The Universal Mechanic

The android picks up the projector in his shiny elementium hand and sighs as he turns it on again to peer deep into the star rich cosmos. The image is unchanged from the last time he checked.

Meaning he failed at his one task.

His job is a simple one. Maintain life in the universe and he does, normally, but just this once he was distracted and a comet got through.

With his free hand he aims a gyroscope at a spot millions of light years deep inside the projection and hits the trigger.

The gyroscope hums to life sending a small red beam of light to a planet travelling sixty-seven thousand miles per hour around a yellow dwarf star.

The brown clouds of dust and debris encasing the planet begin to clear. What once was rich verdant vegetation is now a shell of dead foliage covering trillions of tons of rotting lizard meat.

The sentient mechanic removes his trembling finger from the gyroscope trigger and the red beam disappears. He lets the projection collapse also.

Maybe it’s completely natural his second act with sentience is make an excuse, which is that someone else should’ve been watching radical ice chunks.

Either or, it doesn’t matter. The very things he was programmed to keep alive, are dead.

He reactivates the projection and magnifies the planet searching for hope and spies a feasting rodent.

He feels relief.

Maybe the thing won’t amount to much, but at least he hasn’t failed completely.

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