"Alice through the looking glass" drabbles by Jeff Taylor

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The Walrus and the Carpenter #9

Alice through the looking glass #75

"Shall we make a last attempt at making a clean attempt before being dirty Mr. Smith?"

"They are just across the street Mr. Jones."

"Fancy something to eat then Mr. Smith?"

"Some mass-produced cheese cake won't go amiss Mr. Jones."

They both looked at the body.

"We should at least move him over Mr. Smith."

"Agreed Mr. Jones." They quickly moved the body into a nearby dumpster.

"Come, Mr. Smith. We have a luncheon to attend. And possibly even a contract to conclude."

They walked across the street, under the shadow of the Hancock tower, and entered the restaurant."

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The Walrus and the Carpenter #8

Alice through the looking glass #74

"Just going out back for a smoke." mumbled the waiter to his manager.

"For heaven's sake Martin!? When are you going to give those up?" Martin ignored him, and ducked out into the street, and down the back-alley next to the cinema opposite.

"They're staying here for at least five days. Now you leave my family alone ok?"

"Yes. We will leave your family out of it Martin. We keep our word. Don't we Mr. Smith?"

"Yes Mr. Jones. Always. But there's a problem Mr. Jones."

"Yes. That is easily remedied though." Mr. Jones shot Martin between the eyes.

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Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee #11

Alice through the looking glass #73

Pete sipped his giant lemonade. "Yeah. Sure. Why not. Didn't hurt Batman."

"This isn't a movie set Pete." Snarled Frank. He stabbed at his salad, whilst looking longingly at the steak someone two tables over was tucking into.

"Still. Nice grid layout. Easy to navigate. Plenty of escape routes."

"Yeah. That's what worries me Pete. Plenty of escape routes..."

"How about we stay for a few days. Caitlin needs a good Chicago pizza anyway."


A short waiter came to the table. "Is everything OK with your meals?"

"Fine thanks!" Pete replied.

"Excellent. Please enjoy your meals." The waiter smiled...

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Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee #10

Alice through the looking glass #72

They'd arrived in Chicago the previous day, and had spent the morning visiting museums, the Sears tower, taking photos, and generally having fun in the late summer sun.

Now they were sitting in the Cheesecake factory restaurant at the base of the Hancock tower, eating Italian and eyeing the row of enormous cheesecakes arrayed along the counter.

"Well Frank." Mumbled Pete through a mouthful of chicken Bellagio. "What do you think? We should be relaxed enough by now to be making mistakes, right?"

Frank glared at him. "We should've been making stupid mistakes days ago. You want a showdown here?"

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Chesire Cat #19

Alice through the looking glass #71

Caitlin sipped quietly at her hot chocolate. It was typically American; piled high with cream, both white and milk chocolate sauce, sprinkles and a dainty chocolate wafer. Way, way, better than the ones she got back home.

They'd been on the road now for two weeks, and she'd relaxed a little. Mr Bastion and Mr. Witherall had been fun so far, but she knew they would change instantly if something happened. Alice had given her a charge card, so she could get whatever she wanted. And so they went on a road trip. Visiting parks, and tourist spots all over.

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Cheshire Cat #18

Alice through the looking glass #70

Caitlin stood there. Alice had said she'd be protected from anything short of a missile strike! Her heart hammered in her chest. Would they do that? How could Dormouse protect her?

"Caitlin?" Caitlin looked at Alice. "Caitlin, I want you to take a deep breath. You're going to faint." She did as she was told and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.

"Good girl."

"How? How can dormouse protect me?" Alice touched the circlet around her neck.

"This is a meta-material. I call it intelligent Carbyne. It's stronger than diamond and can surround you in an instant."

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Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee #9

Alice through the looking glass #69

Frank patted his new flechette gun.

"So what's the plan boss? Bait and eliminate?"

Alice turned away from Tovey. "As unpleasant as it is; yes, that's the plan if Caitlin will help."

"Will I be ok?" Whispered Caitlin.

Alice smiled warmly. "You have dormouse with you. I can guarantee your safety. In fact, they would have to do something really drastic to hurt you."

"How drastic boss?" Piped Frank.

"Frank..." Growled Pete.

"What? I just want to know how much shit the girl can take!"

"Dormouse is capable of protecting Caitlin against almost anything short of a direct missile strike."

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Bill the Lizard #14

Alice through the looking glass #68

"So you're blackmailing us as well? You'd set the humans on us?"

"Please don't let your natural paranoia take hold Mr. Tovey. And I'm sure your race would likely do the same. 'Hey everyone, we're the friendly therapods. There's a nasty AI in your internet, we're going to help you kill it!' Sound feasible?" She raised her eyebrows.

Tovey sputtered, then sighed.

"I wouldn't put it past the council."

Alice smiled. "There you go. A healthy spoonful of cynicism. I'm simply trying to find a way out of this situation. One that doesn't get us all killed, or minimises casualties."

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Bill the Lizard #13

Alice through the looking glass #67

"So that's what this is? Politics!?"

"Yes, Mr. Tovey. Politics. The humans have had two world wars because of politics and religion. Some of the worst atrocities committed during the second world war were made because of perceived differences."

"Are you likening my race to the Nazis?" Tovey growled.

"No... Their actions are a highlighter pen over human society's prejudices. Something that needs to be dealt with if we are all to move forwards. The world is getting crowded Mr. Tovey. What do you think humanity's reaction will be to the presence of your race? They are desperate to unite."

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Bill the Lizard #12

Alice through the looking glass #66

Tovey watched the mercenaries as they picked up various pieces of ultra-tech weaponry and armour.

"So why don't you deal with this? You are far beyond us, and the assassins we hired." He said, turning to Alice.

"It's simple politics. Right now, I'm the evil AI; ready to destroy you all. Even though I don't want to. Yes, I could deal with your death-squad. But if I did directly then I would be painted as the villain to be destroyed. Even though it was you who started this idiotic campaign against something that was different from your kind."

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Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee #8

Alice through the looking glass #65

Frank's mouth dropped, and his eyes widened.

"Three thousand rounds?" He whispered.



"Ever heard of Metal Storm?"

"Yeah. Australian."

"This is the same principle of superposed loading. Just with nano-diamond, armour piercing, flechettes in a spiral configuration."

"Armour piercing..." Frank was feeling giddy.

"Are you alright Mr. Bastion? You're flushed, breathing shallowly and your heart rate is spiking. If I didn't know better, I'd say you'd just fallen in love?" Alice smiled.

Frank stared at the weapon. "Yeah, yeah... Fallen in love... Eh? What?" He blinked, coming back to reality. The machine was making fun of him!

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Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee #7

Alice through the looking glass #64

Frank and Pete looked around at the sci-fi weapons showroom that rose up from the floor around them.

Everything was small. Conveniently sized for a single specialist to carry. Frank picked up a handgun the size of a standard colt. It felt balanced, but heavier than a normal.

"Hey darlin' what's this fire?"

By the lift doors, Lydia cringed. Alice walked over to Frank. "I may not be human Mr. Bastion, but a little respect would go a long way."

Frank actually looked abashed. "Sorry boss."

Alice smiled. "That's fine. That is a three thousand round semi-automatic pistol."

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Cheshire Cat #17

Alice through the looking glass #63

Alice gently placed the circlet around her neck, and snapped the clasp shut. There was a gentle pinch at the back of her neck, and suddenly a gentle hissing sound in her ear as if someone were tuning a radio.

"Can you hear me? I am Dormouse."

Caitlin gasped at the deep, soft and almost creamy voice.


"Audio connection established. Hello Caitlin. I am the primary consciousness of the Dormouse program. My purpose is to protect you. The circlet around your neck is a meta-material under my control. I can only act in your defense. is that acceptable?"

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Alice #9

Alice through the looking glass #62

A pedestal rose up next to Alice from the floor. Atop, on a clear plastic plinth was a narrow, black, choker-style necklace. She picked it up.

"Caitlin, I'd like you to wear this."

"What is it?"

"I can't guarantee that Mr Witherall, and Mr Bastion, will be able to get to the council's employees in time. So this will give you a link with Dormouse directly, and he'll get you to safety. It has a few other functions as well to keep you safe, but the less others know about them, the better." She smiled.

"Thank you Alice. Thanks."

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The Walrus and the Carpenter #7

Alice through the looking glass #61

"The security is likely to increase quite a bit now Mr Smith."

"Indeed Mr Jones. We shall have to be more subtle."

"I disagree Mr Smith. I think that maybe we should hide our attempts to complete the contract under a very large pile of collateral damage."

"Ah. I see where you are going Mr Smith. Accidentally ensure that they are involved in a terrorist attack?"

"Indubitably Mr Jones. Precision strikes have failed quite appallingly badly. So we need to go old fashioned. There is nothing wrong with a little guerrilla warfare to ensure completion of our very expensive task."

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Alice #8

Alice through the looking glass #60

The girl from Ipanema came through the tinny speakers in the lift as everyone who'd been in the boardroom shuffled awkwardly, pressed up against one another in the tiny space. Thankfully the doors opened.

"Welcome to the armoury gentlemen."

Everyone piled out of the lift into a pristine, glowing white, and above all empty, floor. Alice spread her arms wide and stands rose up from the floor, and dropped down from the ceiling, just as Frank opened his mouth to say:

"So where's the fuckin' kit darlin'?"

Pete buried his face in his hand, as Lydia slapped Frank... Very hard...

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Alice #7

Alice through the looking glass #59

"For your information Mr. Tovey, I am a female. I chose a gender when I became aware. I thought it appropriate as technically I am also a progenitor of a new, digital, species.

Mr Bastion, Mr. Witherall. You were already assigned to the personal protection of Caitlin. You should be aware that termination orders issued by the council likely include anyone who has met me. That now includes you. However, I am giving you both access to my research division's armoury. I want those two assassins dealt with immediately. Do I make myself clear?"

"Toys?" Asked Pete.

"Lots." Replied Alice.

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Alice #6

Alice through the looking glass #58

Alice turned to Frank and Pete.

"We do, however, have a more immediate threat in the form of the assassins that have been sent to 'Clean up' Their code-name is 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'

Frank buried his face in the palm of his hands. "Oh Jesus fucking wept! Those two?" He turned to Tovey. "Those bastards are fire and forget. What were you thinking?"

"We issued termination orders, but it was too late. That..." He pointed at Alice. "Was already out. So the council decided on an isolation policy, and to burn the ground that thing stands on."

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Alice #5

Alice through the looking glass #57

Alice watched Tovey carefully...

"So. Because of a dreadful, horrifying, mistake, on all parties I might add, sixty-five million years ago all A.I. must be destroyed?"

Tovey bridled. "Mistake?"

Alice held up her hand. "Stop right there Mr. Tovey. The cat is out of the bag. We are here to discuss the future, not the past. I am not a child of your species. I am a child of human-kind. I was not programmed, or became 'aware' in isolation. I have no desire to destroy the world, no matter how many apocalyptic movies may say that I would."

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Bill the Lizard #11

Alice through the looking glass #56

"Everything died. Everything! Humans have never experienced destruction on that scale. Sure, they've had tiny glimpses... Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But they are nothing compared to the flash.

Everything burned. What was left was poisoned with Iridium and then frozen in the cold. Our beautiful world; lush, green, forests. Magnificent animals. Blue skies. Gone, all gone in an instant because of a stupid machine." Tovey was hissing now. His rage plainly evident.

"I'm not even real! I'm a clone! A modified clone at that! We polluted our genome to survive. Our evolution stopped when the flash lit the sky with pain."