there was a curious town, which i visited and… its not quite clear to me why people acted that way. they never leaved their homes, not even to buy things. instead there were robots who they used to go to work, to send on business to meet with people. but, the ones going out were the robots, not the people. and it is still a mystery to me how the population of that country is still growing. is it fear? of the sun, of the illness, of any other thing? it is still unclear to me why those people lock themselves into their houses and never leave.

Story Four – Together we are all alone

Day One
afternoon, and i was going down the road, the sun shining high and the surroundings were quiet. the grass here was tall and green, the trees were all around too. the wind blew from time to time. it was somehow hot, not enough to start sweating though. there then the road lead me into my destination. the city in question was one of my curiosity, i was going there mainly to make a small upgrade in my gun. as doing so, try to learn something about the place.
the city gates were gray, and nothing special, just a plain wall of cement and doors of steel, they were not much high, and did not have any decorations, just the doors of steel had a carving resembling a bird with wings wide open. as if it was flying. i looked around and found what could be the post office.
” hello, is anybody there? ”
it took three or more seconds for someone to come. and when it came, oh man, it was a surprise. i was actually greet by a screen, with a image of a person on it, the screen was fixed in a small robot body, as if it was a terminal or something. that made me quite curious about the place.
” hello ms. traveler, what do you seek? ”
” i wish i could stay at your country for a while, two days maybe would be enough. ” i was in shock still, indeed because if you think about it, its a bit unusual to talk with someone through a screen. the person in question was not here, and yet he was. he was listening to me, he was seeing me, as i was listening and seeing him.
” could you sign here? ” he, i mean, the robot, handed to me a keyboard and in the screen were the man was, a paper appeared. as i filled it it automatically scrolled down, everything i needed to do was to type down my information there. handy, but a bit scary if you think about it.
to be sincere what was scary was the fact that the person was not there. but could see, listen and talk to me, as i could do the same to him.
as soon as i finished with the papers i went into the country. i saw nobody, but a huge amount of robots all around. robots everywhere. they all had screens and in those screens there were people. i shivered, i did, because it was indeed something. i dont know exactly why i was panicking like that, they were just robots and people were commanding them from somewhere. nothing weird about it. putting it aside, i went to a inn. as i entered the inn, i meet the first person at that city. it was a regular man sitting at a chair looking at a computer.
” oh… hello, i would like a room. ”
” oh, hi, sorry. how can i help you? ”
” i said, i would like a place to stay please. ”
” ah, just fill those papers here and i will sign you to a room, how you would like yours? ”
” a regular one, it doesnt need to be anything great, its just a place to sleep. ”
” would you like it with or without windows? ”
a curious question, is there any place where the rooms have no windows? well, it would be quite weird, at least to me. to stay on a room without windows would be a interesting experience but i wasnt quite sure i would like to stay in such kind of room.
” which one is the cheapest? ” as i didnt knew which one would be better, since i never sleep into a room without windows. i would get the cheapest one to save money.
” the one with windows, its the cheapest i can give you. ” the answer was quite weird too, why the one with windows would be the cheapest? i guess, into this city, people didnt liked to go outside. why would be that?
” the one with windows then sir. ”
” alright, take the keys and have a nice stay. thank you for choosing my inn. ” and with that he returned to focus himself at the computer screen. thinking of the robots around, and the man at the post office, and about the innkeeper. i was starting to guess that most people here liked to stay inside with their computers all turned on. i took my things into my room and left the inn, searching for a gun shop. the city was quite regular, the roofs were red, and the houses didnt had much windows, but, the walls without windows had nice paintings, artistically made and some of them had messages written, some read ” have you felt the sun? ” others read, ” feet on the grass, stop looking to the glass. ” many messages were written around, but the robots never looked at them, they just passed by ignoring the messages and the paintings. such a waste. i noticed too that usually the towns have animals wandering around, stray cats and dogs. but this city didnt even had birds. i would ask someone, but they probably hatted animals. that would be reasonable, wouldnt it?
i found a nice gun shop on my way through the city, but, it was sure interesting, because there was the second person i saw in that country for the whole day.and even more, the person was outside, sitting on a chair, looking to the skies, not to the screen but to the skies. and as soon as he saw me he said.
” oh my! hello ms. traveler, how are you today? what brings you to this city of morrows? ”
” oh im fine, thank you, i came seeking for a upgrade to my gun. ”
” ah, that i can do, you’ve come to the right place, please please, come in. ” the man friendly called me. he was a bit fat, and happy looking, he had a funny mustache and was wearing a white shirt. his belt had a large number of gun tools, seems that he loved to mess around with guns. his shop packed with bullets, guns, rifles and many kinds of firearms.
” what kind of upgrade do you see ms. traveler? ”
” i just wanted to swap my barrel, this one seems to be a bit damaged. ”
” did you took care of your gun. ”
” yes, as usual, but it was due a time i needed to defend myself. my gun saved me from a bullet. the bullet hit directly the barrel. ”
” ah, so you indeed took good care of your gun. for  it has saved your life, those stories are rare to happen. and, as far i can see, you really care about your gun, the barrel might be damaged, but i see its well cleaned and you did tried to fix it by yourself. it makes me feel good when i see someone to care about their guns. ”
” i believe that if i care about my life, Mr, it will care about mine too. ”
” its a nice saying. ”
the man was taking my gun apart while i was browsing the shelves. i had a nice amount of money with me, and i would need some bullets, they had a low price, low prices on nice bullets. while i browsed i asked him, something i really wanted to ask.
” mr. ”
” yes, what is it ms. traveler? ”
” why does everyone in this city keeps themselves locked into their houses? ”
” you know, Ms. Traveler, this city used to be quite normal, regular as any other city in our country. people walked around, and lived their lifes, there were plenty windows around and the time wasnt controlled. ”
” wait, the time is controlled here? ”
” for the residents, you have not to worry about, travelers arent on the rules. ”
” ah… ”
” then, people started to worry about illnesses and violence. until someone brought from outside there machines called computers. well, the computers entered into the lives of people with ease, and people were impressed by them. they started to spend more time inside than outside, using the computers. and as the technology rose fast, people started to learn that they could do lots of things at home, with the computer. ”
” so, they started to get locked in home? ”
” yes but they still went out to work and to buy some stuffs sometimes. but, some scientist knew of the potential of the computers, and developed those automatons, those robots that you see wandering around the city, with screens where should be the heads. they’re controlled through the computers, so people wont have to leave their houses. whit this invention, people started to lock themselves into home to never leave. its quite the thing. ”
” but, about the paintings? ”
” well, there were still a number of people who didnt wanted to stay inside, they think its not healthy, in any way. they make those paintings, and messages around the town in hope for them to touch someone’s heart and bring them out. to feel the world as it should be felt. ”
” you’re one of those? ”
” no, i just found that having everyone locked inside their places is better for me. i dont get annoying people bringing me trouble, the people from this city were all complicated and, let me be frank, they were all nothing but a huge bunch of jerks. ”
” hey, mr. ”
” yes? ”
” im taking those bullets. how much? ”
” take them for free. and come by tomorrow afternoon, i will have your gun ready by them. ”
” ah, thank you sir. ”
” its nothing, i have to thank you. its hard to find someone easy to talk in those lands. “