XOS 2 Exoskeleton

 By Zachary Scott Hamilton


It's orange o'clock, when they order the rafts for lake explorations. Using a head mirror, each player experiences, from multiple angles, a pinstriped boat with numbers on the sides, and white bench seats that open up as a mini refrigerator. The dissection equipments float in a green light, beneath: a stereo-tactic device, lancets, rasps, retractors, and surgical staplers, lined up, and floating to the surface.

Richter's head mirror glows. Pupil sectors, cut away for two knife throwing wheels, spin in black spirals inside of his head. A small operator rodent, named Gosh operates the eyes with cogwheels and pulleys, using them in great might, and agitation. The wooden wheels spin once, and then Richter closes the lid of the refrigerator, and Percy steps into the boat from the dock where he had been standing.

Percy is a motor mouth, he uses the Pennington clamp to keep his flapping jaws closed, but it doesn't stay snug enough. His jaws drool through the retractors, spin lyrics, breathe letters. He never “speaks into the microphone.”

The two of them grab a pair of bandage scissors and snip the line of the dock. This leads to a TV splashing into the water, sizzling.

It's green thirty, and the boys are getting really thirsty for an Xos 2 Exoskeleton (leader of all exoskeletons) so they can drink. Not once has either boy seen, or heard an Xos 2, but the operators manual makes specific reference to their whereabouts in this lake, and so they go, to hunt down an Xos 2 exoskeleton, to drink it up into their head mirrors.

Percy unpacks his box of cardboard, cutting it with a scalpel, and putting together one of those robot suits that astronauts wear. Richter stuffs his arm in the water and pulls up a wet, bleached mountain goat, setting it on the floor of the boat. He notices the lack of movement and gets an RF knife to do the job, cutting the sloppy, goat fur away. Revealed within, is a fur explosion, where Christmas lights piled under the whole inside fluff out.

One section followed by another, goat sends of string Richter thought were seaweeds light up in the water. Row after row of Christmas bulbs light the depths of the murky water, illuminating the entire lake bottom in yellowing seconds. The goat starts twitching, and Richter puts the RF knife and bandage scissors in the air. Percy flaps his jaw, repeating a common phrase of the region, “Hammers tucked in conversation!” He mutters in the robot suit.

He has just fashioned a whole astronaut suit out of cardboard, and begins doing a celebration dance, awkward left and right, robot booty before falling off of the raft, his helmet part hits the arm rest, and lands inside of the boat.

Richter looks down into the water, at the headless robot floating away, into the thousands of Christmas lights, and then he lifts up the robot head from the planks of the raft, inspecting its sequins Percy taped on all around the mouth, and nose. Richter makes a noise, like approval, mixed with a kind of oblivious muttering, and through the glowing lake bottom,Percy watches as Richter begins putting on the helmet, careful of the poking tuna cans that the ears are made of.





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