The father burst into the hospital emergency room with his motionless infant. The limbs did not swing as corpse limbs do. Instead, they were frozen, so that it looked as if the father was holding a tiny mannequin.
A nurse walked up to the father with the practiced ease of a salesperson helping a customer. Without saying a word, she opened the baby’s right eyelid with her thumb. Then she sighed, and closed the lid.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she said, “it’s really not worth your time to save her.”
“What do you mean?” screamed the father.
The nurse remained eerily calm.
“We call it The Purple Dot of Doom, sir,” she said, “it’s a common problem with these models. When the pupil turns purple, that means that the central processor has blown out.”
“No,” the father whispered, sinking to his knees as the nurse took the baby out of his hands. She waved a scan gun over the barcode on the back of the baby’s head, and smiled.
“Ah,” she said in a brisk voice, “no problem sir. You’re still covered by the warranty.”
In one practiced motion, she ripped the baby’s head off, turned the head upside down, reached into the hole at the neck, and pulled out the memory chip. It was covered with bits of organic material, and wires trailed out of it like cornsilk. She tossed the baby into a recycle bin, picked up an alcohol soaked pad, and began to swab the chip, pulling the stray wires off and cleaning the bits of tissue off the contacts.
Once she was done with this, she handed the catatonic father a stick of gum.
“This contains an amnesia drug that’ll also calm your nerves,” she said gently. “Now, go to the waiting room and chew on the gum. In a short while you’ll be a father all over again, and it’ll be as if this never happened.”
Still shaking, the father put the gum in his mouth, and let the last two hours vanish from his mind.
Twenty minutes later, he emerged from the hospital with his daughter in his arms.
“Aw, my little Pooky,” he said, tickling her chin. “Who’s my little Pooky Poo? Who’s my little Pooky Poo?”