December 9, 2014


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: Android and Detective

Aiden Rakotomolala and Gargaaro Sukarno stared at the cow-shaped robot. Aiden said, "This is what they gave us?"

Gargaaro -- she preferred Ro to her whole name -- said, "That's what they said.

"A robot cow?"

The robot said, "I am not a cow, but a mule. And I am an artificial intelligence. I prefer to be called Ferocious Veldt Roarer. You can call me Ferocious."

Aiden burst out laughing, "How about I call you Cow Roarer?"

"That would not..." the robot began.

Ro laughed as well, "I know my name's funny, but yours? We can call you Cower for short!"

Cower would have scowled if she'd had a face. Or skin. Or a head. As it was, she said, "I'm not programmed to have feelings or a sense of humor, so I'll call you Rack and Gargoyle."

Aiden exclaimed, "Hey! That's not funny!"

Ro scowled, "At least yours doesn't comment on your looks."

"True, but it does make a comment on his intelligence -- roughly that of a cue ball in a game of billiards."

Aiden opened his mouth to protest as the door to garage opened from the police station side. The pair of officers who strode in were imposing and grim. The male, short, dark, and scowling, whose uniform seemed barely able to control the musculature beneath; the female, tall, lithe, whose own musculature owed more to maraging steel cable than muscle and whose face gave away absolutely nothing. She was the one who said, "What a wonder. A billion dollars in training and manufacture, and all these three can do is act like middle school children."

The male shook his head, "It would be better if the two of us just went and did what we do best."

"What? Kill people?"

The male grinned -- and the two humans and even the robot took a step back.

The woman said, "I'd love to let the three of you bond and get to know each other, but there are two hundred school girls who have been taken hostage in southern Brazil by JHB."

"Who?" Rack, Gargoyle, and Cower said in unison.

The woman looked at the man, who grinned. "See. I said they would."

Again, RGC spoke as one when they said, "That we would what?" Aiden and Ro looked at each other. Ferocious abruptly sprouted spines along its back that quivered.

"Synchronize," said the female. "We're sending you to southern Brazil to infiltrate and possibly extricate these girls. We suspect they're all dead."

"What?" Rack, Gargoyle, and Cower exclaimed again.

The male shrugged powerful shoulders and said, "Most likely there's nothing for you to do except learn to work together. On the off chance you might actually be able to do something, you've got your orders." He glanced at his female companion and the two snapped off a salute, turned and left the three alone.

Cower said, "Great. Now I'm stuck with two teenage meat bags." It made an amazingly realistic sigh, and plopped down on one of its backsides.


Names: Somalia, Indonesia; Australia, Madagascar  

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