You have just woken up. Your name is Lol Dingbat, and you live in a cinderblock apartment in Port Rogay, the very hip and cosmopolitan metropolis on the northeast peninsula of Edouedia. You are an ambitious 20-something nano guy who will one day rule the world.
That is, if you ever manage to finish your undergraduate degree in political science at the City University of Port Rogay (CUPR, aka Cooper aka 'The Coop'). Which is taking a bit longer than you'd expected. And if you manage to finally pass macroeconomics on this, your third try.
But not to worry, you're not discouraged. It's been a difficult road, what with your folks cutting off all your funding after the fourth time you changed your major and all. But that didn't stop you. In no time at all, you got yourself a crapload of loans, a super-cheap housing situation, and a nice, steady job to take care of your living expenses.
Well, maybe it's not a nice job, per se. It can be downright crappy sometimes. Literally.
You've been working the day shift at Mel's Bistro, a nice little Mangianan place about a block off campus. It's a very good cheap-dive restaurant, quite popular among the college crowd. And though your position as Topping/Ingredient isn't necessarily the most prestigious or glamorous job in the world, you tell yourself, it could be worse. You could be doing mediaphone tech support, for example. Or selling encyclopedias door-to-door. At least the customers at Mel's are happy to see you... in those moments before they cram you into their faces with a mouthful of pizza or a forkful of spaghetti.
And, truth be told, it's a good job for a student. It's low-stress (usually), the hours are flexible, and it gives you lots of time to study - if you can manage to concentrate amidst all the groaning and bubbling and gurgling noises inside the clients. And due to the symbiotic nature of the digestive system that has evolved on the planet Aekallia, which leaves prey alive, intact, and often very bored as they slowly pass through their predator, it's a quite steady form of employment.
And it's also a job for which you are, well, particularly well-qualified, as you seem to be, well, particularly edible.
Not that it's unusual for two-inch-tall nanos to be eaten by humans or mammals or reptiles or pretty much anything with a large enough mouth, but you seem, well, more likely to be eaten than any of your nano friends. Predators seem drawn specifically to you - you seem to always be the one picked out of the crowd, or snatched up and munched by random people on the street. Needless to say, you're quite popular among the regular customers at Mel's.
Not that any of that matters today, of course. Today is your day off, and you're planning on using it to study for your macroeconomics midterm. Which is why you almost don't want to pick up when your mediaphone rings and you see that it's Sal Fiasco, your manager from Mel's.
"Eh, Lol, howya doin, kid?," says Sal in his thick New Nuyork accent.
"Oh, good, Sal. Enjoying my day off," you hint. "How's everything at Mel's?"
"Ugh, fuggedaboutit, kid. It's friggin crazy heah. Some friggin flu bug's goin around, I got about six dozen nanos callin' in sick. Wanneda see if youse could come in today."
"Sorry, Sal," you say. "I have a midterm in two days and I really need to study."
"Ah, come on, kiddo, don't make me beg. I gotta line of customers heah and nobody to serve to 'em. C'mon, please? I'll give you time-and-a-half."
You sigh quietly and weigh the options. On the one hand, you could use the extra cash. On the other hand, you were really really hoping for a quiet day to study, without digestions or distractions.