707. This is the room, Flip MacDougal thought as he glanced up and down the hallway. The institutional gray walls and black and white checkerboard floor made him feel like he had stepped into a black and white television show from the forties. If his information was correct, Dr. Lionel Adams, one of the most prominent genetic researchers in the world, worked on the other side of the door. It had been so easy up to this point to gain entrance to the lab. Denise, his seductively attractive connection was right when she'd told him breaking into Bio-Vita would be a piece of cake.
Flip tried to imagine the look of astonishment that would be on the doctor's face, finally deciding it was easier to see it in person. He adjusted the mirrored sunglasses, then moved the attache case from his right hand to his left so he could take the black enameled card from his trench coat pocket, an essential item provided by Denise. Within the thin layers of plastic, resided the magnetic code to this as well as other doors throughout the research facility. He placed the card in front of the screen of the security lock so it could read the holographic image imprinted on the card. The latch silently tumbled open, and a thin ray of light appeared at the edge of the door. Flip pushed it open and walked into the lab.
Across the room, a lone figure sat on a wooden stool, his back hunched over a binocular microscope. The white lab jacket, draped over angular shoulders, was motionless, its wearer intensely concentrating on the scope. Flip stepped lightly across the room, his Reebok muffling the footsteps as though someone had cut the sound on the television. He stood behind the scientist, reveling in the triumph of the moment. Flip lowered the attaché case to the floor, careful not to disturb the silence. His gloved hand released the handle and slowly joined its partner. The two hands traveled steadily towards the hunched shoulders. As though on cue, Lionel raised his head away from the microscope. Perhaps a premonitory warning had finally knifed its way into his consciousness. The hands continued towards the neck, paused, and then moved again, not to the neck but toward the eyes. The smooth leather caressed the eyes, closing off all light. "Guess who?" Flip asked, his soft voice shattering the silence like an alarm.
Lionel Adams sat in front of the microscope, entranced by the sight of the mutated cells, slowly becoming aware of a sharp pain in his lower back, a product of sitting too long in the same position. It's amazing, he thought, how those tiny flagellated cells could be such an important part of the creation of life. He continued to watch, hoping to find at least one altered in some way. Perhaps it would move a little faster or have a more direct path across the slide; anything that would suggest a change in the cell.
Only the twitch on his nose was finally able to break his concentration. Sneezing while looking in a microscope can be devastating on your sight, he thought as he looked up for a moment and sniffed in an attempt to hold back the sneeze. Still concentrating, now on the sneeze, the sudden loss of vision followed immediately by a strange voice behind him sent Lionel leaping off of the lab stool. While still in the air, he twisted in an attempt to see who was behind him.
"What the...who the..." He gasped as he fought to regain his balance. The intruder stumbled back, laughing hysterically, and tripped on something behind him.
"Oh, God...did I ever get you...Oh, what an expression..."
Lionel finally found his balance, coming to rest against the counter, his hands grasping it for support. Glaring harshly at the intruder, he tried unsuccessfully to see through the man's disguise.
"Don't you recognize me?" The stranger asked as he pulled first one glove, then the other, from his hands. Then removing a pair of sunglasses, he placed all three items in his coat pocket. "Your lifelong friend and fraternity brother?"
"Flip? Flip MacDougal?" Lionel stared unbelievingly at the man, unconvinced his old friend could possibly be in his secure, top-secret lab. He slowly recognized the truth. "Flip, can it be...yes, it can. Flip, I swear, I'll strangle you with my bare hands this time."
Still weakened from laughing so hard, Flip circled away from his friend.
"Now Lionel, control yourself. Remember, you're a respected scientist and community leader, or something like that." The two men circled around the stool, exchanging places.
"I swear, Flip, you've outdone yourself this time. If I weren't so glad to see you, your life wouldn't be worth diddly right now. As it is, you still deserve a thorough thrashing." Lionel continued to stalk his old friend but stopped suddenly as he noticed Flip's hand glide across the lab counter. As though in slow motion, he watched as it collided with the glass beaker half-filled with an aquamarine colored reagent.
"Watch out..." he began but knew it was too late. "Don't get it..." but stopped again, realizing the second warning was also too late as the beaker tipped over, spilling its contents across the counter.
"Damn. Sorry about that, Lionel. I hope it wasn't something important." Flip looked around frantically for something to wipe up the spilled liquid. Spying a box of Kimwipes, he yanked several tissues out of the box.
"No, don't do that," Lionel shouted as he grabbed Flip's wrist, inches from the pooled liquid. "Let me clean this up. Go down the hall and wash your hands thoroughly. Use plenty of soap. I'd let you do it here, but I don't keep soap in the lab."
"No problem." Flip said as he started to wipe his hand on the trench coat then stopped, a look of concern on his face. "Is it acid or something?"
"No, it's…it's just best that you get it off your hand as soon as you can, that's all. Now go. I'll clean this up." Lionel reached into his pocket and pulled out his ID badge. "Here, take this in case someone stops you. Tell them, you're assigned to this lab."
"No problem, Li. You know, I can always talk my way out of anything. I need to bleed the old snake, anyway."
"I'm beginning to remember," Lionel replied. He watched until the door closed behind his friend, then quickly grasped a small glass pipette and bulb and began carefully sucking the liquid back into the beaker.
Flip pushed the door to the men's room open, less concerned with each passing minute the fluid remained on his hand without any adverse effect. With nature calling with increasing urgency, he walked to the nearest urinal and, without bothering to untie his coat, raised its hem and unzipped his pants.
"Ah, the pause that refreshes," he muttered as he stepped a little closer to the urinal. As he finished, he noticed a small pubic hair sticking tenaciously to the tip of his penis. Without thinking, he picked at the hair to remove it. As he did so, he felt a stinging at the tip of his penis and realized he'd used the contaminated hand.
"Shit," he muttered as he quickly shook his penis and returned it to his pants. "I better wash this stuff off before it starts to eat my hand off."
But the damage had already been done. Microscopically, the complex compound from his hand mixed with the fluids of Flip's organ. Molecule after complex molecule traveled up the urethra. The journey was a slow one, but there was plenty of time. The journey would be complete, and the near magical molecules would be well seated in the testicular tissue of Flip's sexual organ long before there would be call for him to flush the biological tube again. By then, it would be too late. By then, the seeds of a new birth would have formed in Flip's loins.
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