Impulsive Writing (18)

Impulsive Writing (18)

You did what?

“I quit. Couldn’t handle it anymore. Too much screaming and yelling going on.”

“Where you work? Who the hell is screaming and yelling in a research center?”

“Almost everyone. At least lately. The work we’ve been doing has become increasingly controversial. A few people think it’s too dangerous to continue and want it stopped. Most others, including me, disagree and want it to continue. I was about ready for a change anyway.”

“So…what are you going to do?”

“Not sure yet. Maybe start my own lab. Giving it some thought anyway.”

“Great idea! But where the hell are you going to get that kind of money?”

“I’ve got a little saved up. Enough to get it started. But what I don’t have is a way to keep it funded. For that I’d need a grant, and I don’t know the first thing about how to get one.”

“Actually, it’s not too difficult. Especially for someone with your background. MIT wasn’t it? Then it’s been over 30 years at JPL, right? Hard to top those credentials. What is it you want to work on? More rocket stuff?” (Laughs)

“I haven’t done that crap for 20 years. Too boring. I probably never mentioned it to you, but just as soon as I could I transferred to a small group involved in developing classified robotic projects for the defense department. I’ve been working mainly on combat related “eyes ‘n ears” stuff ever since.”

“You mean like drones?”

“No. Everything we do stays on the ground. Mostly small stuff. Almost all of it mobile, and seldom larger than a suitcase. Up until a few years ago it all ran on tracks. But now the focus has shifted to two and four-legged ‘critters,’ some of which have fire power…and that’s what’s causing all the controversy. Anyway, you’d be amazed at what some of our little ‘stumble bums’ can do.”

“I’ve seen some of those tiny bomb-sniffers on the news. You know, the ones that search out IEDs. But I’ve never seen anything on legs. How come your stuff isn’t getting any coverage?”

“Mostly because until recently none of it worked worth a damn. But about two years ago we started experimenting with a new invention that has since solved most of the ambulatory problems. I suspect the samples that we recently sent to the field will be making news soon enough. In fact it may begin to dominate the news, given what these little jerk-bots are capable of doing. It’s pretty scary. You know the expression hit ‘n run? Well, these little guys hit ‘n disappear. On top of that, they know no fear.”

“Sounds a little like robotic suicide bombers.”

“Ummm. Just remember it was you who said that, not me. (Smiles) Gotta go Chuck. It’s getting dark and Snappy will start barking soon if I don’t get her moved to the back yard.”

“Yeah, I know. Remember that night a few months ago?” (Laughs)

“I remember. (Frowning) Talk to you later…”


One comment on “Impulsive Writing (18)

  1. Have you seen these robots? They are scary as sin. I feel very uneasy when, in particular, I see that big dog running like a T3 assault android. Clank! Clank! Clank! Clank! Ugh, it makes my stomach turn just watching them.


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