Author : Jennifer Parsons
To any who watch television, the researcherâ€™s setup should be plenty familiar, especially so to an old R&D man like myself. Two rooms, divided by a big sheet of glass; on one side sits a table loaded with datatablets and a control panel of various buttons and switches. On the other side of the glass is a car, yellow markers placed strategically all over its surface, a dummy belted into the front seat. There are straight lines painted on the floor and walls along with more yellow markers.
The only difference between this room and any other crash test facility is the two deer wandering in front of the car, looking scared and confused.
â€œWhatâ€™s with the fauna?â€ I ask.
The guy in the lab coat smiles at my question. Itâ€™s a greasy smile. I donâ€™t like it.
â€œTheyâ€™re part of my demonstration.â€ He tells me as he tweaks a few more knobs.
After checking the status of a readout screen, he presses a button and speaks into the air.
â€œWeâ€™re ready, go ahead.â€
Technicians in another room somewhere flip a switch and I watch helplessly as the car jolts forward, gaining momentum. The mother and fawn freeze in the headlights and a second later blood and bone fly everywhere along with crash debris.
My stomach churns and I turn away from the wreck in disgust.
â€œWhat the hell was that about?â€
The researcher is checking his readout again, still smiling as if he knows something I donâ€™t.
â€œYou dragged me down here so you could prove how efficiently the Electro IV kills off wildlife?â€
â€œSir,â€ he fixes me with a steady, serious gaze. â€œI would never waste your time on something as trivial as that.â€
The grin creeps back across his face as he points at the glass. â€œIf youâ€™ll please return your attention to the wreck?â€
My curiosity is piqued. Bracing myself, I turned back to the glass.
Two bloody carcasses lie a few feet from where the deer once stood.
â€œWatch carefully, please.â€ The researcher says, his voice full of anticipation.
He pushes a button on the remote in his hand and the carcasses pull in on themselves, forming two ovoid shapes on the floor. A moment later a hard shell forms around the outside of each, their bright, red blood darkening to a rich black.
After another moment, the shells crack open and a pair of feet emerged from each husk followed by a head, then a torso and soon two beautiful deer stood side by side, glancing around the room nervously.
I turn to the researcher, a grin of sly knowledge now creeping across my own face.
â€œImpressive nano application youâ€™ve got there.â€ He chuckles under his breath and I continue. â€œYou know, there are some stretches of Route 287 where something like that could cause a lot of accidents.â€
The researcher nods. â€œDisaster does keep the economy flowing these days.â€
I return his nod. â€œInsurance rates would go up, hospitals beds would fill, car dealerships would have their hands full.â€
â€œNot to mention the increased need for mortuary services.â€ He fiddles with a knob and waits for me to ask the question already forming on my lips.
â€œI think my employers would be most interested in any other models you might have to offer. What else have you got?â€
He presses a button, opening a hatch in the wall. An adorable, spotted puppy trots out, wandering up to the deer. He starts sniffing their feet.