How Covfefe Will Save the U.S. From Robot Domination
A short story by Seth Underwood
Editor’s Note- Originally published on Seth’s Story Site back in the August 2017, we have updated the associated graphic with a piece of A.I. art from Jasper along with minor tweaks in the story. Seth Underwood technically set the story in Rosella Tolfree’s world, and shows how elections are physically handled in a future U.S. It also mentions events that occur before Rosella’s time, such as the New Madrid lava flows. According to Mr. Underwood, by Rosella’s time, the whole Covfefe incident is seen by social media net conspiracy groups as attempts by the Church of the Ember Coalition trying to control humanity through corporate slavery.
Steve Waters was getting ready for work that morning, and was about to grab something from the kitchen, when he saw his roommate Floyd sitting on the floor near the coffeemaker. Floyd was eating the grounds of the leftover coffee and had made a total mess on the floor and all over himself.
“Are you okay?”
“Mmmm…” responded Floyd as he stuffed more grounds into his mouth. His eyes were totally bugged out.
“Okay, I’m going to leave for work now.” Steve took a pear from the counter.
A block away from his apartment, Steve stood there waiting for his bus. A young woman he normally sees every morning was straining to get the last drop of coffee from her thermal mug. To the point, she took the lid off and used her finger to wipe the insides.
Steve looked on with curiosity for a bit, then turned away, and thought to himself, “Man, I don’t know what the heck they’re putting in that stuff these days, but it’s making people crazy.”
At work the office was quiet, and no one was at their cubicles. Steve, not really paying attention, headed straight to his cubicle, and prepared himself for the morning meeting that was planned a week ago. They were going to talk about the upcoming release of the software module update to FuseBase for some of the current 2.1 luxury self-driving cars. The staff were under the gun to get the project done, because the small company was already two months behind on some of the coding.
Checking his fitness monitor, Steve noticed the time and picked up his tablet, and quickly headed to the conference room. But when he got there, the room was empty. So, he took his normal seat and just sat there for about five minutes, playing with his fitness monitor.
Then he got up, opened the doors, and looked around the hallway, saying to himself, “Where the heck is everyone?”
Steve then walked around the office floor looking for people, saying “Hello, is anyone here?” and “Is this some trick? Am I on some stupid Vid Show right now?”
That is when Steve heard some noises coming from the office kitchen. They sounded like some crazy animal sounds. Then there was a loud crash of something hitting the floor.
He slowly approached the door and pulled down the handle. Then, as quickly as he could, he pushed the door wide open. That is when he saw the office kitchen in total disarray, with stuff everywhere, chairs and tables overturned, cabinets opened, and rummaging through everything were his fellow office workers.
“So, what is going on here?” Steve asked as he held the door open.
Barb from Accounting lunged at him, grabbed his shirt, and looked at him with bulging eyes, saying, “Covfefe!”
“What the fuck!” Steve pushed her off. She then scrambled along the floor, looking for something.
As he looked around the room, he noticed coffee grounds all over the place and then he saw his boss in the corner, rocking back and forth. His boss was mouthing what appeared to be a coffee bag.
Gingerly, Steve walked over to him, trying to avoid his crazed co-workers. “Uh, boss, is it okay if I take the day off?”
Still rocking back and forth, his boss only said, “Uhhh…”
“I’ll take that as a yes. So, I’ll see you tomorrow. Hope you are feeling better.”
With that, Steve closed the door to the office kitchen and left the building.
Steve waited for nearly two hours for the bus at the stop near his work, but it wasn’t showing. “What the heck? Where the hell is the bus?”
“Okay, I will have to use a C-O-D.” He pulled out his phone.
The app on his phone said the next Car-on-Demand was 10 minutes away. As he watched the little car icon trace the route on the map, it meandered about on the map and the time kept increasing from 10 minutes to 12 minutes, then to 15 minutes as the C-O-D kept getting further away. Then it appeared the C-O-D stopped. He pressed cancel on the app.
“I guess I’m walking home.”
Steve stopped at a small convenience market near his work to pick up a bit of something. As he did so, he noticed the store manager apparently accosting a man in a business suit with a broom while saying, “Shoo, shoo. Go away. I have no Covfefe!”
The man in the business suit moaned and scampered off like some wild animal.
“What was that about?”
“All morning long I have been having to chase people away asking for this Covfefe. I tell you; they are behaving like a pack of wild dogs.”
“What the heck is Covfefe? Is it coffee?”
“I think so. At first, I offered what coffee I had in the shop. A couple of customers who were going to buy it went nuts after they tasted it. They wrecked the place, and I had to chase them out. They were so upset at the taste of my coffee. I thought it tasted fine. I don’t understand what’s with them.”
“I’m going to pick up a protein shake and be on my way, if that is okay with you?”
“Will that be beef, whey, or soy?”
“I’ll take a coca-beef shake. I need the extra vitamins.”
As Steve was walking home, he noticed one of the portable electronic voting kiosks next to the local firehouse.
“Oh, damn. I almost forgot today is election day.”
He went to the voting kiosk, pulled out his ID, put it into the card slot, placed his thumb on the scanner plate, and then the machine cleared him for voting. He voted his ballot for his district. At the end, he verified his selections, and then with his finger signed his approved ballot.
It took Steve nearly the rest of the day to walk back to his apartment from work. He was totally exhausted when he got home, and that coca-beef shake just wasn’t cutting it.
When he got to his apartment, it was a mess. It looked like Floyd never went to work today. But then again, Steve didn’t understand where Floyd was because he wasn’t in the apartment.
Steve flopped down on the leather sofa and turned on the wall screen, asking for the complete local polling news from the social media networks.
“In today’s local elections, State and Federal officials are concerned about tampering with results in several districts.” Spoke the electronic voice.
“The results in several districts showed zero votes. Other districts had less than 10 votes cast. And in one district, there was only one vote.”
“A spokesperson with the State’s Electronic Voting Commission stated that cyber-security of the system was not compromised during this election cycle. They could offer no reason why the votes count in some districts were so low.”
“In other polling results, the State Referendum to Ratify the Modified Corwin Amendment failed again, but this time by the narrowest of margins. Once more, the legalization of corporate slavery has failed to pass enough state approvals to become the law of the land. A spokesperson of the Sandford Party said they have vowed to continue their efforts to fight against the robot labor and ensure that human labor is protected by corporate slavery once more. Their leader promised not to let human labor become a Citizen of Martinsville by ensuring corporate slavery for humanity in America.”
Steve then asked, “Tell me some other news.”
“In other news, A-1 Androids continue to fight the lava flows of the New Madrid Fault Lines in southern Missouri. Congress plans to allow a second round of draining the Tennessee Valley Authority of its water reserves to help fight the lava flows.”
Steve then said, “Next.”
“The relocation of the City of New Orleans further up the Mississippi river continues despite minor protests from historical activists concerned with the plans drawn up by the US Army Corps of Engineers.”
Steve then said, “Next.”
“Federal authorities have arrested two U.S. genetic engineers responsible for the creation of a new hybrid coffee plant in violation of the U.S. federal codes.”
Steve then said, “Continue.”
“Scientists created the new coffee plant to deal with the current climate change issues using genetic manipulation between the Ethiopian coffee plant species and a more resilient species of a cocaine plant. The resulting plant, unfortunately, has created the most addictive form of coffee bean possible.”
“The authorities have traced the hybrid plant bean use to just one company, Covfefe. A discount coffee brand named after a former presidential social media message.”
“Unaffected medical and police authorities are trying to help the affected citizens. If you know anyone who has drank Covfefe brand or appears to have symptoms of mania, please contact your universal emergency number immediately.”
Steve then said, “That is enough. Please turn off.”
Steve got up and headed to his bedroom. “Damn, this is one crazy ass day.”