#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

Patent 4077

Fearing what an unscrupulous man would do with potentially revolutionary technology, Rust made a duplicate device and gave Mac the dummy while he studied schematics to determine what the three pieces combined could do. The conclusion he drew was that they connected to create an apparatus that would filter oxygen out of water allowing a person to remain underwater indefinitely. So he faced a dilemma: return the device and inform his former client that he possesses a device that will earn him billions of dollars, or keep it and take that money for himself? Rust always considered himself a principled man, and while he obsessively reminded himself of all the good he did with the money, the technology he was able to advance, his regret for that decision lingered on his mind until his death.

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