partly: (Sane)
Title: Worth It
Fandom: Bones
Characters: Jack Hodgins, Wendell Bray, Seeley Booth
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Word Count: 806
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Fanfic, for fun, not profit.
Author Notes: Written for fox_las on the prompt "[character] blows up their computer". I wrote this in less than two hours on a trip down to Madison. It turned out to be a fun little fic.

It wasn't, strictly speaking, an authorized experiment. Sure Hodgins had run the theory by Cam and she'd said it was worth looking into, but it wasn't actually an experiment per se. Technically it was more like a theoretical recreation of the circumstances that may or may not have led up to the untimely (and incredibly messy) death of Jason Spanno, computer tech extraordinaire.

Sure, the fact the Jeffersonian lab had just gotten in a pallet of ballistics gel may have led him to getting a little over zealous in his set up. But really how often did he have the ability, opportunity and reason to make a full-body gel cast? The fact was he'd only intended to reproduce the victim's chest, but then Wendell came in and wanted to help and, well, things just happened. Even Angela thought the model was extremely well done. And reusable. Well, it was supposed to have been reusable.

Once the body was cast it seemed inappropriate to reproduce the rest of Spanno's death scene without the same attention to detail. Wendell managed to recreate his workbench with incredible precision, even down to the half-eaten ice cream sandwich that sat next to the soldering iron and extra power supplies.

The FBI's theory was that Spanno's disgruntled partner had planted a bomb under the workbench in order to kill him and take over the business. Spanno's company was set to win a multi-million dollar defense contract and that was motive. They'd found no evidence of a bomb, though, and Hodgins couldn't reproduce the effects of the explosion with the "bomb under the workbench" idea. Of course, he couldn't reproduce the effects in any other way, either. At least not with math and models.

Really, reproducing the entire scene was the only rational way to go.

It was when they were placing all the electronics on the bench and replicating the very questionable wiring that Spanno had strewn about his workspace that both Hodgins and Wendell began to see that, perhaps, it wasn't murder as much as an accident born of sloppy electrical work. They both agreed that only an idiot would have continued to add more outlets and computer equipment to such a hazardous set up.

With all the variables involved, it was obvious that the needed to physically reproduce the setting. It was really the only way they were to prove their theory. Even Cam had to understand that. And they had been careful - really careful. They'd put everything in the simulation on a separate breaker and had run all the calculations through a computer simulation.

Hodgins really hadn’t wanted to blow anything up. He hadn’t. He just wanted to prove that it was possible to blow it all up.

Once they had placed the final laptop on the workbench, taking care to wire the system exactly the way Spanno did, they moved behind the blast glass and gathered around the computer running the simulation. It was irritatingly inconclusive. The setup was there. The potential for a deadly explosion laced every badly wired outlet and overloaded circuit board. There just wasn't anything to set it off.

Of course, that's right when Booth walked in. "You got to be kidding me. All this work and the best you can do is you don't know? Unless you want to get a job with the defense, you need to do better than that. You sure this simulation is accurate?"

"Well, a simulation can only account for the variables we know of," Wendell pointed out. "It can't account for the unknown. There could be some hidden factor that will only appear in a live recreation."

"So why don't we just flip the switch and watch it live?" Booth asked.

Hodgins knew it was a mistake but his pride was on the line. He walked over to the breaker and flipped the switch.

Nothing happened.

"Ok," Booth said, "if it doesn't blow up on it's own, then it's murder."

"Wait," Wendell said. He pointed to the workbench. The large overhead light was slowly melting the ice cream sandwich. The melted liquid pooled around some bare wiring. There was a slight sizzle, the smell of ozone and the smallest spark. Hodgins leapt to kill the circuit.

He was too late.

Staring that the smoldering remains of the workbench, ballistic gel and computer debris imbedded in the walls, Hodgins thought he could almost hear the fire alarm that he knew must be ringing throughout the Jeffersonian. He couldn't be sure though, the explosion had left him temporarily unable to hear anything.

He looked around. Both Booth and Wendell were grinning at the wreckage. Booth gave him a grin and a thumbs-up. "Awesome," he mouthed. "Awesome."

Hodgins returned the smile. He supposed that Cam would take the expense out of his pay. But really, it was totally worth it.

Date: 2011-01-06 08:43 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] amilyn.livejournal.com
AWESOME! I love that it's Booth's skepticism that moves it into actual use...and destruction! SO fun...especially with the justifications every 2 seconds. :-)

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