Nacho Business
rating: +143+x

In the Foundation, you can't afford to pull punches. If you make an assumption, expect it to fly back in your face before you can say "Skipper". Hell, do you know how many tests they have to run in this place? It's a laundry list bigger than my forearm. I don't know which poor tuna head they got to do the tests, but I'm glad it ain't me.

- Overheard from within the Site-87 administrative washroom.

Researcher Brian Cohen stood above the slightly luminescent nacho bowl classified as E-00043. Currently, it was being bombarded with amusingly high levels of secret radiation, to see what would happen. This was always the worst part of the job. Every time a new shiny diet cola or infinite curdle dispenser came along, he had to test it for every type of unforeseen anomaly under the sun.

There were tests to see if it reacted to water, a test for gravitational force, tests to determine whether or not it could cause a massive heart failure to someone sitting on it… basically, if a Level 4 could imagine it, he'd have to test it. Brian checked his watch, and sighed. Only about 104 tests left to go…

OBJECT: E-00043 "Shiny Bowl"
CURRENT TEST: "Testing for "Rage State"

Brian slouched in his chair, lazily pawing for a bag of pretzels as D-5611 entered the chamber. Fumbling for the mic, he pressed his cheese dust-encrusted fingers to the intercom button.

"Please insert the nacho you were given into E-00043, and eat it."

The orange jumpsuit clad woman looked over to the sparkling snack receptacle, then back to the intercom.

"You being serious right now?"

"Yes. Just, uh, drop it in for a couple seconds, and then eat it."

She shrugged. "Whatever. You're the boss, I guess." There was a slight clink, followed by a crunch.

Brian watched her for a minute, going over the rage state checklist. Subject was not suddenly gaining additional muscle mass, or attempting to exit the test chamber. Subject had not threatened to "spill the blood of ten thousand wasps into your accursed soul." Brian leaned into the mic.

"Yo, D-Class. How you feel?"

Inside the test chamber, the orange-clad woman shrugged. "Same, I guess."

RESULT: E-00043 was determined not to cause a rage state in human subjects.

OBJECT: E-00043 "Shiny Bowl"
CURRENT TEST: "Insanity Probability"

Brian glanced at the clock, half-hoping it would show some sort of serendipity with the schedule. Sadly, these hopes were misplaced. Three in the morning, Jesus fuckin' Christ. Looking around the cluttered, snack-wrapper laden observation chamber, he sighed, and slapped his palm onto the intercom button.

"Send in… you remember which one we're on?"

"Two hundred twenty three, I think." crackled the speaker.

"Send, uh, that one in then."

A blond-haired fat man sauntered into the testing chamber, wearing a bright green jumpsuit. A small stain was ingrained to the collar, probably jam. Brian stubbed his finger to the intercom, and rattled off test instructions in the third worst German accent he'd ever done. This was the mind-affecting test, seeing whether or not the bowl was a thing what made you go cray-cray. Obediently, the D-Class put it on his head, and just as hypothesized, nothing happened.

RESULT: No anomalous properties detected.

Brian sighed. Only a couple dozen more to go…

Testing continued as it always did, at a snail's pace. There were tests of cumulative exposure, where they made someone wear it all day. Tests for seeing if it made your bladder weaker, or for making you into a different type of bowl, maybe some to test if it changed eating habits. The results were usually predictable as they come: The tester would do something silly with a bowl, and Brian would check the clock and whine to himself.

Later tests were always the weird ones. These had the object do something so specific and bizarre, you know it only started because some sweater in Kansas turned out to be double memetic. Brian was pretty sure that wasn't an actual thing that existed in reality, but it was still on the testing schedule. There was a laundry list of other oddities: Dog vigor, paper towel radiation, and whether or not it caused acne in sharks. Just in case. This one had the test subject just sit next to the bowl, trying to make polite conversation while being hooked up to more brain scanners than you could count.

But, finally, it was time for the last test.

Brian himself would be performing this one, as it was a test of his own creation. He'd been over the list dozens of times, looking for this one being listed, but never found it. It boggled the mind that nobody in the Foundation Smart Test List Initiative(FSTLI) had thought of it. But, it had been absent. In one hand, Brian picked up the bowl, and in the other he held a bag of chips.

OBJECT: E-00043 "Shiny Bowl"

Brian poured the chips into the bowl.

There was a silence.

A crunch.

Then nothing.


On ██/██/████, Researcher Cohen attempted to initiate an unauthorized test with E-00043, with notes recovered from the test observation chamber citing his inability to "believe this shit" when the test was not included on the roster. Subsequently, E-00043 demonstrated a previously unknown anomalous effect, filling the entire test chamber with "Lays" brand potato chips, severely injuring Researcher Cohen. Investigation into the incident is ongoing, and E-00043 has been slated for additional testing.


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