Caroline’s adviser liked to leave her notes.
She almost never saw Dr. Comey. There was the big lecture on Mondays and the team meeting on Wednesdays, of course, and then sometimes there was the all-department meetings, which Dr. Comey sometimes deigned to attend, but the Dr. – who was so old the legend said that when they’d rebuilt the faculty wing of Ivy Hall, they’d just picked up Dr. Comey’s office and built the new building around it – preferred to work in late nights and early mornings, and Caroline’s schedule was such that she worked in the lab generally late mornings and late afternoons.
But Dr. Comey would leave her notes: combine experiment A with experiment B. Note results. Ask Sally to enter request for life test subjects again.
All Dr. Comey’s administrative help were “Sally.” The current one – Crystal – confided that they took it like a title, “Current Sally for Dr. Comey,” and took no offense from it.
Today the note had said DRINK ME, in handwriting larger and more ornate than Dr. Comey’s usual, more the sort of thing that the doctor used in meetings that were particularly boring.
Caroline went through the basic tests – was it caustic, was it nauseating, did a drop of it on her tongue have ill effects after fifteen minutes – but the doctor had left her no other notes for the day, and, ornate or not, doing what Dr. Comey wrote for her to do was her job and the way she was going to graduate with high honors.
So she drank the milky bluish fluid, writing down everything as she went. It tasted mildly alcoholic and left her tongue and lips numb like several-shots-in. It made her head swim. It made the world seem to shiver and shake. It made everything seem bigger, bigger…
“Oh, no!” Caroline came to in a sprawl on the floor, Dr. Comey looming surprisingly far above her. “You weren’t supposed to drink that one! That was was the live test subjects, oh, no!”
Caroline looked at the pen which had dropped beside her – her favorite fountain pen. It was now scaled up to be nearly as tall as she was. It was going to be hard graduating with high honors if she had to rappel up the podium. “Well, since you’re here….” She was almost never in the same room as her adviser with Dr. Comey’s full attention. “Let’s go over m notes on the last three experiments, shall we?”
A pulley system, she thought. Or maybe a helper dog.
Originally posted here: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1375965.html on Dreamwidth.