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Dr. Rivera couldn’t sit still.
That was one of the many things she hated about herself, it infuriated her that she always had to be moving.
But today she forced a smile on her face, and managed to sit still…...For three-minutes, a personal record for her. and it was all because of Mayor Listings, and his need to see every test subject to see how they had improved.
Today was no different, The Test Subjects were still slow to answer, and they had that ridiculous bored look on their face as always.
Dr. Rivera glanced at Mayor Listings, he had a sour look on his face.
“Mayor” Dr. Rivera said cautiously “I know their not impressive right now, but with t-.”
“Time?!” The Mayor interrupted “Time will not help these….these… Disappointments!” He spat, his eye’s bulging from his head.
“Mayor, with more money we could expand, and get more equipment, I’m sure then, we could do it! We could perfect them!” Dr. Rivera said excitedly.
“More money? You have got to be kidding me! You have the decency to ask me for more money?!”
The Mayor was standing now, his face a deep prune color. Dr. Rivera stood too, calmly she reached up and adjusted her glasses.
“Mayor Listings, I understand your disappointment, I as well am rather impatient with the pace of things. But we cannot rush them.” She put her hand on his arm. “Our research will be blown open when we perfect this.” She said softly, “just give us more time.”
Mayor Listings shrugged her hand off, and gave her a cold smile.
“No.” He hissed.
He turned away from her, and pressed the down button on the elevator. Dr. Rivera glanced at the seven year old boy in the room. He was one of her many models, He was Subject 00097. And he was showing the most progress. She looked back at the Mayor’s back, and suddenly felt a surge of anger. She refused to let him tear down everything she had built.
So she had to take care of him.
She reached inside her lab coat pocket, and felt the cold handle of her handgun.
As Dr. Rivera stood before Mrs. Listings, for the first time in years she felt guilt, genuine guilt. The look on Mrs. Listings face when she opened the door was a mixture of disbelief, and sorrow.
It had punctured Dr. Rivera’s heart terribly. It was a good thing that as soon as Mrs. Listings saw Dr. Rivera she regained her look of cool confidence, and greeted her.
“Dr. Rivera, I wasn’t expecting you, do come in.”
Mrs. Listings stepped aside, and Dr. Rivera entered her elegant living room.
“Were you expecting someone else?” Dr. Rivera asked, as she sat down in a luxurious brown chair.
“Yes” Mrs. Listings said solemnly “I was expecting my lawyer, but it seems you have brought along your’s. May I ask why?”
Dr. Rivera glanced at the black draped mirrors, Mrs. Listings must be a very superstitious person to believe that the dead appear in mirrors and drag the living to the world of the dead.
Mrs. Listings coughed, letting Dr. Rivera know she was awaiting an answer.
“I thought it best to bring the best lawyer in the state, so you can be ...comfortable with your financial state. His name is Mr. Henry Glawson.”
Mr Glawson stood and shook hands with Mrs. Listings.
“Hopefully I can lend you a hand.” He said kindly.
“Yes, we shall see. So what is it you advise Mr. Glawson?”
Mr. Glawson sat back down, opened his briefcase and began shuffling through his papers.
“Your husband left everything to you, including all fundings. So, what I would advise is too cease most of the funding, to pay for expenses.”
Dr. Rivera motioned for the lawyer to cease talking, and stared into Mrs. Listings cold green eyes.
“Mrs. Listings, I understand this is a sorrowful day-”
“I want to know the full story.” Mrs Listings interrupted “The police refused to tell me the details of the...attack.”
Dr. Rivera looked down, and began clasping, and unclasping her hands. Finally she settled them on clasped.
“Mrs. Listings I understand that you want to know b-.”
“Just tell me!” Mrs Listings cried her voice rising an octave “I refuse to be kept in the dark any longer!”
Dr. RIvera settled deeply in her chair, and smiled a cold calculated smile.
“It was earl in the morning when your husband came to visit me, he wanted to discuss my experiments. When he left, well let’s just say we were at odds, he wanted to cease funding, and I told him it was best to wait. But of course he didn’t listen.” Dr. Rivera took a moment then began again “I had one of my guards escort him out when he left, and when the guard came back...He told me the Mayor had been shot! Of course I called the police, and told them everything, and in exchange they told me they had found the gun clean of fingerprints. That is all I know, I swear.”
Mrs. Listings stared at Dr Rivera for a moment, before she finally nodded.
She believed Dr. Rivera.
“Thank you Dr. RIvera. Now what were you saying?”
Dr. Rivera smiled
“Your husband, before he died, told me he was going to cease funding our lab. I don’t want you to make the same mistake, our research will make you rich.”
Mrs. Listings shook her head.
“My husband was too smart to cease funding such a place” she hissed “He probably did it for a good reason.”
Dr. Rivera nodded.
“I understand, Mrs. Listings. But the thing is that the mayor was too impatient to wait for real results.”
Mrs. Listings inclined her head.
Dr. Rivera had caught her attention.
“What do you experiment on Dr. Rivera?”
Mrs. Listings said, leaning forward.
“Well, it’s supposed to be confidential, but since you may be our new sponsor….”
Dr. Rivera paused, and smiled.
“We are trying to create what we call E.V.A.I., which stands for Evolutionary Voice Activated Intelligence. When, hooked up to a human shell, will give that person maximum stamina, as well as intelligence beyond any genius on earth.”
Mrs. Listings shook her head.
“So what you're saying is that this thing is an intelligence that is put inside a robot?”
Dr. Rivera nodded.
“We make the shells ourselves and then transfer E.V.A.I. into the shell. We have been mostly unsuccessful, but we are close!”
Mrs. Listings mouth opened.
“Wow, just wow! My husband was going to stop funding this!? He must have been insane, this could be a major breakthrough!”
Dr. Rivera leaned forward.
“Does this mean you’ll continue to fund us?”
Mrs. Listings nodded her head vigorously.
“Of course, I will sponsor you and your Lab, until you perfect…. What did you call it?”
Dr. Rivera smiled.
“It is called E.V.A.I.”