She really didn’t know how she – or anyone else for that matter – could do without him. He could get a virus out of a machine in seconds. He could make programmes that other people had set up work better. He even knew how the machines worked physically. Amazingly, although his hands were quite big, he could still get inside the computers and tinker with their hardware.
“Does anybody else know all this stuff?” she asked him.
“Just me and a few more.”
“So what’ll happen when you die? Will all that knowledge be lost? Will it all die with you?”
He shrugged. “Won’t be a problem. I’m going to live forever.”
She didn’t believe him.
She didn’t even pick up the clue when, not realising that she was watching, he took the lasagne out of the oven without using oven gloves. She knew as well that he could put his finger in a power socket and suffer no ill effects. She couldn’t explain any of this and didn’t really try. He’d always been peculiar. But that very strangeness made him so much of an IT expert.
Then she found him one morning, lying at the foot of the stairs, his head crumpled. But no blood and grey matter were seeping out. Just wires and chips.
She contacted the people he worked for and they sent a guy round.
“Can you repair him?” she asked.
The man shook his head. “He was the only one who would have known how to.”
“What about all of the other stuff?”
“Some of us know some of it.”
“And if you fall down the stairs?”
The man shrugged and sucked his teeth.
After he’d left and taken the remains of the machine with him, she switched on her computer. She wondered who she would ask when she encountered a problem. How long would the internet carry on working? Would the planes soon start dropping out of the sky?
Droids are even more stupid than humans, she thought. She started searching for an IT support company.