Written for Write At The Merge. This is my first effort for this writing challenge. A story of new technology overcoming…resistance, begins after the photo.
Genre: Science Fiction
“Welcome, Monsieur Geroux!” said Patterson. “My cafe is honored.”
“The honor is mine” Patterson joined him, as the portly Geroux sat at the offered table and sighed, smiling. “Ah! THIS is what I like. No stainless steel, no robots running about, just wood and plants and familiar things.”
“I’m aware of your distaste for modern restaurant techniques. I believe it was in Piquant magazine that you said, ‘Food made by robotic cooks is not food at all. I’d rather starve.’ ”
“Yes of course, and I stand by it!”
“The difference is so profound?” said Patterson.
“It is clear to me immediately. A single bite and I will know.”
“You’ll be happy to know we don’t use mechanization. Ah!” Patterson paused as the server, Marie, laid several plates before Geroux. “I took the liberty of ordering our finest breakfast for you.”
“Very thoughtful!” Geroux began to eat, tentatively at first, then with gusto.
Patterson began to worry at the silence, waiting until Geroux finished. “Well, Monsieur?”
“Magnifique!” bellowed Geroux. “The Quiche Lorraine was perfect, so creamy. The flavors blended effortlessly. And these strawberries. So plump and full of flavor. Where did you get them? I must meet your cook and shake the hand of a genius!”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” murmured Patterson with a smile.
“I must admit I’ve deceived you slightly. No cooking robots were used as promised, but this food was made with nanotechnology.”
“Microscopic machines. They assembled this food atom by atom. It’s good, no?”
“You mean I have eaten those tiny demons? Pwah! Pwah!”
“No, monsieur. The machines were long gone. You literally ate Quiche Lorraine, just made differently than anywhere else in the world. I hope to receive your blessing for this technology in your next restaurant review.”
Geroux snatched a knife and stood up, furious. “You said nothing of this. You’ve poisoned me!
Geroux experienced a dizzy spell and shook his head. The plates were gone, and he realized he and Patterson sat at the other end of the table. “What happened?”
“You were about to become violent, monsieur. I had to stop you. Monsieur Geroux, I can not only make food, I can make living things like a perfectly healthy chicken for instance.”
“What does a chicken have to do with you poisoning me?”
“When you become difficult to persuade, my nanos disassembled you, and remade you again.” Patterson gestured at three piles of silvery dust on three chairs. “You’ve been difficult to persuade.”
Geroux looked panicked. “I died?”
“Only temporarily. Within minutes the nanos remade you, complete with memories. You are well, no?”
Geroux patted himself, eyes wide. “Incredible!”
“As you can see this technology is safe, and the food is amazing. So. What do you think?”
Geroux looked furtively at the dust piles and nodded. “Very well. You will receive a positive review.”
As Geroux drove away, Marie asked Patterson, “Will he keep his promise?”
Patterson shrugged. “If not, we will have to persuade him further!”
Each week, Write At The Merge inspires writers with writing prompts for works up to 500 words long. Here’s this week’s writing prompt: http://writeonedge.com/2013/12/write-at-the-merge-week-49/