Sunday, July 15, 2012
The Bizarre Case of the Black Eggs
I work on a futuristic chicken farm where hens occasionally lay valuable black eggs. A young woman arrives one day with a trained capuchin monkey who could predict which ones would lay the black eggs (and perhaps even encourage it), much to the supervisor's delight. He sets up a special area for the black egg-laying hens and instructs me to take extra good care of them.
One day, as I am getting ready to close up for the day, I hear a scream from the supervisor's office. I run to it and nearly knock over the young woman with the monkey, who is standing in the doorway petrified. She tells me to call emergency services. From inside the room, my supervisor shouts for me to do no such thing. I peek around the woman and see the supervisor standing over the body of a man from corporate. He says that the regional director had a tragic accident, and dismisses us.
The next day I come in to work see men in scrubs dragging the young woman away. I try to stop them. They say she is mentally ill, and must be put in a hospital. The supervisor keeps her monkey, but gradually the hens stop laying black eggs, and the farm shuts down.
Unemployed, I wander the streets. I have to run away from police at some point (I cannot remember why), and wind up in an urban park where I find the monkey. It brings me to an elderly woman on a bench. The monkey suddenly holds out a black egg to me, and I take it. The woman looks very startled.
I tell her of my previous employment, and of the monkey's sense for the black eggs. The woman says she is the CEO of the corporation to which our farm belonged, and that the regional supervisor who died at that factory was her son. She knew nothing about the monkey or our increased black egg production, and suspects foul play on the part of the supervisor.
When the she learns that the monkey's owner may have witnessed the incident and was committed to a psychiatric institution against her will, she insists that I help her find the young woman. So we set off in the CEO's gigantic airship and head to the hospital, which is off in the mountains for some reason. When we arrive, she buys the hospital to gain the young woman's release.
The young woman, who was certainly sane when they took her from the farm, refuses to speak or make eye contact with anyone. She just sits by a window on the airship with the monkey in her lap, staring out at the clouds.
One day, we dock at a city in the sky (think Cloud City), and the monkey suddenly seems restless. The young woman stands up and starts walking in the direction her monkey indicates. We follow her, and come to a shady-looking warehouse. There, my former supervisor is trying to sell several unmarked crates to another man.
The young woman points at the supervisor. Her monkey leaps up onto one of the crates, pries it open(!) and fishes out a black egg. The supervisor tries to flee, but I tackle him. He says we can do nothing to him because of extraterritoriality or somesuch. The CEO looks up from her tablet and smiles, informing the supervisor that she had just purchased the entire city, and would insure that he sees his day in court.