An Untidy Remark
Broughton Bay carefully maneuvered the flyer towards the Tower Bridge. A thin wire extended from the cockpit panel and led to a jack behind Broughton’s ear, carefully managing the guidance signals from his mind. The six insectoid landing gear of the flyer reached out at his behest and gently grasped the railing of the upper walkway.
Another successful landing, and perfect timing for it. It seemed all of London’s press waited with cameras rolling and flashes pulsing. Though the eight-meter wings of the flyer still fluttered, the cheering, shouting onlookers crowded in far too close. .
Broughton exited the cockpit and paused to look over his craft. The helium sack that lined the spine of the flyer, showed no sign of leaking. The sack alone wasn’t enough to keep it aloft. The wings completed the lifting work. Without both working, the flyer could not fly. He crawled down the ladder affixed to one leg and finally set foot on the tower bridge. The head of the flyer, mounted upon a jointed neck swiveled smoothly to nuzzle his shoulder. Broughton caressed the oh-so-critical sensory pad to soothe the nervous cyborg. Carefully, he stayed behind the complex jaws of the head.
He stood upon the provided podium, waved and smiled. Questions were hurled at him like machine gun fire. One question stood out.
“Melanie Hearns, Scientific American,” said an attractive reporter. “Why six legs when four will do? Why place a head on it? It’s a machine after all.”
“Well, as I’ve said before,” said Broughton. “The controls are highly complex. I needed the assistance of a living animal’s brain.”
“A dragonfly.” Many press members tittered in amusement. “Without the mechanically unnecessary limbs, the natural brain collapsed into confusion. So I added parts the brain understood. With a familiar set of limbs the brain felt comfortable and operated perfectly.”
Howard Dunnless-Gainesmore, the Member of Parliament who arranged the festivities, briefly hugged Broughton before pushing him aside. He grinned for the cameras.
“I’m so proud of the work Mr. Bay performed for my project! I’ve been involved since the very beginning.”
The last four months of the 5-year project, that is. His contribution was NOT insisting the police arrest Broughton after test flights.
“I knew the flyer would work from the outset!”
He joked with his friends that Broughton would likely kill himself
“I’ve contributed significant funds!”
Once, he purchased a greasy corned-beef sandwich for Broughton.
Dunnless-Gainesmore began walking towards the flyer, encouraging the press to follow. Broughton grabbed his arm. “Careful! Remember, that’s an animal’s mind controlling it.”
“A harmless dragonfly? Unhand me, sir!” scowled Dunnless-Gainesmore, whispering angrily. “I remind you, I am an MP. Our little arrangement with the police can change any moment!” He wrenched his arm away and idly patted the head of the flyer while mugging for the cameras.
The flyer notoriously hated being patted on its eyeballs. Thus, the sensory pad had been installed.
It spread its jaws wide…and bit the MP’s head off.
Before the blood finished fountaining from the ex-MP’s neck and the body hit the ground, the press rushed toward Broughton.
“Mr. Bay! Mr. Bay!” shouted Glenn Fibberall from the Daily Mail. “Why this unwarranted attack upon an MP? Why did it bite his head off?”
Broughton shouldn’t have said it.
He really shouldn’t have.
“His head? Well,” said Broughton. “I don’t think he was using it anyway!”
Dragonflies are beautiful and fascinating and utterly harmless to humans…That’s only because they’re small. In the insect world they’re voracious killing machines. They’re vicious hunters and their “appetite is bottomless.” I love dragonflies, but I still understand what they really are: http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazines/national-wildlife/gardening/archives/2014/dragonflies.aspx
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here to see what others wrote based upon the photo prompt above: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/sunday-photo-fiction-july-12th-2015/