Art Huck–and, for that matter, his moll June, 24 years his junior–always seemed a little schizoid, arguing with themselves about decisions with any sort of ramifications. That was in full swing right now, with Art riposting with himself while riding bitch on Captain Ramirez’s motorcycle about the merits of opening fire on the fleeing forms of Rosie the robot hooker and her captive paramour Rich “The Bitch” Bichovic (LAPD badge number 1138) over one shoulder and Lawrence Wong, a Buddhist clergyman, over her other.

“Shoot her in the head, I invented her and it’ll slow her down! No, no. Just wing the Bitch and it’ll slow her down even better. No, we don’t want to hit him. But we don’t want to hit her either. Damn!”

Ramirez, wondering how the meaty slab of a passenger–and a known pimp at that–had goaded him into a ride-along in the sidecar of his ’28 Indian Chief cycle, snapped back: “I’m not shooting at anything! Say your stop word like you promised.”

As any good part-time mad scientist with a gynoid automaton should, Art had programmed Rosie’s difference engine to stop at the utterance of a specific word. But Art was also determined to see Rosie undamaged and her passenger–and his attempted murderer–laid out on a slab. He fumbled in his vest pocket for the .32 Iver Johnson break-action revolver, loaded with armor-piercing slugs, that he always kept on hand.

For her part, when Rosie had abandoned the bus to Reno after the police had blown out its tire on the side of the road, she’d had nothing on her mind but matrimony with a side of escape. With her beau in one hand and a priest in the other, all she needed was the rest of the wedding party. It was, after all, her day. But when she saw a roadside Woolworth’s, though, Rosie the Riveting made a sudden, and sharp, turn. Woolworth’s had everything, after all, including everything you needed for an impromptu wedding.

Captain Ramirez, shaken by the report of a pistol right next to his good ear, shouted at the small-time pimp and part-time mad scientist riding bitch in his sidecar to drop his weapon. Art argued with himself about it, but was largely drowned out by the roar of a Dusenberg V12 alongside–his wife, June Huck, behind the wheel. She’d caught up with her husband by stealing his car, and was shouting something about a safety deposit box. The bitch had been trying to get into it, to make off with Art’s nest egg, since he’d met her.

That was enough for him. He shouted out the safe word.

Rosie’s mainspring unwound, and her storage compartment–with a door located about where you would expect on a hooker automaton–sprang open. Every little thing Art had ever used her to hide, from weapons to diamonds to oil, splurted out. All at once.

The massive pile-up accident that followed went pretty much like one would expect.

Inspired by Fiasco by Bully Pulpit Games, specifically the Los Angeles 1936 playset.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!