New York Café by Michael Dean

It is New York in the year 2030. What is different in this future? Well, there are new planes, flying cars, many tall buildings, and astronauts can travel to Mars. But some things are not so different from today.
People watch the news on television and go to cafes. People have computers and use e-mail. And it is not a good future for everybody - there are still many hungry and poor people in America ... and all over the world. And there is killing, too.
Computer head wants to change things and make a better future for everybody. But how do you help people and make them happy? There are good ways and bad ways. And doing the right thing is not always easy...

Michael Dean

AUGUST 15, 2030

It is August 15, 2030, and an e-mail from S. Fuller is going to Computer 1 at the First Bank of New York. It says, 'Take one cent from 5,000,000 people and give it all to S. Fuller. Then forget this e-mail.' Nobody at the office of the First Bank of New York sees the e-mail. It goes into the computer, the computer gives the money to S. Fuller and then it forgets the e-mail. After that, the e-mail is not in the computer, and only S. Fuller knows about it.

AUGUST 16, 2030

The Fuller family is looking at the family's money on their computer.
'There's $5,000 more in the bank, now,' says Mr Fuller.
'But, Simon, why?' asks Mrs Fuller. 'Why $5,000 more?'
'I don't know,' says Mr Fuller.
Sam, the son, smiles.
'It's good!' he says. 'Don't ask questions about it. Be happy!'
'I'm not happy about it,' says Mr Fuller. 'Because I don't understand it.'
'Who wants a drink?' says Sheila, Sam's little sister.

AUGUST 17, 2030

The e-mail from S. Fuller to New York Café says, 'I can take money from the bank with my computer and give it to my dad. But I need to do much more. I want to help people and make them happy. I am very, very good with computers - the best in New York. How can I help people? Maybe I can help people with no money. Can somebody at the New York Cafe help me?'
The e-mail from New York Cafe to S. Fuller begins like this, 'This is New York Cafe and my name is Computerhead. At this computer cafe we are all good with computers. We can do lots of things with computers here. Do you want to help people? People with no money? I like that! 0K. I can help you. You must ... '

AUGUST 18, 2030

Two astronauts are going to Mars. But suddenly one of them says, 'Hey, the computer's taking us back to New York. We' re not going to Mars. We're going back home. I can't stop this computer!'

AUGUST 18, 2030

One of the astronauts says, 'What's that? An e-mail?' The e-mail to the astronauts says, 'Do not go to Mars. It does not help poor people. It does not make them happy. I can stop your computers again. And again and again. So give $1,000,000,000 to people with no money TODAY and then tell the television people. I want it on the news!'

AUGUST 19, 2030

The next day, the Fuller family watch the news on television. The news-reader is saying, 'Two astronauts are back in New York. Something's wrong with the computer ... ' There is a picture of the astronauts and a picture of the computer. But there is nothing on television about $1,000,000,000 for people with no money.

AUGUST 20, 2030

A plane is going from New York to London. But then suddenly the plane's computer stops it. The plane waits over New York. It gets an e-mail message. 'All the people on this plane have a lot of money. Give some of your money to poor people by e-mail, now. Then you can go to London.'

AUGUST 21, 2030

Some very important people are talking in New York.
'Who's doing this to the computers?'
'We don't know.'
'Well, we must find him. How can we find him?'
'We're looking for a signal, from his computer. Every computer has a signal. When we find the signal, we find him.'
'OK. But I tell you this: He must stop now. Do you understand?'
'Well, we can give a new password to all the important computers in the country. And without a computer's password he can't get into the computer.'
'OK. Give new passwords to all the important computers in America. At the same time, find the signal from his computer. But most important, find him!'

AUGUST 22, 2030

S. Fuller e-mails Computerhead at New York Cafe and says, 'I am not happy. The police are putting new passwords in all the important computers in America. I cannot get into them. I do not want to stop now. Computerhead, help me!'

AUGUST 23, 2030

The e-mail from Computerhead at New York Cafe to S. Fuller says, 'Fuller no, please do not stop your work. I am an old man now. I do not know you, but I have a picture of you in my head. I see a young man. What are you, seventeen or eighteen years old? And you want to do something good! OK! Let's do something very good. I can help you. Let's talk again tomorrow.'

AUGUST 24, 2030

Today's e-mail from Computerhead to S. Fuller says, 'I am sending you a box. It can help you. When you send a signal to any computer, it finds the computer's password. And then you are in the computer and you can do anything with it. Any computer in America is your computer. Let's talk again tomorrow.'

AUGUST 25, 2030

Computerhead sends S. Fuller an e-mail. It says, 'Fuller, there is one more thing. The police are looking for your computer signal. From now on, send everything by e-mail to me at New York Cafe. Later I can send it out again from here, with a lot of new signals. Then, they cannot find your signal. Fuller, tomorrow is an important day for you.'

AUGUST 26, 2030

The next e-mail from Computerhead to S. Fuller says, 'Fuller, this man's name is Smith. You must get his computer password. But get his computer password at home, not at work. It is easy. I know this man because I work with him. What is his work? He kills people.'

AUGUST 26, 2030

Another e-mail from Computerhead to S. Fuller says, 'Yes, Smith kills people. And I help him. But now I am doing something good, for the first time. Tomorrow you and I can help poor people. Tomorrow we can do something big. Tomorrow people must listen to us. We want a new America, Fuller. A new America!'

AUGUST 26, 2030

Mr and Mrs Fuller are very happy, but the children are not.
'Hey, we' re going sailing for two weeks,' says Mr Fuller.
'Oh no!' says Sam. 'I want to stay here.'
'Me too,' says his little sister, Sheila.
'But why, Sam?' says Mrs Fuller.
'Mum, I'm eighteen. I have important things to do,' says Sam.
'Important things? What important things?' says Mr Fuller.
'I can't tell you that,' says Sam.
'Oh, Simon, it's OK,' says Mrs Fuller. 'You and I can go.
The children can stay here.'
'OK,' says Mr Fuller. But he is angry and leaves the room.

AUGUST 27, 2030

The e-mail from S. Fuller to Computerhead at New York Cafe says, 'My mum and dad are sailing now. I have more time at the computer. Mr Smith's password is his daughter's name. I am in Smith's computer now. He works in Washington. I am going into the President's computer. I can do a lot of things now. Look at the next picture!'

AUGUST 27, 2030

S. Fuller sends the President an e-mail. It says, 'Dear Mr President. Look at this picture. The missiles can stay in the sky or they can come down. I can bring them down with my computer. Are you listening to me, Mr President? I want a better America. I do not want money. Not for me. I want money for poor people. And sandwiches. Give sandwiches to poor people. Start now, or they all come down tomorrow.'

AUGUST 27, 2030

The President has S. Fuller's e-mail and he is very angry.
'Sandwiches! Sandwiches! Can we stop this? Please?'
'No, Mr President. I'm sorry. We can't find the signal.'
'What do we do now?'
'Give money to poor people, Mr President. Make sandwiches. Do anything for now. We need more time.'
'OK. You! Yes, you. The tall man in the white shirt. Go and make some sandwiches.'
'Yes, Mr President.'

AUGUST 27, 2030

A woman is running into the President's office.
'Mr President,' says the woman. 'We have his signal. It's coming from a computer cafe in New York.'
'OK!' says the President. 'Get him!'

AUGUST 27, 2030

'A better America. I want a better America,' says Computerhead. The police take him away. Then they look at his computer at the New York Cafe. There is an e-mail there. It is from S. Fuller.

AUGUST 27, 2030

The police have Sam now, too. Sam is very afraid. He says, 'Stop! I must phone my mum and dad. They're sailing. And my little sister's here. I can't leave her. Why are you doing this? Please stop.'

AUGUST 28, 2030

Mr and Mrs Fuller are with their son. They are talking to the police.
'Sam?' says Mrs Fuller. 'Our Sam and this ...
Computerhead? Sorry, but I must laugh.'
'It's not our Sam,' says Mr Fuller. 'Sam can't understand computers. His teachers help him, but he's no good.'
'Yes,' says Mrs Fuller. 'Sheila helps him too. Sheila's very good with computers.'
'Oh yes,' says Mr Fuller. 'Sheila's the best girl in New York with computers.'
Mr Fuller looks at Mrs Fuller and then Mrs Fuller looks at Mr Fuller.
'Where's Sheila?' say Mr and Mrs Fuller.

AUGUST 28, 2030

S. Fuller's last e-mail to Computerhead says, 'Hello. Where are you? My e-mails to you come back all the time. Can you see the picture? Look at the missiles, in the Washington sky. They are going to New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow and Rome too. But I cannot get them down, Computerhead. Can you help me? What do I do now?'

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