Timmy cleaned out the petri dish when the blood literally started to ooze. It was the third time that had happened. And he was so certain he’d had it this time. Yet however he went about his experiment, the blood would simply ooze. At least this batch hadn’t exploded like the last one.
He should have known better than to use that much nitro in his solution. This blood disease could be a pain in the ass. Although it wasn’t fatal, the symptoms could cause a lot of discomfort to those who had it.
A mutation in the blood, derived from birth, caused the disease, and there was no telling who might get it. All they really knew was you probably had a higher risk of getting it if either of your parents had been exposed to radiation. Of course, that could also just be a bunch of hooey. It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to confirm.
His own parents had been all but hippies when Timmy was growing up–without the weed fascination–and they pretty much despised any technology more advanced than a regular old, plugged-into-the-wall phone, yet Timmy had ended up with the disease anyway.
The only reason his parents hadn’t complained about him getting his degree in biochemistry was because he would use his powers to heal, and hopefully cure himself in the process. Luckily, he didn’t have many symptoms. As long as he ate right and exercised regularly, he was pretty much free of them, only suffering from some mild stomach aches a couple of days a month.
He was busy updating his log when Shamus, his lab tech, came in. He always worked odd hours and was kind of creepy, but he did his work so Timmy really couldn’t complain. Besides, it was his boss who’d assigned Shamus to Timmy’s lonely existence down in the basement’s labs and you never questioned the boss-man.
He suspected Mr Logan worried that Timmy might be unbalanced in some way. He wasn’t, but he also wasn’t exactly the most sociable guy. Growing up he’d been pretty much alone, not really interested in making friends in school. Not many people were interested in being his friend in the first place. Apparently there had been a rumor going around that Timmy was weird.
“Any results on your last test, Tim?” Shamus asked.
That voice made Timmy’s skin crawl. “No, it was a bust,” he answered without looking away from the screen. He knew Shamus was checking him out and that was just… ew.
Timmy was by all means gay and he guessed Shamus had to be some guys’ type… but no. Absolutely no. Not. Gonna. Happen.
“God, can’t you do anything right?” the tech snapped.
Startled, Timmy couldn’t see why Shamus would be so upset about his mistakes; it wasn’t as if many people expected a cure to be found. “Excuse me?”
“Nothing,” Shamus practically growled as he headed over to his station to check his own tests.
Timmy squirmed in his seat. Creepy Shamus had suddenly turned even creepier… and a little scary. He’d never yelled at him before.
It was stupid and he knew he shouldn’t take it to heart, but Timmy really didn’t like to be yelled at. He’d always been the teachers’ pet, always having been a couple of years ahead of his fellow students, and he’d preferred it that way. For that, he’d always been ignored by his older classmates and he preferred to be completely ignored now, too. He guessed that was something instilled in him by his mother, who had always advocated the philosophy that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Admittedly, Timmy was a bit more aware of Shamus now, and glanced from his screen every few minutes to make sure he had Shamus in sight. He tried to keep from saying something mean, mostly out of fear of having his ass kicked; it wasn’t like he hadn’t tried to get along with Shamus in the beginning.
He always tried.
Embarrassingly, Timmy panicked a little when he looked up and discovered Shamus wasn’t in the room. It made him uneasy not knowing where the other man was. Maybe he stepped out for a cigarette. Timmy swore that guy expelled more smoke than a chimney in Russia during wintertime.
Saving the new data onto one of his floppy disks, he filed it away in his suitcase. He never left them at the lab anymore. Not after several containing vital data had magically disappeared.
He knew Shamus must have swiped them, but he couldn’t understand why. Sure, it was vital data, but it was all half-processed work in progress. There wasn’t much anyone could do with it–except find the answer before Timmy could figure it out himself, which yes, would have sucked since he was really itching to have his name on a cure. The Leeman vaccine had a nice ring to it. For now, all his research probably couldn’t be used for anything other than harming people. Then again, there were lots of other drugs on the market that would give people stomach aches and migraines, so why Shamus… why anybody would steal his work, Timmy couldn’t figure out.
Maybe that’s where Shamus had headed off to. Maybe he was in the archives stealing secrets or germs. Maybe he was even doing it on Mr Logan’s order, to keep watch on his progress… or maybe Shamus was a spy for a competitive pharmaceutical company?
Timmy could have slapped himself. Shamus was not a spy. Who the hell would trust a guy like that to run around in a lab filled with chemicals? Not a damn one; except, apparently, Mr Logan.
Shamus was probably just having an off day. It happened. Even to Timmy, every once in a while.
Nosy. That was what he was. But those files had gone missing. He could only tap his foot impatiently for so long before he’d have to look for the guy, ’cause Shamus had been gone way longer than the standard five minute cig break.
Timmy was just about the get up out of the chair when Shamus stepped back in, and Timmy literally felt his butt tumble back into the seat again. Geez, he was pathetic.
Just a little teaser while you wait 🙂 it’s the same excerpt you see on Silver Publishings site. Only a few weeks left now 😉