Lab Rat part Forty

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Fiction, Mental health, Test Subject

I pick my way across the city guided by my phone. I don’t have a lot of attention to spare for things that aren’t driving related. For one thing, I’m still probably drunk by the legal definition. For another, it’s been a long time since I drove anything and I was never the greatest thing behind a steering wheel. A couple of thoughts do occur to me though. First, the former owner of my transportation may not have been on Keegan’s payroll. If that’s true, it’s not unreasonable to guess that he still thinks I’m on the other side of town. I know it’s a lot of ifs, but it means that maybe I have the element of surprise when I get back to my place. It sure would be nice to be the one doing the ambushing for a change. At the next stoplight, I spin the injector to a power I know and have used before. It’s tempting to use the regeneration serum, but I’m not hurt that badly and if things go pear-shaped I may need it.

When I roll up on my apartment building, there are two black SUVs sitting out front. Okay, so his guys are here. I expected it, but I guess I kind of hoped I would be here and gone before they showed up. I park on the opposite side of the street. It’s metered parking, but I’m not really inclined to care if I get a ticket tonight. I step out of the car and stretch. My ribs and stomach hurt. My throat is sore from being strangled. My cheek burns inside, but that one is my fault. I take a deep breath. My stomach clenches, and I get goose bumps all over. I walk across the street slowly. I breathe in and out and try to calm myself down. Clearly I’m not used to the reality of this stuff. As I get to the other side, I tap the injector. The burn of the chemicals is soothing. The feeling of weakness washes away in a warm tide.

I hold my arms out horizontal. It’s nice to know what to expect. It means I won’t wreck myself or others unintentionally. I do plan to wreck some others though. I grin as my hands heat up. I have to be careful not to touch myself, because Doctor Allison and I have documented the side effects of this one pretty well. I could boil water by putting a hand into a bucket of it. Not sure if there’s a way to control that, but right now I don’t care. I clench my fists, and about two feet of lightning springs from my knuckles. I sweep my right hand through the hood of the rear SUV and my left through the rear of the other. There is a crackle as the energy shreds rubber and fiberglass and metal. I concentrate, and the lightning condenses into a pair of batons. I smell ozone. Keegan and I have something in common. I don’t like being fucked with either.

Today a customer asked me a question that caught me totally by surprise. My own answer was less surprising, but it was totally evidence of my crystallized lunacy. I know that’s awfully vague, but that’s all you get.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future of this story. Not to worry; I’m going to keep going with it. It’s just that I’m trying to weave a more tangled web than I ever have before. It’s slowing me down a little, but I think the rewards will be worth the effort.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Ramser, Justin Ramser. Justin Ramser said: Lab Rat part Forty: Asher plays with his phone while he drives. […]

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