Gromet's PlazaMummification Stories

Smart Duct Tape: The Professor

by Darkraptor

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© Copyright 2006 - Darkraptor - Used by permission

Storycodes: Machine/mf; mum; tape; cocoon; cons/nc; X

A re-imagining of the original story “Smart Duct tape” by Naughtylittlegirl



7:00 PM

Professor Purvis sat at his study, reviewing the last forms for the day.  He had to make sure all the copyright forms were set in place, that all the technical schematics were in order, and that the contract with International Sex Co. was all set.

He smiled.  Right now, everything was going so well.  By the end of the year, he was going to be a rich man.  A very rich man indeed.

There was a knock at the door.  "Come in!"  Purvis said.  The oak door opened and one of Purvis's friends came in.  "Ah, good evening James.  How are you this fine night?"  The man yawned.

"Oh, tired.  Drowsy.  The usual.  I just came in to say goodbye."

"You heading off to training this weekend?"

"Oh no, I'm just heading back to town for some R and R.  I just wanted to say goodbye, and thanks for all your hospitality."  Purvis smiled.

"Aw, it's nothing really."  He said.  "Always a pleasure to have company out here.  It does get a bit lonely sometimes.  But I must admit, it encourages the mind to think."  He shuffled his papers and began putting them away.

"What are those?"  James asked.

"Oh these?  These are designs and papers relating to my newest invention."

"And that is?"  Purvis blushed. 

"Well, if you must know, it's a new sex toy."

This caught James attention.  He suddenly felt more awake.  "Really?  And what exactly is this sex toy?"

For the next ten minutes, Purvis explained his invention and how it worked.  But instead of being excited, James looked…nervous?

"I don't know professor."  He said.  "That sounds pretty risky.  What if something goes wrong with the programming?"

"Oh James, you worry too much.  Nothing's going to happen.  I promise you that."

"Look, I'm telling you, it's dangerous.  You shouldn't have anything to do with this."

"And why is that?"

"If this thing gets out of control, who knows what it could do?" 

"But I've gone over the programming over and over.  Everything's fine.  Nothing's wrong with it!  And it's too late to change anything anyway.  I've got a shipment coming in tomorrow for first product testing, and a large shipment is already on its way to Europe."  Purvis smiled.  "Really James, sometimes I do worry about you."

James shook his head, gave a faint smile.  "Look who's talking!  Ahh, I'd better get going.  I'll see you next month."

"Goodbye James.  Have fun with your R and R."  With that, James quietly left the study.

Sighing, the professor turned off the lights in the room and retreated to his bedroom. 

Considering the excitement that was coming tomorrow, he would need a good night's sleep.

It was going to be a very exciting day…



9:00 AM

A yawn, a stretch, and Professor Purvis awoke.  The sun was already streaming into the room.  "Good morning sun!"  He said cheerfully.  What a beautiful day!  The perfect opportunity to test out his new invention.

Leaving his house, Purvis walked through the town's streets, heading for his laboratory.  The sun was shining, families were out, and dogs were chasing each other through the streets.  It was a perfect desert day.

Upon reaching the lab, Purvis signed in, got on his lab coat and walked towards the testing room.  "Good morning Professor Purvis!"

"Good morning Sylvia.  Has Jeffery come in yet?"

"No, not yet.  He called and said he would be a little late."

Purvis sighed.  "Again?"

"Well, it is finals time at school."

"Yes, I suppose that's true.  Is Angela here?"

"Yes she is.  She's waiting for you in the testing room."

Walking down the hall, he reached the testing room.  Opening the door, he walked in.  "Well hello Angela!"

"Hello professor!  So, what is it you want me to test out today?"

"It's a new toy that I've invented for adults.  You're going to be its first test."

"Really?  That sounds like fun!"

"Are you a fan of being wrapped up Angela?" 

"Why, yes I am."  Purvis smiled.

"Then you'll definitely like this."  He reached into his coat and pulled out his invention.  It was a tiny robot, about the size of a basketball.  It was round, silver in color, and had several hatches on it.

"This…"  He said in his most dramatic voice.  "Is smart duct tape."

"Smart duct tape?"

"Yes, it's a device designed to mummify a human by itself.  Perfect for singles who can't find a play partner."

"Interesting.  How does it work?"

"Well, upon sensing a target, the device quickly injects it with a medium strength sedative.  Not strong enough to knock them out, just enough to greatly slow down motor responses.  When the target is sedated, the machine goes to work wrapping them up.  It was very tricky getting all the programming to work, but now we'll see for ourselves what it can do, eh?"

Angela went into the large testing room, and Purvis went into the observation room. 

Closing the doors, Purvis turned on the microphone.  "Can you hear me Angela?"

"Yes, I can hear you."

"Good.  I'm going to turn on the robot and release it into the room.  Try lying down on the floor.  That will make the robot's job easier."

Angela gave the thumbs up sign and lay down on the floor.

"Okay…"  Pressing the record button on the VCR, Purvis took the small robot and quickly flicked a switch.  He put it in a small hatchway and closed it.  "Here we go."

The hatchway opened on the other side.  With a quiet scurrying noise, the tiny robot rolled out into the room.  It scanned the area, and immediately spotted Angela. 

Moving faster then the professor could follow, the robot wheeled up to Angela, and quickly injected her with the sedative.  Angela's eyes began to droop.  With the first phase completed, the tiny robot began to wind tape around the woman's body, using its tiny arms to roll her over.

All the while the professor was taking notes:  How fast it was going, the efficiency of the arms, etc.  "Yes, yes."  He muttered, watching as Angela was turned into a mummy. 

"Very good indeed."

In less then three minutes, Angela was completely wrapped up from head to toe.  "Very impressive indeed."  Purvis thought.  "But if there were several units working together, that time could be cut down to less then thirty seconds!"

Raising a small remote control, he pressed a button.  Instantly the robot retracted its appendages and was still.  With the situation now under control, it was time to inspect the quality of the wrapping.

Walking into the room, Purvis knelt by the mummified Angela.  Running his hands over the tape, he felt for any imperfections.  To his delight, there were none.  The wrapping was perfectly smooth and flawless, exactly as it should be.  Almost no wrinkles to be seen.  Only Angela's nose was uncovered, proving that the robot had followed it's programming to keep subjects alive.

"So, did it seem to work okay?"  Purvis asked.  "One mummph for yes, two for no."


"All right.  Let's get you out of there."  The professor reached into another pocket and pulled out a small vial of liquid.  Taking off the lid, he squirted it across Angela's bound form.  Almost instantly, the duct tape surrounding her body began to disintegrate. 

Within a matter of seconds, there was nothing left.

Angela sighed and gasped for air.  "Wow!"  She gasped.  "What a rush!" 

"You liked it?"

"Hell yes!  Can we do that again?!"

Purvis smiled.  "Well, if you put it that way, then yes!"  Angela let out a squeal of delight.

This time the professor pulled out a large bed and asked Angela to sit on the end of it.  Professor Purvis was very interested in seeing how the robot would react to sitting subjects.

Much to his delight, the robot worked flawlessly.  When the sedative took effect, Angela once again looked drowsy.  But she was also smiling ear to ear as the robot wrapped her body in tape.

When the robot was done, Angela's wrapped body fell backwards onto the bed and was still.  Again Purvis turned off the robot and went into the room to inspect the results. 

And once again, the robot had done its job perfectly.  Absolutely flawless wrapping.

"Well Angela, let's get you out of there."

Angela's mummy wiggled back and forth.  "Mmphh Mmphh!"

The professor was puzzled.  "Wait a minute.  You don't want to get out of there?"


The biggest smile crept onto the professor's face.  "So, you want to stay in there?"


"Okay, okay.  I'll let you stay in there.  I'll be in the next room, so shout if you want to get out.


Walking back into the observation room, Purvis went over his notes, noting the speed and accuracy of the robot.  Overall, performance was much, much better then expected.  This robot had done it's job very well.  And now that there were thousands of them being manufactured at this very moment…

The professor grinned.  He was going to be a very rich man indeed…

He glanced at the clock.  It was ten o clock.  His next experiment wasn't supposed to take place until eleven.  What was he going to do with the time he had?  Wait a minute…a thought came into his head.

Walking back into the testing room, Purvis sat on the edge of the bed.  "You doing okay Angela?"


"That's good."  Purvis paused.  How to say this?  "Uhm, Angela…do you mind if I stroke you?"

There was a pause from the mummified woman. 


Smiling, Purvis took his hand and rubbed Angela's sides, stroking her beautiful wrappings.  He took his time, slowly stroking her sides, her chest, her head.  It was very soothing, he discovered, to stroke a mummified person.

Being the scientist that he was, he noted that Angela's breathing rate was slowing down greatly, most likely in response to being petted and stroked.

Should he try going a bit further?  Well, it was worth a try.  "Angela, can I hug you?"

The pause was much shorter this time.


Smiling, Purvis picked up Angela's upper body and held her close to him.  Encircling her with his arms, he squeezed the mummified woman and gently rocked her back and forth.

He noted that Angela's breathing rate was going down even more.

Purvis felt very relaxed.  Maybe with all the money he earned from selling these robots could be put towards opening a new type of therapy, where people hugged and stroked each other to relieve tension.

Lying down on the bed, the professor wrapped his arms and his legs around the mummified Angela, giving her a full body hug, squeezing her gently.  He rocked her slightly as well, snuggling closer to her body.

"Do you want me to keep going?"  He whispered.



When eleven o clock came around, Purvis disintegrated the tape binding Angela, thus releasing her from her happy imprisonment.  He was rewarded by the biggest, most passionate kiss that Angela had ever given someone.  It was so great in fact, that both of them fell back on the bed, hugging and kissing for several more moments.

There wasn't any sex though.  But as both found out, one could get much pleasure just by hugging and kissing.

Walking out of the testing room, Purvis had a happy, content look on his face.  For all purposes he was flying in the clouds on a wave of ecstasy.

Walking by one of the offices, he looked in and saw one of his lab technicians snoozing in a chair.  Normally he would have woken him up and told him to get back to work.  But pleasure can change even the hardest of people.  So Purvis smiled and closed the door, letting the man sleep.

"Professor!"  Turning around, Purvis saw Jeffery coming up to him. 

"Ah, hello Jeffery!  How are you on this fine day?"

The young man shook his head.  "We need to talk.  Now."

"Really?  What about?"

"Come on.  Let's get in here."  Jeffery ushered him down the hall and into a small side room and closed the door.

"Well Jeffery, what's this all about?"

Jeffery looked terrified.  "Sir, we got a report this morning from the sex company.  They say that there was an error when manufacturing the robots."

Some of the ecstasy began to leave Purvis.  "An error?"

"Yes.  They say that somehow the programming was mixed up during the assembly process, resulting in botched data."  He pulled out a clipboard with several pieces of paper on it.  "Take a look."

Purvis took the clipboard and went over the data.  Each line made his face droop.  This was not good.

"Oh no."  He whispered.  "This isn't good.  These errors make it so that the robots are two hundred percent more aggressive, and expands their search radius to one hundred miles."

"What exactly does that mean sir?"

"That means…we've got a major crisis on our hands."  He suddenly remembered the large shipment that was supposed to come in today.  Purvis turned to Jeffery.  "Has the shipment come in yet?"

“No professor.  It was supposed to come in this morning, but the delivery truck got into an accident.”


“I'm afraid it gets worse sir.  The boxes were there, but the units were gone.” 

Purvis felt a horrible chill gripping him.  "Damn!"

“Sir, there was a rabbit next to the Semi, wrapped up completely in duct tape.  It’s alive, but…we don't know who wrapped it.  It could have been a human, or it could have been one of them.”

"I have a bad feeling about this.  Maybe I should have listened to James after all…"


"I talked to James last night.  I told him what the robots do, but he thought it was too dangerous.  Too much of a chance for error.  I think he might have been right."  He looked at Jeffery.  "How far out of town did the accident happen?"

"About eighty miles from here sir.  It happened at nine last night."

Purvis felt the strength seep from him.  Sitting down in a chair, he thought.  What was he going to do?


"Jeffery, what I'm about to tell you may startle you, but you need to hear it.  If those robots follow their programming, they are going to hunt down every living thing that moves within a hundred miles and wrap them head to toe in duct tape.  That includes every single person in this town."

Jeffery's face went white.

"They are going to hunt down every human, every pet, and every animal, wrapping them all until there's nothing left.  Then they'll wait until more come along and wrap them too.  It's a cycle that's going to end only when they run out of tape."

"How much tape does a robot have?"

"Enough to wrap a full sized adult six times over."

"And…how many of these things are there?"

"About five thousand."

"Oh shit."

At that moment there was a scream.  Not a loud one, muffled, but still audible nonetheless.  The two shot out of the small office and into the hallway.  A crowd had gathered outside the office that Purvis had walked past earlier.

"What is it?"  Purvis asked.

"You'd better take a look for yourself sir." One of the secretaries said.  Peering inside the office, Purvis saw that the lab tech he had gone past earlier was now completely taped to his chair, wrapped head to toe in duct tape, wiggling and squirming like mad.

"Oh no."  Purvis whispered.

Those things were here.

But there wasn't time to worry about that now.  He had to get the man free.  He went inside the office, pulling out his dissolvent.  "Hold still" he told the mummy.  "I'll have you free in a second."

Pouring the fluid over the mummified man, the tape immediately disintegrated and fell to the floor in tatters, revealing a trembling man.

"What happened man?"  Purvis asked.  "What happened?"

"I…I…I don't know professor.  I was taking a nap, and I woke up and…and…I was wrapped like that!"

Purvis nodded.  "Okay."  He looked around the office.  His eye caught an air vent, its cover off and on the ground. 

"They're using the air vents!"  He thought to himself.  "They might still be in this building!"

Purvis spun and faced the crowd.  "Everyone, please go throughout the building and check all the air vent covers.  Make sure each one is on as tightly as possible.  We need to do this quickly!"  The crowd looked confused, but did as the professor asked.

"Jeffery, come with me."  As the staff went through the building the two went back into the office.  After checking that the air vent cover was on tightly, Jeffery turned to the professor.

"Professor, what are we going to do?"

"Well, we can't go to the authorities.  They wouldn't believe us.  No…we're going to have to try another method to stop these things."

"Do you think they're here right now?"

"Yes, I'm certain of it.  At least one of those things are in this town, possibly scouting around to size up the population.  But…if we can find, trap, and destroy the scout, we might be able to stop all the others."


"Jeffery, I need you to gather the largest, strongest net you can find.  We're going hunting."


Roughly an hour later, the two were out in the city streets, driving around in a small golf cart.  Jeffery drove while Purvis held a small, handheld device.  He adjusted the knobs, searching…

"Tell me again, what are we looking for?"  Jeffery asked.

"This device can track down the location of the scout by locking onto its transmission patterns."  The professor waved it around.  "Ahha!  I got it!  Jeffery, go that way!"

The golf cart made a quick turn and sped down the street, heading for a clothing store.  "Do you think it's shopping for clothes?"  Jeffery joked.

"No.  It's probably looking to broadcast a transmission to its fellows, letting them know what the town is like."

"It's that smart?"

"These things are smart.  With the errors in programming, they are adapting quickly.  They want to know what they are going up against before they make their move.  That doesn't give us much time."

The signal grew stronger.  "It's probably on the roof."  Purvis said.  "That's where it'll have the best chance of broadcasting a strong signal."

They didn't waste any time going through the building and climbing up onto the roof. 

Sure enough, the little robot was in the center of the roof, a small antenna sticking out of its dome.

Purvis put a finger over his lips, telling his aide to stay as quiet as possible.  Taking the net, he very slowly began to edge across the roof, getting closer and closer to the robot.

Almost there…almost…there…

The robot began to retract its antenna when Purvis struck.  He swung the net down and caught the robot in the webbing.

"I got it!"  He shouted.  "I got it!"  The robot spun inside the net, trying to get free. 

"Help me Jeffery!"  Purvis shouted.  Jeffery came over and helped close the top of the net, ensuring that the robot could not escape.

"We got it!"  Jeffery said. 

"Back to the lab!"


It was very tricky driving back.  Purvis drove while Jeffery held the net, careful not to let it down so the robot could run away with the net.  But when they finally reached the lab, things were beginning to go up. 

The sun was beginning to set as the two went inside the lab, heading straight for the dissection room.

Once there, the robot was very carefully placed inside a cage to ensure that it couldn't escape.  When the top was locked and in place, the two breathed a sigh of relief.

"Who knew something so small could be the cause of so much trouble?"  Jeffery joked.

"We can't rest yet."  Purvis cautioned him.  "We still need to disable this one.  Hopefully that will stop all the others, wherever they are." 

“Are you sure this is the one professor?”

“Yes, I’m sure.  If we can destroy this one, the rest will follow.”

"And how exactly do you plan to do that?"

"By cutting off this one's internal programmer, making it send out a wave similar to that of an EMP.  All the other robots that have this exact frequency will shut down permanently."

Purvis went over to the cage and peered inside.  The small robot looked up at him with its emotionless single eye.  Then Purvis noticed the numbers written on its side. 

"Well I'll be a monkey's uncle!"

"What is it?"

"This one here is the original prototype!  I made this one myself several weeks ago.  That makes this even better.  Because this one is the original, all the others will have to shut down when the circuits are fried."

Purvis picked up a small, handheld device.  "Well, lets get this over with.  Do you have all the tools Jeffery?"

"Yes, here they are."

"Good.  Here we go."  The professor aimed the sonic shocker at the robot and pressed the button.  Instantly the robot fell down onto its side, temporarily stunned.

Purvis opened the cage and picked up the robot.  It didn't respond as the professor carried it over to the dissection table.  "Do you remember how to dissect an animal Jeffery?"

"Uh…no sir.  I never did dissect one.  The only time I tried I threw up."

"Well you won't have to worry about this.  All you'll have to do is cut a wire or two."

With the robot on the table, Purvis took a screwdriver and opened the droid's back panel, exposing the internal computer, gyroscope and circuits.  This was the heart, the brain of the little device.

Jeffery picked up a pair of scissors.  "Where do I cut professor?"

"That small green wire there."

"Ah.  Okay, here we go."  Jeffery slowly moved the scissors down towards the wire, ready to clip it. 

“Yes Jeffery, just a little more.  Clip that wire there, and we’ll be done.  And this whole nightmare will be over before it started.”

The scissors went around the wire.

“Yes, that’s it.  Just a little closer…almost…”


There was a bloodcurdling shriek from outside the building.  Jeffery stopped, just seconds short of clipping the wire. 

"What the blazes?!"  Purvis left the table and went over to one of the windows.  Peeking out, he saw his worst nightmare coming true.

There were hundreds of robots outside the building, swarming over the street, cars, and people.  It was a tidal wave of machinery, which left mummified bodies in its wake.

The perfection of the wrapping program was showing itself all too clearly now.

"What have I done?"  Purvis whispered.  "Jeffery!  It's them!  The others!  Cut the wire now!"

He kept watching the horrifying scene playing outside the window.  He watched as a family was overrun and wrapped together, heads to toes.  He watched as a small dog was swarmed by fifty of the robots, wrapped in a matter of seconds.

He had unleashed a plague.  A plague that he designed.

Being rich suddenly sounded very stupid…

There was a loud thud behind him.  "Jeffery, what is it?  What…"  Purvis turned and saw Jeffery lying on the ground, a dreamy look on his face.  The robot on the table was rolling off the edge.  Apparently the sonic shocker had worn off.

"No!"  Purvis grabbed the sonic shocker.  "You little piece of rubbish!"  He aimed and fired.  But it was too late.  The robot was already rolling out the door. 

"Come back here you little piece of scrap!"  Purvis ran out the door into the hallway.  The robot was already halfway down, well ahead of him.  Purvis ran after his creation.  He had caused all this.  It was his responsibility to end it as well.

"You're not getting away from me!  I'm going to melt you down for scrap!"  The robot continued on, unfazed by the threats.  "I never should have created you in the first place!"

The robot spun around the corner, heading for the exit.  If it got outside, then Purvis might never catch it. 

"Shit!"  Purvis ran out the door after the robot.  "Come here you little piece of…"

When he got outside, he stopped.  Apparently the robot had called for backup because there were now five thousand robots waiting.

Time froze.  Purvis's mind went into overdrive, trying to figure out what to do.  He couldn't attack, because the sonic shocker didn't have a large enough range to hit them all.  He couldn't go back inside because he'd be trapped.  What to do?...

The robots waited, apparently letting him make the first move.

So Purvis did the only thing he could do.  He ran.

He turned and ran as fast as his legs could carry him.  He had no idea where he was going, but he didn't care.  He just had to get away from these things as fast as possible. 

He didn't dare look back when he heard the sound of thousands chasing after him.

The creations had turned against the creator.  There was no way he could defeat them all. 

There.  Up ahead he caught sight of the local shopping mall.  There were a good amount of people running inside, trying to find a safe place to barricade themselves against the swarm that had invaded the town.

He had to get there.  Maybe they could hold off until help could arrive.  Purvis sped up, desperately trying to get to the mall.

A few people had grabbed rifles and shotguns, and were now firing into the swarming mass behind Purvis, trying to slow it down.  But five guns were utterly useless against a crowd of five thousand robots.

The fire door began to come down.  It was now or never.  Purvis ran as never before.  The door was only a few feet from coming down when he did a quick roll and went under the door.  Unfortunately, one woman was too late and didn't make it inside as the door shut.

Inside the door, Purvis heard her muffled screams as she was captured and mummified.  But the screams were soon silenced, followed by the sound of thousands of robots scurrying over the door. 

Purvis, breathing heavily, picked himself off the floor.  There were about a hundred people in front of him, some of them armed with guns. 

"Are you all it?"  He asked.  "Is this everyone that made it?"  The crowd nodded.  Out of a population of five thousand, less then three hundred had made it to safety.  And it was all due to a faulty invention that the professor had created. 

He shook his head, trying to figure out what to do next.  He knew that the robots would probably scrape away at the door as they tried to cut a way in. 

And he knew that they would inevitably get through.  They would not stop until they had fulfilled their purpose.

"Professor!"  Purvis looked up to see Angela running towards her.  "You made it!  Thank goodness.  I was so worried about you!"

"Oh, thank you Angela.  Are you all right?"

"A bit windy, but otherwise okay."

"Thank goodness."

"Professor, what are we going to do?  How are we going to stop those things?"

"We don't have the ability to stop them."


"They are going to keep going until they get in and mummify everyone in this mall."  He whispered.  "The only way out of here is by calling for help."  He looked at the crowd. 

"Does anyone have a cell phone on them that they can use?"

The crowd quickly checked their cell phones.  There were several of them, but it was impossible to get a signal out.  They were trapped in the shopping mall with no means of communicating with the outside world.

Behind Purvis, he heard the robots scratching at the door, beginning to work at it.  It wouldn't be long now.  Maybe a few hours.

"Professor, what do you need a cell phone for?"

"We need to call the authorities, let them know that we're all in big trouble."

"Why not the phone lines?  They still work."  The lights suddenly flickered, then went out.  "Okay, maybe not."

As people began searching for flashlights or any other source of light, Purvis turned to Angela.  "Angela, we need to get a message to the outside.  Trying to get out of here will only end in being wrapped up.  Can you think of any way out?"

Angela thought.  "Well…we've boarded up all the exits, but I think there might be a service tunnel underneath here somewhere."

Purvis nodded.  "Then we'll have to try it.  Let's find a powerful phone first." 


For the next hour the two went through the shopping complex, looking at each store for the most powerful cell phone they could find.  While they searched, the other people began to gather weapons and tools, readying themselves for a possible last stand. 

At last they found in a camping store.  High powered, satellite compatible, it was exactly what they were looking for.  All they had to do now was power it up, which would take at least a half hour.

As it powered up the two sat down at a table in the local food court.  Purvis tried to think of things to talk about, but eventually gave up. 

"Professor."  Angela asked.  "Have you ever been married?"

"Me?  Oh no.  My inventions take up all my time.  There never was time for dating women."

"Hmm…you feel like starting right now?"

The professor shrugged, smiled a little.  "Well…I guess it's as good a time as any.  But where are we going to go?  I don't think the movie theater's showing anything right now."

Angela was about to answer when shouting filled the air.  "They're breaking in!"  Someone shouted from the middle level.

Purvis shot out of his seat and ran over to the balcony.  Far below, a large hole was appearing in the fire door.  It was getting bigger by the second.  A large group of people were standing a good distance away, holding rifles, shotguns, chainsaws, anything that could be used as a weapon.

There was silence for a few seconds.  Then a loud bang as the robots broke open the door and began swarming in.  Gunshots echoed in the closed mall as guns opened fire. But alas, brave as it was, the defense line was overrun in a matter of seconds.  There were screams of terror as the robots swarmed over the humans, wrapping them from head to toe.

"Time to hide."  Purvis said.  The two turned and ran along the balcony, heading back to the camping store. 

Down below any defense the people of the town might have had was completely gone. There was now nothing but panic as the citizens ran, trying to find safety.  But there was no safety as thousands of the robots swarmed over people and turned them into mummies, following their programming with lethal efficiency. 

Within fifteen minutes only a few people were left.  Then they too, were mummified and left on the floor. With all the humans mummified, the robots began the slow process of methodically searching the shops one by one, hunting down any remaining stragglers. 

Unknown to them, there were two in the entire complex.


Professor Purvis and Angela were hiding next to a radiator in the back of the camping shop, keeping their body heat in line with that of the radiator.  Purvis pondered their options.  They didn't have many.  He looked at the cell phone.  There was still no coverage in here.  They would have to get outside to get a signal through. 

At last, he came up with a plan.  "Angela."  He whispered.  "I'm going to go out and lure them away from the shop.  When they chase me, get outside and get a signal out."

"But what about you?!"  Angela asked.  "What can you do against all those robots?  You saw what they did to everyone else!"

"I know.  But don't worry.  If we can get help, we'll only be wrapped up for a day or so."  Angela sighed and shook her head.

"Well…at least I like being wrapped."

"Yes.  You know, you look very beautiful wrapped up."

Angela blushed.  "Aw professor, you don't mean that…"

"Oh really, I do.  You have the most beautiful form and shape.  Seeing you covered and encased with tape only sweetens the visual splendor of your form."

With a smile, Angela looked at him.  "You know…there could be room in your life for a "Mrs. Purvis," right?"

"Is…is that a proposal?"

"Indeed it is." 

Purvis smiled.  "Then I accept."

The two shared a deep and passionate kiss, possibly their last if help was not summoned.  "Be safe."  Angela whispered.

"I will."  And with that, he slowly crept out of the room.  He reached the entrance to the shop and looked around.  There were hundreds of bodies lying on the floor, each tightly wrapped and bundled up in duct tape. 

He had a plan.  If he could reach the town's radio tower, then he just might be able to stop these things…

A loud whirring noise captured his attention.

Spinning, Purvis saw the swarm of robots, coming straight for him.  There was one in front of them all, and Purvis recognized it as the one he had tried to disable earlier. It was now or never.  He turned and ran.  Amazingly, he heard the swarm stop.  Turning, he saw that they were following slowly, but the prototype he had made was following him at top speed.

Apparently, it wanted to take Purvis down all by itself.

"Bring it on my little punk."

Purvis ran.


Angela waited for several minutes before slowly creeping out from near the radiator.  There wasn't a robot to be seen or a motor to be heard.  She seemed to be alone.

Best to do it as quickly as possible.  Going to the entrance of the store, she looked around, confirming that she was alone.  Clutching the phone tightly, she ran for the exit.


Upon exiting the mall, Purvis was faced with a dilemma.  How to get to the radio tower?  Only there could his last plan possibly work. 

For within his coat, Purvis had one final trinket to use.  It was a small electronic device, similar to an EMP bomb.  If he could get to the radio tower, attach the little device to it, and blow it, then the resulting radio signal would command all the robots to shut down. A good plan, but he had to get to the tower first.  But it was too far to run, and he was tired enough as it was. 

Thankfully, he had an answer.  For just outside the shopping mall was an abandoned golf cart, similar to the one that he and Jeffery drove earlier that day.  Hopping onboard he turned on the engine and gunned it, just as the robots began pouring out of the shopping mall. Speeding down the now empty streets (well, empty except for the wrapped and squirming bundles lying everywhere), Purvis shot towards the radio tower that was just out of town.  Behind him, the single prototype robot rolled after him, the other robots right behind it, though they were keeping their distance.


Somehow, Angela had managed to get out of the shopping mall and out into the cold night air.  She shivered wildly, trying to get warm.  "Hmm…"  She thought.  "Being wrapped might not be such a bad thing right now.  I'd certainly be a lot warmer."

She looked at the cell phone.  Slowly but surely, the bars were starting to build up.  A few more seconds, and she would be able to call for help.

At last, the phone reached five bars.  Giving a little "yes!" she quickly typed in 911. 

"Please pick up, please pick up…"  She prayed.

"Nine one one, what is your emergency?"


It was finally in sight.  Pushing the little motor to its full speed, Purvis zoomed towards it.  Behind him, the other robots were falling back, letting the lone prototype continue the chase.  It was between them now.

Almost there…The pedal was put the metal and the little cart zipped across the sand at the breathtaking speed of thirty miles an hour, the small robot not far behind.

The cart reached the tower and screeched to a halt.  Holding onto the fail safe device tightly, Purvis leapt off the cart and onto the ladder.  He scrambled up, going higher and higher into the air.  Down below the tiny robot reached the ladder.  Sprouting tiny metal legs it followed him. 


Angela felt ecstatic as she put the cell phone away.  It had taken quite a bit of talking, discussing (and just a bit of lying) to convince the dispatcher that something serious was happening at the town, and that they all needed assistance immediately, that lives were at stake.

At last the dispatcher agreed that she was going to tell the local authorities to send a group out there to come with assistance.  Angela gave a whoop of joy.  They had gotten help!  They had…

She heard them before she saw them.  Slowly turning, Angela saw a swarm of robots coming straight for her.  Looking around, she saw that she was in the middle of nowhere.  There was no way out.

Smiling, she put the cell phone on the ground and lay down, patiently waiting for the robots to arrive.

In a way, she was looking forward to this.


He was almost there.  More then halfway up the radio tower and Purvis could see the blinking light at the peak.  Careful not to look down, he kept going.  He could hear the tiny robot behind him, scurrying tirelessly after him.  But not for much longer. At last he reached the pinnacle.  It was going to be over in a few seconds.  Grabbing the electronic fail-safe bomb, he moved to plant it on the tower. 

But…Purvis wondered if the robot had evolved enough to understand taunts.  If so, then now was as good a time as any to give one. 

"It's over my little creation!"  He shouted.  “In a few moments you’ll be nothing more then fried scrap!”

With that he reached to put the bomb onto the tower, just as the needle went into his leg. Instantly his vision became blurry.  A warm numbness went through his limbs.  His fingers went loose, letting the fail-safe bomb slip from his grasp and plunge to the desert floor far below.

"Noo…." He thought.  "Ah, would ya look at dat…"  The sedative worked perfectly, making him groggy and unable to think quickly. 

The robot was already moving, already binding him to the ladder and to the tower with strips of tape.  Purvis was only barely aware of it however.  His mind was dragging, and he was barely able to perceive what was happening. He was aware of a pressing sensation that made it's way up from his feet and ankles all the way up to his shoulders.  He became aware that he couldn't move at all, that these strips were becoming tighter and tighter.  Soon he wasn't able to even wiggle his head.

Then only his eyes were left unwrapped.  At this point the anesthesia had worn off, and Professor Purvis was once again back to his normal mind set.  It was terrifying to learn that in a manner of moments his eyes would be covered, and he would be left, bound to this tower. A tear dripped out of his eye.  But the robot had no mercy.  Purvis saw the tape coming and instinctively closed his eyes.  And when the tape was wound around his eyes he could no longer open them.

With that, the wrapping stopped.  Everything was silent.  Everything was dark. 

Professor Purvis was just another mummy now, indistinguishable from the thousands of other mummies that lay throughout the town. He was blind, deaf, and dumb.  There was only darkness…yet there was also warmth, a confining feeling that wasn't all that bad.

What was going to happen to him?  He had no idea.  He did not know if Angela had gotten a message through.  Maybe he would be rescued.  Maybe he would stay here at the tower until he starved to death.

As things quieted down, the professor thought about many things.  First and foremost was the idea that he was not going to invent something like this ever again. Second on his mind was the fact that at this very moment, a tanker with over a million robots was heading for Europe, all defective.

Third was the fact that he loved Angela.  "If I ever get down from here."  He thought.  "We're going to go to a church and get married right then and there."

But until that time came, all he could do was wait.

Wait, and see if he would be rescued…

continues in Smart Duct Tape: The Soldier


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