John S.

Come Again?

“You must stop this work at once! If not, I will destroy you!” announces the robot that appears out of thin air.

“Why? Who sent you? In only a few days, I will find the meaning of life!” shouts Colin.

“William, a genius of the future, sent me!” proclaims the robot in a monotone voice.

The robot has a hunched stance, a large mechanical claw on one arm, a thick PCV pipe on the other. It seems to Colin as if the robot isn’t made well because it squeaks when it walks, and it is quite large and bulky. Out of the robot’s PVC pipe hand shoots a red laser. Colin dodges it in a flash and uses his anti-gravity gun to push the robot into the junk chute that leads to the trash compressor. Following the ordeal, Colin cleans his massive metallic laboratory so it shines in the dungeon-like darkness. Colin is an irrational man, wearing all black and never trying to create friendships with people. With deep circles under his eyes, a pale skin tone, and long shaggy hair, Colin looks as if he has risen from the dead. He also has an obsession with cleanliness, hence why he cleans his laboratory so much. He freezes all of his food and overcooks it as well to stop any chance for his food getting infected with bacteria. He has anti-bacterial soap in every room of his house and wears plastic gloves when he leaves his house. Moving between rooms in a surge of anger, he pushes all of the little trinkets that have been collecting an unusual amount of dust off his cherry wood desk in his personal library. “Why would someone from the future send an assassination machine to seek my destruction?” he screams out in a musty voice, making an echo through the bookcases. He is so close to finding the cure to the growing heart disease epidemic. He can’t possibly comprehend why someone wants him dead, especially when no one really knows that he’s on the verge of discovering a successful treatment for the spreading illness. The next day at the bi-monthly gathering of heart disease-specialists, Colin presents his works for the first time. Colin doesn’t care about the approval from others. His ambition for knowledge and thirst for discovery is only set into motion if he thinks it will benefit himself in some way. He only wants fame, fortune, and achievement. Yet, his selfish attitude makes it impossible for him to have fame. It is the first time he is showing his work on heart disease to others, but he shows very little of his work, for he doesn’t care if anyone else understands his progress. He only goes to the meetings to exploit the other scientists’ work. While attending this meeting, he discovers the crucial ingredient that will complete his medicine for treating heart disease. A major protein supplement is all it needs. For the next week Colin locks himself in his laboratory, working day and night, hoping to complete his heart disease medicine. He finally completes making his medicine. It is comprised of microorganisms that target the disease and a supplemental protein to kill off the organisms once the treatment is done. He sells his drug everywhere and makes as much profit as he can. After a month, he starts getting complaints from family members of the people who used his drug. They think it kills the users. Upon further investigation, Colin sees that his medicine is killing more than half of the users. He reviews his ingredients and immediately sees what he did wrong. For the first time in his life he feels sympathy for others and feels a need to help the people who are dying from his medicine. The microorganisms are pathogenic and if not controlled spread very easily. He can think only of one possible solution: build a time machine. He can then use the time machine to send someone or something back in time to stop himself from completing his work before it is too late.


Copyright 2002-2007 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2007 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.