Photo by: Mikhael Sublett

It seemed smart to employ, Dali, the alien robot. It was a great security guard, but then it smashed through several paintings while apprehending art thieves.

“You fool!” shouted Paul. “That Cezanne cannot be replaced!”

“Yes it can,” said Dali. It emitted a cloud of nanos which flowed over the painting. In mere minutes, an undamaged version rested beside the original.

“But that’s only a cheap copy!” moaned Paul

“Accurate on the molecular level. Indistinguishable from the original.”

Paul’s mind spun. “An expert wouldn’t be fooled?”

“Not even with an electron microscope.”

“So…how many more can you make?”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/12/11/13-december-2019/

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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32 Responses to Opportunity

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    I see dollar signs flashing before his eyes! Good luck with the new book, added to my ‘to read’ list, look forward to getting round to giving it a look.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trentpmcd says:

    Ho w many people can he sell the new painting to? Oh well, he only needs to make one more – one to sell and one for himself…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. draliman says:

    It seems Dali came with some unexpected extra functionality 🙂


  4. Joy Pixley says:

    Paul has discovered another sneaky use for nanobots! It might make him a lot of money… assuming he doesn’t get caught.

    I was dealing with this same issue from a magic perspective a while ago: if a spell in my magic system can mend a rip in your pants or put a broken mug back together, can it repair or restore artwork or other designs? What about a book? The problem is that the “magic” — or here, the nanos — can only observe the part of the design that’s currently undamaged, and has to extrapolate what to do with the missing pieces. For something simple and symmetrical like a mug, that’s not a problem. But for something missing design elements, I figure that the magic user must use their own artistic style to fake it — and if they aren’t artists, it’s going to look like crap. And the more minor the damage, the closer it will look to the original.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yep. He’ll get money quick, but then he’d better disappear to the Bahamas. You make an excellent point about the use of nanos and magic. Both produce results that are very similar. I think you’re right that these swiss-army knives of SF&F should have caveats. I expect rules for such things in science fiction and in magic. If I wasn’t constrained to 100 words, I would address such things. In my new book, The Huralon Incident, I present a society where medical nanites are freely available. People can and do change their appearance as easily as changing hairstyles. But this is too easy, right? When a criminal on the run needs to change his appearance, he cannot attend an accredited clinic, and must go to a black-market quack. He ends up with terrible problems as a result. I’m still trying to be careful with nanos in the long form. They solve big problems, but I believe they should offer different problems when used.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Good point – if technology doesn’t have limits, it ends up with the same problems as magic systems without limits. And if you can literally do anything, any time, that might be great for you, but it’s not so great for story conflict!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah ha! He’s found another use for the robot. Fun take on the photo prompt.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James McEwan says:

    I liked the humour. There was just one flaw in this devious plan, making lots of the same copy would be noticed very quickly. You need to train Dali to produce original pieces of art, you know those long lost paintings from a range of artists.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      You’re right. After he had sold a few, word would get around and some very unkind people would soon be visiting Paul. If Paul were clever, he’d train Dali as you said, and he could just keep doing it. Great thoughts. Thanks James!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. MythRider says:

    Ingenuity makes the world go around.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pennygadd51 says:

    Your story made me chuckle – thank you! And I love how you’ve named the robot ‘Dali’!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. granonine says:

    And an art criminal is born. Amazing how quickly that happened 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Eric,

    From pursuing art thieves to becoming one it seems. Dali’s a great robot to have though. Clever you.



    Liked by 1 person

  11. msjadeli says:

    Sharp take on the prompt, Eric. Where do I order one of those alien robots?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dale says:

    Funny how this suddenly became a business venture.
    That was fun, Eric.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heh! Could you get Dali to make three or four Mona Lisas please? And send them my way. It’s – er – so I can get a better look at the ‘original’ than I did one time in Paris when the gallery was jammed with tourists, and I was at the back. Honest! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, I love this! A quick move from despair to opportunity grabbed.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lyn says:

    LOL “Kaching!!!” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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