Lab Rat XX

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Fiction, Mental health, Test Subject

I stare at the pad. It’s got a series of readings filters as options; right now, I’m watching a thermal image replay over and over. It must be sped up. I was standing there for probably ten minutes. I idly poke at the different view buttons as I drink the awful green stuff. It should probably bother me that I just started drinking something because it was handed to me, but I let someone give me unmarked vials to inject into myself on a regular basis. I guess it’s just part of being me. I chuckle a little.

I’m feeling better, but I don’t like just sitting in this damn cage. I get up and cycle the airlock. There’s a double cartridge sitting on the bench. Remember how I said I don’t touch anything when Ally’s not around? That’s still mostly true, but I load the cart into the injector and go back into the Blast Room. I cycle it closed and think. I hear Dad’s voice in my head. What am I not seeing? That gives me an idea. I pick up the tablet again and start flipping through the visualizations. Ally’s a lot better at the science, but I did make it through a few classes before I dropped out of college.

I’m still fiddling with the pad when Ally comes back into the Blast Room. “I think we’re looking at this all wrong, Doc.” She sets a tray full of stuff down next to me. It doesn’t look that appealing, but I’m suddenly ravenous anyway. I grab a brick that looks kind of like a brownie but smells like a ham sandwich and cram half of it into my mouth. It tastes like a ham sandwich. Sort of. “What is this?” I ask through my overstuffed mouth.

“It’s an M.R.E. Army food. High caloric value. I don’t want you passing out on me again.”

“It’s awful. I guess that isn’t the point though, huh.” I wash down the grit with more of the green sludge. “Anyway, the heat’s the symptom, right? Maybe I’m flexing the wrong muscle. So to speak.” I stick the rest of my mutant ham sandwich into my mouth. If she’s too busy for social graces, I’m not going to sweat it either. I watch her play with the pad, and I can almost hear that high-octane brain of hers revving.

“You’re definitely worth what I pay you,” she says through the speaker. I swallow. She’s just laying on the praise today. Honestly, it’s a little unnerving. I push the tray to one side and stand up. I step back from Ally and hit the injector. The room is bathed in my orange glow once more. “The normal electromagnetic field a human body gives off is fairly weak. It normally takes much more sensitive equipment to detect it, but the pad is showing that you could wipe out un-hardened electronics.” My laugh is the crackle of a brushfire. My phone was toast, even if it wasn’t incinerated.

“So how hot am I?” I ask her.

“You could start a metal fire. Be very careful. Metal fires are difficult to put out and we don’t have the equipment to do so,” she says. I think for a second. I’m an electromagnet, huh? I focus on the tray. This is a lab, so that’s pretty likely to be surgical steel. The tray starts to rattle. I glance over at Ally and grin. The tray whips into me with frightening speed, but is incinerated on contact. The curls of black smoke are sucked into the vents in the ceiling. My grin goes wide. This time I push outward. I can feel the fire move away from me. I push harder, and it expands to a globe around me.

“How am I doing, Doc?” My skin is tingling. I focus the heat into a ball above me. I’m no longer a man shaped fire. My own personal sun blazes over my head. The room starts to go dim. I thought she said this double dose would last a lot longer. I blink, and the room gets darker. My knees go weak, and I stagger.

“Asher!” I hear Ally’s voice, but I can’t respond. The darkness swallows me.

I took the night off on Saturday night. I had a lot of reasons to do so. First, my sleeping habits are so FUBAR that my short term memory is shorting out. I had to re-read the last two days of posts to figure out what the hell I was talking about. Second, War Practice was on Sunday morning. It was my second time in my new armor, and I wanted to be properly alert. Third, I needed time to work out what was going to happen next in the story. By the time you read this, I’ll already have done that. After part 10, I took a break and wrote something else, so it’s possible that this went the same way.

Incidentally, I wonder if I’ll get increased site traffic from people looking for porn when I get to part thirty.

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