“Rashi, what did you do?”
The interns at the laboratory known only as The Lab did their level best to be close enough to hear the argument while far enough away to avoid any fallout. Just three weeks ago, a new intern had taken umbrage at being shouted at and, while the Boss was fine – the boss was always fine – three nearby interns had lost parts or all of their limbs to a parasitic vine. With the memory still clear – with Yando still sitting in his mechanized chair, working the controls with what were only sort of fingers (and sort of vines) everyone was very cautious this time.
That meant they only heard some of the argument – but the kids will – FORGET THE KIDS – monetization – TOKYO – so cute, aren’t they – STREETS OF TOKYO –
At that point, Lei managed to get her prototype spy-fly into the right spot, which at the moment was watching a giant monitor with Rashi on one side and the Boss on the other side. And on the monitor were a herd of children carrying their cell phones, aiming them at-
“Oh, shit.” Yando backed his chair up slowly, as if what was one the monitor could get to him.
Nobody blamed him. Bright pink and purple and yellow monsters were bouncing cheerfully through Tokyo, eating lamp posts and occasionally snacking on power cords. They were, mostly, about the width of the road and usually about as tall as the smaller buildings.
Until the kids got their phone aimed on them. Then, suddenly, they rolled up into a tiny ball-
-“like a stink bug,” Lei breathed –
-and were scooped up by the nearest kid.
“But see?” Rashi offered weakly. “The kids are getting out and playing. And look! They eat garbage.”
“You.” The Boss whirled around and pointed at the nearest five interns. “Go to Tokyo. Get some of those phones. And gather up these things. Maybe we can use them for the fallout from the other week.”
“I can-” Rashi offered weakly.
The interns fled quickly, not wanting to know what happened to Rashi. Besides, they had a plane to Tokyo to catch.