Lab Rat part 15

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Computers and Internet, Family, Fiction, Test Subject

I make my way around the block and down into my subterranean studio. Turning on the harsh fluorescent overheads reveals an alien landscape. Maybe I should clean more often. I drop my bag full of clothes next to the stack of plastic tubs I call a dresser and grab the television remote off of the top. I power on the TV and set it to the news in hopes of catching information about what I’m considering arson down the street and go to the “kitchen.” As I put together a sumptuous feast of a ham sandwich and a small pile of supplement pills, I listen to a reporter going on about how the President is doing something or other that pisses off one group and pleases another. I pour myself a big glass of apple juice and take my meal over next to the TV. I reach into the grey plastic milk-crate that serves as my entertainment center and pull out a battered aluminum case with a combination lock. I spin the tumblers into the proper position and the case pops open enthusiastically. I pull out my netbook. I still have to do my reports about last night’s testing.

I start typing. As I recount burning a mugger to death, I’m reminded of Ally’s questions from this morning. I take an obscenely large bite of my sandwich and chew. I was supposed to be able to control the fire. Was that my failing or hers? The earliest rounds of testing were hard to control regardless of what power it was. I’m not new anymore though; usually using any of the powers is like telling your arms what to do. Once I figured out how to direct my mind and body properly, using a power was second nature. Sure, the mental powers were a little different, but we did some visualization training after the second time I’d failed to manifest any ability with the first version of the telekinesis.

I swallow the last of my sandwich and start in on the pills. The weather guy is telling me that tomorrow is supposed to be mild and overcast. I down the last of the pills and go back to typing. I give my best guess at the force of Knuckledusters’ punch and note that the energy of the bouncing didn’t drop off as well as conventional rubber toys. I surf the net and find the approximate weight of the car I picked up and speculate that I could probably pick up about twice that with my mind. I’ll have to find out the smallest gun that can put a bullet through 16 gauge aluminum.

I finish writing up the documentation and send it to Ally. She might even still be at the lab to get it. I turn my full attention back to the TV, but they still haven’t said anything about the fire. Was it not big enough to make news? Either the police aren’t ready to talk to the media about it, or no significant harm came of it. This whole business is really taxing my brain. I haven’t done this much pondering since the days of getting stoned and staring at my hands. Usually a death warrants a mention on the nightly news. I can’t think of any reason the cops would keep a lid on this. Corner store guy must still be alive, although he might be a little the worse for wear.

The news ends with no mention of anything that happened in my neighborhood. I sigh heavily. I shut down my netbook and lock it up. I dump my plate and glass in the sink. I’ve got to go to the lab tomorrow, so I decide against any testing tonight. Instead, I pull a new set of white sheets out of my messenger bag and dress my bed. I strip, power off the TV and the lights, and lay down. It takes me a long time to fall asleep.

Julian is now mobile. He’s crawling around, and if you hold his hands he will walk. I’m so proud. He’s also a huge fan of Patty-Cake. He’ll flail his arms about with his big ol’ toothless grin, and then stop and wait for me to sing the next verse. His favorite part is definitely the part wherein you roll it up and pitch it in the pan.

I took some time last night after the rug-rat had gone to sleep to clean out my photos and music. I had accumulated quite a bit of junk and it was filling my Zune up to the brim. I deleted more than a thousand items. It was kind of funny watching my portable device take 10 minutes to sync to my computer. I got rid of so much that my devices actually feel lighter! Okay, I’m making that up, but still. Lots of room on my laptop and my Zune again. I’m sure I’ll collect another 8 gigabytes of crap to fill the space soon enough.

Fun trivia: I’ve decided that this post is the end of chapter two. The next episode of [Test Subject] will be the beginning of chapter three.


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