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Dale arrives in the city to join the anti-sexbot core.
Dale and Henry, the two pivotal characters in The Uncanny Valley Club, come together in this chapter, chapter five. Neither is who the other expects to be meeting. To Dale, Henry is the person she needs to get close to, a senior and dynamic business manager at Quinn Corp. Robotics. Someone with the reputation of a manipulator that she needs to be careful of. Upon meeting him, he comes across as a bit of a loser. To Henry, Dale is the new intern, more of an inconvenience to Henry than anything else, but she’s to become the person, along with the underground feminist group, who brings both him and Quinn Corp undone.
She embarked on this venture four weeks ago with the creation of a persona, one completely at odds with her own, allowing her to be the person she needs to be. But now, she’s rattled. She bolsters herself by reciting the list of attributes she had decided to take on: unflappable, uncaring, straightforward, daring—I don’t give a fuck. A personality to wear like a cloak.
She pulls her bag close against her legs. A woman heads toward her, her face focussed, and then moves on past while hurrying along her four small jiggling children—a family size that must be a pleasant throwback to the last government. The crowd thins. The trains become still. A fake vintage clock echoes throughout the station with a confected tick thunk, tick thunk, tick thunk, and the vast building pulsates with the emptiness.
Her phone vibrates in her pocket, and she takes it out. It’s Esther from QRC. She breathes in. It rings and rings. She breathes out. Train noise builds around her. Heels click, and the drones return to hover. The energised air needles her anxiety.The Uncanny Valley Club, Julie Proudfoot