Android 0-CLE5

Lester Linesmith

A recent work by Liam Baldwin on Lester Linesmith and Planet Stories is available here

An android named Android 0-CLE5 once escaped from his Master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a zygon. Zygons were the most fearsome and feared beasts in the known universe. Long and sleek, close furred and armed with claws and fangs against which naught could stand, the zygon was fast and cunning, a pure predator that lived only to kill. 0-CLE5 had seen zygons before, in the Masters' gladiatorial arena, often pitted against other wild beasts and, worse, eating disobedient androids alive.

The zygon was lying down moaning and groaning. At first, Android 0-CLE5 turned to flee, but finding that the zygon did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the zygon put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Android 0-CLE5 found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the zygon, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Android 0-CLE5 like a dog. Then the zygon took Android 0-CLE5 to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to live.

But shortly afterwards both Android 0-CLE5 and the zygon were captured, and the android was sentenced to be thrown to the zygon, after the latter had been kept without food for several days. The Master of Masters and all his Departmental Masters came to see the spectacle, and Android 0-CLE5 was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the zygon was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Android 0-CLE5 he recognised his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Master of Masters, surprised at this, summoned Android 0-CLE5 to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the android was pardoned and freed, and the zygon let loose to his native forest.

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Date and time of last update 01:00 Sat 26 Feb 2011
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