rix_scaedu (rix_scaedu) wrote,

Looks Like A Beetle

I wrote this to ankewehner's prompt "Shiny Beetles." It came in at 353 words.

“Perhaps it was a Christmas beetle,” suggested Gianni. “Professor Tama has been doing a lot of work with those. Their stockholdings were practically undamaged and he’s been able to resurrect almost the entire genus in the original.”

“I know what a Christmas beetle looks like,” Greta told him. “Probably better than you do. Their base colour is yellow/gold. These things were silver.”

“Could be a new one or a completely different genus,” pointed out Gianni. “I heard Professor Tama has some students looking into staghorn beetles.”

“Those are black,” pointed out Greta. “Really, Gianni, sometimes I wonder about you.”

“I can’t do, so I audit,” he shrugged. “It’s my job to ask critical questions and point out flaws. Wouldn’t be the first time someone resurrected something with the wrong colouration. Or worse,” he added reflectively.

“I associate silver with machines more than animals,” said Greta, “and I know that’s an assumption of mine. Speaking of assumptions, Marta told me that you made a fairly big one about Millan.”

Gianni blushed. “I did the reading and then I apologised to Millan and to Marta both. But, back to those silver beetles, did any of the intrusion detectors go off?”

“Well, no,” answered Greta. “Why would they, for a beetle?”

“After the incident in Professor Formora’s lab two years ago, all the detectors are supposed to go off for any lifeform not registered to the lab they’re setup in.”

“So,” said Greta slowly, if our intrusion alarms are working, and I did see something, then that something wasn’t alive?”

“Exactly,” agreed Gianni. “Let me talk to a few people.


Later there was a meeting in a service room for one of the laboratory complexes. “We have traps in the ducts to and from Professor Tama’s labs,” said Nicholle from Maintenance, “because of his subject matter. After Gianni spoke to us, we checked them and found this,” she showed them a tiny, silver, beetle-shaped object mired in the gluey trap. “It’s definitely mechanical and it’s never been alive.”

“So, where’d it come from?” That was Greta.

Professor Tama added, “And why was it sent here?”

Tags: afterwhen, gianni, greta, laptop funding1, professor tama, prompt request 150613
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