The Zap Gun

Decades ago, before anyone had made a famous film based on a Philip K. Dick book, Seri’s human was an avid Philip K. Dick reader. If you’ve ever actually read one of his books, you’ll know the man was in a league of his own for ideas and character development. Although classed as scifi, his writing was more like surrealist writing, often quite dreamlike. There was often a dark humour, too…

… one such story was called ‘The Zap Gun’. In it, America is the most powerful nation on the planet, because it has the eponymous zap gun, a weapon so formidable, every other nation just gives up competing. Then, aliens invade Earth, and are unstoppably advanced with their weaponry… naturally, the rest of the world looks to America to save their bottoms…

… except… there IS no zap gun, it was all a hugely successful marketing job, fooling the world there was a super-weapon that didn’t actually exist. The Americans have to scramble to save face, as well as the planet. They come up with a handheld, physical game, that has a little guy stuck in a maze in it, a maze he cannot get out of. The little guy in the game somehow emits something that makes anyone, human or not, who plays the game, feel enormous empathy for him… they have to get him out of the maze. The humans beam the game into the alien space ship, and it’s game over for the aliens…

… Seraphim thinks that’s what’s at play with her new telly. The kitties in it aren’t even stuck, they look perfectly happy… but they aren’t actually doing anything, except looking really, really cute… Seri can’t stop adoring them.

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