approve the designs by 7 AM tomorrow morning. Reconstruction will begin at 7:30 sharp. Any delay is unacceptable."

Well, this is a new world order after all.

He wasted no time, hastily reviewing the updated design specs.

© John A. Frochio 2016 All Rights Reserved

Date and time of last update 11:13 Sun 28 Aug 2016
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