The Center: Smells - Part 4

The Center: Smells
Chapter 4

by Jennifer Sue

Copyright  © 2010 Jennifer Sue
All Rights Reserved.

 

“Children should be seen and not heard,” was the too often used phrase that was physically hammered into his budding consciousness before he even realized he could think. It became the toddler’s mantra.

 

Chapter 4

This time Brose was quite a bit less hung up about exiting the tub. Both girls kept their backs toward each other until they had patted themselves dry and wrapped their towels around themselves.

"I can't believe how soft and smooth my skin feels," Brose exclaimed as she explored her new flesh.

"It's one of the many pleasures we girls get to enjoy," Dani smiled. "Now, let's slip into clean robes and scuffs, then I'll take you to your room. While you check it out and slip into a clean uniform, I'll go to my room to dress."

It only took a few moments before Brose was in her room. Like most dorm rooms in The Center, it was set up for two people. While compact it looked comfortable. Bunk beds were provided for sleeping. A pair of matching dressers were along one wall while matching modular desk sets sat back to back near a spacious window looking out into a manicured lawn with several oasis of trees with benches and picnic tables.

"With your past, we thought it would best to give you some privacy until you acclimate to having friends," Dani explained. "You can personalize the room to your tastes but once you have a roommate you may have to compromise on that a bit. Fortunately that's usually not an issue since we try to make sure roommates are compatible."

Brose nodded her head in understanding but her eyes were focused on one desk. Her emerald eyes sparkled with excitement to note the desk held a computer! "Will I have a computer of my own?"

"That IS your computer," Dani smiled. "The Center provides one to almost every student as well as internet access. We're not allowed on Facebook, Myspace or in chatrooms."

"Oh wow," Brose giggled. "I've had a tiny bit of computer experience in school but never had open access. My aunt and uncle certainly wouldn't have one in their home. I've got so much to learn!"

"Some of our classmates are infokinetic," Dani stated. "Their talent allows them ultra-expertise on virtually everything involved with computers. A couple enjoy teaching novices. I'm sure once they hear of your limited exposure to techy things, they'll be falling over themselves to teach you."

"This place is so great," Brose enthused. "If all I had to do to get all this was to become a girl, I've made the deal of a lifetime!"

"I'm glad you're happy," Dani smiled. "Look about a bit and get dressed. I'll be back when I've changed and I can take you on a tour of the classrooms and training facilities before supper."

The room was at least three times the size of her old bedroom. Even with a roommate she'd have more space. Best of all was the view out the window! No barn or manure tanks! Just a green park like space. Opening the closet she noted a full length mirror on the inside of the door. The uniforms were hanging from a rod while a pair of heeled booties sat a shoe rack beneath them. Smiling at the efficiency of this place, she selected a uniform and laid it out on the lower bunk. Then she went to her dresser and removed a set of undies. As she slipped off the robe, she paused to look down at her nude body. There were definite curves in the right places. As her face flushed, she decided to look at her reflection in the mirror. What she saw stunned her. The winsome red haired Irish lass that had greeted her at the earlier glimpse in a mirror was there. But now that she was fully exposed her lithe body was undeniably beautiful! Strangely, Brose didn't feel offended by her nudity. The curves and swells of her body seemed poetic and pleasing to the eye.

In light of the sheer aesthetic of her nude body, the prudishness and moral indignation she'd grown up in concerning modesty could not be right. A life changing revelation hit her. God had created man and woman naked! They didn't have fur or scales, only flesh. Their physical perfection had to have been made to be seen and enjoyed! It was a testament to God's creative skill and love. It was only AFTER Satan had corrupted Adam and Eve that mankind insisted on clothing and modesty!

The conversations she'd had with Dani and Lise concerning the inappropriateness of her strict upbringing now really hit deep into her psyche. The ultra-Victorian moral standards of her aunt and uncle were now clearly revealed to be warped by their self-righteous misguided interpretation of the Bible. No wonder their children never came home. They doomed themselves to loneliness.

As these ruminations flowed through her mind, seemingly of their own accord, Brose's hands gently began exploring her new body. The softness and suppleness of her flesh was wonderful and intriguing. Hefting her perky 'B' sized breasts she felt their youthful firmness and sensed the promise of sensuality. As she realized what she was doing and the sensations it engendered a smile filled her face as she felt the fetters of her fuddy-duddy past disintegrate.

A knock on the door snapped her from her voyeuristic musings. Guiltily she looked at the door.

"Relax, Brose," Dani giggled. "I can feel your anxiety out here. I'll wait until you're decent."

Brose was torn by her prudish reaction and her new found liberation. It only took a few seconds to make up her mind. Dave and his life were over. She now had a new life as Brose. Quickly she stepped to the door and opened it enough to peer into the hall to make sure Dani was alone. When she saw the coast was clear, she opened the door to let Dani enter although she did use it to shield herself if anyone should appear in the hall.

Dani was surprised at Brose's actions. Quickly she stepped inside so the door could be closed.

"I've decided I like my new body," Brose explained as she stood before Dani in all her glory although her blush was body-wide. "I'm determined to start over, and since God didn't see fit to clothe us, I'm not going to be so priggish."

"Good for you," Dani exclaimed. "You are really beautiful! It's a pity I don't like girls."

Brose began to dress but was a bit confused about Dani's last remark. "What about Tina?"

"Tina is ALL boy where it counts," Dani giggled. "Before my transition I knew I was a transsexual, a boy trapped in a girl's body. That's why I understand Tina's need to dress as a girl. I was in love with my best friend who didn't have a clue I had a huge crush on him. He was such a hunk, kind, caring, strong, and with a tremendous sense of loyalty and right and wrong. When I transitioned I was delighted to have my body finally match my mind, but I really missed my friend. But the really weird thing is a few months after I transitioned, so did my best friend."

"Really," Brose exclaimed. "Is she here too? Why aren't you lovers?"

"We're still great friends but a love affair was never in the cards for us," Dani sighed. “She has a steady boyfriend now and is so busy she hardly gets a chance to socialize. The traits I liked in him not only carried over through the transition, they became more pronounced."

"Wow, she must be an awesome person," Brose

"That she is," Dani agreed. "You've met her twice today."

Brose thought for a moment of who she'd met twice that met Dani's description. Then it hit her. "Kris? Oh my gosh!"

"Got it on the first guess," Dani smiled as she helped Brose adjust the uniform tie.

With that, the girls exited the room. Over the next hour they talked about life at The Center as Dani showed Brose the educational classrooms, the gyms, the training rooms, the weapons range, and nearly every other area of the school.

The tour ended up in the cafeteria. As they exited the serving line everyone smiled at Brose and most of the girls giggled.

Dave had been accustomed to malicious giggling of his classmates but now Brose felt betrayed. She'd never experienced happy giggles so was unable to tell the difference. To her knowledge giggling from others was meant to be demeaning and hurtful to the object of their attention. It wasn’t supposed to be like that here. Tears began to flow down her cheeks as anger bloomed.

“No, Brose, don’t,” Dani loudly exclaimed as she dropped her tray and grasped Brose in a hug. Projecting all her empathy she tried to avoid a calamity. “They’re not laughing at you! Tales travel fast here and they know what happened in the clinic. All of us girls know how scary, embarrassing and humiliating that first pelvic exam is. They’re smiling because you got one back on the man. They’re NOT laughing at you!”

Everyone in the cafeteria froze when Dani dropped her tray. All eyes were focused on the duo as Dani hugged Brose and spoke. In the silence they could hear every word Dani said. They knew from the tears on Brose’s face she was upset and they knew what she had done earlier when she was upset. Fear gripped them.

Brose was already summoning her talent when Dani’s emotional empathy and words cut through the mental turmoil. While Brose had figured out how to shut down the odors once she’d created them but she hadn’t figured out how to cut the smells off as the talent was manifesting. Realizing she couldn't shut down summoning the manure smell, she dropped her tray. Stink bombing the cafeteria would ruin any hope she had for friendship. Doing the only thing she knew that would help, Brose shook off Dani’s hug and bolted for an emergency exit. Just as she slammed the panic bar the stench began to manifest. Fortunately she made it through the door with it safely closing behind her before the full strength smell emerged. Brose continued running across the lawn until she reached a flowerbed where she collapsed in tears.

Just enough of the rancid manure smell had emerged in the cafeteria to give everyone a hint of what could have been. Fortunately it wasn’t anymore disturbing than when someone passes gas. Dani ran to the door but wisely waited. Everyone looked out the windows to where Brose lay in a heap convulsing in tears. Many of the onlookers shivered as they noted the flowers near Brose wilting.

Through her tears she struggled to shut down the stink, but was unable to do so until it had reached full strength. Brose cried herself out after five minutes but was thoroughly embarrassed by the near catastrophe. Slowly she sat up but kept her back to the windows as she desperately tried to figure out what to do.

“It’ll be okay, Brose,” Dani said as she knelt by the stricken girl. The lingering smell was still powerful but tolerable. “Everyone is concerned about you. They're sorry they upset you. Turn around and look at them.”

Slowly and with quite a lot of trepidation, Rose turned to peer back at the cafeteria. What she saw, stunned her. Everyone had followed Dani outside and were standing in a semi-circle about 20 feet away. All had expressions of concern on their faces.

"They understand what happened," Dani explained. "They've all been through the transition and been fearful of acceptance from their fellow students. They know how emotionally exhausting transitioning is and how difficult it is to control your talent at the beginning. They know you ran out here to save them. Each one came out here on their own to welcome you as a classmate and to thank you for thinking of your welfare. Now stand up and greet them."

Brose felt Dani's empath abilities soothing her and from the looks of concern on her classmates faces she knew she was speaking the truth. Slowly she stood to face them, unsure of what to say.

Every face broke into a grin, then someone began to clap. In seconds everyone was applauding. Brose bit her lip and tears began to flow down her cheeks, only this time they were tears of happiness.

Most thanked her for thinking of them. Not one blamed her for almost stink bombing them. It was like Dani had said. They understood the turmoil of being newly emerged.

As they headed back inside, Dani led her back to the showers. Brose's hair and clothes reeked. Fifteen minutes later, Dani and Brose re-entered the cafeteria and went through the serving line. There were no giggles this time but nearly everyone had an understanding smile. They joined Tina, Debbie, Heather, Lise at their table.

Dani saved Brose the embarrassment of explaining what had happened earlier. All were understanding and sympathetic. They giggled as they swapped horror stories of the messes other newly transitioned had unintentionally created before they learned to control their talent.

"Well, girlfriend," Heather exclaimed as Brose was finishing her meal. Are you ready to go shopping?"

Brose smiled realizing just how eager Heather was to get another shot at the wardrobe. "Not really," Brose sighed. "But at the rate I'm going through uniforms I'll need more clothes."

They chuckled at her sense of humor, glad she was taking things in a positive manner.

Dani, Tina, and Heather led Brose back to the wardrobe. Dani explained that Tina was a bit of a fashionista too, although not as flamboyant as Heather. Heather stuck out her tongue and they all giggled.

Once inside the wardrobe Dani spoke. "I'll be monitoring Brose to make sure her emotions stayed controlled. If I tell you to back off, do so."

Brose smiled at Dani's concern and was glad to see Heather and Tina nodded their agreement.

Then the shopping began. Skirts, blouses, sweaters, slacks, shorts, as well as shoes of every sort came flying at Brose. At first she was a bit worried about Tina seeing her in her undies, but Tina maintained a girlish demeanor and showed no signs of sexual arousal. Dani explained again that Tina's personality had never adapted to being a boy. Christopher could role play being a boy quite adequately but that Tina, her default personality, was all girl.

True to her agreement, Brose tried on everything they brought to her and modeled it before the mirrors and her friends. The things Heather brought were nice and feminine in a sultry mod sort of way. Most revealed way too much flesh for Brose's still slightly prudish tastes. Heather was definitely the head fashionista but she had difficulty working with tastes that were not similar to hers. The outfits Tina selected were feminine but more demure, tending to be more emo in style. They allowed her figure to be seen yet maintained her modesty. Tina could sense Brose's fashion likes and dislikes, and the likes were heavily slanted towards Irish and Celtic symbolism. In the end, Brose accepted almost everything Tina had selected. Three quarters of her new wardrobe were from Tina's selections.

The only real issue was when Heather insisted Brose have a bikini to wear to the pool. It was the only time Dani had to step in. Realizing her rejection of the bikini had really frustrated Heather, she did choose a cute one piece suit that Heather then selected.

The last thing they picked up was jewelry, again with a heavy emphasis on Irish and Celtic. Necklaces, bracelets, rings here bagged as well as earrings for when Brose had her ears pierced.

Fortunately, Heather wasn't upset by the results of their shopping expedition. She knew her tastes often varied with the other girls, but eventually most sought her out for 'special occasion' outfits.

The four girls had their arms full as the returned to Brose's room. Brose smiled as she noted her name on ID plate by the door. Inside they laid their selections on the empty desk and lower bunk. Heather helped Brose organize her closet while Dani and Tina did the same with her dresser. When they were done, Dani suggested they head down to the cafeteria for a snack before lights out.

Dani helped herself to a frozen yogurt desert while the others all went for ice cream sundays. Brose made a humongous banana split and quickly demolished it.

"God I'm so jealous of all of you," Dani complained in a good natured way. "I have to watch what I eat or I'll get fat while you three can pig out."

"I'm sorry," Brose apologized even though she understood where Dani was coming from. "I love ice cream but only got it once or twice a year."

"Go for it, Brose," Dani smiled. "I’m accustomed to watching others chow down. Using your talents takes a lot of energy so most people can eat what they want as their kinetic talent burns up the calories. My talent doesn't do that so I have to watch my calories."

Brose smiled, understanding that while Dani was being ultralistic she was still jealous of their unhindered eating.

As she prepared for bed Brose thought back over all that had happened. From the time she awoke in the bunker until now had been a non-stop whirlwind of activity. She didn't think she'd ever experienced a more hectic, at times embarrassing, yet fulfilling day. Deciding to banish the puritanical demons of her past, she chose a daring babydoll nightie that Heather had selected. The ruffled lace hem barely covered her tush. The tin lace edged straps tickled her flesh as they moved on her shoulders. The pink satin main body was light and transparent yet wherever it touched her it felt cool and sensually slippery. The way it rubbed her nipples kept them aroused in an all too obscene manner. The matching bikini panties felt simply scrumptious as the sensuously caressed her nether regions.

Feeling adventurous she crawled into the top bunk and covered herself with the satin sheets Heather had insisted they get. As tired as she was, she was simply too aroused to sleep. Her new body demanded release and the satin enveloping only accentuated the burgeoning need. At first she tried to resist the hedonistic urges but Lise and Dani's admonitions that such emotional repression was way outdated forced their way into her thoughts. At the height of this internal conflict she recalled Dani's parting advice.

"What you do in your room is no ones business. Here you're free from old fashioned moral restrictions. Get to know your body." With that she winked and left.

Her hands slowly rose to her breasts. As she cautiously touched the engorged nipples waves of pleasure swept them throughout her body. Tentatively she cupped her breasts and began to squeeze and massage them. That felt so good she began to moan in pleasure. The warm pulses of pleasure seemed to fill her body and mind. Something that felt this good couldn't be wrong! A growing warmth formed in her crotch and as it's demand for attention grew, one hand slipped down to tentatively explore the now wet forbidden place.

Brose fell asleep satiated and exhausted. She'd never known orgasms were so delightful. Each one was bigger and more powerful than the last. She couldn't even remember how often she'd come as one flowed into the next. In her dreams she found herself eagerly making out with a boy. While they hadn't gone all the way, they had satisfied each other. The only thing that disturbed her was that even though they had been kissing she was unable to recognize his face.

In the morning Brose awoke in a highly aroused state. Her nightie, panties and even the sheets were damp with her lovemaking. Embarrassed she climbed down from the bunk, stripped the sheets and put them down the laundry chute along with her nightie. Donning a robe, she scurried to the showers to rid herself of the sensuous aroma.

There were quite a few girls in the showers or getting ready to go in. To her surprise she picked up multiple scents of female arousal. Apparently she hadn't been alone in her exploration. Although similar, each scent was slightly different. A few were mixed with a musky scent she had smelled before but she had difficulty recalling what it was. Finally it hit her. It was semen. Some of the girls had sex with the boys! Initially offended, she quickly shut down the Victorian indignation. Here it was okay. Even she had dreamed of being with a boy. It couldn't be bad if it felt so good. As she moved about, she could tell which girls had been with boys. Every one of them seemed bubbly and eager for the day to begin.

"Good morning, Brose," Dani greeted as she made her way through the other girls. "Did you enjoy yourself last night?"

Brose smiled and blushed, revealing she had.

"Way to go, girlfriend," Dani beamed. "Put on one of your jogging suits and pack clean undies and a spare jogging suit in your backpack. There are showers in the training area and if you mess up your outfit, you'll be able to change without walking through the complex."

Brose nodded her head as she stepped into a shower. She had smelled the scent of sex on Dani realizing it was connected to her normal body scent. Yet there was another scent, a male scent. It suddenly hit her the semen scent was from Christopher! Dani and Tina had done it last night! Apparently each boy had a scent distinctive to his emission.

It was at this point that Brose realized she could smell the scents of every person! It had to be a part of her talent. Having grown up on the constantly malodorous farm, she had never even smelled BO on others. The transition had cleared her nose and revitalized her nearly ruined sense of smell. She had been picking up a lot of new scents since she'd emerged but had no idea what they were. Now she realized it was the scent of other people. Going back over her thoughts she realized she could even smell the differences in a person's mood! Happy, anxious, angry, fear, love... she could detect the slight variations. She understood that would prove a valuable skill.

As she emerged from the shower she headed back to her room turning over this new bit of information. Soon she was dressed and in the cafeteria having breakfast. She practiced separating the unique scents of each person and following them back to their originator. She was also able to tell their emotional status. The ability simply blew her away.

After breakfast, Dani led her to the training rooms and introduced her to Mr. Lions, the talent coach. He led her to a hermetically sealed room and donned an oxygen tank and mask, explaining the precautions. Brose understood the need for such risk management and didn't feel offended.

Once sealed inside the room, they sat to talk before practicing.

"You're the first odorkinetic we've had," Mr. Lions smiled. "Do you know how to summon smells?"

Brose could tell by his scent he was excited and looking forward to exploring her powers. "All I have to do is think about a smell and concentrate on it. I can also control the intensity. Yesterday at lunch I created a light scent of clover in the cafeteria. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Then during my physical I panicked and summoned the manure stench without really thinking about it. That was strong, especially in the closed exam room. I could smell it but it didn't phase me. When Doctor Lynchburg and nurse Judy began coughing and getting sick I realized what I'd done and shut the smell off. Then I dragged them from the room. The stink spread into the hall while the door was open. Even though Gwen slammed the door shut when I got the doc out, but the small was gagging them. Gwen got sick. Linda and Jane dragged Judy out while I pulled the doctor. It wasn't until we were out of the clinic until the smell diminished enough to breath freely."

"You did a number on the clinic," Mr. Lions smiled. "You're talent was so powerful it permeated everything it could. They've had to tear out the walls and ceilings and replace most of the furnishings."

"I'm so sorry," Brose exclaimed. "What will happen to me for causing all that damage?"

"Your punishment is to stay with me until you learn control," Mr. Lions smiled. "We've been around enough newly emerged to expect some accidents. It's part and parcel of The Center. Now, what happened at supper?"

Brose blushed. "I'm used to people snickering and hassling me because I always smelled of the hog farm. When I came out of the serving line, I saw all the giggling and thought it had started here. I didn't realize they were not teasing. I got angry because I was told blatant teasing wouldn't be tolerated yet that's what I saw. I wanted to hurt them like they were hurting me so I started making a big stink... oh... that’s a bad pun.”

Mr Lions just chuckled.

“Dani sensed what I was doing and hugged me telling me they weren’t laughing at me.” Brose continued. “But when I tried to stop the stink bomb, I realized I couldn’t. So I ran outside before it fully hit. Only a tiny bit got into the cafeteria. Once I was outside and it hit, I was able to shut it down. I was so embarrassed I broke down.”

“That fits what we saw on the surveillance tapes,” Mr Lions said. “So it appears you can start your talent at will, have some control over the intensity, and can shut it off once it’s been released. So you need to learn how to shut it down before it manifests.”

When Brose nodded her agreement he went on. “Since it appears the odor you create comes from your body or next to your body, we also need to try to see if you can project the smell. Now the reports from the team that brought you in indicated you were able to successfully fend of a mind probe. Please tell me what you felt and did.”

Brose thought back. “When I was coming down the lane, I saw Lise and the others in the creek bed. Lise started using sign language to communicate with me. When she did, I felt a weird subtle tickling in my brain. We sort of linked up, I was easily able to understand what she was trying to tell me and she could tell I understood. I think she also calmed my apprehension. Then as I got close to the farm I somehow felt I was being watched by bad guys. It was like I could literally feel them looking at me as if I was a target. I was able to trace their gazes back to their hiding spots so I knew where they were. Then I saw a girl step out and I felt her jump into mind. It really hurt, both physically and mentally, as if she was raping my mind. She must have read my thoughts because she told the others your team was there and that I hadn’t had first emergence.”

“They began setting up an ambush and the girl came closer to pull me into the SUV,” Brose said softly. “When I felt her try to ping my mind again, I fought back and pushed her out. That shocked her and she yelled ‘first emergence’. I was totally pissed and it seemed as if time slowed down. I had no idea how I did it, but I was able to make the hog manure smell stronger, so powerful it incapacitated them. I made it too strong and they puked so much they choked to death on it. All except their leader, he looked like a war toughened vet and he tried to shoot me. I looked at his gut and made the gases inside expand until he exploded. By then they were all down so I cut the smell and time seemed to speed back up. I was so exhausted I collapsed.”

“That fills in a lot of holes in the reports,” Mr. Lions said. “How far away from you was the leader when you zapped him?”

“About twenty five feet,” Brose answered. “That means I can project my talent.”

“Yes it does,” Mr. Lions smiled. “It also means you might have a secondary talent of mind control, or at least the ability to block mental probes. Are there any other talent manifestations?”

“Yes,” Brose replied. “I noticed it this morning although looking back I sensed it as soon as I emerged. I can smell other people. Everyone has there own scent and I can identify who the person is once I’ve smelled them. But I can also tell how many scents are co-mingled. If I get a whiff of air from a room, I can tell how many people are in it and whether they’re male or female. I’m also starting to tell how a person feels by subtle variations in their scent. I think each emotion has it’s own scent that blends with a person’s normal scent. Happiness changes the scent one way, fear another, anxiety another and so on. I can tell which scent is from which person and also how they’re doing emotionally. Since I only started doing that this morning, I’m not that good yet, but somehow I can detect the various combinations. Like right now, you’re excited about my talents even though you’re not showing it on the surface.”

“Wow, that is amazing,” Mr Lions declared with a smile. “You’re quite correct that I’m excited about exploring your talents. How about we get started with your training by creating the clover scent in here.”

In seconds, the pleasing sweet smell of clover filled the room. It was not cloying, but perfectly relaxing at the correct intensity.

Then he took Brose out into the hall and lead her to the classroom area. After having Brose stand with her back against the wall by a door to a classroom, Mr. Lions knocked and stepped inside. "I'm sorry to interrupt but I'm testing a talent and need to have the door open for a few moments. I'll shut the door when we're done."

"All right, Brose," Mr Lions said when he returned. "What can you tell me about the people in the classroom?"

Brose sniffed the air for a few moments. "The teacher is a woman. There are eight boys and nine girls. I recognise Debbie and Heather. I recognise a few others but I don't know their names."

"That's amazing," Mr Lions said. "You're absolutely correct!"

They repeated the exercise at three more classrooms before returning to the training room. In each case she was able to identify number and gender of everyone in the rooms just by sniffing the air.

Next he had Brose expand the gas in water balloons sitting on a row of stands until the line went through the open emergency exit and continued down the lawn. Each was two meters apart and the distance increased from Brose to each succeeding balloon.

Brose had no problems until she reached a distance of sixteen meters. Each balloon swelled rapidly and burst in under two seconds. After that she had to put more concentration and effort into popping the balloons, each taking a few seconds more than the last. Finally at fifty meters she failed to pop the balloon.

“Very good, Brose,” Mr Lions smiled. “You did extremely well. Take a break, eat some chocolate bars and drink some Coke to replenish your strength.”

Brose didn’t turn down the offer for candy and Coke. These were treats she seldom enjoyed in her past life. But she was fatigued. She now understood Dani’s complaint about kinetic talent users being able to eat anything and not have to worry about their weight.

After Brose had refreshed herself, they headed outside. The nearest balloon was now twenty meters away. Staff members had moved the balloons five meters apart and the most distant was now two hundred meters away.

"I want you to focus on what you had to do to pop the balloons," Mr Lions instructed. "Mentally go through procedure without actually doing it. Practice the sequence until it becomes natural. When you're ready, let me know."

Brose did as she was told. Going through the mental procedure on dry runs seemed to hone her ability. With each run through, it became easier and required less concentration. After fifteen minutes Brose announced she was ready.

As soon as he had the monitoring equipment on line, Mr. Lions nodded.

Brose began popping the balloons. The first required little effort and each required a bit more than the last. The time lag between pops went from two second to ten seconds by one hundred meters. It wasn't until she reached one hundred meters that she began to push herself. By one hundred fifty meters she was panting and perspiring freely and it had taken twenty seconds to pop that one after the last.

"You can take a break," Mr Lions said.

Brose shook her head and concentrated. After fifteen seconds, the balloon at two hundred meters burst, then in two second intervals, each closer balloon burst until they were all popped. Then she plopped down on the grass, "Whew, that was fun! Tiring, but fun."

Good," Mr Lions said obviously impressed. "Why did you start with the last balloon?"

"I realized I was wasting energy trying to just jump out to the next balloon,” Brose smiled. “So I pumped up to pop the last one, then just did the rest while dropping down the power."

"Very good, Brose," Mr Lions smiled. "You're already figuring out how to work smarter."

"I'm used to doing that from working on the farm," Brose smiled. "I almost always found easier ways to do my chores."

"It's almost lunch," Mr Lions said. "Why don't you go now and chow down. Build yourself up for this afternoon."

"Sounds like a plan," Brose replied. "Any word if Dr. Lynchburg is ready to complete my exam?"

"Let me check," Mr Lions said as he pulled out his IPhone clone and began tapping. It only took a few minutes to get a response. "The clinic is only taking emergencies until they get everything repaired. You're safe until tomorrow."

Brose nodded guiltily and headed off to the Cafeteria. There she heaped her tray with goodies and took a seat at the table she'd sat at previously. By the time the other students began arriving, the cafeteria smelled like a field of clover. They all smiled and waved to Brose. Dani, Lise, Tina, Debbie, and Liz soon sat with Brose. Brose explained what she had done and how things were going.

After lunch Mr. Lions led them outside to the roof of the tallest building. Several air sample vacuum bottles were set up around the roof. Several assistants sat by each set-up with a gas mask by their side as did Mr Lions.

"Okay, Brose," Mr. Lions instructed. "Give us a shot of your stink bomb."

~
*
> pew!
o



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