Ethical Batteries Not Included

Steve B Howard

She stripped the last bit of plastic coating from the copper wires spilling out of the shattered drywall. “Just enough of a lead to wire it in,” she thought. She clipped the tiny wires from the busted wall socket and wrapped them tightly to the leads from the tiny data chip. The tiny room she occupied was on the tenth floor of a burned out factory on the outskirts of Osaka. Evidence of the last war, probably the final war, still scarred the surrounding hillsides. The blackened stumps of dead cedar trees marched up the hill behind the factory to a burned out Shinto shrine. The stone Torii Gate was burned black as well. She had been living and scavenging in this building for a week now. It had once been a water purification plant before the war. Until today though, she hadn’t found anything that might be of value in the Namba trading stalls that ran along the Yodo River in the city center. Turning the data in her hands she could still see the faint aquamarine tint on the casing. “Designed for a bio-electric gel pack,” she thought. “I can still Mickey Mouse it to an old battery and rip the data. Whoever the hell Mickey Mouse is.” That evening she left the factory and made her way north towards an old hospital. Armed guards stood out front. A rusted sign above the entrance read, “Imperial Care Facility” To the left of the entrance, a stand of thick bamboo sat in the shadows. Moving slowly taking care to remain in the darkness, she made her way to the stand of bamboo. From a backpack, she removed a small pistol with a silencer as long as the gun itself attached. Then she removed a surgical kit wrapped in a leather tool belt. She watched several elderly people emerge slowly from the building led by a burly orderly. “Pacemakers,” she thought. She’d found her power source. Extraction was always the worst part.

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I mainly write about fly fishing in Washington State, Classic Muscle Cars, and Stand Up Comedy.

Seattle, WA

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