Cornering the Market
Danielle could easily hear the music from the ice cream truck. It played that same discordant melody that could grab your attention from anything. If Dad was watching the NBA Playoffs too loudly, it still could be heard. The song could cut through any white noise; frying chicken, children’s TV, or dryers warming tennis shoes. If you thought elevator music was banal, well, listen to an ice cream truck and you’d realize even Muzak has something to look down upon.
When the ice cream truck neared her house, Danielle stopped beside her front door. She picked up a 4-foot long tube that looked impressively like a mailing tube for large documents. She stepped outside as the truck stopped and neighborhood children began to gather beside it. Danielle walked up to it and eyed the ice cream man carefully. Sometimes, they really were what they seemed to be.
It happened so fast, most people would never see it. That characteristic triple-blink gave them away every time. The androids of the Anjulatti Federation needed to upload to the server cloaked in orbit. It interrupted normal functions for an instant, and produced that tell-tale triple blink.
The ice cream man handed out ice cream cones. “Make sure you eat that gooey middle. It’s SO yummy!”
Danielle knew exactly what that was. The gooey center was loaded with microscopic machines. After eating it, the nanites would reprogram the children’s brains, making them love ONLY Anjulatti Federation ice cream. A blatant ploy at cornering the ice cream market.
Children weren’t going to be programmed like THAT in her neighborhood, not on her watch. She pressed a hidden panel on the tube. Status lights lit up and a handle with trigger moved into her hand. She raised the tube and aimed.
The ice cream man saw the movement. He knew instantly he was trapped, unable to stop her. “Until we meet again, Hunter,” he glared.
Danielle fired and the entire truck glowed with shimmering light. It collapsed suddenly, taking the ice cream truck with it. The light shrank to a pinpoint, and it winked out.
The nearby children collapsed into unconsciousness. Most humans couldn’t handle the wave effects of a multi-singlet baryon-collapser field. The kids would be fine, she knew. They’d wake up in a few minutes, remembering nothing.
She returned inside and put the tube back in its place beside the door. Her husband, Frank saw her.
“Honey? What’re you doing?”
Danielle pointed a thumb over her shoulder. “Anjulatti Federation. Trying to reprogram the kids.”
“Yep. How’s it going?”
Frank’s left pinkie twitched three times very fast, uploading to the cloaked server in orbit. “Still programming the nanites. They’ll be ready soon.”
“Good.” Danielle sat on the couch and plugged a power cable into her wrist. “I’ve got the gooey centers for our ice cream truck ready. It won’t be long before the United Provinces of Inrajashan have properly cornered the ice cream market!”
It’s Sunday! It’s that special time when good little writers write flash fiction based upon the photos of Alistair Forbes. This is my story, answering the photo prompt above. Look here for more stories: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/sunday-photo-fiction-may-17th-2015/