Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

The prototype bodyguard robot stands over both of us, waiting for emergency services that will arrive too late.

“Git.” John’s voice is a whisper.

I’ve never seen anyone with an expression like his: confused and peeved.

Whilst the expression is novel, it is entirely justified. After all, I’ve just knifed him.

“I’d say I was sorry, but it’d be a lie. Instead, I’ll go with ‘I told you so’.”

The whisper is weaker, but suffused with anger.

“You stabbed me!”

“Five times, all perforating wounds. You’re a dead genius talking. Proven wrong in the most authoritative case of empirical testing for some while to come, I suspect.”

“Bastar- What?” His eyes widen as my words register with his fading consciousness.

“You wouldn’t accept that your design had a massive flaw. Most murders are committed by persons known to the victim. And, aside from America where they gun each other down over the slightest thing, the weapon of choice is a knife. Usually of a household variety.”

“I allowed for that.”

“No, you didn’t. You allowed for a ‘trusted friends’ list. You actually installed a single point of failure in a system where a single failure is one too many.”

“What are you blathering about?”

“Look, I know the light is dimming, but try to grasp this: most murders are committed by people known to the victim. Therefore, having a trusted list allows those most likely to kill you to bypass the bodyguard robot’s vetting. Darwin is turning in his grave.”

“Darwinism is some delusional justification?”

“Actually, I’m a sociopath. Justification is always a moot point. Anyway, the Darwin reference was to highlight the fundamental nature of your design flaw. It really is a dead-end feature for your creation. And, yet again, you failed to grasp that.”

“You utter nutter.”

“Really? I walk by your defender, get a knife from the kitchen, come back past it with a blade in my hand, then shiv you up and down. I thought you’d be grateful for the insight. Your bodyguard is, in effect, partially blind.”

“You killed me to prove a point? You’re crazy.”

I look down at the blood streaming from the smoking hole blown through my shirt and abdomen: “Says the man who ignored the obvious but programmed a ‘retaliate’ function in.”

Amusement glints in his eyes as he replies: “Fuck you.”

He dies. The grin remains after his eyes lose their vitality.