by Mimi Nutter, on one of her saner days
Ah, Agent. Hello. I’m not usually allowed to interface with Agents. Admin says I upset them. They seem to object to my eminently practical additional limbs and the fact that I never blink. They say I am off-putting. Silly, of course, but there you are.
But enough about me. You are the really important thing at the moment. Correction: you are not important; the important thing is the data that my department could cull from you. We in Experimental Tech put a lot of time and effort into developing gadgets for you Agents to use. We give blood, sweat, and tears to our projects. Frequently literally. And then these gadgets are given to Agents, who do not use them.
Agent, do you wish to stand in the way of Progress? Of course you don’t.
So go ahead and press that button. Don’t do it for me: do it for Science.
Yes, yes, we know our gadgets are usually untested when they are given to you. This is not our fault. In the gloriously barbarous Past, of course, we would have had access to various interesting animals to test these things on. Perhaps even a convict “volunteer” or so. Or some college students who really, really need the money. But alas! Times change. Now, animals, convicts, and college students are all listed on our Department-wide restraining order. We aren’t allowed to scuttle within 50 feet of any of them. Nor can we make them little gifts and arrange that they find them. Nor can we send them disturbing dreams telling them what they must do in order to ensure that the march of progress doesn’t stumble. Our restraining order is an astoundingly comprehensive document. We hadn’t even thought of that last one, and now it is
barred to us forever. We are, frankly, rather impressed.
But you, Agent. You who are about to die, we at Experimental Tech salute you! We also have some lovely parting gifts for you. Do use them.
The pride and joy of our Department, and the device you Agents seem most reluctant to use, is the Spot Remover. If you are in a Spot, this elegant little device will Remove you. We can’t promise that it will deliver you back to The Lighthouse, of course. It may deliver you into the rocky heart of a mountain, or into the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Then again, it may simply Remove you. Blot you out. Re-weave Time itself such that you never existed.
This is why we need you to press that button, Agent. We need to know what happens next.
ADDENDUM from Legal Dept.
In accordance with Paragraph 5 of Clause 37B of the Inter-Lighthouse Legal Code, which states that no Agent may be unknowingly brought into contact with Hugo Makewar or with any of his goods and chattels, we are bound to disclose the following:
The Spot Remover was developed from tech recovered from Hugo Makewar.
In accordance with basic Humanity, which the Legal Dept. has not entirely lost, we add the following rider:
We do not recommend using the Spot Remover. Also, we warn you that using it voids your Health Coverage, and that, should you use it and somehow be recovered, you will be “quarantined” for 60 days in the little cell in Experimental Tech’s horrible and dungeon-like lab.