Sunday, May 10, 2009

Daily Story 25: Modern Terrorism

Brutus had owned a lava lamp when he was younger. His mother had yelled at his grandfather for giving it to him because the cone of glass could get surprisingly hot when it had been left on and she was always a little overprotective. Brutus chuckled at the memory of his mother, thinking of how upset she would have been if she had lived to see him join the Squad.

In front of him the Nataski building wavered in the air, bits of it breaking off and floating alongside it, sometimes rejoining a moment later. The lava lamp his grandfather had given him had red liquid inside rather than black like the outside of this building, but otherwise the resemblance was uncanny. Brutus' second in command tapped him on the shoulder to signal that the Squad was ready, and he turned to face them.

"Okay boys! This is the day we've all trained for! The field starts about two hundred feet away from the building, and the building itself is seventy stories high. That's a lot of ground to cover, and we have no idea where the disruption device is. Your suits will keep the laws of physics on your side for about an hour, which means if you haven't found the device in forty minutes you want to get the hell out for a recharge. I don't want to see anyone pushing it and getting trapped."

Brutus looked at the faces of the seven men in front of him. They were hiding their fear well. Good for you, he thought. "I'm the only one who has actually been in one of these fields before. I've told you what to expect but let me remind you that if you get stuck, if the walls close in around you - do not panic. Wait, breathe evenly, and gently push outwards. Once you get close to the device you might start seeing things, but I don't care if your dead grandmother or Santa Claus himself pops up, you ignore them. Odds are that things will be less fancy than that, just turning to diamond or lead or something basic. I don't care if it's the prettiest damn thing you've ever seen, you don't stop to take pictures. Time is of the essence."

He didn't tell them the real danger, that all of the matter in the field could spontaneously turn into antimatter. That would be a good way to ruin everyone's day - not to mention the entire Western hemisphere of the planet. "Your suits have only one minute total of powered flight. If the generator is located you are to get outside through any means necessary - if it is destroyed and you happen to be under a wall, or the building is made out of marshmallow or whatever... that's it."

As if to emphasize his point, a glob of the Nataski building drifted past the edge of the field and, once more subject to the laws of gravity, dropped three hundred feet to the ground and obliterated a hot dog cart. Brutus just laughed. "That sounded like a challenge, boys! Let's go!"