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The tech Genius

The drive wasn’t long. Finally, Mark arrived at a simple apartment that was even smaller than his, since only one person lived there. If one knew that the person who lived in this apartment was one of the head engineers of one of the wealthiest companies in the world, they would consider him crazy for living there. Still, Mark understood this person wanted to keep a low profile and just do what he loves, which was to invent and surpass his previous feats.

His name was Joe, and Mark didn’t know his surname, as he never used it to introduce himself. Mark didn’t know how or why Joe had decided to let him test all the products he designed,  and every time he asked, he gave him a different reason. Actually,  speaking to Truck-kun reminded him of Joe as he got fewer answers from both of them than what he asked them.

Fortunately, this time, since he could speak with Truck-kun through the phone, he could tell him to command the minions to help him with the parking problem.

The connection through the phone didn’t last long, just half an hour, and Truck-kun told Mark that this would be the maximum he could use it each day. Mark could call Truck-kun now, meaning that if he was out of the telepathic range, they could still talk, but others nearby could hear them since he was actually and not thinking.

Before getting out of his truck to head towards the house of Joe, Mark examined the phone to see if there were any other functions on it he could use.

He found two apps being installed on it called STORE and one that had a question mark as its icon and many question marks for its name. Then he pressed the second app, and a pop-up appeared on the screen, telling him he had not the clearance to access it.

So he pressed the store, and he got the same STORE interface when he opened it through his System. So everything was there, including his points, which he had none currently, and his  TruckCoins, which he had 8 left.

He checked the MISC section and saw that 1 TruckCoin really gave him almost double dollars from last night. He was glad he looked on the phone as he had to be careful, as who knew what would happen if someone else found the phone and used the app. They could mess with his plan.

After carefully putting the phone in his back pocket and making sure it was entirely in there so that it couldn’t fall or something, he made it to the door of Joe’s house.

Since it was Sunday, and Mark knew Joe would work from home after visiting the church in the morning. It was ironic that Joe was an atheist, but he went to the church every Sunday because his mother made him do so when he was younger, and out of respect for her wishes, he continued doing so even now. Even if he didn’t believe in a higher power as a God, he never mocked the ones who did so.

Mark reached the door and rang the bell. He could hear the ring, which was five distinct tones, one after the other. There was no answer for a couple of seconds, so Mark rang again, and this time three distinct tones, different from the ones before, were heard. Mark waited a bit more and rang the bell again, and this time only one tone got heard.

The door opened, with no one being at the other side. Mark walked in, and the door closed behind it.  This wasn’t the first time he visited Joe and knew that the doo was automatic like that. As for the bell, it was actually a puzzle bell. The first time you rang it, you had to count the distinct tones and rang the bell again after as many seconds as the number of tones. After that,  you had to repeat it until you got only one tone, and then the door would open. If you messed up the timing once, the bell wouldn’t ring for an hour, and each time you try to ring it, that time would reset to the full hour.

Mark, fortunately, knew about the solution since Joe had let him know of it, but he had messed up with it many times and had to wait an hour to retry. As for calling Joe to open the door instead, there was no way to do so, as he didn’t give his number to anyone.

Mark walked, and after walking down a short corridor, he entered a living room. Looking around, there was no sign of Joe.

“Welcome to the living room, Mr. Mark, “said a robotic voice in the room.

It had some similarities to Truck-kun’s voice, but sounded like the female version of it.

“Is Joe here A-42? “Mark asked.

A-42 was the AI of the house.  Joe had designed it, or her, as Joe wanted people to, used when referring to A-42, and was in control of many functions of the house.  A-42 was something that Joe kept for himself, no matter how much  WonderCorp had offered him to make a product like that for the public.

Smart homes with similar AIs existed, but A-42’s design was miles ahead of them.

“Master Joe is in the lab currently. I can let him know of your visit, although there is no scheduled appointment. “

“It is more of a personal visit than speaking about work. If you can let him know that I am here, I would appreciate it. “

“I will let him know right away. “

Talking with A-42 always amazed  Mark, as it was like speaking with an actual person. Joe actually had made some adjustments to her with the help of Mark, but without Mark actually trying to help. He was just curiously discussing with her.

“Master will be with you soon, Mr. Mark. May I provide you with a refreshment while you wait? “

“I could have the usual, with some snacks if possible. Had a light breakfast until now. “Mark responded.

He took a seat and a robot with a somewhat humanoid-shaped upper body after a few moments. Its lower body was just tracked wheels which enabled it to move. All of it was completely white, except his tracked wheels, which were primarily black. Also, the front parts had a curved LCD screen at its head, which was forming its eyes and mouth, trying to show its current ‘emotion. ‘

The robot had a bow tie at its neck since it was one of the butler bots. In its hand, it had a tray. On the tray, there was a glass with a drink and some snacks for Mark.

The robot placed the items on the tray on a small table in front of Mark.

“Thank you.“ Mark said to the robot.

There was no response as the robot turned and moved towards the place it came from after putting everything in place.

“Oh, Mark, it is good to see you. It’s been a while. “

Mark turned towards the source of the voice to see Joe walking towards him. Joe was in the middle of his twenties, but he had been more successful than most people could be in their whole lives.

His clothes were pretty simple, with mostly jeans and a T-shirt with some logo on it from a movie or game or something similar.

“Hey, Joe. Let me get straight to the point. Are you the person who speaks with my granddaughter? “

Joe smiled as he picked the drink that another butler robot had brought him.

“I wondered when you were going to find about it. She is a bright girl. We could… “

“As long as she is in school, she is off-limit, “Mark interrupted him.

He didn’t think that Joe had any creepy plans for Maria, but he wanted her to finish school and keep her education. They could earn some extra income if she worked with Joe,  which would likely be more than what Mark used to make with his deliveries.

That was in the past. Now things have changed. Mark had his System to help him.

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