W.A. Fix | Delilah Buckle
The city’s planners and designers wanted to name it Utopia, but soon realized, the project would not be considered if they did. So, it was named Glory and it truly was glorious. Nin was born into this perfect city, with its perfect buildings, perfect people and where virtually everything was simply…perfect. The only problem was, Nin was not perfect. Nin was the one in 10,000 born with deformities that seemed to baffle modern medicine. Try as they may, the medical community was not able, or not willing, to explain the two nubs that should have been Nin’s legs. Therefore, when Nin was born, they quickly removed the infant from the delivery room. A city official rushed in to explain how sorry the city was, and that the city would accept all responsibility for this less than perfect child. The grieving couple was moved to the head of the birthing queue and life quickly returned to the glorious norm. Before long, the couple produced another child, perfect in every way.
Nin, however was taken to another facility designed specifically for wards of the city with identical imperfections. Without regard, all trace of gender was removed and Nin was placed in a communal nursery. For the next fifteen years Nin, and others like Nin, were intensely trained in the vital tasks of servo-maintenance and reminded hourly of what a glorious honor it was to serve the city. Nin had no concept of age, but the city did, and in the sixteenth year Nin was assigned to Robotic Maintenance in Building 304. It was the proudest day of Nin’s life, finally able to give back to the city that had given them all life and purpose.
Nin’s servo-unit rolled smoothly through the southeast maintenance corridor of the 145th floor. The current assignment was in the floor’s exercise facility where the pool maintenance robot was scheduled for a quarterly inspection. As Nin rolled up to the entrance, the servo-unit unexpectedly stopped and an electronic sign flashed, “Occupied.” The rules were simple; Servo-maintenance could not mingle with the general population. The truth was that only a few of the general population even knew Servo-maintenance existed and a maintenance worker would receive a reprimand if even seen. Nin quickly moved to the observation window and activated the one-way glass panel.
Nin’s breath caught. Standing ten feet away, beyond the glass, was the most beautiful person Nin had ever seen. It was a female of the general population and she stood gazing out the pool’s exterior window at Glory’s magnificent skyline. Nin watched in awe as she toyed with and then removed a gold ring from a finger of her left hand. She reached out with her right hand, leaned heavily against the glass and bowed her head as tears fell from her cheeks to the floor. Nin’s heart began to race as the sun highlighted her naked contour, from that hand, down her arm, to the gentle curve of her shoulder and back. The small of her back flared out to soft pillows that continued to her legs. Nin had never seen bare legs and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the soft pink flesh that seemed to flow from rounded hips, down the supple thighs and calves to her…feet. Without warning, she reached down to retrieve a robe from the bench to her right and put it on. She walked to Nin’s observation window and adjusted her hair. Her action startled Nin and the servo-unit backed away slightly, then remembering she was looking in a mirror, moved within a foot of the glass. With the closer view, Nin could see tears and the swollen redness of her light brown eyes. She turned, walked out of view and a moment later, the “Occupied” sign went out.
When the doors opened, Nin was frozen in place for a moment, then moved through the doors to where she had stood. Closely examining the glass Nin found the print of her right hand, slowly reached out, placed a hand over it and was sure her warmth flowed from the glass. Gazing out at the city, as she had, tears welled in Nin’s eyes from the knowledge that Glory’s beauty could inspire such emotion, even from the Perfect Ones.