Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about an intelligence coup and a terrible breach of confidential information, begins after the photo.
Genre: Speculative Fiction/Espionage/Humor
Ernest sat by the fire where his old bones could stay warm. A tartan blanket was spread across his legs. He carefully balanced a plate on his lap and took another bite of piroshki. He closed his eyes in bliss. Nothing tasted like his great-grandmother’s recipe. Though the savory pastry had become popular in America, none of it could match the flavors so expertly crafted from the old world. And nothing in Europe came close to Patrycja Prusinski’s Pirozhki. He’d made his by hand with a carefully preserved copy of the recipe. It was perfect. Ernest took a last bite and groaned in epicurean bliss. After a few minutes of “afterglow,” he looked across the small apartment and sighed. He didn’t feel like going back to his fusion power design work just yet. Instead, he sat up and turned on BBC CNN. He was just in time for the announcement.
NanoDynamics says a fusion power cell, small enough to fit inside a wristwatch, may become available as early as 2027. Lead engineer, Ernest Prusinski, claims to have a working prototype in use now. This remarkable innovation is expected to make NanoDynamics the world leader in power generation.
As the TV flickered, something caught his eye. Above the little table beside the kitchen, he saw a tiny movement. It drifted down from the orange lights of the chandelier. The spider was huge. Its body was the size of a small cell phone. It settled upon the small table by the kitchen. It skittered across papers covered in complex diagrams and writing in technical jargon. As it walked, tiny flashes flickered from its nano-cameras. “Russia,” murmured Ernest, his eyes wide.
In time, the spider reeled itself back up to the chandelier and disappeared in a hole. Quickly, Ernest pulled out his cell phone and called his contact at the CIA. They would arrive soon, but precious minutes ticked by. While Ernest waited, a silkworm rappelled down to the table and took its own photographs. “China,” winced Ernest. More nano-robots followed: a scarab beetle, a moth, and a slender snake.
At last, Ernest answered a knock at the door. He ushered in Agent Margolis and took him to the table covered in documents. “They took pictures!” wailed Ernest. “They got everything.”
Margolis looked over the papers with pictures and terminology he couldn’t fathom. “Good God, Prusinski!” he scowled. “How could you leave technical documents laying around in the open? Did they get the schematics?”
“They did,” he moaned. “I saw nanobots from Russia, China, and Iran. Now everyone knows the secret!”
Margolis face-palmed and groaned, “You realize what this means?”
“I do! Now even China can make great-grandma Prusinski’s Piroshki!”
Here’s a picture of it:
Each week, Alastair Forbes covertly leaves a photo at dead drop in Westminster. In turn we collect the picture and write flash fiction based upon it. Okay…maybe a exaggerate a little about the dead drop. Join us…if you dare to accept the assignment. Look here for more stories based upon the photo above: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/sunday-photo-fiction-november-9th-2014/