Dr. Miller parked his Jaguar XJ Supersport on the lower level of the ‘N’ Street parking garage and exited the vehicle. He pushed the button on his key ring to lock the doors and the loud *beep* echoed across the mostly vacant concrete structure.
He walked the short distance to the elevator and pushed the down button. After a few moments the doors opened and revealed an empty car. There were rows of glowing buttons marked ‘1‘ through ‘8‘ for each level of the garage and then, beneath those, a row of three buttons that required a key. These three were marked B1, B2 and B3, one for each of the basements hidden under the massive structure. Dr. Miller inserted a small silver key into the slot for B3 and the doors closed.
There was a mechanical hum as the elevator car descended.
* * * * *
Ten minutes later, after he had navigated through a labyrinth of hallways covered with security cameras and checkpoints, Dr. Miller arrived at his office door. He leaned forward for the retinal scan and the door popped open.
Rebecca, his young assistant, was standing next to his large desk waiting for him.
“Good morning.” Dr. Miller said. He closed the door and heard the locking mechanism automatically snap back into place.
“Good morning, sir. How was the vacation?” Rebecca said. She was wearing a tight black business suit that accentuated her curves. Her long hair was pulled up into a bun and a noticeably large silver pentagram ring gleamed on one hand.
“It was very nice. Spent most of the time on the beach.” He said. He walked around the desk and plopped down into the leather chair. “But it’s good to be back. I can only take so much of the wife and the brat kids.” His lips moved to form a reptilian grin.
She winked at him. “Yes. I understand, sir.”
“So, what did I miss?”
“Well, it will take most of the day to brief you on everything that has happened over the last two weeks, and Dr. Jones will need to be consulted on his latest breakthroughs and what you’d like him to do next…”
“But I do have some good news.” She said.
His bushy eyebrows raised. “Oh yeah?”
Rebecca smiled and her eyes seemed to shimmer with excitement. “We took care of the reporter.”
Dr. Miller knew who “the reporter” was without her name even being mentioned.
Heather Hill was a freelance journalist who had been a major thorn in his side for years. Someone had been smuggling documents and pictures to her- Things that the public was not supposed to know about. She had published most of it on the internet, five different stories so far about the chimera cross-species they had been creating in the laboratory. They had been able to downplay the stories and keep them in the realm of “conspiracies,” but it was only a matter of time until people started to figure out that it was real.
“What happened?” Dr. Miller said.
“Our surveillance team has been monitoring her day and night, as you know. They saw a window of opportunity last week while she was out hiking. A two man operation- They tranquilized her and whiskered her away in one of our vans.” Rebecca said.
“Is she dead?”
There it was again, that sick shimmer to her eyes.
“No, she’s here in one of the holding cells.” She said.
“What? What do you mean she’s here?” Dr. Miller stood up and walked closer to her.
“Well, sir, she nearly compromised our experiments. We tried to reach you at the island about the matter, but you had instructed the resort not to bother you under any circumstances. There was a meeting and a vote among the doctors and they decided the best thing to do was to make Ms. Miller our newest lab rat. She has been in a holding cell for six days. The first three rounds of gene splicing and skin grafts have been successful.”
“Show me now.” He said.
* * * * *
Rebecca walked down a series of narrow hallways with Dr. Miller following a short distance behind her. They entered the human testing ward and she stopped in front of the second door.
“Go ahead, sir. Have a look.” She said.
Dr. Miller approached the door and peered in through the small, rectangular plexiglas window. He bellowed out a deep, guttural laugh.
[Original writing & artwork by J. E. Lattimer]
© 2012, 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved