Previously on Into The Infinite . . .
There was a sudden thud on the door again. They both jumped; Mick ducked a bit behind the table and Edgar struck a fighting pose. The thud was hammering so hard that chunks of brittle, chipping paint were starting to form and flake off in cracked patterns.
Edgar looked back at Mick; they met eyes immediately. “What’s your brilliant plan Picasso,” Mick asked sarcastically, mocking in light of the situation.
The door pounded again; more flakes fell.
“Screw painting a picture,” Edgar said, slamming the scrap of paper back onto the table, holding his finger on the equation. “We’re going to MacGyver a bomb and paint the walls with this lump of ink.”
Mick’s eyes lit up like a child staring at Christmas lights for the first time. The door pounded again and brought Mick back to earth. He shot his eyes back to Edgar.
“Let’s get started,” he said. Edgar nodded with an affirmative expression.
Now . . .
As the thudding persisted, so did Mickey and Edward. It was lucky for them that this lab in particular had been a tightly lockable clean room, if only to house all of the notes for the experimentation; something pounded the door again, knocking loose debris from the ceiling.
“What’s the plan,” Mick asked, looking clueless but antsy to help in any way he could.
“I don’t think the creator wants us to make something that will shoot the monster. Quite the contrary actually,” Edgar said. Mick gave a look of confusion, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head slightly, indicating he didn’t understand.
“These insto-colds,” Edgar said while dangling the frozen pack in front of Mick, “have a compound in them that turns them cold. The poem says, ‘Take care not to douse, to get ahead, I need to stay hot.'”
The door pounded again. The mass was either get very tired or making more precise blows to the lab door; cracks were forming on the material underneath the paint now.
“Okay, they need to stay dry. What else,” Mick said, grabbing a large beaker from one of narrow tables against the wall. His foot pinged something hollow and metal.
“Glad I’m wearing shoes or that would’ve hurt so much more,” he said, grimacing.
Partly because of its placement and partly because it’s red lettering on its yellow surface had been faded to nothing more than slightly darker embossed lettering, the two hadn’t noticed the cabinet underneath one of the lab tables labeled ‘Flammable Chemicals’.
“Hang on,” Edgar said, looking back at the scrap of paper. He read softly to himself for a moment while the mass gave another pound on the door, making Mick duck again, as if he was dodging shrapnel, “Everything you need is around you.”
Edgar looked back in Mick’s direction at the cabinet, then up to his friend. He went to the cabinet and tried the door. It jingled, but tightly. “Dammit,” he said. The pounding was getting louder.
Mick had already grabbed the long steel tube from the table and looked like he was mid-swing when he had told Edgar, “Move.”
It crashed once, and once more; the cabinet gave in. The door was caved in enough at the lock to swing open with creaks from its rusty hinges. Inside was a single, fat container that had an obnoxiously large label on it.
Mick grabbed it. “Twenty percent,” he remarked to Edgar, scrutinizing the bottle further. Edgar had made his way back to the table at this point, scanning the scrap piece of paper once more.
“Everything you need–,” he started, looking back at the large container. After looking between the two, paper and locker contents, he began examining the ratio at the bottom again. “Four to one, that’s five parts. Twenty percent,” he whispered to himself.
Mick had walked back over to the table with two beakers and the large container. Hearing another well-placed thud to the middle of the door, which was starting to look like it was swelling; Mick put the beakers down on the table and awaited further instruction.
“What’s next,” he asked.
Edgar looked across the table. “Now, we get to work. Tear those bags open. If we do this right we should have enough for about three of them.”
Edgar looked at his friend. Without breaking his glance, he poked the scrap paper again. “Mix me well, let metal sail, run like hell. We need to mix these up,” Edgar said, holding the large container and one of the insto-cold packs, rubbing them together.
He pointed back to the poem, “For better or worse, I’m bound to pop. The creator wants us to make a bomb.”
Another loud thud. The two young men gave another slight duck. Edgar looked back at Mick.
“I’ll MacGyver up the bullets and strike pins, you go Sir Mix-a-Lot on those chemicals and find something to hold the mixture,” Edgar said, grabbing some of the scrap components and wiring them together. Mick had already torn open three of the cold packs, measuring pensively as he did.
The door’s swelling was more apparent; Time between the hollow poundings was a commodity growing shorter with each minute that ticked by.
When they had finished, the product they had yielded looked like a very bulky, cylindrical grenade. Each of the four made, all varying slightly in shape, had a mechanical, spring-loaded strike pin that was sat atop a gray hulk, the beakers with the chemical mixture inside, all tightly wrapped in duct tape.
“So, pull the striking pin over and set the trigger pin. After that, measure your tripwire,” Edgar said, holding taught a piece of the scrap wire, “then loop around the trigger pin and twist the wire tight. You don’t want it to slip out and not pull the pin, and be sure not to let go of the striking pin while setting the trigger during this; you don’t want these to blow your face off.”
“Don’t tell me how to live my life,” Mick said, shaking one of the bombs in Edgar’s face, smiling.”
“Right,” Edgar said, smiling the same and contorting his neck back as if the device would go off in his own face. His tenseness angled in a different direction as the door was pounded upon again, only this time there a was a very small but very visible crack forming in the center of its swelling bulge.
A small ball could be seen poking its way through the crack. Its black shade grew thin like a squeezed balloon until it popped, leaving behind a single wriggling, hand-length tentacle and trailing a single line of black, ink-like substance down the center of the door. The tentacle had already split itself, bracing the door and looking as if it was straining to force its way in.
Edgar returned his look to Mick, “the striking pin makes contact with the bullet and the contents of the beaker goes boom,” he said, bringing his stretched hands outward like a gypsy beholding a crystal ball.
“Good ’nuff for me,” Mick said.
The two watched as the crack was twisting slowly open. Edgar handed Mick two of the devices and some wire, which Mick immediately began measuring outstretched arm length strands of.
Edgar took the third, wedging the fourth between the wall and one of the tables and securing it with tape. The door was twisting wide.
Edgar measured a length of his own, over-turned one of the thick lab tables, and ducked behind it, signaling Mick to duck with him.
The door was giving several quick thuds as the tentacles grew a bit longer, bracing and twisting more. Mick turned to Edgar amidst all the excitement and said flatly, “what if this doesn’t work?”
Edgar, looking as though he hadn’t considered the possibility, replaced the expression with a much more dismissive one. “If that’s the case,” he said, ” then our creator is a asshole.”
The door creaked and twisted outward but not fully.
Edgar peered at the door, then back to Mick. “Get ready,” he said.
The door moaned, echoing a strain against an opposing force. It was more apparent now than ever that its battle would soon be lost.