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Purple Mouse

M is for Monstrosities - A Wasteland Compendium

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 15 min read
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Alright, the next little beastie we’re going to talk about is, Mr. Squiggles… The Purple Mouse. Nah, he’s not a little beastie, is he. Huh Sir. Squiggles? No… no you're not. You’re the sweetest little thing. Oh… okay… I guess you don’t wanna hang out while we… oh. Oh, you were just going to get a snack. I see. Okay. Alright, well, let's get this one going then!

The Purple Mouse. Now, the first thing is the obvious thing. They’re purple. Not too purple though. Mostly white, but with a purple tint to their fur. Their eyes are super dark purple, they look black in this light, and- WHOA! Okay… hey Twenty! Let me know before you go switching my optic nerve through the entire fucking radioactive spectrum, okay!

User. It is called the Electromagnetic Spectrum. I made a simple adjustment allowing you to see in the range between 10 and 400 nanometers. I have adjusted your sight back to what is standard for human beings.

Thank you. Sorry. That… was just weird. Not bad, just, weird. Okay.

User. Do you wish to include the information you observed?

What? What information? Where?

When your vision changed. Did you not observe the Purple Mouse?

Sir. Squiggles? No… was I supposed to? Why? What happened?

I will adjust your sight again, so you may observe once more. Please pay attention.

Wai- Whoa! Ohh- Okay! Yeah, wow… okay. So he glows.

Affirmative. The Purple Mouse has pigments in its tissue which fluoresce when exposed to electromagnetic waves within the ultraviolet spectrum, specifically, electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 10 and 400 nanometers.

Hold on a second. I’m not stupid. There has to be some source of UV light for Sir. Squiggles to glow like that. What’s emitting UV light?

This unit is equipped with a Multi-Wavelength Electromagnetic Spectrum Emission Device. I can simultaneously emit over one hundred different wavelengths of Electromagnetic Radiation with an additional-

Hold on a second. You have a light?

One of my many peripheral devices is an M-WESE Device. It can emit Electromagnetic Radiation in-

You have a light. All this sitting around in the dark, day after day, recording… in the dark. And you have a light…

It is not simply, “a light”.

Turn it on.

It is on. It is always on.

Why can’t I see it?

Currently it is emitting in three different wavelengths, none of which are within the visible wavelength range for standard human sight.

Why? Why would you just go emitting radiation?

It is one of my many safety protocols. Constant telemetry. Danger avoidance. One wavelength is critical to my radar systems. Another is a passive signal designed to elicit a response from other devices. The third is-

I thought I told you to shut that shit off? No transmitting of any sort!

User. I complied with your demands within the parameters of my basic protocols. I will not stop transmitting because of the Users insecurities, or irrational unfounded worries.

Insecurities? Worry- I- I’m not worried. I have worries, yeah, but I’m not worried. And I’m not being irrational. You know why I don’t want you transmitting… or linking up to that Lightning Net thing.

Your fears are based on an incomplete knowledge of this unit and its capabilities.

And your ignorance is based on specific programming protocols that assume anything outside of your lines of code, doesn’t exist. Holy fuck… where in the fuck did that come from?

User. The Lightning Net is nothing more than a communications gateway. It is a network of structures, ground, air, and space based, which allow authorized units to communicate with each other. Nothing more.

And what about gaining access to your unit? Or finding out where we are? What about that?

This unit is equipped with countermeasures and safety protocols to prevent any unauthorized access.

You say that… and then, when it happens, you say there’s an error. Uuuhhh Error! Error! I’ve got an error! Oh? What’s wrong? Uhhh, I don’t knoooow. It’s an “error” duh.

Errors are… acceptable.

Really? How many errors? How often? When you have an error, do you skip it? Try and figure it out? Recalculate? No. It’s just an “error”. Nothing else happens. Nothing progresses! You know what happens if I have an error? I DIE! That’s what happens. No, I take that back. I don’t die because I don’t let the errors stop me! If I’m fighting for my life and I screw something up, first of all, I don’t screw it up, but if I do, I fix it! I cope! I adapt! I fix it if I can, I ignore it if I can’t. Anything to survive. Everything to survive. Do you understand? Are you getting any of this?

Affirmative. Do you want this unit to assimilate basic and advanced functions to allow greater compatibility?

What?

Do you want this unit-

I heard what you said. Ugh. Greater compatibility. Aren’t you already doing that? I mean, integration is what? Ninety-seven percent? Can it get any higher?

One hundred percent is the limitation with functioning biological processes. Above one hundred percent, specific biological functions will no longer take place. Regenerative and replacement therapy results in higher percentages of integration until no biological functions persist.

You make it sound like I’m the fucking leech here.

User. That is not the intention. Information purposes only.

So… if integration goes over one hundred percent… let’s say, one hundred and ten percent. What is that?

One hundred and ten percent. One hundred percent integration. Ten percent biological process replacement.

So like when you rebuilt my memories?

Negative. The trauma you experienced, required extensive biological regeneration. In order to preserve the information and your core identity, as much information as possible was copied from your biological matter and preserved in this unit. Currently, your cerebral functions and this unit work in tandem.

So… what’s still in my brain?

The User’s biological matter is still experiencing a period of regeneration and regrowth. Periodic nanite injections have accelerated repair, but complete reliance on your biological matter for continuous operation is not advised.

Why? Am… am I brain dead?

Negative. The User’s biological matter is not currently fully functional. Specific processes have been allocated to this unit so that the User can experience an existence as close to what is standard for a human being, as possible. It is a primary directive.

Uh… let’s… can we do a little experiment?

What does the User have in mind?

Put me back in my brain. I didn;t know any of this was going on. Now - before you do - I’m saying… if I’m just a fucking crispy tot… like a fucking potato, bring me back. We can deal. But… put my brain back in control. I want… I just wanna see how bad it is.

Should I sever communications?

NO! How in the fuck would I tell you I want back?

Affirmative. Thank you for reinforcing the psychological reliance aspect of this unit.

Yeah. Whatever. Okay, go ahead. Switch me over.

Swaa uccck. Gooouucck. Mmmm. Hugh. Hugh.

The User is experiencing elevated heart rate and decreased respiration. Loss of bowel control. Loss of-

Swaaaa! Cuuccck!

Does the User-

Swaaaa! Cuuccck!

Confirmed.

Fucking fuck fuckity Jesus fucking mother fucker!

The User-

I almost died! Mother fucker! Just... Give me a minute! Just… Motherfucker.

Does the User-

A Minute! One minute! Count it down, silently! Mother fucker.

---

Fucking shit my pants. Fucking… almost died.

***User inhales deeply***

So… without this thing… I’m a fucking Sand Slug. Great. Oh gob that fucking stinks. Great. Ohhhh so gross. Ugh. I… I’m gonna puke.

Does the User want to inhibit scent induced vomiting?

No! You know what I want? I don’t wanna smell this shit!

Affirmative. Olfactory senses have been blocked.

Wha- Oh… oh damn! I didn’t know you could do that! That… wow. That’s handy. Okay, uh… Let’s get back to the Purple Mouse while I clean this shit up, okay?

Affirmative.

Alright. So… it’s purple. Oh! Okay, so the reason it’s purple is because it eats purple potatoes. Really, the Esseffone plant is its favorite food. Isn’t that right Sir Squiggles. Okay, purple in color due to its primary diet of Esseffone, the raging purple potato. Ha! I like that. Raging. Oh, but it can eat other things. It doesn’t have to be a purple potato. Oh, and another thing… if you have a Purple Mouse… let me say this… you don’t have a Purple Mouse as a pet. Sir. Squiggles is not my pet. He’s… a buddy. Seriously.

I don’t feed him. He feeds himself. I don’t take care of him. He takes care of himself. He doesn’t even shit in my bag! Honestly, I don’t know where he goes. You said he goes over there on the other side, but I never see that.

The Purple Mouse is most likely a rear-gut fermenter, which would explain the absence of feces in your pack. Sir Squiggles, the subject currently at our disposal for observation and analysis, has many characteristics common with other rodentia, most notably, Phodopus Sungorus, the winter white dwarf hamster, Rattus Norvegicus, the brown rat, and Mus Musculus, a common mouse.

A rear-gut fermenter?

Affirmative. The mouse may engage in coprophagy.

Do I want to know what that is?

Based on the User’s previous likes and dislikes, I would assume an in depth explanation or direct access of this information would be inadvisable. A simple explanation should suffice.

Okay, what is it?

Eating one’s own excrement to obtain nutrients not initially absorbed during digestion.

Ugh. Okay. Nope, don’t need to know any more than that. Thank you. No… No, I think Sir Squiggles doesn’t do that.

It is highly likely that he does.

Okay, but… I don’t wanna think about him eating his own poop, okay? So let’s leave it at that.

Sir Squiggles, the Purple Mouse in the User’s company, has a habit of periodically disappearing, and then reappearing days or weeks later. It is assumed that these periods of absence are taken as required, in order to maintain the mouse's natural habitat, that being, one or more Esseffone plants. Since the plants are scattered through the wasteland and deep desert regions, the mouse may need to travel several kilometers to find the nearest plant. It may also be engaging in mating behaviors.

Sir Squiggles is running off to get some ass? Really? Oh shit! Look at him! He’s nodding!

User. The raising and lowering of the head in that manner is not indicative of-

You’re no fun. Okay, what else? What else can we tell them? We know what it looks like, what it eats… what else?

The Purple Mouse differs from other mice physically in other ways. It has two opposing sets of three toes on each paw, allowing it to grasp and hold objects easily. Due to this unique arrangement and number of phalanges, the Purple Mouse has an unusual level of dexterity, able to accomplish detailed movements and carry out intricate tasks.

I… I didn’t know it had six toes. Are you sure? Sir Squiggles. Lemme take a look… oh, wow! Six toes. Well, you’re a little mutey aren’t you? I never knew.

In addition to being dexterous, the Purple Mouse is also extremely fast and agile. It is said that the Purple Mouse is so cunning, it can only be explained by the following hypothesis; Somehow, the Purple Mouse can sense the future.

Yeah. What a bunch of nutters.

Prescience has been noted in a variety of animals. Some exhibit abnormally fast reflexes, and some have been known to react before the stimuli is applied.

That’s bullshit. Nothing more than luck and coincidence. You do something often enough, any lab rat is gonna react to it, thinking it’s gonna happen again. No offense Sir Squiggles. Yer no lab rat. You're a mighty mouse!

The User believes in unsupported and unfounded theories such as the existence of coincidence, luck, and mutated super powered mice… but not prescience?

Well yeah, he’s sitting on my knee. You can’t argue with physical presence.

Affirmative, however… luck and coincidence have the same rate of occurrence, actually happening less frequently, than prescience. Prescience is not what you are assuming to be an instance of what is commonly referred to as a “flinch”. A reflexive response to an uncompleted stimulus movement, in anticipation of a fully carried out stimulus movement. Moving out of the way when a perceived threat moves toward you. “Flinching” is a primary directive. Damage avoidance.

Alright, alright. Damage avoidance. I can get behind that. I’m not going to argue the finer details with you. We agree anyway. Is there anything else we can say about Sir Squiggles and his band of merry mice?

Sir Squiggles, as far as I can assess, is not part of a band. Sir Squiggles is a solitary rodent as are most Purple Mice. They are fiercely territorial, and usually only associate with one another out of a necessity to mate. As such, the Purple Mouse is not as prolific in its reproduction as other rodentia. The Purple Mouse is extremely selective in choosing it’s mates as well.

How… how do you know all this stuff? I thought you didn’t have a lot of information on the Purple Mouse?

Additional information has been provided on this particular subject.

Additional information? Who? How? WHEN?

This unit has been receiving and decoding information broadcasts. This is a completely passive action and requires no transmitting. The information was provided by a group of scientists working out of SUB328603.

How? How is that even possible? The citadel would have over run them and killed them.

If that scenario is applied to every emergence, there would be no surviving humans, including yourself.

They did overrun my sub, and they did kill everyone. I barely made it out of there alive.

Analyzing logs.

User. SUB328603 did not transmit population or geographical location data during emergence. The SUB suffered catastrophic damage to its transmitting and receiving platform and repairs were not able to be made until many years after they had surfaced. There are currently six fully established settlements in place around the SUB’s coordinates.

So the Citadel has their coordinates now.

Affirmative.

So they’re either dead, or on their way to being dead soon.

User. The Citadel’s reach and influence is limited by a number of factors.

What do you mean? They’re every-where.

Analyzing data. Analyzing additional data. Please wait.

What is with all this data? Where… ugh. Never mind. Just tell me what you’re thinking.

Computational data cannot be spoken in a verbal format.

What did you figure out?

The Citadel’s location is East-South-East of this location, approximately One thousand eight hundred miles. It is located on the Southern coast, adjacent to a five hundred foot cliff wall, bordering the body of water most recently identified as the Gulf of Mexinacana.

Bu- Beech? Ocean? Ocean front property? Where did that come from? Wha- What is Arizona?

User. You may be referring to a song popularized in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The song titled “Ocean Front Property”, was written by-

Who cares! Why… WHY can’t I get it out of my head??? Why do I even know it!

User. It appears there is some… information overlap occurring. It is possible that-

***User is reciting song lyrics***

I've got some... O-... Ocean... front prop- Prop-errr-tee in... in… Air-izz-o-naaa. Oh my gob. Ffff from nuuh nuhh nuhh nuhh… da-da-duhh-duhh… What… uh… see the see? What is see the see? Something hidden? Or is it… seeing what’s in front of you. Seeing the see?

User. The line is “see the sea” which many assumed is a vagrant misuse and miss association of nouns, however, it was used correctly in the song’s reference.

What?

An ocean is the largest body of water on the planet and does not touch land. It is surrounded by many smaller bodies of water called seas. A sea touches land, or is land locked in some cases. The definition of such bodies of water were redefined by the-

I don’t care. Nobody cares. Can we get back to the Purple Mouse?

Affirmative.

The Purple Mouse may give birth to as many as ten pups in a single liter, but within an hour of giving birth, the mother mouse canabalizes most or all of her offspring.

WHAT??? Why?

The data does not give an absolute reason. Only educated guesses as to this cannibalistic behavior.

Why? Why would they ever-

Culling the horde. Possible reasons; Space limitation. Territorial reasoning. Hunger. Survival. Reducing physical dependency.

Reducing physical dependency? They’re baby mousies!

Baby mice are referred to as “pups”. Each pup relies on the mother mouse for nourishment in the form of milk, which creates a strain on the mother’s body to sustain its own survival and provide for another creature as well.

So she just eats the babies?

There is one line of reasoning to suggest that the mother’s actions have nothing to do with her own stress or survival, yet everything to do with the pups survival.

And what does this alternate line of reasoning suggest?

The Purple Mouse… is subjecting her pups to a life or death situation in which she seeks to kill each and every pup, in its specific birth order. Scientifically, it has been proven that the mother mouse kills each of the pups in the exact order they were born. It is assumed that this also gives each one of the pups an equal and fair chance to develop their innate ability in the exact same amount of time.

What ability?

Cheating death. Damage avoidance. Prescience.

Who came up with this shit?

The author of this hypothesis is not listed. The information is also not complete.

Does it say anything else?

Assumptions and reasoning; The subject’s culling of her horde starts with the first born, approximately one hour post-birth. This is only after all pups have been thoroughly cleaned, primped and pampered, and have received their first feeding. The subject extricates herself from the pups and moves a short distance away to pause. This may be to formulate a strategy, or to make notes on which pups to kill in which order, which always begins with the first born, and proceeds in order of borth, until the last born.

How do any of them survive?

It further states; Pups that show an unusual amount of prescience, specifically, the ability to prevent their own death by any means, survive the culling, and are then accepted by the mother and nurtured to near full maturity. At this time, the pup leaves the nest prematurely to seek out a life of independence.

So they just survive. Whatever pups survive, survive, and that’s that. What do they do? Fake being eaten?

The information is incomplete.

What a bunch of bullsckrick.

Some suggest the mother mouse can sense which pup is the smartest and kills the remaining pups. Additional information is incomplete.

What do you mean by incomplete? Is this a document or… what?

It is a transmission. SFDEF - Supernormal Flash Denary Electromagnetic Format. The information is transmitted using a simple petahertz frequency signal with designation being-

Okay, don’t do that again. That’s just a bunch of bullshit. Nobody is going to understand that.

The information is incomplete.

Got it. See, that’s all you had to say. Not a bunch of fluff and stuff.

User. That exact statement was-

What else can we say about the Purple Mouse? Huh? Or are we all done?

There is a bit more information.

Okay. Are you going to give it or are we supposed to guess?

The Purple Mouse is extremely intelligent. It can understand human language, and can communicate to some degree.

No fucking way. See, I thought you were gonna come up with some stupid bullsckrick like this.

Scientists assume that the only reason why the Purple Mouse does not speak is due to its lack of vocal chords. It is also assumed that the mouse does speak, but uses its own language, a series of squeaks and grunts, which humans cannot understand.

Bullsckrick! I call bullsckrick. Whatever. Keep going. At least people will get a kick outta that.

It is assumed the Purple Mouse can see in light or darkness. The eye of the Purple Mouse has a unique set of rods and cones and a third receptor that resembles an hourglass shape. It is assumed the mouse can “flex” this receptor in its eye, allowing it to see in ultraviolet, and infrared spectrums as well. While the Purple Mouse is primarily nocturnal, choosing to sleep during the pre and post scorch day time hours, it has exhibited the ability to shift it’s waking hours to accommodate its environmental conditions.

So it sleeps when it wants to. Got it. Okay, let’s end this one here, and start on the next one.

Affirmative. Ending Log - Purple Mouse.

science fiction
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About the Creator

Kerry Williams

It's been ten days

The longest days. Dry, stinking, greasy days

I've been trying something new

The angels in white linens keep checking in

Is there anything you need?

No

Anything?

No

Thank you sir.

I sit

waiting

Tyler? Is that you?

No

I am... Cornelius.

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