The Robot Translator (Flash Fiction Part 2)

Image by kiquebg from Pixaba

This is the 2nd part of the story. The 1st part is here.

How to get Fifi removed? Ayun asks herself.

“Isn’t Fifi a beauty? And a smart beauty too.” Ku’s tired voice suddenly emerges behind her. Ayun turns around and smiles at Ku, who’s the lawyer and the owner of the small law firm, which primarily handle cases for Asian immigrants in the area.

“You know Fifi is a quick learner. From now on, she is going to attend all our meetings and becomes an assistant to us. Isn’t that exciting? The age of AI has arrived.” Ku says.

“Yes, I am very excited.” Ayun says to Ku, feigning an enthusiasm. “Where did you buy Fifi?”

“Well, I didn’t really buy it. I probably will buy one if it works well. You know my friend Daniu is an AI scientist and he is trying to create a better robot legal assistant, knowing that New York State is going to legalize robot lawyer for simple routine legal cases soon. So this is just a prototype. He gives it to us to try it out first. I am sure Fifi is going to help us, don’t you think?” Ku says.

“Yes, I think so too. I like Fifi very much.” Ayun says and nods her head, thinking that Ku is trying to replace her no doubt. Fifi doesn’t need a salary but Ayun does. She starts to imagine Ku laying her off and putting Fifi to work while counting how much money he has saved.

“Over my dead body.” Ayun says to herself. “I am going to kill Fifi. Ku is a very competent lawyer and very intelligent man, but he doesn’t understand anything about me.” Once or twice, at an unguarded moment during a year end office party at a restaurant, Ku’s wife told Ayun that Ku is clueless sometimes, and Ayun replied that her husband Tram is as clueless as Ku.

“I have the staying power and I am intend to keep this job.” Ayun murmurs to herself. She feels a little pang of guilty for her disloyalty as she looks at Ku, whose wrinkles have spread to every corner of his face. Ten years ago, when Ayun first met Ku, he was so young and energetic, with a young man’s gait and a lot of boyish charm. However he has aged prematurely. Ayun feels sympathetic towards Ku. The thing is Ku is a very honest man and he refuses to do anything unethical to extract more payment from a client. In New York, a city of opportunists and adventurers, Ku is one of the few good men.

Ku works very hard and never takes one day off. Every week, he also has to go downtown to volunteer for at least half a day (sometimes one day) at the Manhattan Court. Basically he works for free as a legal counsel for low income people. In other states and other cities, the government would pay lawyers to represent low income people for free. However in New York City, with a big low income population, the government can’t afford the payment. So it becomes an unwritten rule that a lawyer has to go volunteer at the court. If not, the lawyer will find that the cases he represents may not have as good a result as cases represented by other lawyers. The judges will see to that. A big law firm can send junior lawyers to pay this tribute, but Ku is the one-man show here and he has to go himself.

“He is not even 50 yet, but he looks like he is 100-year-old.” Ayun says to herself. “Ku would be happy to get some robotic help. And yet I can’t let him have it…”

When Ayun takes the transit home at night, she makes a plan: she is going to ask her husband Tram, an engineer, to help sabotage the robot.

(To Be Continued Here)

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