Monday, October 31, 2011

Notes from the Mad Science Lab: Home-Grown Costumes

We're done trick-or-treating... finally. This has been an... interesting... evening.

After dinner, I brought the boy down to the lab. (At age six, he's old enough to keep it a secret. He also knows that if he doesn't, I can fit him with a small device that will administer an electric shock whenever he starts to say something indiscreet. He's already started a series of experiments designed to render himself immune to electric shocks; I don't know whether to be proud or worried. But I digress...)

We activated the fog machine first, to give the neighborhood time to fill up. Then we winched the exo-suits up out of the growth tanks. I set the timer on the hidden access port, and then we got into our suits. The control wombs worked perfectly; once the connections were made, we could operate our pseudo-saurs just by moving the equivalent parts of our bodies.

It was a magnificent moment when we emerged into the fog. My son was, for all practical purposes, an actual velociraptor; while I lumbered along behind him, a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the flesh.

Admittedly, we didn't get much candy. My son would nuzzle the doorbells, and roar his "trick-or-treat!" Then, often, the person at the door would scream and drop their bowl of candy. So we should have had as much as we wanted, but candy is very hard to pick up without opposable thumbs.

Then my son found some kids from his school, including that one kid who always picks on him. That was... satisfying to watch. Deeply, deeply satisfying. In fact, I was tempted to look up some of my old school-mates and give them a well-deserved scare, but my suit was starting to get itchy and I could hear sirens in the distance. The fog would slow them down, but it was time to get back to the lab. I'd built these bio-suits to behave like dinosaurs; I hadn't designed them to be bulletproof.

So I roared for my son, and nudged him back towards the lab. He left off chasing his so-called "peers," and away we went. I was able to activate the hidden entrance without making my dinosaur body thrash around too much, and we ducked inside just the flashing lights got close enough for me to see. And then we tried to climb out of the suits.

That was where life got difficult. You see, we'd pulled them directly from the growth tanks. I had used about four times the usual dosage of growth formula to get them ready in time... and they were still dripping with it. So when we tried to take the suits off, we couldn't: they'd been trying to graft themselves onto us.

I finally had to maneuver my suit over to the experimental laser - not easy with a body that size! - and make a few strategic cuts. I managed this by switching the laser on (very carefully, with my snout) and moving the dinosaur-body into its path. The laser promptly gave out in a shower of sparks, but by then I could wiggle one arm free. I took some work to reach the clone-dissolving spray (left over as a precaution from some experiments a few years back), and that finally did the trick.

So my son and I are loose, and the suits are gone. Admittedly, the shower in the laboratory may never be the same, and there's a huge pile of half-dissolved dinosaur parts in middle of the assembly room; but all in all the evening was quite a success.




  2. Ha! That's brilliant - and amazingly well done.


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