Bewildering Stories

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Working with Moles

Eckerd Nemo

We were working with moles again, and it sure wasn't fun.

"Look, this is insane," I said. "A mole of moles? What kind of nonsense is this?"

Smith looked at me with a strange look on her face. "Look, that's what the order says. The Supreme Monarch ordered it. We do it. No questions, OK?"

"But the Supreme Monarch is eight years old!"

Smith turned at me again, obviously frustrated. "If the Supreme Monarch wants it, we do it!"

So we did it. We synthesized a mole of moles--all 6.02 1023 of them in the MegaVat.

"Where do we put them all?"

Smith exhaled in exasperation. "I could get you kicked out of the solar system, you know," she said. "For incompetency. For high treason. For questioning the demands of the Supreme Monarch."

I shut up.

"Damn it," Smith said. "Why did they put an eight-year-old kid in charge of the solar system anyway? Geez..."

I had recorded that. "I got you recorded and broadcast to the entire solar system network, Smith." She stared at me, and I'll never forget that look on her face. "For incompetency. For high treason. For questioning the rightful authority of the Supreme Monarch."

The doors opened, and two giant robots marched in and took Smith away.

I laughed.

Then I realized I still had a mole of moles to take care of.

Copyright 2002 by Eckerd Nemo.