By nine that morning, the meeting was already under way.
The general waved away the cigar smoke and took his chair, demanding to see the robot, "After all the money we pumped into this, Morton, this had better be good."
The little man in the white lab coat cleared his throat but didn't dare wipe his sodden palms against his thighs in case they thought his nerves a fear of failure. After so much research it had to be good. Maybe too good.
Morton hit the switch in the back of the silver man lain across the table and whispered in his ear, "Be good."
The machine opened his eyes, and watched the men staring back at him.
"This thing can see everything?" The general said, rooting in his pocket for another Cuban, his manner indicated he thought the bucket of bolts could as easily fly.
Morton smiled till his face ached.
Two million dollars, if this went well - two million-
"Ray, please tell these fine men something they don't know."
The machine whirred, blinked it's bulbous yellow eyes stupidly. Inside it's chest, gears ran, it formed words. "Your mother doesn't love you."
"What the hell is this?" The general bellowed, veins pulsing in his neck. He had only been here two minutes and lost more money then Morton could imagine because of it.
His time was more important then this. "Tell it to tell us something important."
Morton did not seem to notice, "What do you mean my mother didn't like me? Dad said she left because she had a break down."
Ray processed additional data in the air, "General Hanlon, you have a small penis. And a heart
condition. Your blood pressure exceeds dangerous levels. You will die in two years."
The general stood, "Morton, you bloody robbed us. This is nonsense, somebody grab him."
"Make that a year-"
"Shut up, Ray. Sorry general, it's true. He can see what happens and what will be."
The general chomped his cigar and grabbed Morton round the collar, tearing it, "I need to know our enemies weapon capabilities and you give me a machine that tells me you’re a borderline loner. I don't need a crystal ball for that you freak."
Ray blinked, processed. "You can't win."
The general pulled his revolver, a Korean antique he had bought second hand from a back street shop rather then won in battle. Ray knew this and Hanlon could see it in his metal eyes. "Excuse me?" Hanlon demanded.
Ray blinked, gears trundled. "The enemies missile supplies vastly out number yours-"
Click - clack.
"No, don't hurt him." Ray whined as Hanlon pulled the hammer back with his thumb, "It's not his fault, he can see but he can't judge his emotions."
"If you don't want to know the answers to difficult questions I suggest you don't ask." Ray said, blinked.
Hanlon had strength on his side, he levelled the gun at the robots head.
Ray blinked. Processed.
He didn't need to see to know what would happen next.