The Uplift Dog
As the sun slipped down behind the parking garage, Jeremy smiled. It was almost time. “That’s a beautiful sunset,” he said.
The Labrador dog sitting beside him on the hillock nodded and said, “It sure is. I love sunsets.”
Jeremy smiled at the Uplift Dog, Marquez. The canine superior’s head was slightly elongated to house a larger brain. His vocal chords had been modified to permit speech. For the most part, he looked like a regular dog. Before genetic uplift modification Labradors were great service dogs, assisting the blind and the infirm, now they were the best companions money could buy.
The animals were surprisingly smart, but luckily not too smart. Jeremy intended to send Marquez on a suicide mission. Too much understanding of the bombs strapped to his sides and the animal might balk. Even better, dogs had no understanding of espionage, so government agents couldn’t use them to infiltrate Jeremy’s terrorist cell. Being only smart enough, Uplift Dogs were the perfect suicide bombers.
But Marquez was the latest breed of Uplift Dog, and sometimes Jeremy worried that he too intelligent. It was Marquez who suggested the the command word that set off the bomb should be “Carpe Diem.” Where and why did a dog learn Latin? It was Marquez who insisted on a radio so Jeremy’s voice who could set the bomb off in case Marquez forgot the trigger word. Jeremy never intended for Marquez to survive the blast. Fewer witnesses, fewer troubles. So Jeremy agreed immediately. Still, it seemed like an unusually smart idea. How intelligent was Marquez?
A few minutes later, Marquez set off for the parking garage. The ten pounds of C-99 in his saddle bags could easily level the parking garage. Thousands of workers returning to their cars from work at the UN Building would die.
Marquez kept stopping and looking back as he ran across the field to the garage. Obviously the simple creature desired approval. Jeremy flashed a thumbs-up and turned away. He had time for a stim-stick until Marquez was in position. Jeremy got halfway through his drug of choice before he wondered why the damned dog wasn’t ready yet. Just then, the radio crackled to life.
“Hey Jer!” said Marquez over the radio. “What was that code word again?”
Jeremy looked through the binoculars and found Marquez looking out from the first floor of the parking lot. Why wasn’t he in the right position? “Well, it’s Carpe Diem, you idiot! Get in position!”
A loud beeping began from ten feet away. Jeremy turned and saw the charges. The damned dog had circled back and dropped the explosives next to him! Worse, he’d gotten Jeremy to say the codeword and activate the bomb!
Jeremy turned and glared at the Uplift Dog through the binoculars. The last thing he ever saw on Earth was Marquez, Terrorist Cell Infiltration Specialist, waving goodbye to him.
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Each week, Alastair Forbes offers an original photo as a prompt for this weekly writing challenge. Look here to see what other folks wrote: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/sunday-photo-fiction-june-21st-2015/