Written to Rix-Scaedu’s prompt to my new “WTF?” Prompt Call. This is definitely a Science! story, complete with the Boss – Liam – and his plucky second-in-command.
The raid had taken down three scientists working outside the bounds of the law, morality, or common sense, along with seven “assistants”, mostly grad students, who would probably not be charged, as having to find another research position might be punishment enough for anyone.
It had also found several references to “the farm office,” which, once the proper grad student was interrogated, appeared to be an old veterinary clinic sitting in a small farm town half an hour outside the city.
Liam, who had no official government or law-enforcement position, and Cara, who was, on paper, at least, his second-in-command, were along on both trips. Liam had already recruited the most sensible of the scientists (along with hiring her a lawyer) and the three grad students Cara had hand-picked. Now – now they got to see what the farm office was.
Walking through the entryway, Cara stifled a quiet hiss. “Do you hear that?” she signed to Liam. She didn’t want the actual law enforcement getting the wrong idea, and it wasn’t the first time they’d done clean-up like this. “From the back room.”
They took the most helpful of the law enforcement soldiers – two weeks from retirement; he didn’t want to see anything, didn’t want to fill out any paperwork, and was a dead aim with every single one of his weapons – and followed the noises to the back room.
Where they found four infants in what could kindly be called incubators, all of them slightly greenish – although that could have been the ancient plastic in the incubator. “Not babies,” Cara murmured. There weren’t that many weak spots she still had, working for Liam, but that was one of them. “Boss…”
“Hsst.” Liam gestured with his cane towards the back field. Cara swallowed. Exploding interns? She could handle that. But this…
The soldier went first, then Cara, then Liam. Cara found the soldier very pointedly looking at the fence.
It took her a second to see what he was trying not to look at. There was a pretty ordinary garden back there, lots of tomatoes, some cheerful broccoli…
And the cabbages were squirming. “Boss…”
Liam had out one of his multi-use instruments, not much bigger than a smartphone but a lot more useful. “Babies,” he growled. “They’re growing babies.”
Cara swallowed. “I’m going to call Alex,” she informed her boss. “And, oh, I don’t know, three or four interns. The ones working with Dr. Ice ought to be able to handle it. And-”
“Call HR,” Liam added. “We’re going to need them post haste. And I think Dr. Sauter already has a couple wet nurses on her staff. We’ve really got to work on limiters on that anti-aging thing…” He shook his head. “Anyway. HR. Alex. And that grad student? The one you said was covering something? I want her in my office before she has a chance to change her shoes.”
Cara looked back at the patch. She was pretty sure she saw a foot, a tiny baby foot, sticking out of one of the cabbages. “Then uh… who should I get here for the deliveries, Boss?”
It could be useful technology….Perhaps?
Or very dangerous.
Thank you for this. 🙂
OMG. Very scary possibilities.
«Exploding interns? She could handle that. But this…»
Have they encountered exploding interns?
Not on-screen, that I can remember (Kelkyag would know for sure, she knows everything (about specific of my settings) (that has been written or shared in comments)).
But they have a lot of exciting life.
I don’t remember all the things, especially in a ‘verse like SCIENCE! where the pieces aren’t all closely linked. I do go hunt down details with minimal prompting. “Plausible thing hasn’t happened” is hard to search for, though, so all I’ll claim here is that I don’t remember exploding interns on screen. Melting their shoes to the floor, giving them seemingly impossible assignments, an anti-threat for deciding to leave the lab, the neurotoxin slap-fight, the one who’s part vine now … I think it’s often more often then scientists rather than the interns who get splattered in Liam’s lab.
(Given that the babies were a suprise, and some of what does happen in Liam’s lab, I wonder what “outside the bounds of the law, morality, or common sense” the folks whose office this was were thought to be working on that prompted the takedown …)