A country song, something by Kip Moore, roused Jack from his slumber. He turned sleepily in his bed to look at his clock and found the time to be six in the morning.
“Crap,” He mumbled, slapping at the alarm until it shut off. “I forgot to turn off my alarm again.”
Last night he’d stayed up until one in the morning trying to finish his smelter. Six hours he worked on it and it still needed work. The reason it took so long was because he’d wanted to make it have a power source other than an outlet because he didn’t want to run the electrical bill to the extreme. Eventually he figured out a way to make the smelter efficient enough so that it used the same amount of electricity as a toaster. All he needed to do today was put in the heat shield so the house didn’t burn down when he used it.
“Well, I’m up now, so I might as well do something productive.” Jack yawned and rubbed at his eyes. “Probably should go finish the smelter so I can start on my suit.”
He shuffled to the bathroom, aware that he was acting like a zombie, and turned on the shower. The water shocked him awake when he first stepped into the spray but soon heated up.
Jack washed up quickly and stepped out of the shower, grabbing a towel as the water trickled down the drain. Throwing on some clothes, he walked downstairs to the kitchen and grabbed a box of Poptarts and an almost empty milk jug for his breakfast. Box under one arm and milk jug under the other, he made his way to his workshop.
He could have sworn that the smelter shined when he first walked into the workshop. Unfinished it was, but Jack still thought that it was his masterpiece. If this is my masterpiece, he thought, then I wonder what I’ll call my suit?
Jack stared at his creation in awe for a couple more seconds before taking out his tools and going to work. The heat shield was easy enough to build now that his brain wasn’t clouded with the need to sleep. All he needed to do was put an insulated wall around the smelting chamber and then he’ll be finished.
Jack used his tools minimally during this project, because the six hours of practice the night before helped refine his power. The materials he needed just molded to right shape and then flew into place. Five minutes of metal flying and then he was done. The five foot wide smelter sat up against the wall, black and chrome colored metal covering it.
Now all he needed was the materials to build the alloy for his suit. The idea in his head told him that he needed tungsten, copper, iron and some other metals. Where could he find – the answer came to him before he even finished the thought. He could find the metals he needed at the dump, an hours bike from his home.
His bike was hidden away on the side of the house, almost covered with rust and spider webs. Jack reached over some pails and a broken tractor and grabbed his bike. Note to self: fix tractor.
The gears were hard to change at first, but once he got going, the ride was smooth. This early in the morning the roads were nearly deserted, so Jack often found himself in the bikers zone, a state of being in which you don’t think, you just ride. When it happens, it’s like going on autopilot so the ride seems shorter than it actually was.
Jack made it to the dump quicker than he thought he would, and found it surrounded by an old, rusty chain link fence. It was so overgrown with weeds and small trees that he could barely see through it. He set his bike up against the fence and jumped up onto the fence, climbing over it quickly. Finally able to see the dump, Jack found himself looking at a huge hill of broken furniture, appliances and dead cars. Finding what he needed without a map seemed like an impossible task. But if he had a device that could find the materials for him…
The second Jack came up with the idea several parts popped out at him from the heap. He tried to bring them to him with his mind like he’d been doing before, but only two of the pieces came. Walking reluctantly over to the remaining parts, he gathered them up in his arms. He laid them out on the roof of a car and searched his brain for what he was supposed to do with them.
A design for a machine that looked quite a bit like a dog appeared in his mind’s eye. It was a finder, and would find the materials he told it to find. Jack concentrated on the design and set about making it a reality. He created some simple motors for the legs and the mouth out of scrap metal and some magnets. A quartz crystal there, a cage there and Fido the search and rescue dog is born.
Jack pulled on Fido’s leg and it started to hum softly as it turned on. It turned to face him and wagged its tail, waiting for instructions.
“Go find these metals.” Jack told it the metals he needed, and the ratio of each that he wanted. “Get six cubic inches of tin and then go up from there.”
It seemed to nod in understanding before bounding off into the heap, stopping only to pick something up. Jack figured that it would be at least half an hour before it came back, so he decide to work on his transportation problem. His bike couldn’t go fast enough to get from place to place quickly, and it would probably be a week before his suit would be up and running. Oh, wait a second. He could fly from place to place! How he ever forgot that would be forever a mystery to him, but at least his transportation problem was solved.
Jack turned around, laughing at his forgetfulness and found himself looking at eight blocks of different colored metals. The smallest cube was six inches across, and the largest was two feet across. Fido sat in front of the row, looking expectantly at him. “That was faster than I thought it would be,” He said, dumbstruck, and then looked at Fido. “Oh, and um, shut down.”
The lights behind Fido’s eyes flickered off and Jack found himself with a different transportation problem: how was he going to get all of this metal home?