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A Problem

by on June 13, 2013

This week’s entry for the Trifecta weekly prompt is later than I would’ve liked, but I’ve been terribly busy. I was scrambling for an idea, but then I remembered the fascinating audiobook I was listening to earlier this week, and voila. Roll film!

Blink went a light on the MedDetector Mark Three. Ben paid no attention to it. The whole thing was a silly formality, a box to be checked off before he could start his glorious new Lunar Fleet career. Admiral Enfield had already promised him a first officer’s post on the Utterson. And from there…

His train of thought went flying off the tracks as the robot attendant gave a startled chirp. It looked at him, then the blinky light, then him again, then scurried away to fetch its supervisor. Ben sighed. First-generation robots were so easily distressed.

The supervisor, a more sober second-gen robot, arrived moments later, a grim look in its optical sensors. “Erm. Have you done much research into your ancestry?”

“My what?” Ben said. “Why would I?”

“Well, erm,” the supervisor said, “the hypo-genetic scan matrix seems to have detected an…abnormality. And it doesn’t match any of the standard abnormality identifiers. This will require some further study, research into ancestor records, and so forth. Until then, I’m very sorry, but we’ll have to put your application on hold.”

“But…the Utterson breaks atmo tomorrow. I was assured-”

“I’m so sorry,” the supervisor said, not sounding a bit of  it. “Your application is on hold.”

Ben was going to thank it for its trouble, and walk sadly away. But then something flared inside him. His left fist shot out, and the supervisor went flying clean through five walls and a protein bar replicator, sparks and robot bits flying everywhere. A wild dark joy filled Ben’s mind, and lasers filled his eyes. This was going to get fun.

It took thirty-two lunar colony police officers to take him down, a process involving massive property damage and a full-scale deployment of a robot medical team. Lunar Fleet authorities released sombre communiques explaining their regret at this unfortunate incident, disavowing all responsibility, and wondering in grave tones what possibly could have upset Cadet Benjamin Jekyll so.


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  1. Lance permalink

    I love this genre and your style here is perfect. Good job with the last few sentences. I want to read more and more

    • Thanks! I want to write more; the story on which it’s based intrigued me a great deal. Fascinating stuff.

  2. Draug419 permalink

    hahahahahha 😀 Love it.

    • 😀 Yeah, you don’t want to tick off Cadet Jekyll. Who knows what secrets he’s…hiding? #wompwomp.

  3. I think we all have that capacity somewhere inside. Thanks for linking up. Be sure to come back and get your votes in!

    • True. Fortunately, most of us don’t also have the capacity for super-strength inside. 😛

  4. Clever–didn’t see that coming. Nice entry.

  5. The best “application form rage” revenge!
    You had me at Ben sighing, then closed the deal with his name.
    It did get fun!

  6. Oh I love that last line. Very good. Don’t want to give a spoiler in the comments.

    • I should think the original story’s been around long enough that it wouldn’t be spoiler-y….but I appreciate the concern. 🙂

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