Prose Header

Quartered in the Sunset

by Mia Tijam

A discussion appears
in this issue.

part 1 of 2

After Piggy Ma Lion clocks in at 9:50, technically late for 50 tocks but just 30 ticks for that cage called Nu Yu in the Zoo, as if Piggy Ma Lion cares about tardiness when tasks are completed on time or is scared by a memo—

* * *

Piggy Ma Lion giggles

Seeing in the analog log that Lesbo Hippo clocked in at 9:40 while Jimmy Worm hasn’t, Piggy Ma Lion goes to Lesbo Hippo’s cubicle and kisses the still drunk hippo, teasing, “You like dat, ha? Woohoo to hozay cuervoh!

Piggy Ma Lion is waving her right hand up in three snaps, pouting lips, all black-ghetto chick, mimicking Lesbo Hippo from last night. Lesbo Hippo chuckles alcohol fumes while doing her flirty call-outs for more humans to come and join the Sunset Industry.

Piggy Ma Lion knows some animals don’t know dung about drinking hard and working hard the next day like their patron saint the Holy Water Buffalo. Practice, practice, practice and Piggy Ma Lion has been practicing this caca since 10909060 B.Z.

* * *

Last night was Thursday but it was Payday

Everyone had kaching-kachings and could not wait for Friday to get poisoned and neutralize the toxicity of the Zoo. Bill Bird was their bar bitch and wanted to have steady drinks and unwinding yadda-yadda while welcoming the newbie newbie Nurse Ferret who used to be Piggy Ma Lion’s guinea pig.

Nurse Ferret was the redundant transient hired to encode the database of all the souls who would enter, pass, and exit their Hub in the Sunset Industry. She was then the new bait for all the horny birds and dogs, just like Piggy Ma Lion when she was new.

But Piggy Ma Lion could talk dirtier, booze harder, and kick asses better than all the Birds and Dogs — who turned out to be sweet pussies — and she was just scary at times so they had left her alone.

Nurse Ferret still answered Piggy Ma Lion with “Yes Ma’am!” when the latter would heckle her to, “Speak! Your saliva will rot! It’s free to speak!”

Bill Bird had herded everyone to this bar for innards junkies where street grub was plated like hotel food, wanted a send-off party because he would be transferred to the Hub, said he was feeling a little sad that he wouldn’t be seeing everybody every day. But the transfer was stressing his horny and comatose brain to work again.

Piggy Ma Lion was playing anti-social possum in the party, being plugged to the latest Devendra Banhart codex and wired to sift the InterFaces’s threads for the Deus Ex Machina but the InterFace is just full of virility-clock spammers. In Piggy Ma Lion’s head: I’m becoming a zombie. I’ve even forgotten that it’s my Mater’s birthday today.

Piggy Ma Lion was beginning to despise what had become normal — like her My darlings, you can’t say “Puck Namberrr Wan: Da Sunseet Indastree ees da nyu churts op da gay reelejun” — while Banhart croons in her ears What Will We Be.

Candy Kitty called out, “Babe! C’mon! Te-kee-lah!”

Piggy Ma Lion looked up, looked at all the barley and martinis for horses on the table, asked, “Seriously? You wanna drink that?”

Candy Kitty and Lesbo Hippo laughed, “Yeah!”

Piggy Ma Lion asked Kate Anaconda who was beside her, “What about you? You up for it?”

Tipsy Kate Anaconda drawled, “Sure... Probably be late tomorrow...”

Piggy Ma Lion clapped, “All right. Bring out the shots! Woohoo!”

Piggy Ma Lion looked at all of them and felt that it would be the last time she would see them all together like this. The animals all partied until it was tomorrow.

* * *

Tolerance: Thy Name Is Hangover

Piggy Ma Lion looks around for Candy Kitty and sees a hung-over zombie harried by desperate humans instead. Piggy Ma Lion laughs again with a shake of her head, the zombie laughs too, and Piggy Ma Lion kisses and hugs the zombie, “Babe, you okay?”

The hung-over zombie turns into Candy Kitty again and giggles, “Tell me when it’s smoking break later, Babe. I’ll come with you.”

* * *

While making the animals in Nu Yu do humanoid drills

Piggy Ma Lion checks the Zoo Mail. In Piggy Ma Lion’s head: Oh caca, more fracas for me to fix. Piggy Ma Lion stands up to go to the Zoo Keeper’s Office to resolve it. On Piggy Ma Lion’s way, she sees two humans lingering outside the reception area, “Has anyone attended to you?” They say no. Piggy Ma Lion says, “C’mon in here...”

* * *

What break

Waylaid by Santa the White Boss of the Zoo who smiles, “What time’s your break?”

Piggy Ma Lion answers as she ushers the humans, “Post-testing the robots today so don’t have much time. What didja have in mind?”

Santa shrugs, “Just a quick chat with you and your junior, what’s her name.”

Piggy Ma Lions says, “Piglet Ma Lion. She’s on her fifth day today with her robots.”

Santa says, “Huh? First day?”

Piggy Ma Lion enunciated, “No, FiFTH. Only have ten days to work the miracle, Santa. On the fifth day we have to send the bottom performers back to that line of starving folks. Feels like we’re killing our babies. But Zoo Operations says so. Hollow baskets, bad for ROI they say if we keep them.”

Santa nods, “Well, whatever, step into my office when you guys work out what time.”

In Piggy Ma Lion’s head: Oh crap, here comes that Deusdamn change.

* * *


Onto the Zoo Keeper ’s office who says, “Just look at this email! This is why you can’t go on leave... These fudging vampires feel that they are above everyone else... Can’t work with the nitpicking lot...” Tatatatata... There is a machine gun killing all the stupid emails in Piggy Ma Lion’s head... Tatatatata... These diplomatic word wars... Tatatatata... That caca.

* * *

Back to busy-ness

These animals — 02010.190 — made Piggy Ma Lion morph into a clown more, especially since Piggy Ma Lion has lately been feeling depressed about humans dying from this and that and all cancer. Piggy Ma Lion has coded them with “Assertive Happiness.” Piggy Ma Lion feels as if this would be the last batch she will be handling exactly as how she’s been programming robot codes.

* * *

Silence is a bomb

It’s their lunch break and Santa tells Piggy Ma Lion and Piglet Ma Lion, “The new Zoo Shaman will be coming in next week. The two of you will be transferred to his department and will no longer be with the Robot Outsourcing Department. More opportunities for growth for you... So, what are your thoughts?”

* * *

Drafting career suicide letters

Piggy Ma Lion and Piglet Ma Lion look at each other — they hate the Humans Transformed To Automatons & Vampires Department — and Piggy Ma Lion answers, “Santa, from the organizational perspective, it is just right that we get transferred. However there’s a conflict of interest. I declined your factory’s offer three years ago because I’m not interested in becoming a vampire, no offense. I only came on board last year because of the Robot Training Program...”

Piglet Ma Lion says the same thing.

* * *

Motivation is slow suicide

Service to the Universe... Give our humans the skills needed so that they get to the future... Target robot programming... Die doing miracles... To bridge the neuro-linguistic programming gap between the Academics and Robotics to turn all into Real Humans in the Global Village.

After, Piggy Ma Lion and Piglet Ma Lion start joking around, “We could have answered Santa with: ‘I thought a thought, but the thought I thought wasn’t the thought I thought I thought. If the thought I thought had been the thought I thought, I wouldn’t have thought so much’.”

Piggy Ma Lion and Piglet Ma Lion laugh: That’s one virus they implant in robots with the -t/-d for -th articulator error. Which means 50-90% robots of each batch would have rattled “Human, you are da turd.” Which does not get them hired and would get them eventually fired.

* * *

Over Gastritis

Piggy Ma Lion asks Piglet Ma Lion, “When do you think it’s being inflexible and when it’s a matter of knowing exactly what you want?”

They launch into a discussion of why it’s called being as stiff as titanium when one knows what one wants and doesn’t want. The Sunset Industry’s prerequisite virtue is flexibility. They are called titanium, which is better than being called by the name of whoever would call them that: Tupperware.

Piggy Ma Lion then says to Piglet Ma Lion, “Let’s wait and see what the new Zoo Shaman has in mind. That team-building would be an opportunity. If it goes against our purpose, then we pull out. Fudge this caca!”

Piglet Ma Lion frets, “I don’t want anybody else to handle the robots. They won’t be treated as humans... It has to have our approach...”

* * *


Before that year, Piglet Ma Lion was exactly like the usual snoots in Automatons & Vampires Departments of the Sunset Industry: Hell for them is humanity. Piggy Ma Lion re-programmed her and Piglet Ma Lion has woken up and was blooming into a human. Piggy Ma Lion continues to graft a stomach and a spine in her; it is draining.

Piggy Ma Lion also continues to transfuse blood and heart to another member of their team, this time to Tin Ma Lion, even when he’s far away in their Satellite in B City. It is draining.

* * *

Smoking afternoon

Piggy Ma Lion tells Candy Kitty, “Piglet and I are being transferred to Automatons & Vampires Department.”

Candy Kitty cries, “Oh no... What’s going to happen to us...”

Candy Kitty has thanked Piggy Ma Lion for showing her that it’s not all about the job of sourcing, training, and deploying robots for hiring. It’s about being human in the Zoo.

* * *

Proceed to part 2...

Copyright © 2013 by Mia Tijam

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