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Story Data

Posted July 22, 2009

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Series: Eureka Moments

Title: All the Tools He Needs

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: Freaking scientists never did do anything straightforward; Jack didn't know why he'd ever expected otherwise. 500 words.

Spoilers: Eureka post-3.10 "Your Face or Mine"

Jack Carter stared the panic button device in his hand, thumb poised over the business end, feeling the heft of it, and-- suddenly felt like an idiot.

Well, more of one than he usually did in Eureka, anyway. More than a day he'd been working on this part of the recertification test, and he'd had the answer with him right from the start. Freaking scientists never did do anything straightforward; he didn't know why he'd ever expected otherwise.

First, he'd been conditioned to think of it as something that must not be used; if it had been, oh, a rock or something else innocuous instead of a "panic button", he'd probably have tested it right away. Like he'd thrown one of the playing cards, checking to see if he could get any significant force from one of those slim strips of cardboard.

Then they'd thrown in a few distractions, just to mix him up; things that looked like they might be useful but pretty much weren't. As a product of the regular American educational system, Jack was practically programmed to think of anything provided during a test as more or less necessary if you wanted a decent grade-- and he was sure the designers of this scenario knew that. The cards and straws had been complete red herrings, and he'd totally fallen for it.

It was like one of those puzzles that came with extra pieces, on purpose; guaranteed to drive you crazy, especially if someone had carefully obscured any such warning before handing the box over for you to put together. (He was so going to get Lexi back for that, one of these days.)

And that wasn't even taking into account the freaking floor. Several stories down. Jack had only fallen a few times, and thank goodness there was some kind of repulsion field down there to keep him from hitting bottom at max velocity, but it was not an easy climb back up; it wasted time and energy he definitely didn't have to spare. All that strain on his muscles, on top of no sleep? His body was a mass of aches and pains, and he wasn't kidding himself that whatever came after he finally hit that button was going to be any easier.

It kind of felt like the aftermath of a big Eureka-style case, as a matter of fact, Jack mused, and felt even dumber: lots of false leads, bizarre physical challenges, and a solution that was really freaking obvious once you came at it correctly. If he'd been wondering what the hell a test like this had to do with his job as Sherriff, it was pretty clear now.

"All the tools I need," he muttered, admiringly-- disgustedly-- and scrambled to his feet.

Carefully-- he did not want to drop the thing, with his luck it would fall instead of float like his feet did-- Jack worked his way as close to the wall as he could, then cocked his arm back and threw.


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