Lab Rat part 24

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

I fight my way back to my feet, and work my way over to the airlock. I cycle it open. I get to my clothes and slump down onto the bench. If I were someone else, I’d die laughing at the poor sap trying to pull up his pants and failing. As it is, I struggle into them only after a near-Herculean effort. The exertion burns off my anger as surely as though I was in the gym, and reason creeps out from wherever it was hiding in my brain. I may not have handled this so well. I slide along the bench to the interior lock, and open it. I hear the door behind me shut, and foam pours in as the door in front of me opens. I pull myself to my feet. I need to find the sensor pad we were using.

I slide off of the bench and onto hands and knees and start crawling through the foam, groping blindly for the device. Crawling is a lot easier than walking right now, but I realize I should have stayed nude. My clothes are soaked in seconds, but it’s a little late to do anything about it now. The chemical tang of the stuff fills my nose, but it’s kind of a relief from the burnt plastic smell of earlier. I look up at the gaping hole in the wall. It must have taken some serious work to get me out of here. We need a ramp next to the stairs for next time I die in here. That thought tells me that I’ve made an important decision. I’m not quitting.

After a few minutes, my fingers close around a cable. I pull it up out of the foam and the pad and the sensor wand follow on either end. I don’t think I’m ready to walk in open air just yet. I slosh back to the airlock and climb back onto the bench. I wipe the screen off as best I can with my sodden shirt. It’s still wet, but the screen is working. I flip through the sensory views until I have just the camera, and then restart the most recent recording.

The double-canned voice of Ally tells me I’m worth what she pays me and I watch as the air around me ignites and draws into me like a second skin. Damn, I’m looking skinny. She wasn’t kidding when she said that energy came from somewhere. She starts talking about the electromagnetic field, and then the lunch tray flies into me. From this vantage, I can see it hit me and splatter like a slush-ball. The fire domes outward, completely blocking me from the camera, and then pours upward into a sphere. The image of me grins, and then staggers.

I remember thinking that it was getting dim so the fire must be going out. Apparently that wasn’t the case. The sphere of fire stays oriented over my head, but arcs like solar flares start crawling across its surface. As I fall, Ally shouts, and the ball of fire contacts the wall of the Blast Room and explodes. Gouts of fire spray everywhere, and the sensor wand falls to the ground. I remember the charred fire suit. That must have been the one that hit Ally. I hear her yelling as the fire foam sprays from the ceiling, and the pad and camera are covered in short order.

I haven’t missed a day yet. I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of this. It’s going to get trickier, because I’ve got some more complex ideas I want to put in here. The trick will be to make them all hang together nicely.

I’d like to thank Karina for filming at the most recent war practice down in Colorado Springs. There is some awesome video on Youtube, even though the funniest part of the day went uncaptured. For those of you who wondered how my visit with my little brother went, you’ll have to wait. This was written before I actually went. I’d also like to note that this in no way guarantees that I’ll be sharing. Yeah, right. As if I’m suddenly going to be shy about what I post on the internet.


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