Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daily Story 118: Escher Labs

From the Desk of Doctor Meyers

Just for the record, in case we never figure out how to leave the lab and run out of air or otherwise perish and Hastings insists that we did this to ourselves... It started with a harmless little prank last week. I turned the room upside-down so that Hastings would walk in and be on the ceiling - it was simple enough to do but he didn't know Johnson and I had finished the gravity manipulator so his face was priceless as we acted confused and demanded to know how he'd gotten up there.

It could have been left at that, probably. Instead Johnson curved the hallways so that you couldn't even tell when you transitioned from the floor to the walls, causing Hastings to walk into the break room sideways and fall to the ground. We laughed, played the tape back on a loop. For research purposes. Hastings tried to shrug it off, but because he was never the most professional of us he wanted revenge. We assumed he would do something stupid, maybe make it so the gravity flipped in the toilet when you tried to flush. He had something much trickier in mind.

I am ashamed and humbled to admit that I still don't know how he did it - but quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn’t know himself. Maybe it all got out of hand. All I know is that when I try to leave the lab I just enter it from the other side. Johnson got frustrated after an hour of waiting for Hastings to show up and he actually smashed a hole through the wall - and fell out of the ceiling. The window appears to be looking up through the drainage grate in the floor, so that's no help.

On the plus side, we've invented a new version of HORSE using my shoe instead of a basketball. The whiteboard has me at HO, and we're taking a break while Johnson looks for somewhere to urinate that he's relatively sure won't just spit it back out. I've determined that if I throw my shoe through the door just right I should be able to get it to drop down the drain... if I do that really carefully I might be able to get it to pass close enough to the hole Johnson made after coming out the window that the gravity pulls it down from the ceiling. Let's see him make that shot!

At any rate, I say this has gone far enough and that when (if?) Hastings lets us out we should congratulate him, pat him on the back, and move on. Johnson disagrees. He says that he's starting to suspect how the room is working and thinks if he can get a look at whatever is powering it he can make it so Hastings can't so much as take a step without bumping into himself from four directions. I told him if he can write a proposal that outlines the scientific merits of it I would go in with him - so wherever you are, Hastings, you had better turn this thing off before we finish our game of HORSE - I've seen Johnson slap together twenty page grant requests in under ten minutes.