Number Crunching
rating: +15+x

Lucas Monaco, the representative, knocked at the door.

Skitter Marshall walked over to open the door. The second that he twisted the handle, Lucas pushed the door open hard, knocking Skitter over on the other side of the door, arranged his fingers into fake guns, pointed them at Iris and Robert's heads, shouted "BANG! BANG!", miming recoil from each hand and making the people he was pointing them at jump a bit, then rounded the door, pointed both at Skitter's head, and ended on a "Bang."

The three inheritors stared, a bit confused, and watched as Lucas turned around, closed the door, pulled out a key, Twisted it clockwise into the door's keyhole, making its perimeter glow a faint turquoise and hum at a sinusoidal 200Hz. Iris was the first to try and speak, but quickly realised that her mouth wouldn't open any more. Lucas saw this and responded.

"Don't try to say anything, you'll hurt yourselves. Give me a few minutes."

Lucas walked to the three windows in order - they were open, for k-n's sake - slammed one shut by pulling it downwards, walked across, pulled the next one downwards, walked across, pulled the next one downwards. Lucas then pulled out a remote from his pocket, pointed it towards each window in order, and turned them off. Swirling, inky blackness now flooded outside. It seemed to cast odd shadows into the room, despite the only light sources now being inside: the yellowy fluorescent light bulbs on the roof, the red dot of the fire alarm, and the spreading turquoise from the door which was humming at 174Hz. Lucas turned around, already walking towards the stepladder that was resting against the refrigerator.

"I would recommend not opening those windows. Or looking out them for too long. Something might see you if you do. Not's a weird place. Too many Wednesdays and Thursdays."

Robert noticed something propelling itself through the hollow not outside, felt his heartbeat raise and his head hurt, heard a faint chuckle in his ears, and deliberately stared at the floor. He tried to lick his lips but his lips were stuck together and that made him breathe a little faster and his nose made a little high pitched whine from the dried up mucus inside it happening to have turned into an impromptu biological whistle and his face started to redden because he thought someone had noticed but Iris and Skitter were busy staring at the magic man and Lucas the magic man was climbing the stepladder.

Lucas Monaco climbed the stepladder which he'd placed in the middle of the room, took out what looked like a hot glue gun from his left trouser pocket, shoved it up inside the air vent, closed his eyes and scrunched his nose, then pulled the trigger. Everyone's ears popped as the pressure in the room suddenly increased - the windows started ever so slightly bowing outwards, but nobody inside the room noticed this change - and the vent was filled with bright orange foam. It sparkled, shiny, bubbling softly, Lucas was staring at his watch, three, two, one, and at once it lost its lustre as it dried and became rigid. Lucas stepped back down, put the ladder against the wall, walked over to the sink, shoved the thing that was definitely not a hot glue gun down the sink, pulled the trigger again, another burst of pressure (another slight bowing outwards of the windows) and then three, two, one, putting the gun back into his left trouser pocket and turning back to the inheritors. Lucas pulled a piece of paper out of his right pocket.

"Okay, nods or head shakes. Have any of you met me before?"

Three head shakes.

"Good. Are any of you allergic to wheat, rice, or MSG?"

Three head shakes.

"Good. Have any of you had sexual intercourse within the last nine months?"

Two head shakes and one nod. While Robert was nodding, however, he noticed that Lucas wasn't looking at them anyway, but just staring at the sheet.

"Good. Have any of you passed through non-euclidean spaces within the last five weeks?"

Two shakes and one nod.

"Good. Have any of you ingested live macroscopic organisms within the last 72 hours?"

Here, Lucas actually looked, and nodded back when he saw three nods of affirmation, then scrunched the piece of paper up and threw it over his shoulder. Nobody saw it land, because it stopped existing before it hit the ground.

"Okay. I'm going to give each of you a pill and a glass of water. You're going to be able to move your mouths in about…" Lucas ballparked the door at 108 Hz. "…80 seconds, at which point you should immediately consume the pill and finish the glass of water. You need to finish the glass of water after taking the pill. Do not say anything until I ask you to or it's possible that you'll die. Highly probable that you'll die. Also don't look out the window. Also try to control your breathing. And heartrates."

Lucas pulled three purple pills out of his pocket, handed one to each inheritor, moved over to the sink, opened the shelving below the sink, pulled out three clear glasses, stuck the glasses under the tap, filled each glass with water, put them to the side, took out the hot glue gun, shoved it up the tap - another slight bowing outwards of the windows, three, two, one, and the world is cured - put the hot glue gun away, picked up the three glasses (two in his left hand), walked over to the inheritors, handed them each a glass, nodded, then walked to the other side of the room, took out another piece of paper from his right pants pocket, and stared at it intently.

"Don't come into my field of view. Stay exactly where you are. Don't say anything until I ask you to. Consume the pill as quickly as possible. Watch my left hand."

Lucas put his left hand into the air, holding up five fingers, listening to the hum.

74 Hz. Four fingers.

71 Hz. Three fingers.

63 Hz. Two fingers.

55 Hz. One finger.

50 Hz, and then a sudden silence. No fingers, and the inheritors felt their lips part. Iris threw the pill into her mouth and started draining her water immediately. Skitter had already been pushing the pill against his lips and the second it slipped through he pulled the glass up to his mouth and drank as fast as he could. Robert had no idea what was going on and was freaking the FUCK out a little but the crazy magic man told him to take the pill so he put the pill into his mouth and started drinking the water and he kind of choked on it a little and coughed up some water but kept drinking and drinking and "oh shit" he thought "do I need to lick that off the ground he emphasized that I needed to drink it all oh fuck but he told me not to move as well what do I do fuck it just keep drinking" and it never occurred to any of them, later, that finishing the glass was unneccessary for reasons other than proper hydration.

Lucas Monaco started sneezing. One sneeze. Two sneezes. Three blood shot out of his nose and spattered onto the paper. He looked down and saw three blank squares where something had been printed which had now been irretrievably lost. Below that, though, was a handwritten scrawl. Lucas wiped the blood off his face and the note with his left hand, before putting his left hand into his left pocket and pulling out a Medusa M47 revolver and pointing it at Skitter Marshall's head - still staring at the scribbled handwritten note - before calmly saying:

"Password."

"What?"

"Password. Tell me the password."

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Tell me the password."

"I still have no idea what you're talking about."

Lucas pulled the trigger and the gun went CLICK but that was all. He pointed the gun at Robert Carter, still staring at the paper.

"Tell me the password."

"That gun's clearly not loaded."

Lucas directed the gun downwards and pulled the trigger, and with a great BANG which made everyone's ears ring and the windows shake a little, a lead slug pushed its way into the wooden floor. Everyone's ears were ringing, but Lucas pointed it back at Robert Carter.

"Tell me the password."

Ears ringing, Robert Carter shouted "I DON'T KNOW ABOUT ANY FUCKING PASSWORD!"

Lucas pulled the trigger, a click that nobody could hear over the ringing in their ears, and then pointed it towards Iris Dark. Before Lucas could say a word:

"You're a time traveller, aren't you?"

"Tell me the password."

Iris grinned ear to ear. "That is absolutely wild."

"Tell me the password."

Iris looked at the other two.

"Look, it doesn't matter what we say, he knows what we're going to say, it's written down on that sheet of paper. Arguably the longer we keep talking the more secure the password is. So I guess I'll just keep talking - maybe say some random words, I dunno, albatross, albania, southern comfort and screaming silences - it legitimately doesn't matter what I say because he hasn't written it yet. I think. Did I get it right?"

Lucas directed the gun to the ground, and again a BANG and this time louder and ringing and Iris closed her eyes and when she opened them Lucas was pushing her against the wall and holding the gun against her head and she could hear him over the reinforced ringing and she watched his lips shape the words, still coated and dripping in blood that had spurted out of his nose:

"TELL ME THE FUCKING PASSWORD!"

"HAPPY ALICE WANDERED THROUGH THE FOREST AND THERE SHE SPIED A SPIDER WHENCE CAME THE RAINY WOLF AND EVIL POURED UPON THE BLACK PARADE AND THE HEAVENS CRIED THICK BLACKNESS AND WE DREAMPT THAT HER GRANDMOTHER'S TEETH WERE LONG and sharp and she screamed upon the flesh and we salted the wound and the world felt like nothing amen."

Lucas released Iris, turned around, walked away, stared at the piece of paper, confirmed that all the words matched, then put the Medusa M47 back in his left pocket with his left hand and scrunched up the piece of paper before throwing it over his shoulder and nobody saw it land because it stopped existing before it hit the ground.

"Okay. How long have we been in this room?"

Lucas looked back at Iris who was leaking tears from her eyes and looking very angry whilst glaring daggers at him. He glanced at Robert, who was sitting down and shaking from psychosomatic hypothermia. He looked towards Skitter, who was checking his watch to give his response:

"Maybe eight minutes?"

"Alright, that's already too much not exposure. We need to get out of here before something notices."

Lucas pulled a Kullback-Liebler warhead from his right pocket (though to Skitter it just looked like a fountain pen) then clicked out a pattern in Morse code through it. He threw it over his shoulder and nobody saw it land because it started dissipating mid-air and its payload began to propagate through the room and leak out the windows a little bit which made the things that weren't outside start paying attention to the room.

"What's your name?"

"Skitter Marshall." said Skitter Marshall.

"Well, Marshall, grab the girl and pull her towards the door, because her and the other guy seem to have looked out the windows. I assume I told them not to."

Skitter looked over to Iris and saw that she was now crying blood, frowning, staring towards Lucas Monaco. He grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the door. She looked down at her hand and saw an odd fleshy thing attached to her elbow instead, it wasn't her hand that had been grabbed, it was some fleshy five-fingered thing, she didn't have her hand yet, no, she was going to get that later. She'd have to saw this one off soon, to make room for her hand. She smiled and cried some more blood and started grinding her teeth together and she heard the whispers from inside her head.

Robert Carter was cold and cold and cold and cold and then cold and he felt cold and Robert Carter was cold because he was cold and he was cold Robert Carter was cold it is cold he felt cold it was cold and he felt cold and Robert Carter felt cold and it was cold and it is cold and it is cold and Robert Carter was cold and then cold but cold and it is cold Robert Carter was cold and it was cold and Robert Carter was cold. Lucas Monaco grabbed Robert Carter is cold it is cold Robert Carter is cold and cold and cold and then cold and pulled him towards the door.

The Kullback-Liebler warhead had knitted through the room and was going to tear it apart in a few minutes.

Lucas Monaco grabbed the key that was jammed in the door, Twisted it widdershins, and then Lucas and Skitter and Robert and Iris were no longer in the room.

The lights were still flashing imperceptibly at 50Hz and the fire alarm's red LED was still on and one of Thursday's Serpents sunk its teeth into the window and injected its slick spirited ethanols into the fabric of the warhead. It broke in and slithered and slid and ran into two pieces of paper and a fountain pen that were anchored in the wrong ways. The room was in a different place, the Serpent had pulled it out into the Not, where it would drift until the Kullback-Liebler warhead realised what was going on and sliced the Serpent into a trillion tiny hours which were wasted before it realised its life was gone.

Meanwhile, Lucas and Skitter and Robert and Iris were in Paris, and Iris and Robert wanted to empty their stomachs but the pills refused to let them try.


Oh, I got my cool on! (Tailormade!)
I'm winning so they had to dump the Gatorade -
And I don't give a fuck about my family name.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License