-re: writ root-
Winner or January LM challenge Never Bend Over
*Good morning, Mike.*
“Yo Jake. Minute, please.”
Scanning closest surfaces first, Mike finds his gloves on the desktop, left from yesterday. Eyes jumping from floor lump to floor lump, he scoops up his robe. Power bar from top drawer, one tap of the smart tap, into the chair he goes, simultaneously slurping the world’s premier morning beverage, MaxxStaX. One headshake and the day begins.
“Read-in ready, Jake.”
*Topo display. Proposed team icon mode. Known obstacle icon mode. Probable interference grid transparent to opaque, standard threat scale. Known lethal level 0.
Solar availability 100%, convective battery backup engaged. Back status, full charge, auto-enable trickle at 25% depletion. Upload voiceprint verification file, four-hour distribution point concurrent team. Past-action analysis full report.
Adjustment inquiry, begin.*
“Yeah. So Jake, I’m seeing Todd and Jas. Is Lil Wil available? Exchange for Paul? Report team of loss leader.”
*Complete. Dean’s Din-Din.*
Mike scans the rolling calendar, fixing on the 26th, knowing he’ll have to settle-up with Dean after Micro Mike makes the Full Route roll for six months.
“Memo Dean’s RE: Dinner 26th?”
He wonders if he’ll ever acclimate to this surreal audio. He taps one gloved finger on the desktop and runs through the base level menus, tightening his focus with each pass of the visual constructs displayed on his optical-response headgear. Reviewed and proposed actions selected, he reaches for his cup. One drink later Micro Mike clears his throat, “Micro Role commence. Tap in.”
Judge Rogers stares at the twitching defendant in disbelief.
“Mr. Tolbert, I’m reading a letter provided by your counsel. Do you know what this letter says?”
“Yes, sir.” Mike steadies himself, standing as straight and still as he can, head slightly lowered, but meeting directly the demanding eyes drilling through him.
A finger from somewhere points emphatically to the bottom of the letter as it turns in the Judge’s grip. “Are you aware of the quantity and caliber of signatures affixed to this letter?”
“Yes, sir.” comes the weighted response as the situation compresses Mike’s chest.
“Under this agreement you will leave this courtroom in the custody of a representative of an experimental joint task between an international entity and our federal government. You will remain in their service until restitution and court costs are recovered, at which time you will return to this court. You will demonstrate consistent dedication to eradicating the driving force that landed you before this body.
You are the initial diversion program candidate recommendation, and will, in large part, be responsible for the success or failure of said program.
Do I need to remind you of how many eyes are on you, Mr. Tolbert?”
*Delivery complete. Cascade?*
“Lil Wil, home invasion thermal indicators. 250 lift load estimate. Jas has primary perimeter isolation spiral. Can you stun and relocate? All other deliveries complete. Units recovening. We can wait for additional drone assist.”
*Acknowledged. Forcible extraction record registered resident face recognition denial status forward. Perimeter repulsion database acquired DNA upload. Air exchange entry point.*
“On your go, Wil.”
Lighter by one 30 day supply/324,000 calorie/3 person cargo load, Micro Mike’s swarm hums homeward fifteen minutes later, punctuated only by hoots and hollers as Full Route status appears on headgear.
Mike summarizes the new success, taps out and places his gloves on the desktop.
*Post-run routine. Therapeutic proposal.*
“Hey, Allie. Any concerns with checking results after dropping one minute?”
*No concerns on file. Endorphin release 20 minutes. Drug of choice reduction, 4 over 20 minute cycle. 5 of 12 months Full Route credit. Restitution status 85%. Biochemical correction 75%, steady. Stated Phase 3 goal psychosocial redirection 95%. On track.
Begin headgear neural pharmaceutical stimulation?*
Dropping his robe and settling into a comfortable recline, he readies himself for the predictable. Allie’s voice recedes.
“Mr. Tolbert”, replays Rogers’ closing court comment become mantra, “Keep your head down and NEVER bend over.” Mike falls thankfully into the respite of oblivion.
About the author:
Mudpuppy reads everything from cereal boxes to academic research. Exploring ideas in somewhat unconventional ways, this author embraces the challenges inherent to short form writing and invites each reader to spend a few moments with imaginings that tend to linger.