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Nabberture Science/Chapter 3

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Dempsey and Smasher were in a small room. The walls were dark grey, with little hole bringing in light. It was really quite ordinary, besides, of course, the malignant voice talking through unseen speakers.

"For the next few eternities," continued Nabber, "you will participate in a few tests to help us help you help us all. Now, death may occur in these upcoming tests, but that is simply a risk you'll have to take. To help you, we have supplied you with these Long Fall Boots."

One of the panels in the wall slid to the side, revealing two pairs of the strangest looking boots you could find. In fact, calling them boots would be a stretch; they were more of an exoskeleton that fit onto your leg.

"Since humans have the flaw of easily being able to break bones, Nabberture Science has invented these boots to correct this fault that you have."

"Flaw?" exclaimed Demspey.

"Fault?" Smasher burst out.

"Well, yes," Nabber went on, "It would really have been convenient if you were as perfect as, say, me. But enough chit-chat. Please grab a gun on the way out and we can finally get started.

Another panel swung out, and on the opposite side, two peculiar guns hung, ready for action. They were white and each had two triggers instead of one: a pair of blue triggers and a orange triggers. Three prods stuck out from the front of them, and the guns were pulsing gently. Behind the panel was a room so brightly lit, the had to squeeze their eyes.

The desperate duo picked up their guns.

"Finally," sighed a bored Nabber. "I seriously thought that you were just going to stare at them forever. We've had gelatin that's performed better."

The two looked at each other. Dempsey's face clearly said, This is suicide.

Smasher's face pointed out, We don't really have much of a choice.

Fine. But I'm bolting at the first sign of an exit.

Smasher shrugged.

And then they went out towards the light.

They were in another room, this one much longer. At the end, our hapless heroes could see a door. Of course, there was the problem of getting there. A huge gap separated them from the ending platform. Should they fall in it, they would not be lucky enough to fall down a bottomless pit. Instead...

"I swear," swore Dempsey, "that this place is out to get me. First they remind me of my fear of heights, now they remind me of my fear of a burning, evil fire."

Nabber defended himself. "There's no better inspiration than cremation. Now, about your fear of heights. You might need to fall a few hundred feet... but I'm not allowed to say anymore! Start testing! Chop-chop!"

"What do you mean??" shouted Smasher. "What are we supposed to do?"

A humming noise rang throughout the room, which Smasher quickly realized was the Jeopardy theme.

Smasher was beyond furious. He was not going to risk his life - which was much better than everyone else's, of course - be thrown around by stupid scientists and their stupid facility. One of Nabber's cameras winked at him in a nearby corner. It actually winked; there was a distinctive movement that looked suspiciously like an eyelid on the camera.

"Alright, I've had it!" he screamed. He pushed Dempsey out of the way - who almost had his life thrown away into the fire - and fired his gun at the camera. It fell into the abyss, causing a column of fire to erupt.

"Smasher, take it easy the-" Then Dempsey caught sight of the wall where the camera had been. Hanging there was a light blue oval, a swirl of energy suspended in the air.

Smasher's mouth dropped. He quickly recovered, though. He decided to see what would happen if he fired another oval - this one behind him.

A dark blue oval appeared, which immediately opened up to reveal a snapshot of them. Unless...

"Dempsey, would you mind putting your hand through that?" he kindly asked.

Dempsey swayed. "I don't really think that thi-"

"I said go."

"Why shouldn't you go?"

"Fine. I'l do it myself. He cautiously extended one hand through the aperture, then the other. He felt a slight tingle where his arms crossed into the space. Smasher put his feet into the portal.

Then he fell.

"Aaaah!" he shrieked.

"The boots, Smasher!" reminded Dempsey. "Land on your boots!"

Smasher, however, was focusing more on the fact that he was falling at who knows how many miles-per-hour at an unforgiving floor in the middle of a madhouse. And frankly, he didn't have time to land on his boots.

Dempsey quickly worked out the situation in his head. Yes, it would be nice to let his "friend" become a pancake - a delicious pancake - but the fact was that Smasher was his best chance of making it through this asylum. He could try to catch him, but even if he could make it over in time, he probably couldn't catch someone falling from that height. Or he could simply direct Smasher's momentum through his own portals so that he could fly over the fire pit and to the exit.

Meanwhile, Smasher was still screaming "Aaaahhhh!" Also: If this wasn't a story, I would be dead by now.

Then he hit the ground, or rather, he hit the portal Dempsey had set in it a few nanoseconds earlier and flew right over the fire pit.

Well, almost over it. He didn't quite make it, due to Smasher's awkward distribution of his center of gravity after falling vertically into a horizontal airspace. Luckily, Smasher had been waving his arms madly while he was falling, and one of his hands managed to grab onto the ledge of the landing platform. He latched on his other hand and pulled himself up.

"Next time, less screaming, and more complying to the laws of physics," commented Dempsey from behind him.

"Wha - how did you get here?"

He pointed to a pair of portals - one on the ceiling, one where he had been standing to before.

"You should get more used to this," he proceeded. "These tests are confusing enough. Readers don't want to read your hysterics, too."

Clap, clap, clap. "Congratulations," lamented Nabber. "You can stop breaking the fourth wall now."

"But it's fun!" the two complained.

"So is testing. You finally managed to discover how to use the Nabberture Science Handheld Portal Device in... 7 minutes 19 seconds. Meanwhile, the gelatin I mentioned earlier finished this test in a stunning 1 minute 32 seconds."

Dempsey turned around to see a pair of large gelatin with guns sticking out of them waiting for the elevators. One of them turned around to look at him and stuck it's tongue out.

"Thank you, gelatin. You are now named Test Subjects of the Month. Now, you can hurry on, we still have more testing to do!"

Smasher sighed. This was happening more and more often now...

A face peered at a set of monitors, watching the protagonists progress.

"See?" Mollymoon asked. A chip inside throat picked up the vibrations and sent them to her boss, who replied to her with another gadget inside her ear lobes. One of the less exciting, but still useful, advantages of being a cyborg.

"Hmm..." her boss replied. "Yes, maybe shutting down Nabber would have been a bad idea. I like what he did with the gelatin... I wonder if..." Mollymoon knew that he probably wasn't going to reply back. Once he got an idea, he could sit in a room for hours until it was perfected or rejected.

She still didn't get why he had wanted to shut down Nabber. So, the users had found him. That wasn't too bad, wasn't it? One step out of line, and they could simply launch a controlled nuke into the chambers. Everyone would be dead in an instant. Or, she could go after them herself - an actual field job, which she would be very excited to have - and blast them with her personalized arm gun. But right now, Molly could just observe these tests. For science. After all, wasn't that what they were all here for?