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TO BE OR NOT TO BE

By Bob Richard All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

“This is your host, Bennet Prior, WGOV Washington D.C. and surrounding bogs, checking in. Are wolves loose in you neighborhood tonight? What murky calamity awaits us? Tonight’s story comes from an unidentified government schmuck, who claims his story is true. But, don’t they all? Make sure your parents aren’t listening; this one is too scary. Here goes his story.”

I’m Chooch. There’s a place in Washington D.C. that looks like all the other government buildings. The outside is gray. The inside is gray and every dirty laboratory’s dust is gray. The place is so secret we scientists sometimes swoosh brooms or not, because it’s hard for janitors to get top-secret clearances at our place. Our only entertainment comes from kicking the coke machine.

Some call the labs the house of mirrors. Many think they’re broken. No one knows what anybody else is doing. To get into our labs we need a full body, brain, eye and finger print scan. They haven’t got around to urine samples. If there isn’t a scan match the huge marines plopped at the hallway’s end will give the pretender free air conditioning. The bodies are donated to science…some other floor, some other lab.

This story is about two poor souls sharing one laboratory for a long time. Chooch, that’s me, is the too tall slob, brilliant programmer engineer. Lucy is the biologist, looks of Albert Einstein, and brains of Angelina Jolie. Okay, who’s telling this story, anyway? No seriously, she is cute.

The job we chose was biological nano-machines for the human body. Yeah boring, right? Wrong, you may not care for an extra 13 years added to your lifespan. These little bio-molecules Pacman about the bloodstreams of every human being, eating plaque, in case you didn’t know.

Lucy labored to open the bank-vault type door into our world of tables, beakers, scopes, computers, nano-machine samples and scummy air-conditioner. I sputtered while dribbling a cup of java. I’m so cool. “The marines should just let you walk in, doll.”

“A moment’s peace, before you start in on me, please,” Lucy the grouch said.

“Sorry. I didn’t leave yesterday. Tired, you know.” She looked around and noticed the crushed Coke cans discarded around like bodies after a terrorist attack. “Honest. I really like you,” I had to say.

“Let’s really like work.”

“Damn it. I discovered that a tiny virus size nano-machine is controlling all of nature. Thought you’d like to know.” She gave me, that ‘are you nuts’ stare.

“I’m a Christian, remember? No cursing.”

“Ok, no more freaking’ damn its. Did you hear me?” I pulled her chain, yep.

“Could you at least brush your teeth?” Lucy leaned over in the general direction of my splotchy face and Twinkie infested teeth. Her cleavage was an unintended gift, or maybe not. “If only I knew who to complain to,” she spat out.

“Alright. Congratulations on your new smaller nano quicker-cleaner uppers, but—”

Lucy interrupted, “Yes, nice in theory.”

“What? This is fact not theory. You knew that, right?”

Befuddled, she said, “Can’t tell without all the appropriate studies and—”

I like finishing sentences. “And a brand new just delivered quark scope. Ta da.”

Lucy lifted the leather cover. “Wow.”

I said, “Why don’t you like me?” I figured the bearer of good news might get a little respect.

“When I change my taste to slobs with the latest Starbucks creation on their shirt, you will be the first to know.” She poked my chest and walked over to the wall of slimed sinks to wash her defiled finger.

“Well, come back, look in the scope.”

While sticking her eye in the scope, Lucy said, “This isn’t my work, goof. Where did you get this? Wait, these nanos are too small.”

I said, “I thought you said you jumped ahead to work on virus sized.”

“No, just some thoughts, it’s just theory, and beyond our capabilities at present. Anyway this is. . .” Lucy seemed mesmerized by the little critters, at least an order of ten times smaller than her previous creations.

“What are the nanos doing?” she asked.

“It took me hours to spot the pattern. I’m almost certain they are controlling everything.”

“Hey Choochy, explain yourself.”

I, the Chooch said, “Well if it isn’t your creation, then I’d say this looks like an outer space virus. We-ou, we-ou, we-ou.” She cringed from my singing interludeness. “Anyway, I doubted they were yours. They’re everywhere, and you go by the book.”

“So what? Our fat eaters are everywhere, helping everybody.”

Her proud teammate, me, said, “That’s human tissue in the scope, and they are way too small. I have checked thirty-three other samples, including this rat.” I held it up by its convenient tail. Never got over grossing out girls.

“Euw, God, spare me. Bag it. Wash your fingers.” Lucy looked at me like she had a frog down her blouse or worse. “I locked up the human samples, bubba,” she said.

“I went out and dropped in Ptomaine All Night Diner. Collected stuff from the whores and truckers; even this cockroach has the nanos. Took some hairs from the marines’ desk.”

“Every living thing has harmless viruses and bacteria.” She said seeming curious, but really dismissive. You know scientists.

“Yeah, however, it ain't harmless. Or should I say it’s turned us all into robots.”

“You are saying a virus is controlling us, all life?” Duh, the genius finally caught on.

“Yep.”

She propped herself up on the gray table corner facing me, legs slightly open, panties slightly visible, one stray hair sticking up out of the cotton maybe three inches, “You are so wrong. Human beings have souls, free will. We are not run by viruses. What you see in the scope is just a normal stupid virus. Let me see another sample.” I sensed the scientist wrapping herself around a conundrum inside a—I forgot—oh, enigma.

“You won’t be happy. You left your purse and . . .” I was in deep dodo; I bet you thought I was going to say shit, huh. I can be sensitive.

“Give it to me. I’d like to… This sample was for my doctor. You bastard.” That’s me.

I backed up, “Sorry. I needed to prove a point. We are all just lackeys. The nanos are in you—and me.”

“Chooch you really need to come to prayer service. Call it a date.” Oh God, she played the sympathy card.

“I’ve been working too long to start praying. I have found a way to unionize the little suckers with me as boss, for maybe a half hour. Regretfully, only in this room with all this equipment. And, I bet we’ll have a price to pay.”

“You are so full of baloney.” I started getting hungry again.

“Lucy dear, you just don’t get it. These things control you and me.”

“Like I said, God would not allow it.”

“God allowed the Holocaust, mind-control drugs, why not biological attacks from an alien culture.”

“My God would never give us a cross we couldn’t bear.”

“Okay, then you should be able to bear me controlling you for a little while, right?” I paused to get her excited. “All I have to do is push the execute key on this computer, and you’re mine, babe; at least for a half hour.”

“In your wildest dreams. Go ahead. Do it. I am like a rock and you are like the slimy worm under the rock.” She noticed the Twinkie glop on my lap and almost threw up. Neat, huh?

I pushed execute.

This is the cool part. First, she realized the Twinkie glop was symbolic of her own sexual repression. Lucy slithered off the table, which hiked her skirt showing a lot of gorgeous leg. She hiked her skirt again and shimmied down and around on my sticky lap. Oh, yes.

She said, “I’ve been in this prison with you so long.” After a while, she stammered, all discombobulated, great boobs, too. I have never seen anything as sweet. “That I suppose I…it had to happen some day.” After a passionate bit of time, she regained her normal self and said, “Come with me, tonight. Please.” Her hazel eyes were drowning as she realized her unintended pun.

The programming wore off. We were spent.

I said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

“You’re a guy, it had to be good.”

“Good, yes. No, you are great, but who cares. We ain’t real, doll.”

Lucy stared deep into my eyes, looking terrified, for the first time in her young life, probably.

I said, “I don’t know about you, but I’m done with this broken mirror factory.” I squeezed a tear, looked up and around at the dirty gray box with no windows: Our lab, our coffin.

I the Chooch and Lucy debated into the night and decided to leave before dawn and drive through the guardrails into the icy Potomac River. Or, did we decide anything? Remember us, I guess.

“This is your host Bennet Prior, WGOV Washington D.C. and surrounding bogs, checking out. Are the wolves loose in your neighborhood tonight? Who cares? Goodnight.”
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