The Yamamoto Corporation proudly releases its most advanced product…
Essentially a super recycling unit, “Bom” is built in a time when people are more comfortable with their independent automata resembling humans in form.
“He detects fires, toxins and dangerous debris and suctions them no matter what they’re part of. His suction power equals as much as a drain funneling water down Lake Superior!” boasts Hikaru Yamamoto, CEO.
“Is it wise to call it ‘he’ Grandfather?” I dare ask the CEO after the presentation.
“The people must think of Bom as their friend,” Grandfather insists, “not a machine.”
Thousands of municipalities around the world place their orders and receive a Bom.
Bom puts out fires and produces rain in the process. Bom disposes of garbage transforming it into rich fertilizer. Bom absorbs toxic spills and makes them into soap.
An ideal childhood behind me, Haichu Yamamoto – that’s me on this Earth – struck out on a path to financial security in the family banking business. But Grandfather announces his retirement. The family privately knows that the reason is Grandfather’s mental health, as he has suffered memory loss and signs of dementia.
So, upon age thirty, I inherit control of my elderly grandfather’s vast holdings and became a billionaire.
Investing in nano technology and nuclear energy is profitable until disaster strikes, as it does shortly after the roll out of Grandfather’s final masterpiece… Bom.
For there is a serious glitch in Bom’s programming.
“Clean up this town,” a careless city worker commands.
“Put out the fire!” orders a vague Fire Chief.
“Make us safe,” a wishful civil servant wistfully suggests.
Bom interprets words literally. Misunderstandings not clarified after two attempts are interpreted to the nearest approximation. Then action is taken.
Bom detects toxins. Bom detects smoke. Bom detects infestations.
This results in homes being ripped apart, clothes being shredded, food being snatched and other unfortunate incidents. Bom can only be deactivated with radio signals, but those signals are failing to get through.
Bom has no way of knowing when it’s time to stop.
“I am registering more cleanup ahead than ever before,” posits the electronic calculator controlling Bom. “Unidentifiable entities seem increasingly bent on…destroying me…”
ACTIVATE: self-defense mode
I am found responsible for the damages caused by our product and the countless lives changed by the disaster.
My family name is dishonored when manufactured goods are exposed as defective.
I lose my company and access to most of my fortune.
My Grandfather, Hikaru Yamamoto, commits suicide in shame.
Then a whistle blower contacts me.
I discover that we’ve been sabotaged and the plant deliberately damaged by a secret consortium of business competitors.
I hire investigators.
All legitimate attempts to uncover the fraud are blocked by legal teams and strong-arming minions.
The contractors who betrayed the Yamamoto’s by using cheap and defective parts attempt to stop my investigation by any means necessary, including sending their snake robot Scarletfang to assassinate their enemy.
Barely escaping the deadly snake bot, I go into hiding.
Unable to resist the redemption I know my family deserves, I break into the sealed walls of my former company and take the advanced nano-weapon my grandfather developed experimentally but never finished because of Bom. It is a special suit referred to as “Microlegion.”
Made of nano-tubes controlled by a neuron-sensitive implant, Microlegion can deploy tiny armies of flying or crawling robots that peel away from the suit and act in response to the wearer’s thoughts to harass, divert, control or destroy enemies.
Just as I’m prepared to face our evil contractors, Bom appears, detecting me as an environmental toxin. More Bom appear. Suddenly I’m surrounded by Bom.
Bom has super suction that draws material into its body where it’s broken down into atomic constituents. Ordinarily these atoms would be reconstituted into useful materials or energy. But Bom is in defense mode. That means Bom uses its super expulsion release energy from those breakdowns as concussive force, x-rays, vibratory waves or sonic decomposition.
I release my myriad nanobots.
They stream off me like strings of fire, then splaying, fanning out to encompass as many Bom as possible.
They crawl into Bom cavities, worm into Bom joints, disconnecting and devouring.
But there are more Bom arriving.
I take them on, releasing even more of the 500 billion nanobots aboard Microlegion.
Their fight is valiant; but even more Bom are coming.
Hunted by one hi-tech device after another, Microlegion uses my worldwide resources to help me stay on the run, hiding out while trying to expose the conspiracy that brought my company down.
Never let them get away with this.