Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Werecat's Dilemma

Meemu twitched his tail in agitation as he waited for his new "helper" to catch up. Though he wasn't sure how much help it was going to be.

"You're a great big noisy thing, aren't you?" Meemu called behind him.

"Yes, master." The bot lumbered forward with the stealth of an elephant in a china factory. Creakscrankcreakscrank.

Terrina is either losing her mind, or losing her faith in me. Meemu sat down and cleaned his whiskers. This was going to seriously mess with his mojo.

When the bot finally reached him, Meemu asked, "So, you call me master, does that mean you obey me?"

"Yes master," the bot settled into it's optimal stationary position, which looked like it was squatting to do it's business.

"And if I ordered you to stay here while I go raid the Dingo warehouse..."

"Exception, master."

It would have been too easy. "So, bot--do you have a name?"

"Plod, master."

"So, Plod, I have a dilemma. I need to get in and out quickly, and I need to do it without getting noticed. I cannot do that with you tagging along."

"No, master."

"I could just run ahead and leave you behind. How long would it take you to travel from here to the warehouse?"

"2883 seconds, master."

Meemu did some quick figuring. "Drat, not quite long enough. Just my luck you would show up at the worst moment."

Plod stared at him. A fan started whirring inside the metal dome of its head.

"We need to strategize," Meemu told it, getting an idea. "Have you ever played chess?"

"No, master."

Meemu grinned and pulled out his travel chess set. He enjoyed the game and was always looking for new opponents to outwit. As he laid out the pieces, and explained the rules, he could hear the fan inside Plod's dome working harder.

"The trick to this game is trying to calculate the probability of each move your opponent could make, in response to each of your possible moves," Meemu said, his whiskers vibrating at his cleverness. "You can be white. Your move."

Plod stared, the fan whirred.

Meemu waited a moment, just in case. But Plod did not move. Even when Meemu slowly backed away, Plod did not look up from the board.

When Meemu returned an hour and a half had passed. Plod still sat, calculating. The fan noise had escalated to a high pitched whine.

“Warehouse raid is all done, Plod. We did a good job.” Meemu sat in front of Plod, and started cleaning the blood from his fur. He had run into a few dingos, nothing he couldn’t handle on his own. Terrina can kiss my hiney!

Once he was done with his washing, Meemu looked up at the giant bot, who was still pondering away. “Oh, you have something…right…” Meemu leapt up to Plod’s dome in a single bound, ”there!” and snapped up the small yellow bird which had settled there. Then he dropped to the ground, crunching delicate bird bones, and sat across the board from Plod.

Ten minutes later, Plod’s hinges creaked and its big hand reached out to move its pawn.


This was a quick little story I cooked up for the March 3-10, 2013 weekly writing competition in the Writers Discussion Group community on G+
And I won too :D
The competition was pretty fierce.

©2013 Amanda June Hagarty.

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