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and Operation

Dispersion is the first in a series of next generation public vending machines, incorporating the latest technological innovations to expand product vendibility and increase customer tracking and monitoring. The Dispersion system is composed of an automated robotic bio-laboratory, a fingerprint capture module, a micro-camera, a touch screen monitor, a custom embedded computer, and proprietary vending hardware. To facilitate setup and maintain compatibility with existing vending locations, Dispersion is exactly the size of a standard commercial vending machine.

To increase customer appeal and sales, exciting colorful and flashy images depicting the most wondrous viral and biological agents such as anthrax, smallpox, typhus, and plague adorn the sides of the machine. As the machine awaits a customer, a video display shows eye-catching scenes of biological agent production, spawning, use, and results . These images are interspersed with "fun disease facts" such as amount required to kill 1000 people, expected time to live after first contact, testimonials, etc. It also shows images, names, and other data of individuals who have previously acquired various biological agents. Additionally, several marketing techniques are employed by running slogans such as, "Your neighbors have infectious biological agents, shouldn't you too?" and "Always be prepared" and "No one is too young for personal pathogen ownership".

Sealed behind bio-safe shielding is a micro Zone 4 rated automated robotic laboratory where pathogen storage, breeding, nourishing, and assembly is contained. A robotically controlled rotating station and pathogen extraction syringe tool monitor and maintain the health of the delicate viruses, bacteria, and toxins. All activity in the laboratory is publicly viewable through a bio-safe impenetrable window.

Unlike a typical vending machine, Dispersion is designed to track its users as there some concern that public access to lethal pathogens may demand future government monitoring and control. One of several methods employed is the use of a specialized fingerprint recognition system. Instead of using an arbitrary antiquated currency, customers register their fingerprint at any Dispersion registration point. Once entered into the system, any Dispersion vending machine can be activated with the "touch of a finger", instantly invoking numerous screens and access to a wealth of personal pathogen options. Dispersion can also link and track each purchase to an individual customer, allowing for personal profiles to be generated. This also allows for background checking and pathogen quotas for suspect individuals. Incorporating new methods of collaborative filtering, Dispersion can also offer suggestions for desirable candidate pathogens during subsequent purchases.

After a customer initiates a purchase and data is transferred to appropriate organizations, the user is lead through a series of menus with the touch screen. This interface provides the individual with copious biological agent information to aid them in selecting their custom pathogen. Rather than have the user directly purchase biological material by name (i.e. Venezuelan equine encephalitis), EIU has designed the system to be usable by even the non-biological scientist. This is done by asking the customer a series of questions concerning the various qualities and properties that they desire in their lethal pathogen. The collected data drives a proprietary computer selection system. This in turn commands the robotic laboratory to mix and assemble the desired custom pathogen culture. Below is a partial list of the characteristics used to aid pathogen selection.

  • Dispersion Radius: Expected airborne spore flight distance from discharge epicenter.
  • Spore Survival Time: Average life expectancy of active biological pathogen after release.
  • Infection Rate: Mean time after initial contact for biological pathogen to commence active infection of host.
  • Contagion Degree: Probability of continued disease transmission via indirect contact with an infected host.
  • Desired Symptoms: A checkbox of choices of various symptoms broken down into Physical and Mental categories.
  • Victim Suffering Status: (Suffering Level and Suffering Duration) Degree of pain, suffering, agony, and continued trauma victims experience as a result of biological pathogen infection.
  • Treatability: (Diagnosis Difficulty and Vaccine Availability) Probability of medical expert correctly identifying the contracted disease based on victim's symptoms along with samples of blood, urine, and tissue cultures. If successfully identified, the probability of having access to an appropriate vaccine and/or equipment necessary to treat the infection in time.
  • Mortality Rate: The proportion of successfully resulting human deaths to initially infected population.

The key to producing large-scale respiratory infections is to generate an aerosol or stable cloud of suspended microscopic droplets, each containing from one to thousands of bacterial or virus particles. Fogs and smokes are examples of visible aerosols. Dispersion pathogens are dispensed in an extremely fine powdered form, optimized for airborne distribution. The final pathogen is vended from the opening near the bottom of Dispersion and is safely contained within a sealed unbreakable vial with a screw cap.

When opened, the vial discharges the highly infectious material sending forth a cloud of biological dust into the air. Product consumed. Satisfied customer.

Eric Paulos / admin@eiu.org