Monday, February 12, 2007
New Beginning 214
"Um, what was in Beaker 3E again?"
It was the last thing he'd ever hoped to hear in his lab. The last thing any scientist wanted to hear anywhere, really. And Dr. Bart Baker hoped with all his heart that his assistant hadn't done anything remotely close to what his imagination conjured.
"Gale, tell me you didn't do anything . . . taxing."
"I didn't do anything taxing."
Bart sighed, wondering why he didn't feel relieved. He methodically finished measuring the hydrochloric acid. No sense screwing up two experiments. When finished, he turned to study the expression on his current graduate assistant's face. The worried frown there failed to reassure him. "All right. What did you do?"
The girl's pretty face paled further. "Nothing, Dr. Baker." She gulped, her blue eyes too wide. "I just sorta . . . lost it."
He blinked very slowly. "Gale . . . " He didn't know why he paused; he just couldn't seem to think of anything else to say.
He walked over to the window of the lab. The view over the city always helped clear his mind.
“Dr. Baker, I . . . ” Gale’s voice started to crack. Bart closed his eyes, praying she wasn’t going to cry. “I remember I had it in the kitchen this morning--”
Bart’s eyes flicked open. “You took it home?” Unbelievable. “That was a highly concentrated sample. Months of effort. And you took it home? On the subway?”
“I was behind in my notes. Anyway, I had it this morning. It was on the kitchen counter, right next to . . . my husband’s travel mug . . . uh oh.”
Something caught Bart’s eye, over by the Rocklyn Center. No: in the Rocklyn Center. A huge, pale monolith -- like something from Kubrick’s 2001--was rising over the city, casting shadows across the neighboring buildings; an enormous, pale obelisk; a massive . . .
“Gale, does your husband, by any chance, work near the Rocklyn Center?”
“He works for Rocklyn Aggregates, why?”
Bart smiled and let out his breath. There was more work to do, but it looked like the new ED drug would soon have Viagra's market share drooping.
Opening: Gutterball.....Continuation: ril