image of cheetah robot from Wired
I was reading a bunch of gadget and tech blogs and magazines today. Sometimes the future is so weird and immediate that I don’t know how to process it. It’s not a matter of what’s possible or even what’s prototyped anymore as much as what’s popular. There are a million insane inventions out there (animalian robots, effective aqua cars, hibernation meds) that just haven’t been capitalized into existence. The only way I can process them is as science fiction.
This is a bit of flash fiction built around a few scientific discoveries and inventions. A few of the items, like the car, can be bought today. The rest is probably possible in a not so distant future. It’s set in the context of the Mexican drug war.
Carlos pulled out of the firefight, his right arm bloodied and mangled. Crouching behind the speckled concrete he tried not to panic. After the blunt force of impact he could feel the effects through his brain more than his body. He could feel the open wound, the cells dying like a browning apple. Got hit with some kind of calibre, he thought.
When the medic arrived the first thing he did was apply a breathing mask on Carlos. “Just breathe,” he asked. The hydrogen sulfide smelled like farts. Carlos was comforted and passed out.
The Python had a Corvette engine and it could really hammer on the water. The Rio Grande was perhaps not the best way to travel, but it cut the traffic and limited possible ambushes to RPGs fired from the banks. Frogmen, theoretically, but nah. Frida checked out Carlos. No pulse, no breath. Good. The hydrogen sulfide was working, binding is mitochondria in a controlled, healing sleep. The wound had stopped bleeding and Carlos was effectively dead. If they could get to the hospital on the El Paso side they could reanimate him in time.
Out of the corner of her eye Frida saw something moving on the river bank. ‘Stray dog or something’, she thought, but clutched her SCAR more resolutely. She saw the movement again. This thing was moving way too fast. ‘Oh shit,’ she thought. It was a fucking cheetah.
The Cartel had been using advanced robotics for a while to blow things up and generally cause havoc, but these cheetahs were much more terrifying that the usual rolly beasts. It was a robot built on a flexible spine of carbon fibre, capable of doing 35 MPH at a sprint. Which looked about right. They were still too far out for it to attack, but what was it doing out here? Frida checked the other bank for an ambush, but nothing. The cheetah stopped.
Just as quick a water skimmer jumped off its back and into the water, then another. ‘Double shit,’ she thought, and loaded a grenade onto her assault rifle. She cocked and waited for the things to get in range. At the first fire she realized this may cause problems. The thing was laden with some heavy explosive that both waked the boat and almost hit it with what looked and smelled like burning death. She quickly steadied, cocked and took out the last one, the recoil and violent rocking knocking her on her back.
As they pulled off she could see the residue still burning as the sun set on the Rio Grande. They were almost at the hospital and Carlos would be safe on the 7th floor, surrounded by armed guards and the secure elevator. Frida just didn’t count on the geckos.