scottums (scottums) wrote,


A bit of flash fiction.  As always, leave comments.
It seems simple enough.  A bronze tube about a foot long.  Some flowing script in a foreign tongue etched in the side.  It looked like it wouldn't be out of place in an import shop selling fair trade bric-a-brac.  Of course, most of their merchandise isn't capable of killing through mystical and arcane means.  Those shops would a lot more popular.

My assistant was preparing the storage box for it to rest.  "The retrieval team showed me video of what happened.  Bainbridge actually melted.  It was right out of Indiana Jones."

I stared at him with disapproval, "While Bainbridge was a dangerous cult leader and a thorn in our side for quite a while, I don't think it's proper to watch his demise with a bag of popcorn."  

"Sorry sir," my assistant mumbled.  He then said, "But why did he did commit suicide?  His followers would have died defending him."

 "I don't understand."

 "Why didn't he use The Wrath of God on the team? I'm glad he didn't, but still…"

 "The Wrath of…"  I was trying to figure out what my assistant was talking about.  A not uncommon experience.  I realize his mistake.  "You use the computer translator again."

 "Well….." my assistant was defensive.

 "You cannot cheat in this line of work.  You must study and learn and think for yourself.  Your brain in your most important tool, not an AK-47, not tana powder, and not a computer."  I despair of this generation.

"So what is it called?"

"Apotheosis.  The computer probably thought 'pain' was meant as the pain of an enemy dying when it fact it is referring to pain as in labor pains."

"Wait.  You mean that," he pointed to the metal tube "can make you a god?"  My assistant eyes lit up.  Oh dear, I know that look. 

"It can and Bainbridge knew it.  He studied.  But his ego failed to see a basic requirement.  Most humans are sheep.  It's not their fault.  Life rarely calls on them to expand their horizons.  Even we can be a bit blinkered.  But Bainbridge thought he was the master of all he surveyed.  He thought all this would do was give him the power of a god.  He never thought it through.  It a shame, he had a good mind once."

My assistant's quizzical expression made me comment, "Much better than yours.  Can't you see the mistake?"


I sighed.  "Let's imagine that a man who has led a sedentary lifestyle, ate all the wrong foods, etc. was called upon to run the New York Marathon.  What would happen?"

"He's dropped dead." The light dawned for my assistant.  "So Bainbridge's mind wasn't ready for the godhead."

"Exactly.  Most people can barely handle being human.  Bainbridge was so bad at it, he thought being becoming a deity was the answer.  It is a shame, he did have potential."  I place the tube in the box and sealed it.

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