Taking another chance

Robin wasn’t a very strong fellow, but he liked to think he was smart. That was what tipped his hand into trying to figure out how to stop the compactor from crushing his friend.

In times like these, having a manual around would have been great. As there wasn’t one obvious in the immediate vicinity, Robin turned his attention to the controls themselves, hoping that something about them would seem natural. They didn’t. Robin tried to read over what words were available to him now. He knew the definitions of most of them and could guess at some of the acronyms. There wasn’t a “switch off” button or lever or anything though, and the rest of it didn’t make sense to someone as out of context as he was.

He’d already taken a chance in deciding to work on turning this off. There was little he could do but continue on that path and take a few more chances. Really, he couldn’t make it worse. Unless he did something, Jay would die.

One minute. If it started, would he still have some time to shut it off? Robin doubted it would move quickly. The machine was huge. Reminded him of some movie, with main characters trapped inside with a lot of junk. He couldn’t think of it now though. He couldn’t really think. His intelligence wasn’t going to help much if he couldn’t use it!

Robin tried a few things, changing what the screen would tell him. Turning something off should have been easy, there should always be a big button. His heart pounded so fast in his chest that it actually hurt.

“Activation canceled.”

The rumbling sounds began to slow down, a reversal of the noise that he had long since started blocking out. Robin blinked at the screen, then ran for the panel. While he now had a lot more time to figure out how to open it, the feeling didn’t translate to his body and he rushed through the process anyway. The stench of the dump assaulted him further when he finally got the hatch open enough for a person to pass through. “Jay!” he called again.

Maybe it was the sounds before that kept him from hearing a response, because now he could hear Jay clearly. “Robin? Thank god. Are you all right?” Had Jay been conscious the entire time? It was so dark.

Robin laughed, hoping it only sounded weak to himself. “Of course I’m fine, Jay! Hang on, I haven’t found a rope or anything yet. I’ll have you out of there in a jiffy!”

While his hands still shook, Robin had Jay out of there within ten minutes and so felt much better.

Not a situation he wanted to repeat though.

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