A Reaction

When the door opened and the light flashed ever so briefly over Scotty’s apparatus, the shutdown began. By the time the Professor sat down in front of the device it had submerged again in the metallic goo, the beam had fizzled. The green stain at the end of the spiral completely dissipated just a few minutes later. The anguish on the professor’s face must have been something.

Against all protocol, Amy Girl received a direct call. “What is it?” she hissed. “Oh shit.” She sat up on the couch and straightened her back. Then she turned to Gary: “He wants to know what happened to it. It disappeared when he came in.”

“Damn,” said Gary, “it’s been suspicious lately. I don’t normally keep much in the way of secrets from it. It must have thought that he was Walton.”

“How do we get it back?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Try switching the battery off and on again.”

A couple minutes passed. “Nothing,” she said.

Gary looked at her while he reflected — though his eyes wandered a bit too much. “Does the professor feel a prickly sensation? Like there’s a lot of static?”

She relayed both ways. “Yes,” she said in reply.

“It’s probably watching him. I think they have the ability to observe where there’s a residual connection. Of course, the professor would know better than I.”

“So — it’s waiting for you to come?”

“I guess so,” he said meekly.

“Well, fuck me,” she said to no one in particular. “All right, then, Gary, let’s go to the shop. And give me that damn GPS phone.”