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July 10, 2023

It was a dark and stormy night.

Actually, it wasn’t.

In fact, aside from some shy scattered clouds and a slightly cold breeze, it was a beautiful late-autumn night.

There are few things that will irritate a mad scientist more than not having a proper dark and stormy night when you need one.

To be fair, thanks to modern technology thunderstorms were not actually necessary anymore. Why depend on something as unreliable as lightning when a good industrial generator can do the same job more efficiently?

Still, she was a romantic at heart, and dark and stormy nights were part of the proud tradition of monster-making her family had kept alive for six generations. She felt it helped give the event a more solemn and dignified atmosphere.

Times change, she knew that well. But this wasn’t exactly how she had dreamed the family business would evolve by the time she was old enough to take over.

She still remembered the nights she had spent as a little girl in this laboratory, watching his father carefully choosing just the right body-parts to assemble each monster by hand. She had even helped him sew and graft when his eyesight started to fail.

But that was all in the past now, no way to meet modern market demands with purely artisanal methods. Nowadays it was all handled by a Japanese last-generation automated assembly line. It was originally designed for kaijus, but it was so easy to configure it could produce any kind of monster on demand. She really hated the damned thing, it used a graphic interface with cute pictograms on it.

It was, of course, the only way to stay in business. Competition was fierce, and with some of the bigger manufacturers switching to stem-cells and accelerated growth vats it was a miracle they still managed to make a profit.

Anyway, there were quotas to meet and deadlines to keep if they wanted their few remaining clients to stay faithful and happy. She unceremoniously punched the data for the next batch and watched the factory spring to life.

“Maybe I should build myself a pet.” She sighed. Yes, that was not a bad idea at all. It could be a nice dog, or a cat, or why not a little bit of both, made the old fashioned way just like her dad taught her. That’s just what she needed to raise her spirits.

“I think I’ll call him Spot.” She said to herself as she closed the door to let the robots do their work. Humming a cheerful tune, she made a mental list of all the parts she would need for her new pet project.

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