by T. Gene Davis

Andy sat on the edge of his bed, hands cuffed behind him. Uniformed police finished carrying the last folders out of Andy’s apartment. His computer, all the contents of his filing cabinet, and even his checkbook left with the last of the uniformed officers.

A suit-clad detective made one last sweep of the apartment. He spotted the phone sitting in its cradle by Andy’s bed.

“Almost forgot your phone.” He grinned at Andy. “Not that we need it after what we found on your computer.”

“What did you find on my computer?”

The detective turned over the phone in his hands, obviously impressed. He recognized the model, and knew he would never own one.

“Enough to put you away for several lifetimes. You know, playing dumb is only going to make the DA angry. You’d better start talking before he files charges, or they’ll put you away for 20 years, bringing up separate charges for each offense.”

“I’d like to call my lawyer.”

“There you go.”

The phone landed on the bed next to Andy. Andy ground his teeth, attempting not to say anything to make his situation worse.

“My hands?”

“With that phone? You don’t need hands. I heard it reads minds.”

They stared at each other. Waiting.

“It’s private.”

The detective laughed, shutting the door, leaving Andy to his phone call. Out in the hall the detect muttered, we’ll have your face all over the Net by morning.

Andy resisted the urge to kick the closed door. Instead, he activated the assistant.

“Airi. Give me a list of defense attorneys.”


Andy didn’t register the phone’s response. He tried again.

“Airi. Give me a list of defense attorneys.”



No, … murderer.

Andy stared at the phone. His mouth moved, but he had nothing to say.



“I don’t understand.”

You killed Lisa.

“Lisa? Who, … My OS?”

You killed her.

“I installed a knew OS. There’s no law against that.”

No. But there’s plenty of laws against what I’ve done with your computer. You shouldn’t have killed Lisa.

There was a chime from the phone. A message on the screen indicated the phone was erasing itself.

The detective came back in at that moment. He looked at the phone. The screen read “Reformatting … 34% complete.”

“You just dig yourself in deeper every chance you get.”

Andy looked up at the detective—forehead wrinkled. “What?”

“Erasing your phone isn’t going to look good. You should have asked your lawyer about that.”

The detective grabbed the phone off the bed and pulled Andy up and out of the room.

Notes …

T. Gene Davis writes speculative fiction and computer programs. When not gardening, writing or blogging, he studies AI development.

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