About fourteen years ago, I wrote a short story called “Roach Twelve.” It was about a government-funded cybernetics project in which cockroaches were fitted with implants so they could be walked around remotely. They also had little cameras on them, GPS chips, and tiny explosives the size of grains of rice.
They were used for search and rescue missions, because they could explore rubble without digging, and they were resistant to chemicals and radiation, so toxic spills for instance were no problem. Also, the roaches – in a comical nod to mid-90’s Internet technology, and my general lack of intelligence – were fitted with ports on their butts, so they could back into phone jacks and upload or download information from computers. Modern units, I’m certain, could be fitted for Wifi, wouldn’t you agree?
In the story, an alien spaceship crashes, they send in twelve remote control cockroaches, and one of them interfaces with the alien space ship, becomes self-aware, and escapes. It was pretty cool, if you ask me, because all the other roaches were sent to converge on the renegade Roach Twelve, who had actually removed his GPS chip and planted a bunch of his little bombs with it.
So when the roaches all went to get him, Roach Twelve was a half mile away, busy berating his former human masters for the sick and monstrous things they were doing, and then all the other roaches were destroyed and an armed, cybernetic cockroach with the entire Internet for a mind was loose in America.
I’ll be really honest with you – you’re better off getting that one summarized. Any time I look back at something I wrote more than a few years ago, all I can think is, ewwwwwww, Tommy C. – you suck.
But the short story isn’t really important so much as the fact that it isn’t fiction anymore. They’ve had remote control cybernetic cockroaches for quite some time – and now, you can have some, too.
That’s correct. Check out this link – Roboroach Kit Makes You Mind Master Of Live Cockroaches – which hips you to a kit you can order, allowing you to make your own cyborg cockroaches, minus the bombs. They’re sort of rudimentary, and they include a larger exoskeleton which really does the walking, and they only work on one-quarter of cockroaches – the ones which watch Fox News, I imagine – but yes, you can then walk the little buggers around. Right, left, stop, Hammer Time – that sort of thing.
A little background on the research which led up to the product, for you there. That roach uses a ping-pong ball and a huge apparatus to move around. That’s another great idea – big robots with cockroaches driving them.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of things which are illegal to sell without a permit. Liquor, for instance, and freon, and in lots of areas, even milk is a controlled substance. But it’s groovetacular to go ahead and build an unholy army of mind-controlled robot cockroaches. This is America, land of the free.
I am not joking, my friends. I have seen a lot of batshit crazy ideas here in the post-Apocalyptic blogosphere, most of them created by scientists who are too busy in their labs to watch the horror movies which were made to warn them about doing stuff exactly like this.
On the other hand, what does the Bible think about this, you’re probably asking.
Well, in the Bible, if I’m not mistaken, God gives man dominion over the animal kingdom, so this is definitely not the jaw-dropping abomination it appears to be. It’s just us, kicking ass, that’s all. What Would Jesus Enslave?
And you definitely do not need to worry about what the cockroaches are doing while you put them away, do you? I’m sure they’re just sitting in their cars in the Matchbox Parking Garage where they are stored, thinking about stuff besides creeping into your bed while you sleep, and installing chips in your brain, and then making you dance around to techno music all the time. Where would they get that idea?
The general rule is, when something is possible, you do it. Robot Monkey Exoskeletons? Get ’em going. Super Villain Space Time Cloaks? Why not? Machines which catch animals and convert them to energy? What could go wrong?
The fact is, this kind of technology is exactly what we’ve been waiting for, as a species. For example, how often have you been sitting on the couch with a beer balanced on your belly, but then the furnace kicks on and you can’t quite hear Cupcake Wars? The remote’s all the way over there on the table, and to reach it, you’d have to lean forward and either spill or move your beer.
Not a problem, anymore, as long as your Cockroach Remote is closer. Just walk the cockroach over to the remote and make him bonk his head up against the Up Volume Button.
Or maybe you’re a creepy stalker, and you’d like to run a cockroach through the wall to stare at the pretty neighbor next door from her wall vents. That’s as American as apple pie, my friends – don’t act like you didn’t see Revenge of the Nerds.
In fact, it should be only a matter of time before we get this technology refined to where it works on bigger critters, like cats or squirrels or sharks with tigers strapped to them (that’s the one I’m holding out for, obviously). Once the tech wave hits on this one, we should as a nation be pretty much indestructible, and since horrific, monstrous abominations never turn on their creators like the wrath of the Almighty, there really shouldn’t be a downside at all. Let’s go shopping.
I know, a lot of you are like, I’m WAY too cool to play with remote control cyborg cockroaches, but that’s what you hipsters said about texting, and now look at you. You even figured out several ways to sneer via text, like “meh” and “pfffft” and don’t forget emoticons.
Ride the wave, my friends. This is America, the capital of the Internet, and if you don’t have your own unholy army of soulless cockroach monsters, then you’re just competing against people who do, and who’s fault’s that going to be? I suppose after everyone else’s cockroaches have taken over, you’ll be whining for a bailout, won’t you?
As for me, I’ll be in my closet with every crack in the wall and under the door sealed by duct tape, blogging, drinking whiskey, stinking, muttering, a lighter and a can of hairspray handy, ready to incinerate any dots that move. Daddy lost his faith in humanity, my wife will explain, and he’s just having some alone time.