512 Words

Cat Fancy

Louis Strack

I'm telling you, Johnson, this is going to be the biggest development in animal-imitative cybernetics since Hayes pioneered the field way back in '14. Everybody's going to want a piece of my discovery! The military, all the megacorps, the private sector. Everyone! Even United States of Earth Defense! I'm going to be the richest man alive!

I can see you don't share my enthusiasm yet. Just wait, old friend. Accompany me to my lab, and we will see who has the last laugh. You'll be begging me to take you on as a lab assistant after I---Oh, here we are. You first, my good man. Just get the lights there on your left and go on in.

You see, I had already come up with the perfect cybernetic engine, capable of mimicking any life form. The question was, which creature would be the best showcase of my discovery? Humans and apes are overdone; you might remember Liebovitz's android last year that got everyone all excited? Yeah, I agree. Damn snake-oil salesman is all he turned out to be! His "miracle man" couldn't remember it's own name after a week. But this is different, because I've utilized a life form nobody's considered for cybernetics. It is powerful, graceful, intelligent, and best of all people love it. I chose the tiger!

Go ahead and pull away that dust-cloth there. Go on, have a peek! Ha! Don't look so startled, Johnson. I leave it powered down when I'm not testing it. It is rather imposing, though, if I may say so. Yes, all the latest technology, including claws I had made from vanadium alloy. Cuts through steel like it's wet cardboard. Omni-directional piston ligaments, the finest photometric ocular devices I could find, and a cybernetic neural interface, which exactly mirrors a Bengal tiger. The one in New Planetary zoo, actually. The process that I used to get its mind in the computer will be enough to ensure me fame and fortune, but when they see the magnificent machine I've built to house this mind---

Huh? It did move, didn't it? I guess I left it on yesterday. No, don't look so nervous. I can shut off its main power circuitry with this remote right here. Nothing to worry about. No, it won't do anything like that. No, I really don't think it's sizing you up for a meal. Be reasonable, old---Oh, God! Johnson! The remote, where is it? Where?! Gotta find it quick, before it turns on me---

Ah, there we go! Too late to save Johnson, though. What a pity. Let's just take the power cells out of the thing. Better safe than sorry. There! God, what a mess. Even worse, I can't call the police now, the bad publicity would overshadow my breakthrough, and definitely frighten the investors. I've got to get rid of the body secretly, somehow. I could bury it, but I might be seen. I could burn it, but the smoke would be awfully suspicious. What to do? What to---

I wonder... How fast can this cat eat?

Copyright ©2003 Louis Strack. All Rights Reserved.

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April, 2003
Issue #79

512 Words