Prey "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." This is the case with Jack Forman in the novel "Prey" by Michael Crichton. For him nothing goes as originally planned; a great job opportunity suddenly turns into a technological disaster theJackis in the middle of. Jack Froman, formally a cutting-sege computer programmer at Mediatronics, lost his job for "gross negligence and misconduct.
" When in fact what they called misconduct was misfortune when he stumbled upon his boss having a affair with a female employee from accounting. The excuse used in his firing besmirched his name so much within his industry that he was unable to find a job. As a alternative to working nine to five he bacame a house-husband and stay at home father. His wife, Julia, worked at Xymos, her position there kept the family financially stable but did require her to work extremely long hours. Julia's work schedule and suddend strange behaviour led Jack to believe the worst, she must be having a affair. At this time it did appear that Jacks luck might be taking a turn for the better, or has it? Jack was called by his former employer because a program that he created was being used by Xymos and was causing problems.
Xymos was contracted by the Pentagon to created a security device that could not be seen by the naked eye. Jack looked at this as a opportunity to get his job back and to look into Julia's affair. Xymos adapted a design of Jacks to create swarms of nanobots.
A major flaw with these nanobots is that a gust of wind would cause them to disperse and them did not have the ability to reassemble themselves. Julia and the head of the Xymos project, Rickey put the nanobots in the desert with the hope that the would evolve and be able to reassemble. The swarms evolution was much more that expected and they began to reproduce more nanobots which had evolved into killers of any living creature, including humans. The human race has now become the prey to its own creation.
The consencus among Jack and the members of the Xymos team was that the swarms of nanobots needed to be annihilated. Jacks theroy was that the phage, a sort of virus, from the containment tank would destroy the swarm. His plan was simple, he would contaminate the sprinkler systems with phage. This would in turn infect anyone who came into contact with the sprinklers to be infected and they in turn would pass the virus to the nanobots causing them to die. The ironic part of all this is they achieved the evolution of the swarms that they wanted, they were now able to withstand a gust of wind, but the scientists did not take into account the variable of evolution and the many directions that it could go.
Jack worries that this.