As of 6/18/2018 this story is marked as complete, however, I may write a second part if that is something you are interested in seeing.
Return of the Luv-u-lator 3000
"I can't believe Skipper accused me of having a hording problem," Kowalski complained as he opened another box of circuit boards, metal scraps, and wires that used to be…something at some point in time, "Doesn't he realize all the potential advancements to science he's asking me to throw away?"
Rico fixed Kowalski with a flat look and turned over the box he was holding, several unopened boxes of lime gelatin spilled across the floor. Remnants from Kowalski's failed attempts to recreate Jiggles before Skipper caught on to what he was doing still ordering mass amounts of gelatin.
"Alright, maybe I do need to let go of some things." Kowalski was already running through what he could do with the boxes and cursed himself for ordering lime. Then as if the universe had a personal vendetta against him, a stack of boxes next to Rico toppled over and clouds of green dust burst from the flimsy cardboard on impact. He felt his face heat in embarrassment, "okay maybe I need to let go of a lot of things."
"Ya think?" Rico coughed, brushing the powdered gelatin off his shirt and out of his hair.
Kowalski held back a chuckle at other man's misfortune and closed the box he'd been going through. "I'll get the broom."
After the gelatin was cleaned up, things went a bit faster, although Kowalski had to admit that was probably due to Rico helping him. Without Rico he probably would be buried up to his neck in old equipment and scrap pieces debating about whether to hold on to a corroded circuit board.
Which is almost exactly what I'm doing right now...Kowalski thought as he picked through the remains of what used to be a pair of boots that were supposed to increase the height and length of the wearer's natural jump. Turbo-Toes had been what he dubbed them and they had been such a massive failure that he was lucky to still have all his toes after trying to test them.
Still there had to be some use for them, it seemed wrong to just throw out something he had worked so hard on even if it was a colossal failure in the end. After a moment of debate, a defeated sigh escaped Kowalski and he pushed the ruined boots over to the ever-growing pile of things to go to the incinerator.
It wasn't the first failed invention/device he had come across but each time one turned up it was a major hit to his ego. Especially the ones that while they had initially been successful, either malfunctioned or lead to a slew of problems that required the device to be deactivated and dissembled. At one point he had the intention of going back to those inventions and some of them he did, but he hadn't been able to figure out what went wrong.
"A failure through and through," Kowalski muttered to himself before calling to Rico, "we should take this stuff down to the incinerator and call it a day." When he didn't get a response, he turned to look for the Costa Rican in the still cluttered space before remembering that Rico had already started taking boxes down.
With another sigh, Kowalski went to get up from the floor, his knees protesting the action and without thinking he put his hand on some boxes to stand. At least Skipper won't be able to call me a pack rat anymore, he thought idly before a loud clatter caught his attention.
At first, he dismissed it as all junk that he hadn't even bothered to pack into a box until he saw hot pink and purple peeking through a tangle of wires. Kowalski chuckled as he picked up the fallen item, recognizing the Luv-u-lator 3000 from color scheme alone.
"What a failure this was," Kowalski said to himself as he turned it over in his hands. He remembered running through all the calculations again after it had become clear that Marlene's match was not a match at all. Not a single zero had been out of place and Private's suggestion that maybe Fred was her match, but it wasn't the right time had seemed possible. Yet, he still had his doubts about "the right person at the wrong time" because it didn't seem like any time would make Fred and Marlene a match. Kowalski chuckled at the thought of Fred and Marlene getting together and then shuttered at as a horrifying thought came to mind, if the Luv-u-lator 3000 determined Fred to be Marlene's perfect match he could only imagine who it would determine his match to be.
Although, he wouldn't have to imagine who his match would be according to the device. The Luv-u-lator looked intact even after the fall and with a growing curiosity he hit the power switch fully expecting the device to remain dark and was pleasantly surprised to see it light up. He looked down at his shirt and spotted a single dark brown hair caught in the knit of the material. It would be more than enough for the Luv-u-lator to work its science. Without further debate Kowalski pulled the hair free and dropped it into the thin slot for analysis.
After a few minutes the screen changed and a red dot appeared on the radar, causing Kowalski to break out in a cold sweat. That can't be right, Kowalski thought as he looked at the screen, according to the Luv-u-lator, my perfect match is in the base and there's only three people here besides me. Unless someone stopped in while Rico and I were up here.
Kowalski watched as the dot began to move and distance between him and his supposed match closed. Pasteur's principles please let it not be Skipper, I'll never hear the end of it if it's Skipper, if it's Skipper then the Luv-u-lator 3000 doesn't find your most compatible match, it finds your least compatible match. That would explain Marlene and Fred getting matched….
"W'alski?" At the sound of his name pulled Kowalski jumped and looked up to see Rico looking at him with concern.
"Rico, you startled me, sorry I," Kowalski looked down at the Luv-u-lator and felt his stomach drop. He looked at Rico again hoping to keep his voice even, "I just got lost in thought."
Rico snorted, "what's new?"
Kowalski forced a smile at the lighthearted jab. "Well, I was thinking we could call it a day after we take the rest of those boxes to the incinerator. I think we got rid enough to keep Skipper off our backs for a while."
Rico gave him a quick thumbs up before picking up a stack of boxes and making his way to the stairs.
Once Rico was out of sight Kowalski looked at the Luv-u-lator again and a slightly hysterical laugh escaped him as watched the distance between him and the red dot began to increase once again. At least he knew that the Luv-u-lator wasn't worth even cannibalizing for parts and Private's theory of "right person, wrong time" wasn't worth a grain of salt.
Kowalski turned the device off and pushed the disappointment he was feeling back. There wasn't any reason for it, he had only been curious after all, it wasn't like he had been expecting the Luv-u-lator to work the way it was supposed to. He tossed the Luv-u-lator into an open box on a stack of boxes that he then picked up to take down to the incinerator. Of course if he stopped into his lab between the leaving the storage room and going to the incinerator room, and if the Luv-u-lator disappeared in that time, well, no one had to know.