The Construction Worker is a Science fiction story about a factory worker on a construction site who wakes up but remembers nothing, not even his name.
“What am I doing here?” Ralf suddenly wondered.
It was as if he had just awakened from a long slumber. Blinking his eyes and looking around, he saw that he was on a construction site, operating a large and complicated machine. It was a conveyor belt on a long assembly line.
“Who am I?” he asked no one in particular.
His co-workers stared at him for a moment, then turned their heads and resumed their tasks on the assembly line. He tried to get their attention, but they just seemed to ignore him as they continued with their work. Perhaps they couldn’t hear him over the loud, grinding noise of the machinery.
Ralf took a step backwards and glanced around the room. He noticed that there were armed guards posted at every exit. He realized that they were all prisoners here.
Gradually, he was overtaken by a strange and inexplicable fear. He couldn’t remember anything. He had no idea who he was or what he was doing there. All he knew was that he had to get away.
Ralf started across the floor, making his way to one of the doors. The guard raised his weapon.
“Hey, you there!” the guard yelled. “What are you doing? Get back to work!”
Ralf suddenly broke into a run. He tackled the guard and with a mighty shove, knocked him off his feet. The gun skidded across the floor. abbed the gun and ran out the door. Ralf burst through the door and kept running. Behind him, he could hear shouts of alarm.
He couldn’t stop. he had to keep going. He had to get away. Behind him, he heard the sound of gunfire. They were shooting at him. Up ahead, he saw an outer door and beyond it lay a green, sunlit field. Freedom. He had to reach it or die trying.
Suddenly, a group of guards appeared in his path, blocking his escape route. He was trapped. There was no way out. One of the guards raised his weapon and fired.
There was a loud crack and a bolt of electricity shot out and hit Ralf square in the chest. It rendered him helpless and immobile. He felt suddenly weak and as he fell to his knees, a blackness overtook his mind. Slowly, he slipped into unconsciousness.
The guards took off his hat and scratched his head.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with these RALFs,” he said. “Every now and then, they go a little haywire.”
“I hear you,” replied the factory manager. “But there’s nothing we can do about it right now. The ZX81 was one of the first Robotic Android Life Forms that professor Newman constructed. They’re bound to have a few glitches in their circuits. It won’t be long until they are replaced by the new RALF YX36 models.”
“I hope it happens soon,” said the guard. “Every time something goes wrong with one of these old RALFs, it gives me the creeps. The way they behave is almost… human! So, what happens now?”
“We’ll send this RALF down to level 6 to be repaired,” said the manager. “In a few days, it should be as good as new.”
The two men loaded the limp android onto a forklift and it drove away.
“All hail the great leader,” said the guard.
“All hail the great leader, Comrade!” replied the manager. “Now, get back to work.”
A week later, Ralf was back on the construction site, manning the assembly line. There was a dull, blank look in his eyes. Day after day, he went about his assigned tasks like clockwork.
One day, his eyes suddenly became clear. Gradually, he was overtaken by a strange and inexplicable fear. He couldn’t remember anything. He had no idea who he was or what he was doing there. All he knew was that he had to get away…