Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lab Rats

Hey there, crime kids. Happy Hump Day. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 26 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, it's a race against the clock when science professor Bernard Bee learns from world-renowned scientist Fleming Perkins that the invisibility position his daughter Bettie accidentally drank is lethal

Fleming Perkins works at a table
filled with beakers and test tubes
filled with bubbling liquids.

He squirts an eye dropper onto a slide.
Fits it on a microscope.
Takes a look. Squints.

Bernard sits nearby.
Tinkering with an electronic device.

The active ingredient is Duocaine.
It causes the brain to malfunction.
Once it gets into the cerebral
cortex through the bloodstream,
it starts attacking the id inhibitors.
(looks at Bernard)
How did you find out about it?

On the Interwebs.

But Duocaine is Schedule K.
Only the military has it.
How on earth did you get some?

I synthesized it myself.
Took a couple of years
of trial and error.
Now we just have to
find an anti-agent.

(shakes his head)
But there IS no anti-agent.
It was classified
for that very reason.
All the test subjects
died within a few days.
The research was then de-funded
and the project buried.

Test subjects?
Where on earth did you learn about THAT?

I’m afraid that, too is classified.

But if there’s no anti-agent,
Bettie will DIE.

There is one way to save her --

Which IS --

A complete blood transfusion.
But it must be done as soon as possible,
before the damage is irreversible.

Then we haven’t a moment to lose.

He holds up the I-pad looking device
he was working on.

You suddenly have a pressing desire
to listen to MUSIC?

No, no, no.
It’s a terahertz semi-conductor laser.
I tagged the formula with a low-level
radioactive isotope so I could
track it if it was stolen.
It’s tuned to the
light frequency fingerprint.

You mean to tell me
you’ve had this all along?
Why haven’t you used it
to FIND her?

I just finished making it.
It took a little time
to make a miniature LASER.
I’m a scientist,
ot an electrician.

How long is the life of the isotope?

I don’t know. A few days. A week, maybe.

Well, if I were you,
I’d get my proverbial ass
in gear and get this
to the police, pronto.

Bernard turns white. Nods.
Pulls out his cell phone.
Punches a number. Listens.

Yes. This is professor
Bernard Bee at the university.
I need to speak to
officer Lane Diamond, please.
It’s quite urgent.
It’s about my missing daughter --
Yes, I’ll hold.

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