She cleaned her hands in a basin by the sink in her laboratory; the cleansing was more than to scrub off bacteria that may have been on her hands (although that may’ve been the case). This was a spiritual purging. This was the recognition of doing a work of excellence. It represented a clearing of all the faults that might lie between her fingers, the palms, and the backs of her hands. It represented the washing of all of the negativity leveled against her. Kalia Satterwhite scrubbed until the bubbles formed thick bands of foam around her hands, wrists, and forearms. She rinsed. After applying a paper towel, she slid on some gloves and set to work. What she worked on did not involve liquid chemicals per se. But it was the act of preparing to fashion something of greatness, of wonder. Kalia put the last pieces of this machine that she had been working on for the past 12 years together. It looked like one of those machines at the airport from previous ages that completed a full-body scan, except this one did not imply public humiliation. No. This machine would be the key to eliminating pain in human beings forever, for the most part anyway.
The twenty-second day of December brought an unusual warmth to the city of Wilmington, Delaware, at least for the winter season. Zevon Perell enjoyed the unseasonable climate. He had just reached the floor of his hedge fund, Perell & Power Capital. He stood at six feet four inches and possessed the skin color of embers. His business partner was Gerty Power, a five foot five inch lady with the skin color of sandstone and hair dyed the color of the waters of Aruba.
The leather straps were the toughest. Their difficulty made up for their tan blandness. They had a weird way of snaking across the abdomen and restricting the wrists. Bulkin Leathers manufactured them in Wilmington, Delaware, not too far away from this Veterans Affairs (VA) mental institution also in the city. The company had been bought out by another bigger company which would take the small, local company international. Garvin Metal had produced over two million of the clasps that attached to the restraints in its heyday. The company boasted twenty-three hundred employees. They also made metal that applied to jackets, coats, and belts. That company, too, saw its shares being liquidated and chopped up into bitsy pieces by a corporation called GradenTech. Now, with the two businesses being taken over by other bigger businesses, the profits in both the leather and metal making industries in Delaware increased. Shareholders received significant dividends and found pleasure in their wealth.
For all of the contraptions that the company Zeroth Robots, could dream up, there remained a most special device. This appliance didn’t do your homework for you. No, it didn’t wash your face for you or brush your teeth automatically. This particular innovation allowed for the weary, the downtrodden, the forlorn and the melancholic to uplift their spirits with a simple tap of a screen. While most would think that automation would be behind manufacturing automobiles and processing washer and dryer units, this device offered psychiatric attention. In a field wrought with ample attention placed on human-to-human interaction, this was a seismic shift in the way the profession dealt with everything from depression to dependency.