In the brief moments of peace I glanced over at the bar. The machines were serving drinks in seconds, the convenience making ordering more drinks more tempting. However, I wasn’t the masses of people chanting at the bar, downing various drinks that the universe had to offer.
I was waiting for the ship to arrive and dock at the west exit. That being said, I still had a good time in the bar. The people seemed tame enough and none of them the least bit suspicious. Although there was a Xennian who gave me a funny look; then again, they always gave funny looks.
The ship arrived and I as well as the other lower class workers boarded. We were greeted with hard seats, but a grand view of space. No matter how many times people went on these things, they were always captured by the stars. Taking a moment to catch a small nap, I leaned back into my seat as far as it would let me and closed my eyes.
Yawning following and the drowsiness began to set in. Working a night shift is by far the most inhuman thing that must be done in today's society, especially with the vast amounts of technology. However, I couldn’t increase the robot limit and nor would I when there was a world dedicated to the destruction of all humanoid life.
It was because of that society not many people trusted robots as people and they were programmed to be as limited as basic machines now. Serving drinks while stuck to a board behind the bar was one thing, but it only became more troublesome when they walked around. Which is exactly what I had to do.
I picked up packages and moved them from warehouse to transport where they were driven by other organic life to their destination. Life was easier when the robots did everything, I will never forget that. For the moment though, my mind was going blank as I fell asleep. Peace was welcoming me once more and I disappeared into darkness.
Like most naps, I woke a single blink later, but a lot sooner after I fell asleep than I thought. I was jostled by someone sitting at my side and I turned to see it was a couple, making out against me. If I was in a better mood I might have just interjected and told them to push off somewhere else, but instead I stood up, causing them to fall onto my seat and roll off before they could react.
I sat down again, pretending nothing happened, while the rest of the workers chuckled and gave me a respectful nod. The couple immediately climbed back to their seat, smiling and embarrassed. I thought that would have been the end of the situation, but someone wanted to pick a fight.
“Hey, buddy, what’s your problem?” the man of the duo asked.
I didn’t rise to answer as the whole ship fell silent. Ignoring him was the first option that came to mind. Nobody wanted to go as far as it did. The boyfriend, however, seemed to have nothing else but conflict in mind.
“Listen here…” he began, reached forward and clutching the sleeve of my uniform. “I’m going to make you regret ever stepping foot in here. You think you’re better than us?”
I would had thought that the girlfriend would calm him down, but seemed to only add to the fire by whispering compliments in his ear. I then made the mistake of turning to look at him. I didn’t see the sucker punch coming and rolled onto the floor, blood rushing from my nose despite the brunt of the blow missing it entirely.
There was a commotion in the ship as other workers made to lift me up to my feet. I knew he regretted hitting me, no doubt he was drugged up or overly impulsive, but as soon as I was back on my feet double doors opened up at the end of the ship. Two men in black uniforms marched towards the boyfriend. He replied by falling to his knees, hands up and begging for mercy.
Nothing went unnoticed in the ship, so when the cameras caught sight of the assault the system informed the security. The workers watched with me the terrifying act as the fool was beaten half-to-death with stock of the guard’s guns. It was savage and each hit could be heard throughout the ship followed with a wail of pain. The only one who wasn’t watched was the girlfriend who looked away, uncaring, as if she didn’t know him.
The guards felt that once the man was beaten down and bleeding all over the metallic floor that their duty was done. The two marched through the double doors which slid closed behind them. The workers made room for me and I sat down amongst them as we watched from the corner of our eyes as the broken man crawled across the floor towards the girlfriend who slowly pushed him away with the tip of her shoe.
He paused in realisation and crawled away from her to a different seat and pulled himself into it. His face was swollen and damaged. He rubbed the bruises and pains on his sides, letting blood drip from his wounds onto his uniform. I couldn’t help but feel sympathy towards him, despite my cheek still stinging.
As far as we come as a society, some aspects only went backwards. Or perhaps, some aspects of the past were way ahead of their time.
As I pondered this the man raised his eyes to meet mine. For a moment we stared at each other, tired and fearful. I was the one who broke the eye contact by lowering my gaze to my feet. It would be a long night in the mining corporation if this was the emotion that possessed people. Fear.
I could only hope that by the end of this night I would be able to fall back into my bed at home. That was all any of us could hope for.