The sound of a dog barking behind the door is heard before it is opened by a little blonde girl in pigtails. The toy robot dog is next to her, barking at the robot guest. The two machines look at each other for a moment in silence as the little robot dog tilts its head to the side and its ears lift. Mr. Seals, home from his job running a Circos robot factory, and still wearing his suit and loosened tie, opens the door wider. He is surprised to see the robot, one of his own manufacturing, staring back at him from his porch. Before he can wonder too much about it, the robot’s head explodes destroying the front of the house and killing the man and little girl.
A political talk-show program is playing on a wallpaper-like TV screen. The public relations representative for the Circos Corporation is speaking:
“It is simply cost-effective. A business cannot be expected to compete in a free-market economy if it is disallowed from using the tools and technological advancements that its global competitors are using. The day it became cheaper for a robot to do the work instead of a minimum wage employee, it became financial suicide for any business to continue paying humans instead of using robots.”
His words are met by an opposing view, that of a political columnist:
“But you are laying off millions of workers, and during the greatest economic depression in history, workers who have no other place to go. You care more for profits than for people!”
“Believe me, I go to church, pay my taxes, donate to food-drives, the works. This is not an issue of caring for humanity, it is an issue of financial and economic feasibility. A business can simply not employ humans and expect to survive. Nature of the beast - it's survival of the financial fittest.”
The screen shuts off, and the young man who was watching it stands up in his small studio apartment. He grabs his bag, and walks out of the building to the street. The city air is almost yellow, and has a stale futility in it, especially in this rundown, formerly industrial area.