flash fiction
September 28, 2017

A Glitch is a Glitch

I met my personal accountant aboard a tax collection ship loaded with enough capital to fund an entire new colony in the Belt.

I had anchored my pirate ship to the hull of their spaceship, rewired one of the emergency hatches, jumped aboard the ship and made my way to their vault. There I found a small white man crouching behind a desk like a scared critter.

“I just reprogrammed the Safe-bot. I don’t have the codes. Only the robot knows them,” he yelled from behind the desk. “It will only open to my contact in the Belt.”

I’ve seen these fancy Safe-robots before, without the bio-signal from the key master it will not release the capital funds. The small man had me. I knew it. He knew it. But I wasn’t ready to admit defeat.

“If I can’t have those codes, nobody will,” I said pointing at the robot with my laser gun. “I’ll destroy this robot and all the funds with it. Gimme access and at least you get to keep the Safe-bot intact.”

And that’s when I heard the most wonderful words.

“I’ll give you the codes.”

It was a Checksum-robot. A single digit mistake could mean trillions of credit lost in a transfer. Checksum robots are used for double checking the computations of the Safe-robots.

“I have a backup,” said the Checksum robot. “I’ll give you the codes if you get me out of this ship.”

“You are under contractual obligation!” screamed the small man, still behind the desk.

“Deal!” I responded.

I got the codes, plugged my electronic suitcase to the safe and started the transfer. I watched all those digital coins load up. In seconds we had emptied the safe.

“You damn, glitch!” screamed the man, spit coming out of his mouth.

There’s a reason the Checksum-bot was dying to get off that old merchant ship. There is no doubt in my mind. She is a glitch. Any robot that can betray a human to save another robot has to be a glitch. But hey, so am I. And we gotta help our kind.

September 28, 2017 · #101ToF · #Fiction · #Flash Fiction


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