THE SCIENTISTS carried a thick case into the kitchen where they set it in the middle of the tile floor. The case, when sealed, was capable of withstanding any temperature, acidity, pressure or insult.
The assistant lead scientist opened the small door on the side of the case and watched closely as the lead scientist gingerly placed the carton inside. The case was sealed and secured, and then double checked by two other individuals as a precaution.
The lead scientist held up a hand and looked around. “Stand clear!”
The other scientists backed to the edge of the kitchen. The agents dropped to one knee and braced themselves. The lone agent swarmed by cats retreated stiffly to the safest acceptable distance for unprotected mammals per procedure dictated by the Protection Agency of Relentless & Uncooperative Animals. A single dozing cat, which cared nothing for citrus, remained asleep and unnoticed under an old nightstand stored in the closet of the guest room.
The words ‘All Clear’ echoed from the leader of each team involved, including the team lead supervising the serving of cheese and crackers in the tent on the front lawn.
The assistant lead scientist looked at the lead scientist and nodded, raising a thumb.
The lead scientist nodded slowly. He flipped open a keypad on the top of the case to type a code into and then retreated to the edge of the kitchen.
From the ceiling of the case, a sharp needle made of tungsten inched downward toward the bloated soy milk carton until it touched and applied an increasing amount of pressure. Upon puncture, the carton slashed open violently for an instant before imploding in a vicious splash of dazzling colors, like a rabid aurora borealis choked with several universes worth of twisting stars, filling the case like smoke. In less than 0.079 seconds the livid, living colors, the roiling carton, and anything that might have escaped upon puncture sneezed out of existence.
At the same time, the hair on the fourth cat and any wool garments instantly found their fibers harmlessly, though unpleasantly, incinerated.