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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 30: Protocol

“My child,” he remarked, “though our episode ends,

In the manner of men, I suggest we be friends.”

Dorothy Parker, Fable

A wretched Herpezoid pinned the man down and rared one of its massive claws back, talons ready to cut him open. The man’s blaster was not to be found near his person and he lamented this unusual lack of preparedness on his part. The claw came down only to be met with a powder blue energy ball. A minor explosion of green slime disintegrated the Herpezoid’s arm. The creature hissed and turned toward the source of the shot.

There stood Carrie. She fired more shots, at least half a dozen, into the monster’s body until it liquefied in an eruption of pond green yuck. The stuff splattered on the man, narrowly avoiding his mouth and eyes. He stood and looked at Carrie.

“Thank you, young lady.”

“Liz,” she muttered. “She…”

“Let me guess. She transformed into a monster.”

Carried barely nodded, mouth agape in horror. “How did you know?”

“It is my job to know.”

The girl walked to Spencer, who knelt with a vacant stare. “Is he okay?”

“Of course. Just part of my protocol, you understand. I shall have to do it to you, as well.”

“Please don’t.” The girl faced the man with fierce determination. “What about Carrie?”

“I shall tend to her as well. It’s part of my job.”

“What is your job?” Carrie asked the man, standing over Liz’s remains. “Can you teach me?”

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