The Gobo Bride
a Lewis Gregory mystery
by Mason Adgett
An interspecies engagement,
A journey through the Space Machine…
A mystery spanning multiple star systems.
Reality 3V Private Investigator Lewis Gregory is hired to investigate the background of a wealthy alien who has become engaged to a famous human actress. An off-world case sounds like a grand adventure, but once they leave earth things turn deadly against a backdrop of interstellar civilization, online gaming, virtual reality and the constant fear of hackers threatening the safety of every species. How can our hero hope to unravel the threads that threaten THE GOBO BRIDE?
The Gobo Bride, has all the elements I have come to admire: a transcendent critique of the present day, an imaginative look into future technologies, a touch of moral high ground. Add to this mix, the adrenaline high of murder, romance, and intrigue; the color pallet of a distant planet’s terrain, the subtle evolution of the character of the two central figures, and you have the makings of a unique sci-fi thriller. Adgett promises to connect with a diverse audience: movie buffs, gamers, on-line addicts, sci-fi groupies, moralists, and all persons with a dislike or disdain for hackers.
If you like a little humor with your sci-fi you will enjoy this book.
“Do not move or you will be annihilated.”
I turned my head enough to see a weapon-laden security droid, the band of red light that served as its visual sensor oscillating with menace. Or maybe the menace was just implied by the large three-barreled laser gun that it had pointed at my head.
“You will enter Medical Bay 4A or you will be annihilated,” it instructed, or threatened if you went by digital tone of voice.
“What’s medical bay 4A?” I asked, feigning ignorance. “Isn’t it this one?” I wiggled at the door handle, a small part of me expecting immediate annihilation.
The bot didn’t answer but one of his barrels started to glow red and I heard a high-pitched humming. “Okay, okay,” I said, taking my hand from the door. I started to move slowly towards 4A, my hands by my ears. Its door opened automatically and inside I could see the surgery bots waiting expectantly. It seemed my only choices were being cut in half by a red laser or lying on that cot and having my head cut open.
I don’t know about you but to me it was an easy choice.
Halfway to the door of 4A I burst into a sprint, passing the door and ducking as quickly as I could below the level of one of the table bots. I had the vague hope maybe some of the stuff on the tables and counters was expensive enough that Kanstky wouldn’t really want it destroyed just to kill little old me. It was a vain hope. I felt a flash of heat and looked up to see a scorch mark in the wall only millimeters above my head. I huddled down even further but the table bot started to wheel itself toward the security bot and I was left with a difficult choice.
“Enter Medical Bay 4A or you will be annihilated,” the bot repeated, an extra layer of distortion adding an even more menacing dynamic. A sizzling sound followed and the laser must have hit the table bot, which wobbled and then stopped abruptly. I slid quickly away from it and crept around the workstations on the other side. The security bot started beeping loudly – an alarm, I gathered – which was very helpful as it helped me track its location while keeping out of sight. As it approached behind me I circled back to the security door that exited the lab. Of course it didn’t open, no matter how hard I stared at it and tried to gather my den. And believe me I tried.
But there really was no escaping this time. The bot finally came up behind me and I raised my hands in defeat. I surrendered too late. One of the barrels on his phaser glowed blue. A moment later I felt a searing pain in my chest.
I collapsed with barely enough time to regret the decisions that led to my death…