Lil’ Otis was one of the doctor’s earliest creations and may have actually been an early “rough draft” predating the first series of Protos. His genetics appear to have come mostly from human sources. It is unknown if his large eyes and tentacular arms are the result of tinkering with human genes, or mixing in genes from other species. What we do know, however, is that Lil’ Otis is very fond of the smell of clean clothes, especially kids’ clothes. He loves to sneak into closets just to smell them. Unfortunately, his large eyes are very sensitive to light. As long as lights are on, he’s trapped in the closet and can’t leave until its dark again.
Le Roi is the self-proclaimed King of the Protos. Initially, the doctor thought Le Roi was a successful creation and kept him around the lab, training him to be a lab assistant/henchman. He’s one of the few Protos who is aware that there are other Protos in the world, although as yet he’s been unable to locate any others. Le Roi is cunning and manipulative and highly intelligent. Cast out for being too talkative, Le Roi now seeks to find and unite the other Protos. His plan for what he’ll do once he’s united them varies. Some days he plans to redeem them in the doctor’s eyes by proving their value. Some days he plots revenge against the doctor for casting them out into the world to die.
Otto is one of the more fortunate Protos. Otto possesses a single arm that is so long that he must wrap it around himself when he’s not using it. Thus he grew up in the comfort of a constant hug. Although he’s strange looking, his appearance is goofy and completely non-threatening. His long arm is obviously useful for reaching things off the highest shelf. Otto was taken in by a family of Sci Fi fans who believed him to be a kindly alien on the run from a secret government agency. There he lives to this day, having forgotten his true origins, but happy nonetheless.
Margot was created for housekeeping purposes. Tired of driving to isolated locations to discard the Protos, Margot was bred to consume the bodies of the rejected Protos. She refused and was discarded herself. To spite her frightening appearance, Margot can only consume decaying flesh and is completely harmless to all living things. Bread to be a cleaner, she’s a compulsive neat-freak and often sneaks into houses in order to tidy up. This often results in her needing to hide under a bed when the family returns home unexpectedly. There she waits until it’s dark and everyone is asleep so she can make her escape.
They say it’s what’s inside that counts. Sadly for Matango, people rarely act as if this were true. Although she’s truly beautiful on the inside, a human/mushroom hybrid can’t help but feel a little self-conscious in a world that thinks she looks like a monster. As a mushroom, she’s drawn to dark, damp places. As a human she’s desires companionship and love. So she hides in the deep woods, speaking to hikers and other travelers from the shadows, but never letting herself be seen. She has the most beautiful voice you’ve ever heard, and even though most of what she says is a lie, it’s OK because she always says what you want to hear.
Yoko believes herself to be a baby Japanese dragon, and that one day she’ll be able to soar into the sky. As a result, she’s more confident than the other Protos and has no trouble acting superior to them. She prefers the hustle and bustle of cities, and likes to be around people. However, she’s aware that while many people find real dragons intimidating, statues of dragons don’t bother them. Yoko can strike a pose and hold it for days, even weeks at a time. She can often be found in crowded places, pretending to be a piece of public art while she waits to reveal her true glory to the world.
Ed possesses the most brilliant brain on the planet. Unfortunately, the only other body part which he (Ed thinks of himself as a “he” even though he possesses no identifiable gender) is a foot that he uses both for locomotion and to sense the world. For crying out loud, even if he’d been given a hand instead of a foot, at least he’d have an opposable thumb to work with, but noooooo. The scientist had some leftover parts and a little spare time to kill, and never bothered to see if Ed was alive before discarding him. Don’t worry about Ed, though. He’s so brilliant that it’s likely that he’ll be able to find a way to overcome his physical challenges and may one day conquer the world!
La Cantadora, or Dora as she prefers, is a great singer with perfect pitch. She also can mimic any noise she hears with absolute perfection. Regrettably, her ears are malformed, with thick membranes growing over her eardrums. This means that every noise she makes sounds like it’s coming through the wall from the next room. She’s not really aware of this fact and thinks that’s just the way it sounds. She loves to sing and rarely stops. Fortunately, she tends to be more confusing than frightening. She usually manages to find places to live among humans who just assume she’s some sort of novelty item that someone bought at the mall, like Billy the Singing Bass
Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal on alternative vending machines, including Art-0-mat!
Traditional vending machines disappeared from 134,000 locations between 2007 and 2010, according to the latest available data from Vending Times, an industry publication. Sales from vending machines sank more than 11%, to $42.2 billion in the same period.
Amid the changes, a new group of entrepreneurs is trying to build a new vending industry, outfitting machines with high-tech features, and filling them with live bait, prescription drugs, electronics and even art.