Written by Felix Minderbinder
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Topics: Washington, Pentagon

Friday, 17 June 2005

Washington, DC (AP)-The recent outbreak of nanobug "eaters" which has reduced the immense Pentagon building to a "gray goo" has been contained, claimed Colonel Bull Buntline at a hastily called and sparsely attended news conference at a Howard Johnson's Restaurant in downtown Washington, DC.

"We've managed to fight those darn nanobugs to a halt," stated the grim-looking officer, who in answer to a reporter's question, admitted that the nanobugs were part of a secret and highly experimental Pentagon weapons system that was accidentally released during a presentation to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The US military had apparently developed the microscopic machines using nanotechnology, and they have the ability to dismantle, or eat all known molecules, which renders all nearby matter into a uniform gray goo. The escaping and self-replicating nanobugs also use some of the atoms to create new versions of themselves, thereby multiplying at an astounding, geometric rate. Nothing can apparently stop their progress since a "halt signal" built into the nanobug's program doesn't work for some reason.

The colonel claimed that the progress of the nanobugs, which are propagating in a circular ring outward from the former Pentagon building, has been halted by spraying liquid nitrogen, oxygen, helium and other supercooled gases on the voracious little bugs. Yet observers like Felix Minderbinder of the public interest group Natural Resources Defense Council says that this is only a temporary measure, as sooner or later the bugs thaw out and resume their munching. The eastern US is also running out of such coolants, he noted.

"I estimated that the nanobugs are still advancing by about ten feet per hour, and they can also progress underground where the surface freezing doesn't affect them," he commented, while packing his office things for a quick getaway on his mountain bike.

Colonel Buntline also admitted that the outbreak occurred when someone dropped a test tube full of the little critters which were thought to be in suspended animation. His words of assurance that the nanobug outbreak has been contained was apparently not believed by hundreds of thousands of residents of Washington, DC, and other cities and communities surrounding the Pentagon, including Boston and New York City, who are now attempting to flee with their belongings in their vehicles, jamming roads and interstate highways. All air and train travel has ground to a halt under the crush of people desperately trying to reach other parts of the USA and the world.

"This doesn't look good for planet Earth," added Minderbinder, as he ran out the door of NRDC headquarters.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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