Rat Catcher
by Matthew Wilson

   I am starting to think that master is mad with me, but I don't know why as I am such a good robot! Since I was activated fit for work and put on line, it is built into me that my duty is to make sure the ship is clean and operational at all costs.

   While master is busy with navigating the troublesome ship and making great leaps in discoveries, it is up to me to take on the smaller tasks. All day and night, I take great pleasure in cleaning the gears and make sure master has enough to eat.

   Life is good and life is wonderfully simple. I obey anything he asks me to do with great gusto. Last night, my master asked that I kill the rats on board the ship for these little devils were often notorious for chewing through the wires and vital innards around us.

   I quickly processed it would take me - at full operational power and without pause- three days to crawl through the air ducts and find the nest of every vermin that hid in the place. There were so many fanged babies, that in time, would have more babies and like a virus grow and spread their filth through my masters space.

   The strong lever sprung traps were stored down in the lower levels of the ship and the large green vat of rat killer being dangerous to humans as well, I sought another safer plan that would not cause harm to master.

   It seemed much faster than traps and poisons to eject all oxygen from the air vents and blast it out into space to let them suffocate. I am not cruel, would not savour them suffering, but at least things would be quickly done on all fronts.

   Problem solved, no more squeaks and no more brown Rat droppings clogging up engines that bought light and life to this magnificent ship.

   With the time I saved, I figured I would be able to complete more tasks before my bedtime. Obviously, this would please my master no end and make him happy to have me on board after his initial wariness. Some said I was unreliable.

   At the very least, I thought my master would be very happy at my initiative, but he just sits there. Silent. Like he has chosen to ignore me. As if I had no name at all and didn't matter enough to exist.

   I know I am not the smartest robot, but why won't my master talk to me? Home is a long way away and though I turn on the ships radio and try to make contact with Earth, to second guess my masters strange, silent feelings, as yet I am stumped to his complete silence.

   I can't think of anything I could have done to make him angry, or annoyed with me. The ship is free of vermin, beyond operational and soon we shall be near home. I'm a good robot you know.

   I don't why he ignores me, but maybe he will speak to you?

Matthew Wilson, 31, has had over 150 appearances in such places as Horror Zine, Star*Line, Spellbound, Illumen, Apokrupha Press, Hazardous Press, Gaslight Press, Sorcerers Signal and many more. He is currently editing his first novel and can be contacted on twitter @matthew94544267.