Re: Tell my story


The Atomic Punk

Concluding the Three-Part Introduction of Hothead.

HOTHEAD: Chapter 3
Original Character by WMDBASSPLAYER; Story by The Atomic Punk

General Bettis paced around the glass “nursery.” Inside, a lizard-like creature the size of a rat was flying frantically, occasionally bumping into the transparent walls. Now and then it would spit fire at its captors. The General turned to the three civilians.

“Impressive, but why is it so damn small?” scowled the General.

Professor Sumner put on her glasses and grabbed her laptop. She went to show the General the various procedures that went into creating the new species. General Bettis ignored her. He nodded to University President Carlsbad and the two exited the laboratory.

Gary stepped to Professor Sumner’s side, “Why are we working on this project, again? So we can create new life that the military will use to kill?”

Sumner glared at her assistant, “You and the high horse you rode in on, Gary. Military-funding has advanced technology for decades.”

She turned her attention back to the creature in the nursery. Jinx continued to bang into the walls and spit fire. It was obvious that he wanted out. Feeling confident that the nursery and lab were secure, Sumner and Gary went to lunch. The young idealist wanted to debate ethics. Professor Sumner wanted a chicken sandwich. Finally, she relented a little.

Sumner explained to Gary that Project: Hothead was to create an artificial intelligence that could infiltrate enemy facilities and detonate itself. Literally, it was a walking bomb. The nanochip brain was programmed so Hothead could make tactical decisions and be elusive. That’s how she was able to escape. Sumner was convinced that the trash can fire was a diversion not an accident. In fact, there had been no sign of Hothead for months.

That is until one day, there was a house fire near the campus. All five members of the family escaped including two dogs. Local news interviewed the survivors. They all spoke of a tiny angel who flew into their home and absorbed most of the flames. Then she motioned for the family to follow her out of the house, which they did.

Professor Sumner took note. Hothead seemed to act contrary to her programmed suicide mission. General Bettis and President Carlsbad had many questions for Sumner. There had been no real progress with the tiny “firebird” that Gary named Jinx. It stayed in the nursery, continuing to bang the walls and spit fire. There was no nanochip brain. Gary’s expertise helped link the amino acid chains but the result was a wild animal.

General Bettis and President Carlsbad were in the laboratory waiting for Sumner’s latest test results and progress report. The three, and Gary, were discussing options for another experiment. Bettis demanded a new nanochip. Carlsbad wanted faster results. Gary wanted “peaceful uses” for the project as demonstrated by Hothead’s rescue. Sumner wanted another chicken sandwich.

The firebird continued to bang the walls. Suddenly, he stopped. This caused the four to stop arguing. There was a calm silence. They looked into the nursery where Jinx was sitting on the floor. He made a loud clucking noise almost like a chicken. His eyes looked over the humans toward the ceiling. Gary turned his head. Inside the vent, there was a soft glow as if something was on fire. A soft coo could be heard from the vent. Jinx replied with his own coo.

Suddenly, the grate blew off the vent and out flew Hothead. She was engulfed in flames. She circled the glass enclosure several times, buzzing between the startled humans while doing so. General Bettis tried to grab her from the air but he burned his hands doing so. In seeming frustration, Hothead landed on the floor then began to push against the glass. The intensity of her heat was melting a hole in the cage. Jinx rushed to meet her and began spewing a stream of fire in the same area.

Just as the hole opened, Jinx quit the nursery. In the meantime, Carlsbad had found the fire extinguisher, He sprayed Hothead and the firebird. Fire alarms blared and the extinguishers began spraying the room. When the cloud from the fire extinguisher dissipated, Hothead and Jinx had disappeared.

General Bettis and President Carlsbad were in disbelief. Simultaneously, they yelled: “Son of a… !”

“Jinx, you owe him a soda,” Professor Sumner said with a laugh.