Response to my challenge: Harper + Trapped/ Claustrophobic
Definitely rated PG-13 for some innuendos that it's your brain concluding, not mine. Thanks to Keith RA DeCandido (Andromeda- Destruction Of Illusions) for giving such a wonderful allusion in the Sword of Terpsichore.
Harper just couldn't see any way out.
Many times in his life he had felt this way. In that god-forsaken hole of hades that was now the Earth, several times when he had nothing but his little spot on the Maru, or even out drinking on planet leave. Sometimes with women. Who was he kidding, especially with women.
He looked down. Nope, no change there. Maybe if he shifted things around a little. It was like working with a circuit that was about to blow up in his face. The right combination would defuse the situation. If he treated it as a dynamic parallel circuit, it would just be a matter of balancing the electrical potentials.
He thought about trying one combination, but in his mind sparks flew like showers. A second try and the short circuit occurred that much more quickly. On his third contemplated maneuver, he could visualize the entirety of Andromeda Ascendant vanishing in about 35 milliseconds. That was worse than feeling like he was in a one meter cubic box.
No, he thought. Circuit diagrams weren't the way to go here. Maybe if he visualized it as a physical problem, a series of interlocking cams. He knew a lot about breaking locks. There hasn't been an object in the universe that he couldn't work his way around. Not even the Sword of Terpsichore could have withstood his....
He was dithering, and time was running out. The walls started closing in on him. Only thirty seconds left.
He started to sweat, feeling like he was being crushed utterly. Sweating? What else did he sweat over?
What if he tried to manipulate the situation like he would a woman? He was an expert in so many things. Yes, that might work. He envisioned the layout before him as he would being alone with that someone special, just when things were cooking right. A little nudge there, a little bump there. It would come forth, and voila! He knew just what he had to do.
He took the third object from the right, and moved it two spaces to the left. Just like he would have with... what's her name. He leaned back in a chair, with a little self-satisfied smirk. "Let's see if you can top that one."
Rommie looked down for about a half a second, shifted her Queen diagonally one space.
"Checkmate, Harper. Again."
Three out of three. After all that, he came upon one fundamental conclusion, since if nothing else the Harper is good. The next time he built an android, he'd make sure to program in one very fundamental rule: When playing chess, let the Harper win. By LaughingVulcan
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