Expert System

by Scott O’Neill


I get the others to stop whimpering so I can hear my smartwatch.

“sAIveME free expert system downloaded. Please summarise your crisis.”

“Class-Nine shuttlecraft. Drive damaged by hostile lifeforms. Pilot and engineer eaten by same. Nontechnical crew to repair drive for escape.”

“Acknowledged. Scan damage and available resources.”

I show my watch the engine and repair kits.

“Acknowledged. Processing.”

The others crowd around to stare in breathless hope at the crawling progress metre on my watch.

“Solution complete. In-app purchase required. Please tender twenty-nine credits.”

“Smartwatch, check balance.”

“Balance twenty-two credits.”

I’m still laughing brokenly when they come for me.


Scott O’Neill.

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. He likes technology a lot, but he thinks we trust it too much. He can be found on Twitter @wererooster.


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