Shows Promise, a story of Science! for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] imaginaryfiend‘s prompt.

Science! has a landing page here


“If he says ‘Eureka,’ I’m going to kill him and save the boss the trouble.” Cara’s low mutter only carried as far as her partner’s ears, and he was prone to agree with her. Some people just gave mad science a bad name.

“…guys have got to see this.” Archibald Antipone had promise, at least from Cara and Alex’s point of view. He did good work, reasonably, and didn’t tend to cackle to himself or throw things. He had yet to invent a sentient anything and he could, unlike most of their new hires, actually socialize to save his life.

It might save his life, around her. Usually the guards shot indiscriminately because they were pretty certain none of the scientists were actually human.

“Got to see what?” Cara carefully closed down her workstation and locked her case, leaving her intern Martin to finish his half of the project.

“We’ve got to call the boss, first.”

“No, no.” Alex shook his head. “Let us check things first. Trust me, you don’t want to get the boss involved before his first cup of coffee.”

“Well… all right. Look at this.”

“It looks like…” Cara frowned. “Hrrm. Your degree is in retromechanics, isn’t it?”

“My first doctorate.” He nodded distractedly; he was still tinkering with some long length of copper tubing. “My second is in sociology; it’s how I got this position. And now!” He came up, pointing another long tube at the two of them. The end of it flared into some sort of funnel.

Cara reached for the disintegrator she always carried at her hip; Alex’s fingers danced a warning pattern on his invisible keyboard. “Put the weapon down, Archie. We don’t want to hurt you.”

“Weapon?” He laughed. Not a cackle, thank the formulae. Just a laugh. “No, no. This is no weapon. It’s a sin detector.”

“A… sin…”

“Detector! Yes. See, looking at you, Cara, I can see that you have engaged in…”

Cara and Alex added murder to their sins before he finished the sentence, and swept up the dust before Liam had finished his coffee. “Sin detector.” Alex tch’d. “And I thought he had such potential.”

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