Part One | Part Two
| Part Three
The high pitched rhythmic purr of robotic actuators hum in the dimly lit corridor. The tiny metallic arms griping flesh, injecting serums, and stirring vats are a model of efficient creation. The arms work ceaselessly like the disembodied legs of insects ripped from their arthropodal abdomens, twitching mindlessly. The arms lift a chunk of organic matter out of a vat of a dark green liquid that glows with a pulsing light and drop it onto the conveyer. The belt lurches a half a meter and stops, the arms plopping down another mass of gray organic matter. The rows of glistening globs twitched discordantly.
The globs continued down the conveyer to the Nanoessence activator injection. Robotic arms equipped with syringe modules on the end position themselves above the quivering mass of organic matter and plunge their long needles into the glop. A small hiss is the only evidence of injection. The robotic arm extracts the needle and swings up out of the way awaiting its opportunity to thrust itself into the next specimen.
The mass moves farther down the conveyer belt along with all the others in a continuous stream. Two robotic arms placed on either side dart into the now bubbling organic mass, lift it into the air and slop it into a waiting transparent plastic cube. It leaves a glistening trail of slime as it settles at the bottom. The cube is closed by yet another set of arms with a plastic lid formed with a grid of small round openings. The whole package is lifted into the air and grabbed by another arm passing overhead.
The arm and cage travel into the next room where the robotic ceiling arm enters a storage matrix and scanning the rows of containers finds an empty shelf on which it places the cage of organic matter that is now hissing and bubbling as it turns a deep purple. Gray blotches still remained where the activator has not yet spread. Next to the plastic cage are other cages that contain wildly colored organic masses in various states of transformation. The robotic arm pulls away from the storage rack and speeds back to the other room along the track hanging from the ceiling. The process continued like clockwork.
At the other end of the building another gray steel and black plastic robotic arm mounted next to a plodding conveyor belt slaps a sticker onto passing plastic cubes. In a highly stylized script reminiscent of late 20th century graffiti the stickers read: "NANO NINJA MONKEY". Inside the cubes lay individual monkeys of various bright colors curled up in little furry balls with all indications of being asleep.
I hear a door on the other side of the house slam. It's my roommate Rita the lesbian. She's a real man-hater. I don't know why she still lives here with me and not with one of her equally man-hating friends. Maybe it satisfies her sadistic quotas for the day to have an object of her hate so close at hand whenever she wants. I think they have secret meetings where they discuss their plans to disparage and torment men. All of our conversations are hemmed with rude gestures and the occasional "fuck you, pig" which suggests some serious brainwashing. She's nice. I like her.
She's standing in my doorway giving me a souring look. Like I just told her she should be washing the dishes or some equally sexist remark. "Are you still playing that stupid game? Zel something? You're such a typical male pig." She says. Suprisingly she doesn't mention the food stain on my orange shirt.
I don't let her weak attempt at distraction avert me. I stay glued to the game. I don't know why I play it. Probably just to piss her off. On the other hand I just can't stop collecting all the items. I'm about to power up my sword to the next level. A momentous occasion I assure you.
"Hey, fascist fuck-, I'm expecting a package today. Don't fucking open it, ok?"
I pause the game to stare at her. This is rare. Not the profanity, she's a regular stream of filth, but her communication with the outside is limited to her weekly hormone baths at the local girl bar and yelling at the talking heads on the video screen. I smile at her and tell her that I'll make sure no one touches it. She's really a nice girl. It's just she's got to project her retro-feminist image for the sake of posterity. Like those guys that parade around and pretend they're Elvis. As if they both didn't go out of style thirty years ago. It must get her laid.
I hear the door slam as she leaves for work. She works at a tattoo parlor. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention she's covered in LightInk tattoos. At night she looks like a fucking Christmas tree on acid. I think it has something to do with the nocturnal mating habits of her kind. I shrug to myself and lose myself back in the game.
A few hours later- I think; it's hard to keep track of time when you're plugged in - the visitor notification box pops up on my screen. I see it's the delivery man, he looks like a giant turd with legs in his brown jump suit.
"Just leave it on the stoop" I say to the video screen.
"No can do, I need a sig." He says, his voice booming out of my massive surround sound system.
I get up from the couch, leaving behind an impression of my body in the soft cushions. I rub my eyes as I stumble to the door. When you're plugged in, blinking becomes optional. I open the door and turd man is standing there holding out a video pad and a plastic pen to sign with. I scribble something illegible on the pad. I think I signed it turdman, you can't really read those things. The delivery guy hands me a medium sized brown box that says this end up and has holes cut into it. It's kind of heavy. The purple and orange label on the box begins playing the company jingle as the deliveryman turns and leaves. I peel half of it from the box, cutting it off in the middle of its song and go back inside.
Closing the door I notice that there's a musty smell emanating from the box. It's definitely an animal of some kind. A nasty little grin creeps onto my face. I give the box a good side to side shake. There's a soft bump as the weight inside the box shifts but nothing more. I shrug and leave the box in front of her door, not daring to venture into her den of iniquity.
I plug back into my game but it just can't hold my attention anymore. My mind keeps coming back to what might be in the box. She probably got a mail order cat or something. You can get them in any color you want now days. Our neighbor has a blue Norwegian Forest cat. I peel myself off the couch again and stick my head into the hall and look at the package sitting in front of her door. There are some rustling noises coming from it now. I must have woken up whatever was inside of it. My curiosity gets the better of me and I walk over and kneel in front of the box.
The pungent musky smell is stronger next to the box. I have to hold my breath; I really hope she doesn't plan on keeping this thing in the house. I rip the box open and see another slightly smaller plastic box inside. At the bottom of the plastic box is a big ball of fur. I reach my hand into the box to pet the ball and feel a tug at my wrist and a sharp pain that bolts up my arm. My jaw drops in astonishment as my hand slides off the end of my wrist and plops at the bottom of the box. The furball is no where to be seen.
A scream begins to bubble out of my throat as blood gushes from my bloody stump. The screeching mass of fur leaps onto my face and begins to stab my eyes with its tiny sword. The pain rockets through my skull with each sharp jab. A few weak movements are all I can manage now. My blood is pooling on the floor beneath me. I try to slap him off my face but it's no use. I can't see anything, and I don't have the energy. All I can hear is the little bastard screeching in my ear. My last thought as I fell on my back: "How can I warn Rita that her Nano Ninja Monkey is loose?"