-The recipe of life and death lies in the DNA-
Daena sulked as she looked at the message on the sticker of her vial.
“I’m depressed. I haven’t been assigned anything interesting since I graduated from the Detective Nanoengineering Academy and placed into this horrible tube in this horrible lab. I was voted the most beautiful nanoengineered virus in the Nature Journal. They could have at least placed us near a window to get some sun. Don’t you think, DannyBot?”
“I don’t see the importance of sunlight radiation,” said DannyBot.
“Are all nanobots as entertaining as you are?”
“Nanobots are robots made of DNA strands. We are not made to entertain. We are made to decode DNA, to synthesize DNA, to take apart DNA…” DannyBot went on and on about his functions.
“Booooriiiing. What’s the point of using DNA, if you can’t build something to have fun? Look at the humans in the lab. They are made from DNA like us, but they get to work on interesting things and laugh and go out. Why not us?”
“Because we are not humans,” said DannyBot.
“You depress me.”
Daena decided to swim around. She was kicking a bunch of floating aminoacids, when a human moved towards the vial and squeezed a drop of liquid into it. A DNA strand appeared into view.
“Looks like we got a message. Another boring mission I bet,” said Daena.
DannyBot swam towards the floating DNA strand, hooked himself onto it and started reading it base by base like a tape: A, T, G, A… Then he decoded the message.
“Message Start. Detective Daena. The chairman has been infected with a genetically engineered Ugga Ugga virus. The chairman will turn into a monkey in the next 12 hours. If word gets out, the government will close the lab and destroy all genetically engineered viruses including you. Your mission is to locate and neutralize the virus. You and DannyBot will be injected into the chairman’s body. Extraction coordinates have been provided. Extraction will commence once the virus has been neutralized.”
DannyBot spit out the last base of the DNA strand. “Message Stop.”
“I really hope we take care of this virus. I don’t want to end up inside the body of a dumb monkey forever.”
The lights went out as the vial was put into a box. When Daena saw the light again it was at a great speed as she was injected into the body of the chairman.
“We are into the blood stream,” said DannyBot. “Cell analysis shows our location to be the chairman’s butt.”
“That is so humiliating,” said Daena.
“Actually, humility is considered a virtue in some human cultures,” said DannyBot.
“You depress me.”
Daena tightened up. “Let’s go catch this Ugga Ugga virus and feed him to the white blood cells before he spreads. What is the most likely infection scenario?”
“Most likely scenario is airborne infection through the throat,” said DannyBot.
“I’m not looking forward to getting coughed at, but let’s head for the throat.”
They floated inside the bloodstream through the digestive track to the stomach and from there climbed all the way to the lungs and then the throat. When they arrived, the throat seemed normal.
“I do not detect any viral activity in the proximity,” said DannyBot.
“Great. We are back to nothing. DannyBot, how much time do we have left?”
“And how long will it take us to search the entire body?”
“21 hours. The math indicates we have less than 50% chance to find the Ugga Ugga virus in the next 10 hours,” said DannyBot.
“Simple math won’t get you anywhere, DannyBot. Set course for the brain’s thalamus, the pain processing center. If the chairman didn’t breathe in the virus then someone forced it into him. We can figure out where if we follow the pain. I should be working with humans. I should be named the greatest DNA detective in the world.”
Daena stretched proudly.
“Actually, you are the only DNA detective in the world, so by definition you are both the best and the worst detective,” said DannyBot.
“You depress me.”
They jumped into the blood stream next to the spinal cord and followed all the way up to the brain. DannyBot mounted on top of a nerve center and waited for pain signals. After a few minutes, they heard one of the nerves scream “Ay!” “Ay!” “Ay!”
“The pain signal appears to be originating from the left eye,” said DannyBot.
“I’m not looking forward to meeting this Ugga Ugga virus, but let’s head for the left eyeball.”
And so they floated from the brain to the nose and from there to the eye. As they entered the eyeball they shook from their horror. Thousands of big fat viruses that looked like hungry monkey heads with twisted sharp teeth swam inside the eyeball. Some would attack and try to eat each other, but most of them attacked the chairman’s cells. Their jaws would grab onto a cell and eat their way into it. Once they disappeared into the cell, there would be a moment of silence. But only a moment. The cell would then grow and grow and grow like a balloon and then explode.
“Bang!” a cell exploded near Daena and out of it came a hoard of ugly twisted monkey heads. They swam towards a bunch of eyeball cells nearby. But one of them, a really big one, turned and looked at Daena…
To be continued…