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.


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 some 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, an even older contraption, 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 even 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 and innocent, with a smile that could melt your heart. All her classmates either fell in love with or want to fuck her (or both), but none had a chance, not with her, no way.

That was before the incident. Before the fireball seared her face, covered her in burns. She’s lucky to be alive, the doctors doing everything to save her, but they couldn’t save her face, her sweetness, her innocence. Now she’s scarred and deformed; no one likes that.

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 her and be with her. But now that everyone treats her like a freak, that they gossip and avoid her, or worse, they give her their sympathy, that’s too much, that she can’t take. And so, by the end of the year, she drops 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 school. Cristina’s school, her very own department, had rejected him. And with no backups, no secondary plans, he’s now reduced to ranting on Craigslist. That’s where she found him.

His first rants were innocent enough, angry at school, at his parents, at himself. But then they got worse, calling for protests, for action, for revenge against the school. This is perfect for Cristina, it’s just what she wanted.

So she attends his next “protest”. She’s the only one there, the only one listening as Scott yells at the university from its student union quad. When he takes a break she introduces herself, then says: “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 is actually listening to him? Someone wants to talk? To spend time with him?

They met later that evening, a local diner, off campus and out of sight of any school action. Cristina dresses up, high heels and a low cut dress, ready to make this boy hers.

Not that there’s anything for her to do, for this boy is crazy! Even at dinner he can’t help himself, ranting against the world, raving against everything. Filled with anger and disgust, spewing out conspiracy theories and other untrue stories; no wonder her school didn’t let him in. What does he have: bipolar disorder? Borderline? ADHD? Doesn’t matter, all she has to do is agree, let him talk and agree with everything, it’s simple as that, she agrees with everything and they hit it off completely.


For their second meeting, Cristina chooses a library. It’s a test, can he control himself? Can he be quiet, adapt himself, behave in a difficult environment?

They chat and she watches, observing, evaluating, studying. He’s nervous, yes, lots of energy with no release. He has to stay quiet, no ranting or raving; he’s almost bursting at his seems. But he’s trying, working hard to stay under control, and he’s doing well, making it through, easier and easier as time goes by, as he calms his nerves and adjusts to his situation. He can control himself, he just has to work at it.


She holds their third meeting at her place. It’s safe now, she knows he can control himself, and more importantly that she can control him. And now, with some privacy, she finally tells 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 sets 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 asks, focusing his anger, focusing him. Stop ranting, stop raving, and get serious. Do something with your feelings, make things happen.

Scott falls silent. He’s never encountered this before, someone listening to his rants and encouraging him to pursue them. To follow his feelings and do something about them. What does she mean? He’s never done anything like that, what does Cristina want from him?

Cristina suspected he’d respond like this, and so she is ready. First, she tells him her story: the dream student at the dream school, how she was getting ahead and how everyone loved her. And how they 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 listens, agreeing with everything. He continues to agree as Cristina lays our her plan: to sabotage the lab, destroy that engine so it can do no more damage. He agrees with everything until she gets to the finale: unfolding their plan during an actual lab, taking out all who would use it. Scott doesn’t like that part. Does death really need to be part of their plan?

Yes it does. They did this to her, she’ll do this to them.

Cristina sees that Scott needs more convincing, that revenge means more to her than it does to him. She’ll need extra to get him on her side, looks like she’s gonna have to sleep with him.


At their next meeting, Cristina lays out the details, where to go, how to get in, how to sabotage the Aero lab engine. It’s simple really, a couple incisions that she details for him (she knows engines well, she always was a great student), then the gas will seep in and wait for ignition, just like what happened when she was in lab.

After detailing her plan their meeting comes to an end, but before Scott leaves, Cristina takes off her clothes and fucks 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 likes it, not that she even likes him, but this is her insurance: him addicted to her, drowning him in pleasure and desire and the promise of it forever, he won’t have a single thought in his feeble little head.

All he has to do is this one deed. God knows it’s needed, God knows they deserve it.


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

He goes to the engine and with a simple sewing needle pokes various tubes and valves, leaving holes so small that they’ll go undetected, holes that will rupture as the pressure starts to build, holes that are placed exactly where Cristina told him.

Once finished, Scott exits the way he came. Then he heads back to Cristina’s, ready to be congratulated for a job well done. But Cristina corrects him; his job isn’t done yet. There’s still class, he has to go to confirm it’s a success. He’ll stand outside since they won’t let him in, but he can still be close, see the fireball and hear the explosion. And hopefully, if he’s good, he’ll even see it take the professor with him. If he can manage that, if he can come back and report all that, then he’ll get some real action.

And so Scott does what he’s told, goes to class and stands by the door. And when the engine goes off it completely explodes! 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 hanging out outside.


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

The whole situation is 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 recognizes it as sabotage. An explosion like that, so many failures all happening at once, and after the engine was fixed from last year’s disaster? That doesn’t just happen, this was deliberate.

Also involved are detectives, identifying the bodies: the professor, the students, the random boy outside. The boy is tricky; it takes a little legwork to identify him. But once they do they match him to his rejection, then to his numerous Craigslist rants. They search his bedroom and find his medication untaken, then several articles about Cristina and her incident. It’s obvious he did it, sabotaged the lab as revenge for his rejection, then stood outside to enjoy it, no idea how much sabotage he actually did. It’s an open and shut case, but for completeness the detectives also 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 was willing to let bygones be bygones, to move on with her life – for the right price. The right price which the school paid immediately, eager to end their nightmare, and least in part.

Yes, now Cristina is alone in a simple life, except for every once in a while when a reporter stops by. Several have done so, looking for a survivor’s perspective on the “Aero disaster”. Cristina’s response is always the same: devastation and sadness for the tragedy that transpired, but also relief that the lab will claim no more lives. Satisfied with her answer, the reporters take her picture, her face a visual of the damage the school did. Sometimes the reporters even ask about the perpetrator, the crazy kid hell bent on revenge. And to that Cristina only says that she didn’t know him, and that he seemed like a troubled kid.


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

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