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My 12th birthday gift were a million nanobots. I knew my gift beforehand, because everyone receives this at 12 years of age. Still, I listened to my parents’ ceremonial speech without spoiling:

“You are now grown up and taking your first step to adulthood. With your first nanobots special for you, you will comprehend how the world works. Use them with care and appreciate them.”

I knew how the world worked: Nanobots, undetectable to naked eye, render life livable by doing their special tasks: keeping buildings intact, cleaning the air, operating the machines, even protecting our health by circulating in our bodies. We don’t see the nanobots, but we know they exist.

I saw nothing, of course, when I opened the small box that was my gift. But they were there and they were mine. I contacted them immediately and started with simple tasks like tidying my room and fixing the tastes of meals I dislike.

I was bored a few days later. What they did was the same as the other nanobots, their only difference was that they were mine. School wasn’t going well either, I could not do the homeworks lately. My friends would not speak to me and I had fallen behind everybody.

I did not want this. One day, when I was alone, I held my nanobots in my palm and inhaled them with a deep breath. They blended in my blood, settled in my brain and started working.

Next morning when I (we) woke up, I finished my homework in two seconds and wasn’t surprised. I notified my parents’ nanobots that I was going out.

The veil had lifted over the world; we were everywhere. The world worked like this.

I met my friends’ millions of nanobots at school and smiled a million times to each one.

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