I have temporarily decided to forgo my vengeance in the name of hot, steamy robot love. Hey, don’t judge me. I may be ahead of this world in technology, but not in perversion. Especially not Japan.
Japan, where the robots are being taught to help injured people. Japan, where the robots are programmed to teach people how to speak Japanese. Japan, where they invented a robot that will kiss you if you come close. Japan, where a man once fell in love with a videogame character. But not where he married her, actually. He had to go to Guam for that, because some things are too strange even for Japan.
I didn’t stop off in this amusing country for a rerun of my fight with Hephaestus. I stopped here because I wanted to unleash metal death on the United States and couldn’t get into the band Dethklok to do it. So, for now, I settled on wrecking their bar.
Carl’s having some trouble over in the States because he’s just one man and knows nothing about running a company. It helps that I don’t have anything or anyone to run yet…but that also defeats the purpose of having a fake company. So while he can see if places have floor space and leftover heavy equipment we could use, he can’t do shit about finances, licenses, hiring, or training.
Fuck. One of the reasons I sent him over there is that I do things on my own all the time and suck at leading any sort of team. Now I’m trying to create a corporation in more than just documents. You know what? How about next time I have too much hot sauce, I cool off my tongue by lighting it on fire? I wish Penny hadn’t turned out to be a robot. She’d have been perfect for this.
Thinking about that reminded me of something over here. The ODA Group. They’re a robotics company over here that the Gold libertopia guy invested in. He wasn’t a majority shareholder or anything, but I took interest when Penny pointed it out to me. It was a name to start with, and they might be desperate for a sudden injection of capital under the table.
Damn! If I had Penny, maybe I could have even taken over Gold’s holdings digitally. The things you don’t realize you need until they’ve revealed their hidden cyborg zombie assassin side. Tsk, tsk. Dear readers, you can’t expect everything to go my way.
Before I got to them, however, I had a bit of an episode around Harajuku. It’s this area where Japanese youths with unusual styles like to hang out at. It irritated the rapidly-aging populace to know end. They’d yell at the kids to get off their lawns if they had them. Instead, they settle for grunts of disapproval in public. The ones on the public trains could at least take their hands off my balls while they do that. After all, I’m supposed to be the one who coughs when they touch there.
That’s where it happened, of course. I left Harajuku and the lacy Japanese girls behind and packed into the Tokyo sardine mobile that they call at train. Don’t assume it lived up to that nickname of mine. The fish stood elsewhere; I had the pleasure of packing in with a bunch of sausage who clearly disapproved of me running around in my clearly carefree existence. Most of them wore uniforms or suits.
It occurred to me that I’ve been far too stressed and miserable lately. Not spontaneous enough. Not enough fun in what I do. You can definitely tell a difference.
From there, my mind wandered to how apologetic these people were. Apologizing for answering the phone, apologizing for bumping into you. But no apologies whatsoever when they make rude gestures or grope your sack on a train.
I reached down and solved the mystery of my molester’s identity with a good, hard tug on the finger. No farts were released, though one old fart did cry out in pain since fingers aren’t supposed to bend in the direction I bent his.
I’ve seen things. People working past midnight. Teachers allow teasing of students with minor differences. And now someone so repressed they had to get sexual satisfaction from being crammed against random strangers. “That’s it!” I called out, “I’m turning zombie!”
I pulled myself up using the shoulders of nearby sardine people and crowdsurfed my way to the old coot with the broken finger. “If you’re not using it, it’s time someone got to enjoy it!” I yelled, then bit down on his bald pate.
The crowd didn’t take it well. I don’t think Japanese people as a group have a whole lot of those “Dare To Be Awesome” fantasies. I never thought I’d miss having a deluded asshole with a gun around. Hell, they’d let themselves get so packed into the train, they literally couldn’t escape as blood sprayed.
To be clear, I didn’t eat the guy. With so much fish on the diet, he was most likely of little nutritional value. Plus, I hear brains are tastier when they’re a bit more experienced. It’s come up in conversation with Mix N’Max over his zombie studies. The guy’s really obsessed with the walking dead. If you ask me, it’s a little morbid. So no, I didn’t actually resort to cannibalism as I chomped on this old man’s head and neck. He went down, but the continued screaming and bleeding let on that he didn’t die.
I had all the space I could want on the train until it everyone in the car decided to leave at the next stop. I skipped out after them, humming to a song running through my mind. You know I’ve been a real bad girl, Gwen Stefani.
So that’s the mindset I was in when I got to ODA. Bows all around, polite small talk, disapproving coughs upon seeing the blood on me. I preempted the trip to a meeting room by draping my arm around the closest guy and told him, “Enough with the offices and ties. You don’t need to do a lot. Just show me the robots.”
They didn’t know how to take it, so I leaned on the old favorite of foreigners: repetition. “Show me the robots! Show me the robots! Show me the robots! Show me the robots!”
The man I’d grabbed stammered out, “I am sorry, you would like to see the production floor?”
Ah, finally. Some understanding. Besides, if I’d stayed in there much longer, I think I’d have gone on a strangling spree.
This place is like the manifestation of everything I hate and it’s affecting me. They volunteered some middle management martyr to go with me to the factory to see robots assembling robots. Robots assembling robots. They’re so devoted to jobs and shit that they can’t find time to fuck and make their own damn babies around here, but at least the robots are reproducing.
I eyed the martyr’s necktie the entire ride over. Wanna kill, wanna kill, wanna kill kill kill. “Pull over!” I jumped out of the car before it even stopped moving and walked over to a traffic light post to catch my breath. In a lot of places, seeing someone act like that would prompt someone to at least ask about my well-being. The only guy likely to do that this time around would be the guy paid to look after me. I don’t fucking need looking after!
Before Mr. Martyr could catch a heaping portion of my wrath, I grabbed some stuffed shirt walking nearby and pulled him close. “Robots build by robots,” I told him in English. I dragged him and his crisp pants out into traffic, then stopped. “No, this is wrong. I’m a feminist.” I tossed him back to the curb and instead threw a girl over my shoulder. She screamed, but people didn’t try too hard to help as I took her out and tossed her in front of a passing bus.
It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it still got me feeling better. Always feels better to do it by hand. I brushed them off and turned to my minder. “I feel better. Shall we, mister…?”
“Lovely name. Jewish?” I asked as we got back into the car. Times like these, I wonder if something might actually be wrong with me, rather than all the things I pretend are wrong with me to get away with strange behavior in public. “I don’t have anything against most Jews. I mean, the dick chopping thing seems bad. Then there’s the mohels. And the ultra-orthodox ones that are like dicks themselves, only nobody chops off the skin around their heads. Remind me to take a trip to Israel and I’ll see what I can do about that. I suppose I have trouble trusting a group with that much emphasis on not banging animals. Then again, me and any human would be about the same way.”
Mr. Fukuda didn’t answer from the driver’s side.
“What about you? You ever visit a heavy petting zoo?”
“Just wondering what you do for fun around here. You get off work in a couple of hours. Maybe we should go out and find something nasty to do and never talk about again.”
Still nothing. I reached across the car and threatened to poke him in the cheek. “Hey, Fukuda. Have you ever been in prison? I’ve been in prison. It’s not a good environment. A sane man like myself could go crazy with all those psychos in there. Heh. Heheh. Hahahahahahaha!” I shut up and stared at him, then added, “Funny thing is, turns out I was in solitary! Ha! The tricks people do with mirrors. Weird thing is, I would have sworn I had this love-hate thing going on with a black accountant. I never figured out exactly what I was doing in that shower.”
Damn, still nothing. This guy had a lot of practice keeping stuff bottled up.
At least the factory seemed fine. Small, noisy place. Lots of guys throwing their backs out. They brought out some little guy they’d just build. It looked like a sphere, but without a middle portion. That’s where the main body was, with a stand and a camera on top of it. The workers nearby tried not to look at the conspicuous bloodstains on my coat.
“Unusual design. I believe most people prefer robots that look human” I asked.
Fukuda seemed surprised at the question. “The human body is an inferior form. Robots that resemble people are useful, but we anticipate a wider range of actions for our mobile platforms.”
“They are just about perfect, but I must ask you something. How soon can we give them lasers and shivs?”
Fukuda bowed his head. “Please excuse me while I find out.” He then turned and walked into the bathroom, where he yelled out, “YAAAARGH!”
Ah, there we go. I felt better already.