The door to the airtight compartment open with a whoosh, Dr. Thomas Goodson reached in with a gloved hand and took out a sealed vial. He held it up in front of a visored face to examine it. Inside the glass container was the culmination of 2 years worth of work, and what could be the beginning of a new age. Inside the container was Batch 49-C of the Orpheus Serum; an experimental serum that the Dr. felt contained the key to prolonging human life.
Six months prior, the Dr and his assistant had stumbled on a curious mutation in a genetic experiment they were conducting. The change had taken the Orpheus Project, his project, from a dead end endeavor into what quite possibly could make him, and many other people famous. Over the last 6 months, they had poured over the results of countless tests and come up with some very interesting findings.
The Orpheus Serum could retard the decomposition of human tissue samples. It was also self-replicating, as it fed off the tissue sample. An unfortunate by-product of this synthesis was that a virus in the serum made a toxic mix that could theoretically prove harmful to a human host. The Dr. was not too terribly worried about this possibility, as he was confident that with proper testing and development the serum could be made harmless. Lastly, and most strangely, as the virus fed off the tissue sample, it created an electrical charge. The doctor had run the numbers and theorized that given a large enough tissue sample and serum level that the charge would be equal to that which a fully-grown adult produced.
The Dr. turned to look at the clock on the wall. It read 11:30. He had been at the lab, for 16 hours, and he felt it. The only down side to the last 6 months, which had been the most exciting time in his professional life, was the fact that his health had slipped. Despite his efforts, the schedule he had been forced to keep was more than his body could take. His doctor had put him on blood pressure medicine and told him to slow down. "Well," Dr. Goodson thought," half a day more, and I can slow down a bit."
The reason for this was that just the week before he had given a presentation to some bigwigs from the corporate HQ in Chicago. They had flown to New York City, and made the trip out the western Long Island, just to hear it. He had heard no feedback on the meeting until yesterday. He had received a phone call telling him to prepare a sample, and all his notes. A courier would be there in the morning to pick it up and bring it to Chicago. If everything went well, the Dr. would be moved to the corporate HQ, and given carte-blanc to fully develop the Orpheus Serum for commercial use. He had stayed late to get things in order. Stephanie had previous plans, so he had let her go the evening before, as long as she promised to show up in time to greet the courier, who would be there a 7AM, and escort him to the lab.
Dr. Goodson turned and moved towards the carrying case lying on the table. As he crossed the room, he felt a tingle run down his left arm. He stopped with a quizzical look on his face. His features went rapidly from astonishment to anguish as he felt a pain grow in his chest, only to explode throughout his body. His knees buckled, causing him to drop to the floor. He instinctively put his hands out to brace his fall. As he did so, the vial he was carrying was crushed under the palm of his right hand. The shards from the broken vial shredded the thin glove he had on, embedding themselves into his hand. At this point the doctor could have cared less. His chest felt like it as on fire. A weak "Noooooooo" escaped his lips as he tipped to his side and slid to the floor. His last thoughts were, "All the time and all the effort on the Orpheus Project, an attempt to prolong human life, and this is how it ends".
Shortly after 03:38 AM Dr. Thomas Goodson expired; the victim of a massive heart attack. As he lay there growing cold on the floor, blood from his lacerated hand mixed with the sample of the Orpheus Serum that had been in the crushed vial. At this point, nature took its course and the virus in the serum acted exactly as the Dr had felt they would, with one exception.
To be continued...
To be continued...