The Engine Lab

Cristina and Scott meet after a failed experiment. One wants revenge and there is a near death experience involved. Write the story.

THE ENGINE LAB

It was supposed to be a simple experiment. They did it every year, Aero 351, turn on the engine and measure some shit, then go home and do calculations, write a report. That’s how it was supposed to be, how it went every year.

But not this year.

This year there was a leak. One of the injection valves, leaking gas into the engine. It’s an old engine, and used so rarely and who knows how long it’d been leaking for: a day? a month? All year?

No one knew, of course, no one knew it was leaking at all. The lab always stank of gas, so that wasn’t a warning, and how can you see a leak that’s inside an engine? No, no one knew, not until they turned on the engine and a fireball shot out the nozzle, right into unsuspecting engineering student Cristina Locks.

*****

Cristina was an aberration. There aren’t a lot of girls in engineering, even less attractive ones. But Cristina was the ultimate, sweet and cute, with a smile that could inspire you to greatness and melt your heart. All the guys either fell in love with or want to fuck her, but none had a chance, at least not her classmates, no way.

That was before the incident. Before the fireball covered her in burns and seared her face. She was lucky to survive, the doctors doing everything to save her, but they couldn’t save her face, her sweetness, her innocence.

Before the incident engineering was hard. It’s hard for everyone but it’s even harder for girls, entering a boys club, dealing with chauvinism and sexism and trying to fit in. It helped that she was cute, that the boys worship her, that they’d do anything to help and be with her. But now they treat her like a freak, gossiping and avoiding, or worse, giving her their sympathy; it was too much, that she couldn’t take. And so, by the end of the year, she dropped out.

*****

It was around this time, sitting at home doing nothing, that Cristina found him. Scott Bryant, local high school boy, ranting and raving about being rejected from his dream college. Cristina’s college, her very own department, had rejected him. And with no backups, no secondary plans, he’d been reduced to ranting on Craigslist. That’s where she found him.

His first rants were innocent enough, angry at the college, his parents, himself. But then they got worse, organizing protests, calling for action, for revenge against his dream school. This was perfect for Cristina, for she wanted it as well.

So Cristina attended his next “protest”. She was the only one there, the only one listening as Scott yelled at the university from its student union quad. And when he took a break she introduced herself, then said: “Why don’t we get out of here? Talk this through?”

*****

Of course he said yes. This crazy boy, with no friends and terrible social skills, and someone was actually listening to him? Someone wants to talk? Someone interested in what he had to say?

They met later that evening, a local diner, off campus and out of sight of any school action. Cristina dressed up for the date, ready to make this boy hers.

Not that she needed to, for this boy was crazy! Even at dinner he couldn’t help himself, ranting against the world, raving against the school. Filled with anger and disgust, spewing out conspiracy theories and other untrue stories; no wonder her college didn’t let him in. What does he have: ADHD? Bipolar? Borderline personality disorder? Doesn’t matter, for all she had to do was agree, let him talk and agree with everything. It was simple as that, she agreed with everything and they hit it off completely.

*****

For their second meeting, Cristina chose a library. It was a test, could he control himself? Could he be quiet, adapt himself, behave in a challenging situation?

They chatted and she watched him, observing, evaluating. He was nervous, yes, having lots of energy with no release. Being forced to stay quiet, not able to rant or rave; he was almost bursting at his seems. But he was trying, working hard to stay under control, and he did well enough, it getting easier and easier as time went by. He can control himself, she concluded; he just has to work hard to do it.

*****

She held their third meeting at her place, all alone, just the two of them. She knew it was safe, for not only could he control himself, but she could control him. And now, with some privacy, she finally could tell him why she went to his protest, what made her interested in him. It was something in his Craigslist posts, something about revenge?

Just bringing it up set Scott off again, that evil school and their conspiracy against him, the abusive system that’s ruining America and didn’t let him in.

“So what are you gonna do about it?” Cristina asked, focusing his anger, focusing him. Stop ranting, stop raving, get serious. Do something with your feelings, make something happen.

Scott falls silent. He’s never encountered this before, someone listening to his rants, encouraging him. What was she getting at? What did she want from him?

Cristina suspected he’d respond like this, and so she was ready. First, she told him her story: the dream student at the dream school, how everyone loved her and how she was doing great. And how they all destroyed it, destroyed her. Lit a fire and burned her face off. That’s real pain, even more than being rejected, real pain is being accepted then being destroyed, being ripped apart by the people you trust, the people you love. Deeds like that cannot be undone, they can’t be allowed and they can’t go unpunished.

Scott listened, agreeing with everything. He continued to agree as Cristina laid our her plan: to sabotage the lab, destroy that engine so it could do no more damage. He agreed with everything until she got to the finale: unfolding their plan during an actual lab, taking out all who would use such a machine. Scott didn’t like that part. Did death really need to be part of their plan?

Yes it did. They did this to her, she’s doing this to them.

Cristina saw that Scott needed more convincing, that revenge means more to her than it did to him. She needed extra to get him on her side, and it was at this point that she decided to sleep with him.

*****

At their next meeting, Cristina laid out the details: where to go, how to get in, how to sabotage the Aero lab engine. It was simple really, a couple incisions that she detailed for him, then the gas will seep in, just waiting to be ignited, just like what happened to her in lab.

After detailing her plan their meeting ended, but before Scott left, Cristina took off her clothes and fucked him again. Really good this time, giving it her all and even going down on him, making sure to give him the best feeling he’s ever had. Not that she liked it, not that she even likes him, but this was her insurance: him addicted to her, drowning him in pleasure with the promise of it forever; he won’t have a single other thought in his feeble little head.

All he had to do was this one deed. God knows it was needed, God knows they deserved it.

*****

And so, with sex on his mind and craziness in his brain, Scott went to campus, to the engine lab. The lab was outside (for “safety”), surrounded by barb wire and a chain link fence. Scott had to be careful getting past all that, climbing over the fence and sneaking in. But he was and he did, dropping down inside, he was in.

He went to the engine and poked various tubes and valves with a sewing needle, exactly as instructed. The result was holes so small they were guaranteed to go undetected. But even so, the leaks would begin, causing the engine to blow once it was ignited.

Once finished, Scott exited the way he came. He then went back to Cristina’s, ready to be congratulated and fucked again. But Cristina corrected him; his job wasn’t done yet. For the lab hadn’t been conducted yet, and he needed to be there to confirm their success.

And so Scott did what he was told, went to class and stood by the door, in the exact spot Cristina told him. And then, when the lab began and the engine was ignited, it completely exploded! One leak caused a fireball and this time there were ten leaks, twenty, who knows how many. Enough to take out the whole lab, the professor, the students, the fence and everything inside it, and even the random eighteen-year-old by the door outside the lab.

*****

The fire department rushed to the scene, a scene filled with smoke and numerous charred bodies, surrounded by students too scared to intervene. News crews arrived soon after, reporting on the carnage as campus police controlled the crowd, paramedics worked through the smell of burnt flesh and the screams of the student body.

The whole situation was a nightmare. This shitty professor, his lab a ticking time bomb, how did the department not learn from last year? What even happened this time? And who was that kid who was incinerated outside?

The Fire Marshall, studying the scene, immediately recognized it as sabotage. An explosion like that, with so many failures all happening at once, and on an engine repaired less than a year ago? That doesn’t just happen.

Also involved were detectives, identifying the bodies: the professor, the students, the random boy outside. The boy was tricky, and it took some legwork to identify him. But once they did, they match him to his rejection, and then to his numerous Craigslist rants. They then search his bedroom, finding his medication untaken, and with it several articles about Cristina and her accident. It was obvious he did it, sabotaged the lab as revenge for his rejection, then stood outside to enjoy it, no idea the amount of sabotage he actually did. It was an open and shut case, but for completeness the detectives did question Cristina: she didn’t know anything, never even met the kid.

*****

Now Cristina she spends her time alone, supported by her settlement with her war-torn school. The school was reeling: fifteen deaths (no survivors), lawsuits flying left and right. But there was one thing the school was lucky about: in the first incident Cristina survived. Cristina survived and simply wanted to move on with her life, although she would only do so for the right price. The right price which the school immediately paid, eager get this nightmare behind them, and least in part.

Yes, now Cristina lives alone, surviving on her settlement, enjoying a simple life. Except for every once in a while when a reporter stops by. Several had done so, each one looking for a survivor’s perspective on the “Aero disaster”. Cristina’s response was always the same: devastation and sadness for the tragedy that transpired, but also relief that the lab will claim no more lives. The reporters also couldn’t help but take her picture, her face representative of the damage the school did. And sometimes, the reporters would even ask about the perpetrator, the crazy kid hell bent on revenge. And to that Cristina always said the same thing: she didn’t know him, but he seemed like a troubled kid.

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About Gabriel Bruskoff
I make movies! See gabrielbruskoff.com for more information.

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