Following the successful rollout of the first automated convenience store, Japan has broken yet another barrier by fleshing out what Nakatomi Corporation calls “the convenience store ecosystem.”
Vice President of Product Development Joseph Takagi illustrated the situation this way. “American consumers have given to the world the beauty of the convenience store,” he said at a press conference in the comfortable downtown LA headquarters of the company. “There are customers, cashiers, police, winos passed out in the front, girls cadging cigarettes, video game worms lounging in the snack aisle, and of course, deranged men on PCP who dash in with rusty shotguns and demand, ‘your money or life,'” he said, chuckling.
“Nakatomi intends to make the robotic convenience experience as memorable as the real-life version,” Takagi added, pointing to a diagram on the sixty-foot digital screen above him. “You can see the robot cashiers here, and the other occupants being simulated by touchscreens, but now — watch carefully! — the digital robber enters.”
Towering six feet tall, the robot burglar carries a Mossberg Maverick 88 shotgun that has been stored in the wall of a ghetto apartment complex for no less than six months, loaded with a random assortment of black market ammunition. With a functional intelligence of approximately 84 IQ points, the robot assailant also experiences simulated phencyclidine and malt liquor intoxication by the introduction of Russian malware to its operating system.
As the drama played out on the screen, Takagi narrated. “See, he has cased the joint, tucking his hoodie over his head to avoid the CCTV,” he said evenly. “Now he has returned, and you can see the shotgun. There! He says it perfectly, ‘Your money or your life.’ Then he attempts to shoot the clerk, but the shotgun jams, so he beats her to death with the butt and absconds with a whole $72.61 in small bills and change.”
The lights came up to a stunned audience. Takagi explained further: “It is very important, as we transition into a fully automated society, for people to be able to experience the familiar, especially for Americans who are so fragile as their empire declines and self-destructs. We wanted to perfectly emulate every aspect of the convenience store experience.”
Nakatomi estimates that its new automated convenience store ecosystems will eliminate four million jobs worldwide, giving the newly impoverished more time to practice skills like convenience store robbery. “But not of our stores,” said Takagi, rolling another video. In this one, a real life robber enters the store, only to be shot down by an automated machine gun mounted on the ceiling.
“It is like Disneyland,” he says. “You go in and have the perfect convenience store experience. People will feel at home in the mixture of urban decay and crass consumerism that they have come to accept as normal. In order that the simulation be perfected, we realized that we had to create our own robbers, and it turns out that no human can match their precision in this task.”
He pondered that statement for a moment. “This means that Nakatomi will be displacing up to two hundred thousand convenience store robbers worldwide,” he said. “Luckily, we have a work-study program in our legal department that can teach them to steal peacefully with fountain pens instead of risking their lives out there in the lugubrious wasteland of a modern techno-dystopia.”