Sunday, June 10, 2012

Counting The Ways

General Thorik “The Hammer” Olaffson’s fist struck the table. “Dammit, Professor! When will your android be finished?”

“Uhh…gynoid, General, ANGIE is a gynoid.”

Olaffson’s rage gave way to confusion, “What’s a gynoid and who the Hades is Angie?!?”

Professor Emil Strock sighed, “A synthetic humanoid possessing female characteristics is a gynoid, sir. ANGIE is an acronym for Autonomous Neuro-Guided Infiltration Element.”

Olaffson chuckled, “Oh yes. I did read your reports. What possessed you to make us a female robot on the end of an extension cord?”

“ANGIE is NOT a robot,” he snapped, “As my paper explained, I believe a gynoid’s best suited to our goals. In addition, once the unit’s fully imprinted, the neural interface cable isn’t required.”

Olaffson frowned. “Our ‘goal’ is to kill the Confederation’s enemies. You feel a female is best suited to that?”

Strock despised inaccurate conclusions. “The agreement calls for an artificial life form to neutralize the enemy. I maintain a female is more likely to find a non-lethal yet effective solution.”

“A lot of time and money has been invested here, Strock. The Confederation expects solutions…soon.” He left with that  pronouncement.

Strock shrugged as he brought the systems online.
“Hello ANGIE. Shall we continue where we left off?”

The gynoid body on the table remained inert, but a contralto voice responded. “Yes, Emil. That would please me. Will you be reading me Byron again?”

 “No, ANGIE. Today we begin Shakespeare. Please access and integrate. Let’s begin with, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?...”

A technician in the Office of Special Projects removed his headphones, auto-dialing an extension. “The subject has deviated from established protocols and is continuing with conduct as previously noted.”

Strock had just concluded reading Othello when Confederation Marines kicked in the lab door.

“Enough, Professor. Your ass is headed to an internment camp for hindering the war effort and your clockwork girlfriend is off to the scrap yards. I hope you enjoy the way they’ll treat you there.”

Before Strock could respond, something miraculous and quite impossible occurred.

ANGIE slid off the workbench with fluid agility. She extended her arms and a flurry of flechettes dropped three marines.

Her ocular implants glowed green as she spoke, “You will NOT harm Emil or this unit. Desist. No one else need be injured.”

Olaffson was livid. “Lieutenant, shoot that damned thing and take her peckerwood boyfriend into custody!”

The marines unleashed a murderous volley of fire. ANGIE was struck repeatedly, sparks flying from her unarmored body. Rising to her aid, Strock was slammed to the floor as multiple slugs stitched his chest.

When the fusillade ended, Strock and his creation lay dying on the floor. ANGIE dug furrows in the concrete, dragging herself to her love. Draping an artificial arm across his chest, she whispered into his ear. “…and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.”

Emil reached for her as he drew his last breath and the light of her eyes forever faded into darkness.


  1. Holy smeg, that's brilliant! This is way more entertaining to read than William Gibson: the man needs more dark comedy in his novels...

  2. You did it - you made me cry over the death of a 'droid and I'm the least SciFi reader you'll ever find! Bravo n stop it now!

  3. Wonderful! So very heartbreaking! And ditto what Cameron said too!

  4. Wow! Brilliant visuals, action filled and romantic! Loved the final sentences!

  5. This was simply fantastic! Felt like I was reading a Philip K. Dick novel! So surprised by the end! Terrific! :)

  6. I really need to get caught up on reading your writing--this one was brilliant. But then I'm a sucker for unusual love stories, and love the grace both ANGIE and Emil showed in death.

    You did a great job of getting us to care about the lovers in a very short space.

  7. Very well done. Great, sad ending.

  8. What a great idea, I love this piece! It was so sweet that he was reading to her... do you think the content of what he was reading was perhaps what gave her some heart, even through she was a gynoid? Really top stuff, thanks!