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Based on the obstruction exercise with the following constraints:

• event: NBA Finals

• setting: prison

• object: a harpoon

• person: Sam Weston (M/F/We) evil BioTech CEO

• line of dialogue: "You need to do something to learn something"


The pneumatic hiss of her harpoon arm firing was followed by the clang of the harpoon embedding itself into the wall in front of her cot. Sam Weston, the recently incarcerated CEO of BioIndustrials, was still not used to having the harpoon permanently installed as her right arm. She tugged the thin metal rope to dislodge the tip of the harpoon from the disintegrating wall, and reloaded it back into the holder.

The harpoon arm was regrettable. Generally Sam wore a PneumatiArm, and reserved using the harpoon arm for when she needed to strike fear and inspire loyalty. However, two years prior, she fired the harpoon into the chest of one of her rivals.

Due to a technicality, Sam was absolved of murder. Her lawyers argued that the incident was accidental given the harpoon arm was a part of her physically enhanced body, using a convoluted series of laws that BioIndustrials heavily lobbied for. To make the argument stick, Sam had to exclusively wear the harpoon arm rather than her usual PneumatiArm until the statute of limitations expired.

Unfortunately, the prosecution was able to convict Sam of defrauding customers, defrauding investors, corporate malfeasance, embezzlement, unsafe working conditions, employee intimidation, and a slew of other such charges from information they found while investigating. Thus, Sam ended up sentenced to one year in a minimum security prison.

Despite having lived there for four months, the jail cell looked as if it was uninhabited, aside from the wall. There were no posters or pictures of loved ones. There was the cot, the toilet, the sink; all surrounded by concrete walling with a barred door, and a barred window letting in a thin sliver of light.

Pushing herself off the cot, and slipping on the rubber booties the prison provided, Sam walked to the barred door of her cell. A security guard stumbled in front of it, grabbing one of the bars to stabilize himself.

"Stock price is expected to surge with the announcement of CancerCure+. Investors are seeing the value in a slower cure," the guard said in an awkward and forced voice. Installed in the guard's brainstem was BioIndustrials' CogniChip, an internet-connected brain augmentation. An unpublicized feature was that this let Sam's assistant remotely control the guard's body.

"Good, and the legal proceedings against OpenCure?"

"Moving along smoothly, we should be able to bankrupt them within the year. With Jack Forthal out of the picture, no financier has the guts to go up against BioIndustrials."

"Keep me updated."

The guards body slumped to the floor as Sam's assistant disconnected, with his head smacking against the concrete. A loud buzzer sounded as the barred doors opened. The guard's body began convulsing, likely suffering from a stroke which was a potential side-effect of the remote-control.

Sam pulled the door open and stepped over the body, noting that she would have to text her assistant to use one of the other two guards with CogniChips. The hallway Sam walked through was lined with other cells but the hallway remained empty aside from Sam and the convulsing guard.

At the end of the hallway Sam came out to a walkway overlooking the enclosed prison quad. Prisoners from other hallways were flooding in, with many lolling about the tables set up in the courtyard. At one end of the open space, Sam noted the projector set up, with chairs arranged for a viewing of the NBA finals. This was the recent subject of her ire.

It wasn't that Sam hated basketball, or hated other people's enjoyment, it was simply the shouting and yelling for hours which would accompany the event. With so little to do in prison the best way she found to occupy her mind was to minimize annoyances.

Sam walked down the steps to the ground floor of the quad. Her prison confidant, Hannah, was waiting for her at the bottom of the steps. Sam had identified Hannah as an ideal candidate for her assistant due to her timid nature and that she had been there on drug possession charges for over a year before Sam arrived and would remain until after Sam departed.

It helped that Hannah had a PneumatiArm installed, which using similar remote-control technology to the guard's CogniChip, Sam had exploited to have Hannah stab herself in the leg with a fork when they first met. This assured Hannah's loyalty, but had the unfortunate consequence of giving her a limp which made her walk at a frustratingly slow pace.

"Good morning, how'd you sleep?" Hannah asked in a fearful voice masquerading as cheery.

"What do you have for me?" Sam said as she began walking through the quad with no destination in mind. The other prisoners gave her a wide berth, with many quickly glancing at her harpoon arm.

"Right, right, canceling the NBA game. Codename N-B-Abolishment," Hannah choked out a nervous laugh, which quickly subsided. "I have, like, a few ideas, though..."

pause walking.

"...I'm sure you can come up with much better ones. The first, I was thinking, you have, like, so many connections and money, that you could, like, just call..."

resume walking.

"...the people in charge and tell them to not have it." Hannah waited a moment for a response that would not come. "Another idea I had was you could, like, break the projector or something. You know..."

pause walking.

"...if they don't have, like, a way to watch the finals, they can't, like, react to them."

resume walking.

"Okay, I also have some, like, more out-there ideas. I was talking to Laura, you know Laura, she's like..."

pause walking.

"...a huge fan of you. She said there is an electric breaker box high up in the boiler room. And I was thinking..."

resume walking.

"...maybe you could, like, fire your harpoon at it and disrupt electrical stuff or something."

Sam stopped walking and turned to look at Hannah.

"Oh, sorry, that was a stupid idea. I don't know what I was thinking, it was, like, one of those 'so stupid it might spurn creativity' kind of ideas."

It had never occurred to Sam that the harpoon arm could be utilized as a tool. For so long it had been an instrument of intimidation with the one-time plausibly deniable method of eliminating an inconvenience. "Show me the breaker box," Sam said as she began walking in the direction of the boiler room.

"Oh, great, I was, like, worried you hated that idea or something." Hannah continued to say meaningless dribble, which Sam did not bother to stutter-walk to listen to.

As Sam waited for Hannah in the boiler room, she spotted the breaker box about 12ft up on the wall, positioned such that it couldn't be tampered with by prisoners. The room was warm and humid, with the boilers and walls having a thin layer of perspiration, which struck Sam as an odd place for putting a breaker box.

Hannah finally arrived, breathing heavily from trying to keep up.

"Is it safe for me to shoot my harpoon into the breaker box?"

Hannah responded, annoyingly out-of-breath, "I'm not, like, sure. I'm in, like, marketing, not, like, an electrician or something."

Sam considered the situation for a minute before saying, "You have to do something to learn something." With that, Sam aimed and fired the harpoon into the breaker box.

Sparks flew everywhere as the sharp metal rod pierced the outer casing and embedded itself into the circuitry housed within. The lights turned off, and the backup power system turned on, which consisted of slowly flashing red lights and a droning alarm.

Sam's body was rigid, as the electrical current from the breaker box coursed through the harpoon, the thin metal wire, to the arm-launching mechanism, and through her body from her right shoulder to her left leg and into the floor through the thin rubber booties. The current wasn't enough to instantly kill her, but enough to lock up her muscles and slowly cook her internals.

Aware of the currently sizzling state of her legs and upper arm, Sam wished to shriek, though was unable to due to her muscles locking up. The excruciating pain continued to increase, as more and more of the nerve endings in her skin began to cook. A steady plume of smoke began rising from her limbs and from her mouth and nose. Periodically lit red from the emergency lights, Sam's entire body seemed to be engulfed in flames, which, parts of it were.

Hannah stood aside, petrified and unsure of whether to intervene or not to intervene. Thoughts of action or inaction were both followed by visions of Sam controlling her PneumatiArm to strangle herself. As Hannah panicked, she began to smell bacon, the result of Sam's flesh around her lower leg and upper arm beginning to cook. Temporarily confusing the smell of bacon as the smell of toast, Hannah's panic attack intensified and she collapsed to the ground.

Eventually, burnt blood molecules clotted in Sam's brain. Sam Weston, the recently incarcerated CEO of BioIndustrials, now dead, would have a pleasant obituary talking about her kindness towards others and leadership qualities. She would die a hero, for having saved Hannah from an unspecified threat in an unspecified way, and an electrician who had never worked at the prison, but who had a convenient name, would be persecuted for her death.

The prison's walls would be imbued with the burnt smell of bacon, which would lead Hannah to calling it the "Pancettatentiary."

The viewing of the NBA finals was not disrupted later that evening.