Right Brain Redux: Project 23 of 30
We're baaa-aaack. Sorry for the gap between posts. Lots to do and colds to fight (life with kids. Someone ALWAYS has a cold to share). So, post number 23.
For this challenge, Jessica pulled out the one-line challenge "Draw something using only one line" in which she had to draw a picture without lifting pen from paper. Kevin (that's me) drew "Write a one-page story based on a random dictionary word."
Kev: Well, I don't have a paper dictionary available, so I used a handy-dandy random word generator and got "Sloughed". For me, the challenge was writing a one page story. I just realized writing this that I missed the spirit of the challenge, sort of. I did USE the word in the story, but I was so focused on limiting myself to just one page that I forgot the story was supposed to be based on the word rather than just including it. But it is already written, so I submit to you:
Brannix cracked open the containment unit, raising the internal temperature by more than a degree. Working quickly, he shaved off a razor-thin sample from the specimen inside and hurriedly resealed the cap. Transferring the sample to a petri dish, he carried it over the high-powered microscope manned by his colleague.
"Are you certain we shouldn't be working this under full containment, Ardon?" he asked nervously.
"What are you so worried about? This things dead for at least five thousand years. The only reason we keep it chilled is so it won't break down before we can study it."
The sample slid into place and Ardon adjusted the focus on the viewer as he continued "Something killed this thing outright, and it wasn't an EMP. The planet is covered with remains of them. Figuring out what kind of weapon did it will be a real boost in the fight, not to mention our bank... oh..."
Brannix looked up from stirring the noodles he was boiling in a beaker "Oh? What's Oh? Oh doesn't sound good. That was a bad Oh."
"Look here," Ardon tipped the screen around so Brannix could see "There's one nanite functioning. Barely. It looks like its eating one of the inert ones."
"Wow," he replied, slurping his noodles, "Guess after five k, he's pretty hungry. Why would it do that?"
"Reproduction cycle, you boneheaded idiots," boomed the voice of Professor Xedos through the intercom, "Who authorized you to open one of the alien samples?"
"Uh, we just thought we'd do some hands-on studying while we..."
"Look at the screen."
On the monitor, the first microscopic machine had already become more than two dozen. As they devoured the corpses of their ancient fellows, the number doubled every half-second. Then the screen went blank as a silvery mass surged up out of the dish and around the camera lens of the microscope. Within seconds, it was boiling out of the top of the cylinder. Plastic components sloughed off like dead skin as a form took shape in the center of the writhing mass.
"I'm sorry," the lab shuddered as Xedos explained, "Containment protocols have been activated. The lab has been sealed off and ejected from the station. You two... you knew better."
The lights went out as the lab was disconnected from the station's power, leaving only the red glowing eyes of the fully formed alien robot standing amid the ruins of the microscope.
Jess: Jessica's task for today was a true challenge for her: Draw using only one line. My love is a perfectionist, and using the single line means you can't fix mistakes. She is trying hard to embrace the imperfection, but it drives her nuts at the same time. I think she did great. Here are a few of her pieces.