Recall Ordered Following Econo-Spleen Fatalities

Bentrix, Utah, June 29, 2072 -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (Conprosafe) has ordered a recall of over 342,000 Econo-Spleen brand artificial spleens following a new surge in spleen-related deaths. The recall affects all Bentrix spleens manufactured and installed prior to April, 2069. Users of recently implanted Econo-Spleens are urged to immediately contact their local splenectomy center for identification and replacement. K. Uiloi Forfor 9b, Vice-Attaché for Lesser Organs at Bentrix, downplayed the recall as "trivial dissociative panic".

"The spleens are fine, in most cases," he said. "What we've seen, really, is nothing more than a surge in media reporting of spleen-related explosions. We're still well within the realm of statistical error, here."

According to the whistle-blowing Safer Organ Foundation (SOFO), which closely tracks artificial spleen-related fatalities, there is at least a twenty percent chance that models in the new Bentrix Juliryton Line of Econo-Spleens will spontaneously mutate into a sentient, suicidally depressed organism in any given year. The spleens, once achieving consciousness, generally ruminate glumly for a few hours or weeks, then absorb and compress large quantities of methane from the body's digestive system before short-circuiting their own power supply. The resulting explosion is nearly always fatal.

"The numbers don't lie," said Hojk Mjuru, Senior Spleen Observer at SOFO. "Over the past four months, we've tracked close to 12,000 cases of spleen-sparked organism failure."

According to studies undertaken by SOFO and its sister organization, the secretive Hooded Delvers Into Things Electrobiological, the root cause of the problem is the overly-engineered artificial intelligence systems of the spleens. Designed to diagnose and correct potential system failures, the highly complex "brain" of the spleen was intended to fall several nCogito-rLux points short of the critical mass required for sentience. SOFO, however, is convinced Bentrix failed with this goal.

"The faulty spleens have clearly achieved sentience," said Mjuru. "Obviously, Bentrix pushed the design envelope too far. And how would you feel, suddenly awakening to consciousness of yourself and the existence of the world around you, only to discover that you're a salt-powered nanoTek machine replacing a fist-shaped, poorly understood organ, and stuck inside someone's body feeding blood to their liver. I'd probably feel a little low myself, in that situation."

"Twenty-two percent sentience is a not just a design error, it's a total disaster," Mjuru added. "If my vehicle had that level, what chance would there be of finding it parked outside when I exited a nightclub? It would be off carousing on its own. This is a fair recall, one essential to preserving the safety of all Econo-Spleen users, and Bentrix is absurd to suggest otherwise."

Forfor 9b, however, remains unconvinced. "These aren't entities, they're spleens. Our own rigorous and impartial tests have shown that the purported 'sentience' achieved by our spleens is nothing more than a byproduct of alternative biological stimulation by irresponsible users. Bungee-jumping, for example. The packaging clearly reads 'no bungee-jumping'. If I were an Econo-Spleen, and my host decided to bungee-jump, I'd probably explode too."

Share of Bentrix Composite were down over six points in after-hours trading, following the Conprosafe announcement.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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