Author : Gray Blix

It had been nearly a year since he’d brought a girl home, and his heart raced as he fumbled in his pocket for keys.

“Need help?” she asked, groping in the general area of his pocket.

Her face so close, he couldn’t help but say, “You’re beautiful.”

“You don’t have to say that, hon, I’m already here.”

“No, really,” leaning in for a kiss.

Backing away, “Not yet, mister, not until I see some green.”

“Right, of course.”

Inside the door, pulling off each other’s clothes, they stumbled onto the couch.

“Mine or yours?” he asked.

“I only trust mine.”

Opening her bag, she removed a device about the size and shape of a hair dryer.

“Better do me first, while you can,” he said.

She pressed the icon for Male on the touch screen, and a concave-sided probe emerged from the business-end of the device. Placing it on his…

“Ouch,” he said, as it pricked and captured a sample of blood along with flora and fauna on his skin.
“Poor baby.”

At the tone, she lifted the probe, which retracted, and seconds later Decider Headquarters transmitted a 24-hour clearance for his DNA, signified by a green light.

He was relieved, too relieved, it turned out.

She pressed the Female icon, and a smooth-sided probe emerged.

Reaching for the device, he offered, “Do you want me to…”

“NO! I’ll do it,” she said, carefully inserting it.

She gasped as the samples were obtained. At the tone, she withdrew the probe, which retracted, and this time a flashing green light conveyed both her clearance and DHQ approval for the couple to have coitus.

“We’re good to go, hon,” returning the device to her bag.

Looking down, “Uh, how ’bout we just snuggle awhile?” he said.

At DHQ headquarters across town, a prisoner peered out of a window to a chamber within which he was strapped to a chair.

A technician made final adjustments. “It’s calibrated. We’re good to go.”

An interrogator looked in, “For the last time, did you murder your mother-in-law?”

Desperately, via a tinny speaker, “Like I told you a million times, no, NO!”

They all looked toward a panel on the opposite wall. Seconds later, a red light shone brightly.

“Sorry, pal, it’s out of our hands,” the interrogator said, covering his eyes as a white flash rendered the prisoner’s body lifeless and smoldering.

Elsewhere in the capital, deep below the White House in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, two dozen people sat in silence, staring at a green light flashing on a device at the center of a conference table.

“We cannot… I cannot allow a computer to make this decision, to send us into all-out nuclear war.”

“But, Mr. President,” reminded the Secretary of Defense, “Congress has explicitly ceded to this computer the responsibility to analyze data, to declare an existential threat to our country, and to decide when and how our military should respond. It is your responsibility as Commander in Chief to carry out that response.”

“Not when it means the mutual destruction and death of…”

“We’ve gone over this for hours,” interrupted the Vice President, “and all of your points have been thoughtfully considered by us and by the The Decider. I regret to inform you that it has declared you mentally impaired and that I am assuming your powers and duties as Acting President.”

He motioned Secret Service agents to remove the President from the PEOC.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, green flashes reflecting in his eyes, rose to his feet.
“Mr. President, are we…?”

“Yes, we’re good to go.”