The Compassionate Kill – The Speakeasy

The Compassionate Kill

BAE Cybernetic Systems: Model 2813/A
>system bootup: complete
>orders received
>Target: Brian Jeppeson a.k.a: The Buffalo
>Compassion Protocol: Active

***

Casper Conway, robotics expert, pushed aside the Fish & Chips in disgust and sipped his beer. Though the dark wood atmosphere of Townsend’s was intended to ease frayed nerves, it wasn’t working on him. “I hate this Compassion Protocol,” he groused. “It introduces unpredictable behaviors.”

Sir Prentis Hughes, Director of MI6’s Cybernetic Division, puffed amiably on a Cuban cigar. “Nothing to be done about it. You can’t nick 2 Billion pounds to build a robotic assassin and not have Parliament notice. The MPs only agreed to the idea if the mechanical killer could murder compassionately.”

“Compassionate murder? I don’t know what that means.”

“Understandable. Even so, I’ve read the reports from the device. Everything is going swimmingly. As long as the target is liquidated, it’s a victory.”

***

BAE Cybernetic Systems: Model 2813/A
>target acquired
>activating pheromone formula PX-547
>engaging

Brian was tense, always tense. Though half a world way Britain, danger lurked everywhere. Trying to relax, he sat in the Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, California savoring that singular American fascination: a hamburger. It tasted orders of magnitude superior to that McDonald’s shite, and their micro-brewed Titanium ale was excellent. Berkeley wasn’t too bad, noted the anti-government terrorist. It fostered alternative thinking, with people offering the Communist Newsletter freely. Despite the pleasant distractions, his mind still remained with the UK, and crushing its banking system before it drove the common people into oblivion.

About to take another bite, he froze, when she walked in. Strawberry-blonde hair flowed in torrents across her shoulders. Her cutoff Che Guevarra shirt revealed a lean, attractive midriff above a colorful peasant dress. She sat beside him and ordered in spanish-accented English. The scent of peaches and sandalwood, his favorites, wafted from her delicate shoulders. Brian couldn’t help himself, but soon she noticed him staring. Unoffended, she smiled and began to chat with him. He learned Damika was a student from Ecuador. While chatting, his omnipresent tension began to slip away and he found himself smiling easily, like a schoolboy with his first crush. She laughed often and easily, and before long she asked him to take her home with him. It wasn’t the first such offer he’d had. American girls were drawn to his British accent. Alarm bells tried to ring but they were dampened by the touch of her delicate hand.

As she entered his flat, his survival instinct overrode everything else. He slammed her against the door and placed a knife against her throat screaming, “Who do you work for? Who? Are you MI6?”

“I don’t know this, Emaye Sees! I don’t know her!” Tears flowed like waterfalls.

“I’ll gut you! I swear it!”

And then she did something completely unexpected…she sneezed.

Brian looked at her in shock. She’s about to die and she sneezes? The over-training of MI6 agents would never allow such a lapse of discipline. He dropped the knife and held her shaking body in his arms. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I had to know.”

When the sobs finally stopped she paused to stare into his moist eyes, and then she kissed him. Her passionate touch was like a bonfire in cold woods, a sunrise erupting over mountains, the scintillation of soft fur beneath the fingertips. They made love, first with heat and fury, finishing with soft caresses.

In the weeks that followed, they spent every moment together, enjoying the Sea Lions at Pier 39, fresh Oysters Fisherman’s Market, making love before the sunset at Big Sur. He felt a serenity with her he never imagined before. After a month, his contact finally called him. The hacker, who would help bring down the British banking system spoke in a simulated voice, but Brian barely heard it. Damika lay on the couch wearing only his tee-shirt, her legs propped open, erect nipples poking through the thin material. Her scent wafted to him. Entranced, he set the phone down without a word.

***

BAE Cybernetic Systems: Model 2813/A
>target termination: imminent
>Compassion Protocol anticipates target deceased in 47.3268 years

“The protocol is a disaster!” scowled Conway.

“Is it really?” said Hughes, setting down his brandy. “The Buffalo’s terrorist activities have ceased.”

“They’re getting married!”

“Happily, by all reports.”

Conway stalked off in a huff.

Hughes lit a cigar and mused. The Compassion Protocol contained flaws to be sure, but the result still felt good. Curiously, the rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.
______________________________________
Author’s Notes: BAE Systems is a real British company. They’re currently working on an electromagnetic naval Rail Gun for the US Navy. The Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley is a real place that makes fantastic hamburgers, and their Titanium Ale is awesome.

Written for the Speakeasy, a weekly writing challenge for flash fiction up to 750 words long. This week the sentence, β€œThe rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way,” must be the last line of the story. The original writing prompt may be found here: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-158-open/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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36 Responses to The Compassionate Kill – The Speakeasy

  1. List of X says:

    This method might be just a little too compassionate. I expect quite a few people would break the law just to get assassinated in this manner.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yes, the compassion protocol definitely needs some tweeking to get it right. It’s good thing that MI6 isn’t advertising how they do business with their new assassin. Their procedures could easily backfire. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • List of X says:

        It’s not at all unrealistic (especially in a sci-fi reality) to envision an Edward Snowden-like character working at MI6 πŸ™‚

        Like

      • EagleAye says:

        Yikers. If Edward Snowden worked there, he’d be a double-agent in no time, and everybody else would soon have their own compassionate, killer robot. πŸ˜‰

        Like

  2. annbennett says:

    Oh my, I really thought this was good and got a good chuckle about the assasination protocol in 47 years. Very creative,

    Like

  3. Lance says:

    Your creativity and style are off the charts here. This is the type of thing I would read, all of the time.

    Good dialogue, and great use of the prompt.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Wow, thank you for the wonderful compliments. I’m blushing. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the story. I hope I can live up to that every time. Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting! πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. peggyshope says:

    It seems you’ve done your homework, to set the scene and the background so realistically. This was highly entertaining, and as usual, your storytelling continues to amaze and impress me. Well done!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I used to live in Oakland, and I spent much of my weekends in Berkeley. Triple Rock was one of my haunts, Jupiter’s was another. I could go one for days about Berkeley. I’m so happy to hear you were entertained. Thanks so much for the kind words. I appreciate it a lot. Cheers! πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. jannatwrites says:

    Great story! Had to chuckle at the McDonald’s burger comment…I want the burger he was having! Interesting premise (talk about killing him with kindness!) It does seem the strawberry blonde is an excellent distraction for him, so maybe the compassionate protocol will be a success, so it’s an ingenious idea.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Their burgers at Triple Rock are some of the best I found in the entire SF Bay Area. Yum! In the end, the robot did achieve the desired goal, that of stopping terrorist activity, just not in the way anyone expected. I’m not sure how cost effective it is, but it certainly does work. Thanks so much for sharing your impressions, Janna. It’s always good to get a visit from you. πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Lyn says:

    This was a super story, Eric! Long live the Compassion Protocol! Good old MI6. Takes me back to the late 70’s and the Brit TV show, The Sandbaggers. An absolutely brilliant series that has never been bettered. I don’t think “C” would have been too pleased though. The head of MI6 has unofficially always been known simply as “C,” named after the first Director, Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming. The existence of MI6 was not officially acknowledged until 1994 despite being around since 1909. The creator of The Sandbaggers, Ian Mackintosh, was developing the fourth season of Sandbaggers at the time of his disappearance – the plane he was in disappeared over the sea between Russia and Alaska – however, after MacKintosh’s (apparent) death, the producers decided to end the series because they felt no one could write Sandbaggers as well as MacKintosh. LOL just a bit of trivia πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Oh how cool! I’ll have to see if I can find that. One of my favorite shows from the time was The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan. That show was absolutely brilliant, and it really spoiled me on most of TV ever since. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the BBC program, MI-5. Another excellent show about the intelligence services. I just loooove good spy programs whenever I can find them. I wonder whatever happened to MacKintosh. Did he guess to close to the truth, and had to be “disappeared?” I understand Jean Le Carre was the first to call CIA headquarters, “The Circus,” and ever since then it’s referred to this name by members of the actual intelligence community. Okay I’m rambling. Thanks so much for stopping in, Lyn. Always a pleasure. πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. Bastet says:

    What a delightful story! I’m really happy that instead of the usual liquidation, a new method of stopping crime and blood letting has been so brilliantly proposed…with the additon of proper failsafes as you mentioned above. lol,

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      It worked out pretty well, although not in the expected manner. It turns out she didn’t need to kill him, just make him fall in love and forget the ways of violence. I’m so glad you found the story delightful. It’s what I was hoping for. Thanks for reading and stopping to comment!

      Like

  8. Kir Piccini says:

    Makes me wonder if we should all threaten our lovers with death “to be sure” πŸ˜‰
    that aside, this was wonderful creative and fun to read. I could see each character, hear the miffed gruff of Conway’s voice.

    Compassion protocal…or LOVE for all intent and purpose is by far the most lethal for many of us. I am weak and limp, completely useless in its presence.

    nice, nice write.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      You’re right, the Compassion Protocol really amounts to offering love at the sacrifice of violence. It would be wonderful if all the world worked this way. Maybe some time in the future. If the greatest lethality in the world were a lover’s kiss, we’d all be a lot better off. πŸ˜‰ I’m glad you could visualize the characters, that’s something I’m always concerned about. Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. I really appreciate them. πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. atrm61 says:

    A happy ending?Yay! Loved the imagination(always love what you write Eric) and this time there was some rich sensual imagery to boot πŸ˜€

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Happy endings are my favorite kind. I try to have them as often as possible. Glad you enjoyed the imagery. This time I found the room for it in the word count so I took advantage of the moment. Thanks oodles for visiting Atreyee! Much appreciated. πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. Hi Eric- another great short story from your writing arm! Yes, the ‘killing with kindness’ protocol… πŸ™‚ I must confess, I always get the vague impression of British scientists as ‘boffins’, slightly eccentric types who come up with ideas for 2,000,000 ton aircraft carriers made of ice and wood pulp – and get taken seriously (I’m thinking Project Habbakuk and Geoffrey Pyke).

    I have a curious authorial Brit spy story. Arthur Ransome, kids’ author in the 1930s, spent much of WWI in Russia and after 1917 was very close to the top of the revolutionary heirarchy (he married Lenin’s secretary Evegnia, for instance). As I understand it, when he got back to Britain he was arrested by MI5, on the basis that he was a Soviet spy. But the charges were promptly dropped – what had happened was that MI6 had failed to tell their opposite numbers in MI5 that Ransome was working for them… absurd comedy of errors that almost blew his cover. Nothing has ever been confirmed since, but I figure his eventual and final departure from the USSR, surrepticiously by small boat at night through the Baltic, pretty much nailed what he was actually doing there.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! I’m actually familiar with the Habbakuk idea. It was certainly a crazy one. A number of people swear it would’ve worked. It would’ve been the strangest weapon of the war if it had.

      That’s a great story about Ransome. Thanks for sharing it. I’ve heard of such things before. MI5 and MI6 appear to be as uncommunicative as FBI/CIA, and it causes them to get in each other’s way more often than is comfortable. I think one of my favorite spy stories is The Man Who Never Was, where a corpse with secret plans for invading France during ww2 washed up on a French beach, exactly where the Germans would find it. This “imaginary man” had a complete background that the Germans were allowed to “discover.” A brilliant piece of spycraft. I’m sure you’re familiar with the tale. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your spy story. I loved it!

      Like

  11. It’s bits like this: “savoring that singular American fascination: a hamburger” that reel me in. And, I might have a bias, being from California and all. πŸ˜‰
    Cheers to another finely crafted story!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I’m glad that part worked for you. It felt good to add in more detail than I usually have room for in this. It’s good to know that folks enjoy that. I don’t know if you’re from NorCal or not, but if you’re ever in Berkeley, look up Triple Rock for great burgers & Micro-Brew or Jupiter’s for great pizza & Micro-Brew. And Pollos on Shattuck has the best Gyros in the SF Bay Area. Thanks much for the compliments and thanks for offering your thoughts!

      Like

  12. M. L. Sexton says:

    This was a great read!

    Like

  13. Suzanne says:

    I love this, Eric! Such a clever and creative use of the prompts. Compassion Protocol – what a fantastic concept with a truly satisfying ending. Oh, and now I really want to try that Titanium Ale. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you, Suzanne! I’m glad the ending satisfied. I was hoping for a fun, entertaining ending. And yeah, the Titanium Ale is one many brews they make that are a delight to the palette. Thanks so much for stopping in! πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. EditMoi says:

    Ha! You had me at fish and chips, although the Titanium Ale sounds very interesting. Are you working on your screenplay? One little edit, if you don’t mind: it’s a peasant skirt if it stops at the waist. My husband always makes that mistake too. I like this blog background.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Oh yes, fish & chips gets me every time too. Thanks for the detail about peasant skirts. I no fashionista (fashionisto?). Although I can tell you all about ion star drives and Rail Guns, I know bloody little about dresses. πŸ˜‰ I appreciate the tip! Glad you like the background. It’s a fractal, a graphic created by a computer program. Thanks so much for stopping in!

      Like

  15. Shey says:

    I like this compassion protocol and she still achieved her mission. πŸ™‚

    Like

  16. Shey says:

    The Bay area scenes esp Berkeley brings happy and relaxing memories too.

    Like

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