The Mercury Chip

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Al Forbes. Thank you, Al!

The ancient Romans had an interesting theory of communication. They believed that the wing-footed god, Mercury, used his spear to pull a message out of the head of one person and implant it in the head of another. I often wish I could call on him for this purpose, but alas, I have to rely on crude tools such as e-mail, twitter, hand-written sticky notes and this meager blog.

Still, I wonder what Mercury might do for human communication in the far-flung future….

Mercury al_forbes

The Mercury Chip

by Jan Brown

“How could the Senator die? I followed the downloaded instructions. My Mercury Chip received the new surgical procedures directly from the university. They have a zero-percent failure rate!”

“Yes, Doctor, but the program was hacked.”

“I thought the university’s firewall was impenetrable.”

“The hacker accessed the communication as it bounced off the satellite, before it reached the chip implanted in your brain. The wing-footed Mercury was simply too slow.”

“Who would do this?”

“The Pro-Human Party. The Senator is sponsoring legislation to grant robots civil rights.”

“So, ‘pro-humans’ committed murder.”

“You don’t agree?”


“Too bad.”

A shot rang out.


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54 thoughts on “The Mercury Chip

  1. Ah ha! A robot tale. I am all for the robots. I assume the poor doctor was one of my R7 Series. Hopefully, his indestructible outer shell will save him!
    However, note that you are missing a word “in” in this phrase: “implanted your brain”
    Best from Lindaura!

    • Thank you for the edit! It is greatly appreciated.

      As for the surgeon, he is all too human–and probably succumbs to the gunshot wound. But I think the Luddites will have a hard time of it, if their political strategy is to kill everyone who thinks or believes differently….

  2. Hi Jan,
    There’s so much going on in this short story. Amazing how much you work in. This is not such a far fetched scenario, considering we just found out there was fear that VP Dick Cheney’s pacemaker was going to be hacked to murder him and precautions were taken to keep that from happening. (Who knew he had a heart?) As for that ancient message method used by Mercury. I tried it and not only does it not work, it’s also very messy. Ron

    • Thank you for your kind comments!

      As to Cheney, I remember that, when he was VP, it was discovered that the VP’s mansion had an electric bill of $280,000 per month. Reporters speculated that the cost of some covert op was probably buried in that budget line item. But Jon Stewart said it was probably the electricity used to shock him back to life every day, a la Dr. Frankenstein…as good an explanation as any 🙂

  3. Great take on the prompt Jan and I loved your intro, especially the idea of Mercury pulling ideas from one brain and implanting them into another…he would have a great time in Westminster!

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