“Hello Mrs Dudley, this is Triple Tekkno superfast broadband,” the voice on the phone said.
“Sorry not today,” Margaret Dudley was terrible at this.
She had friends who just hung up or left the phone in drawers when people rang selling things but she just couldn’t, it seemed so rude. In less than ten minutes the Triple Tekkno saleswoman had convinced Margaret that there was indeed much to gain from finding out more about their product.
A week later Margaret and her husband George were patiently waiting for the sales and installation team to arrive.
George was still annoyed that he hadn’t got to the phone before his wife. He knew exactly what he would have done.
“I hate people trying to sell me stuff and now we have them coming to the house,” said George.
His wife was used to his blustering but wasn’t going to accept this one without an argument.
“We need help with the internet George and if what they say is true we will be far better off than anyone else we know,” said Margaret.
“There’s bound to be a catch, they have ten minutes and if I’m not happy they’re out of here,” said George.
George knew they needed help but hated hard selling. In the middle part of the twenty-first century the world relied on the internet for every aspect of life. It was under more pressure than ever and speeds were dropping year upon year. No country on earth still had twenty-four hours internet access. As the world’s population had gone online the internet had got slower and become more expensive.
The Dudley’s monthly internet was with one of the cheapest providers. It still cost them hundreds of pounds for only four hours a day of access. In France Margaret had heard they were lucky to get that in a week. The sales pitch therefore of cheaper, faster, internet with free life time support, was too good not to listen to and George knew it. That was why he was sitting patiently with his wife waiting for the sales team to arrive. He also knew that you don’t get anything nothing for nothing in life.
Jade and Phil were young, smart and sure of themselves. Phil with his sharp black suit and expensive watch was particularly annoying with his constant attempts to ingratiate himself with the couple.
Jade who Phil described as his techy was taller and of a similar age but dressed and acted differently. Not filled with the same sales patter and arrogance as her companion. She wore jeans, high heels and a baggy jumper. She had long fair hair and was adorned with bangles and jewellery. George thought she smelled lovely. This might not be so bad after all he thought. George was quite taken with Jade.
“This programme is part of a worldwide project backed by our own government, we like to think we bring the brains to the table. We are backed by the financial might of the US and Chinese governments,” said Phil hardly stopping for breath.
“Our dream is to bring internet speed and availability back to where it was thirty years ago,” said Jade.
“Our government has pledged that ten thousand homes in this country will be converted to superfast broadband within twelve months and we at Triple Tekkno are proud to have won the contract. If you sign up today you will be part of a worldwide project of one hundred thousand homes with this new technology installed,” said Phil.
“What’s the catch and how much is it?” Said George. “We already spend way too much on the internet.”
Jade and Phil had heard it all many times before and despite George not liking Phil to start with, it was the young salesman who answered all his questions in a calm and professional manner.
“Just a one-off payment,” said Phil “and we guarantee superfast internet access for you and your wife for life, with the backup and support that comes from an organisation such as Triple Tekkno.”
“We’ll think about it,” said George.
Jade and Phil knew that they were nearly there and after a little more discussion the couple agreed to sign up. One more towards reaching their target for the month.
That’s great,” said Phil “we’ll start today.”
The young couple began bringing equipment into the house and assured the couple that, their new internet connection would be working within minutes. Jade set to work installing a new hub in the living room. Then Phil brought in two new lap tops, free gifts one each for the Dudley’s.
Margaret was the first to speak, “I know I was enthusiastic but I thought today was just a sales thing I wasn’t expecting everything to moves so quickly, is there any kind of cooling off period.”
“Of course,” said Jade in very reassuring tones. “It’s all a bit much I know but we will be done soon.”
Two engineers dressed in white overalls had started working outside in the street and in the hall on the Dudley’s telephone lines.
George was getting increasingly frustrated and wished his wife had been a bit more positive in saying no to the sales caller. “Is all this really necessary. I don’t know anyone else who has had such a fuss made over their internet,” he said.
Phil had heard enough, he’d been waiting to shut this winging middle class fool up once and for all. George Dudley never saw it coming, the stun gun hit his chest with considerable force. Ten thousand volts coursing through his body. Phil had drawn it from his brief case so quickly that George had been unable to respond. He had realised too late that harm was about to befall him.
The shock was not enough to kill him but knocked him out cold. Next, he was injected with a large dose of anesthetic straight into the neck. Hypodermic Phil as he was known affectionately by the gang back at the depot was having a good day at the office.
Margaret Dudley was in the kitchen making tea and unaware that the nice young internet salesman had just attacked her husband in a most violent way. George was now slumped peacefully in his favourite chair.
Jade had followed Margaret to the kitchen and was trying to time things right, she didn’t want to stun her while she had hot water in her hands. The moment came when the tea was far enough away and Mrs Dudley was reaching for the Garibaldi biscuits on the top shelf. Jade prided herself on how professional she was and stunned her right between the shoulders. As she collapsed Jade caught her. Phil had soon administered the second hypodermic full of anesthetic. Soon Margaret Dudley was back in the lounge on her favourite spot on the sofa.
The next two hours were very intense with the team working hard. The Dudley’s life was changing forever. Tubes and pipes to keep them sedated and to feed them were installed. Jade with her blue surgical gloves on had fitted it all. She loved her work and took pride in the speed with which she could carry out an installation. Another year of this and she would make team leader she was sure of it. Just keeping Phil the prick as he was also known at the depot in check was all she needed to do. He had a big mouth and more than once she’d found him using excessive force on clients. She wasn’t sure but thought George might have had a few kicks after he was sedated. She couldn’t understand him because a damage client was no use to anyone.
With the messy physical and medical part out-of-the-way Jade began her favourite part of the day. She knew the Dudley’s would thank her for the rest of their lives. Sixty-four electrodes were implanted into each of the couple’s skulls directly into the brain with a raft of wires passing to the super hub at the back of the room. The power of the human brain was all that had ever been needed to keep the Internets speed up. A biological super computer powered by one hundred thousand human beings, she felt so lucky to be part of such an amazing project.
The blinds were closed and the lights turned out and that was that, job done. Phil and Jade could go to the pub, maybe tonight was the night she would succumb to his charms he was thinking as they left the house, or maybe not.
Margaret and George, well they’re still there sitting motionless. Staring blankly into their lap tops, wires, cables, tubes and pipes all around. The only noise is the gentle hum of the fan on the hub. They have joined with many others around the world helping humanity, processing and speeding up the internet. They are still alive with all their needs taken care of by Triple Tekkno. They even meet and catch up occasionally in some chat room or other in a far-flung corner of the internet.