Originally posted here in response to the prompt “slurry.”
A slurry is, in general, a thick suspension of solids in a liquid. So sayeth the great online wikipedia, at least.
I’d seen slurries. In my line of work, they came up now and then, which is to say, all the fucking time. Concrete. Explosives. The gook they used to process ceramics. The stuff they fed us and called meat. Solids suspended in liquid.
And then there was this. Solids, more or less, as much as humans are solid (if meat slurry has solids, then humans count, too), suspended in the water, or at least, we were going to call it water for the moment. Liquid, at least, and people jammed so close together that they really couldn’t drown; there was no room to move downwards, any more than in any other direction.
I was glad I wasn’t in it, I can tell you, that was my absolute first thought there. My second thought was damn, this looks like a bad Simpsons episode. But all the while I was working on problem three – how do I get this mess of people out of the water before their fucked-up surface tension breaks and they all go sloop down the drain like leftovers during a clean-up? Assuming there’s a drain, of course, but this looked like a giant, giant bathtub. Reason said there was, somewhere, a drain.
Pulling the plug would be one solution, but that would mean I’d have to find the plug, and chances were, it was under that mass of bodies, under the human slurry. No, I was going to have to find a way to break their surface tension without sending them all drowning, and yank them all out of the basin.
Never mind how they got in there… I’d worry about that once I got them out. Surface tension. Surface tension. There was a reason my mind kept coming back to that, there had to be. I might be pretty dumb but my brain is pretty smart, after all.
Soap, silly string, bubbles, yes, that would work. It didn’t hurt, of course, that the victim of this mess closest to me was a gorgeous brunette wearing not quite enough clothing; thinking about her all slicked down in suds was a fun two seconds of diversion.
Soap. I ran for the tanker truck we’d been using for the really weird plaster cast project. The soap solution there would coat everything it touched, and it wasn’t quickly water-soluble. It would stick to skin like nobody’s business, which is what I wanted for step one.
I sprayed that stuff over the whole mess of them, that’s it, yup, drenched the thousands of them in glycerine solution (thank god for the really powerful sprayer and customers with weird tastes). And while I was doing that, Joe, my foreman, he grabs the girl next to the hot brunette, and pops her out, Pop!, like a cork while he dumps in the readycrete in the spot she vacated.
That stuff hardens in less than five minutes, but it won’t get close to the soap stuff. Before anyone could drown, the whole mess of them were standing on solid ground.
Then all I had to do was track someone down and find out who had turned the middle of the city into a giant bathtub, and what they wanted to do about me having turned their ‘tub into a skate park.
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