Drain clearing nano-bots

“What’s this?”

“Oh, these are next big thing.” Sometimes Walt spoke that way, omitting the simple adjectives just for kicks. “Drain clearing nano-bots.”

“It just looks like metal filings to me,” she said and picked up the vial with the label that read in tiny, neat script, DCNB.

“Very observant. They are… until you dump them into a drain with standing water. I have programmed them to activate when wet. They will float down until they encounter a clog and then in a matter of seconds shred it apart. When that happens, my little robots float away with the cloggy stuff, die and dissolve. Very short life.”

“You’re going to put a lot of plumbers out of business.”

“Not for public – only plumbers.” He skipped subjects and verbs too. “I want to stop people dumping lye and other chemicals in their drains. Makes no sense what you people do. I’m working on a variant to replace gardening chemicals that will eat specific weeds and bugs then degrade into a useful soil nutrient.”

“I never had you pegged for an environmentalist,” Susannah Fontaine-WIlliams said.

“It tricky programming … a lot of much math for me. I’ll get it though.”

“It’s odd, Walt,” she said. “How linear the narrative has become. Here I am in your workshop looking at your gadgets and toys slowly coming closer to this secret you have for me.”

“Agree. I prefer it when it jump around more too. I don’t like speaking this way either. Very unnatural. You have very shapely legs.”

“That’s not your kind of dialog, is it,” she said and slapped him once. “Not for being fresh,” she said, “just to snap you out of it.”

Blood trickled from his nose. “Ooooh, sorry,” she said.

“Not your fault. I bleed easy.”

“What were you going to show me?”

“Ah, yes. Come over here.” He led her to a door with a round port window like you’d find on an old boat. “Look inside.”

She put her face right up to the glass and cupped her eyes with her hands to keep out the glare. “I can’t see a thing.”

He flipped a toggle switch and the room on the other side of the door lit up. There was a table on a glass floor and on the table were a half dozen or so bins. She couldn’t see inside them, but she did recognize the floppy hat that rested across the top of several bins. “My hat!”

She reached into her bag and grabbed the hat and it disappeared from atop the bins. “Why didn’t I see my hand when I pulled out my hat?” She put the hat on, twirled and smiled, “You like? Say… did you put the hat there when I needed it on that jerk’s yacht?”

He shook his head.

“The knife?”

He shook his head.

“Mind if I go in and look around the inside of my purse?” She opened the door and stuck a leg in before she heard him yell, “No! Wait!”

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