The pay at the Lab was really good, and the benefits were literally unbelievable.
Jess reminded herself of that whenever she started feeling like she needed a Henchman t-shirt or an old lion-tamer’s whip and chair. She had two kids of her own and a niece at home; the Lab gave them a place to live that was probably the most secure three-bedroom house on the planet, had a top-notch school, and paid Jess enough that she could take them all on a really good vacation every year.
Which she needed, because right now she was supervising a slap-fight between two interns who just happened to be handling vials of what she thought was probably a neurotoxin.
“Not many female security guards here,” commented a voice behind her, and Jessica executed a move she had gotten far too good at in recent days: she put the wall at her back and the interns between her and the new voice. Some of the interns here – especially on this floor – had some funny ideas.
That wasn’t an intern. She could tell because the lab coat didn’t have the red intern stripe but rather the nice silver-grey-silver stripe of a senior scientist. A strange senior scientist – that is, one she hadn’t seen before. They were all more than a bit strange.
And the scientist was holding a needle in one hand and a rag in the other.
“No.” Jess moved the left-hand intern closer to the rag and the right-hand intern closer to the needle. Their self-preservation instincts – they’d lasted here longer than a week, they had to have those – kicked in. The left-hand one tossed their vial in the senior scientist’s face while the right-hand one grabbed the needle in a rather impressive disarming move.
“You can stay,” she told them, releasing both of them. Interns were her favorite. “But call the medic team for Dr – Dr. Melty-face here.”
“I need a research subject,” Dr. Melty-face coughed. There wasn’t actually any melting going on, although the effects were stripes of color in a dripping pattern like wax and a certain wooziness evident in posture and swaying. “They told me to come down to the Basics floor.”
“Hold off on that call.” It wasn’t going to hurt Dr. Melty-face to wait and, well, if it did, then a lesson might be learned the hard way. “So.” Jess parried an attempt by the senior scientist to grab her and side-stepped a second needle, because of course there was a second needle. “One. I am not a research subject. Two. I am security. That means you cannot touch me. Not only because I will kick your ass-”
“You impudent wretch!” This attempt to grab Jess ended with Dr. Melty-Face flat on the floor, Jess’s steel-toed boot on the scientist’s back.
“-but because I am specifically off limits by your contract. Three. Research Subjects are not on Basic and neither are you. They are on B-six, and you are in bio-engineering, sexual motives division. Bio-sex. Have fun with the interns’ new test product. Interns, you might want to shovel him into a clean room so you can watch him.”
She really, really didn’t like it when the scientists got handsy.
Oh, boy, YEAH!
Labeling, people! Labeling! And when you’re labeling, try to avoid overloading near-homophones.
I’m surprised a senior scientist didn’t realize that security — and presumably interns, but that’s less certain — were in fact off-limits. Perhaps he’s just been good at covering his tracks.
Dear interns: having a slap-fight with something that can be absorbed efficaciously through the skin is perhaps not such a good idea. Exactly what was so important that you couldn’t put it down first?
Finally, she really does need that Henchman T-shirt. Her handling of the situation was near textbook henching. And as a proper henchling needs some sort of quirk, maybe she can put through a requisition for a whip and an Indiana Jones style belt hook for it.