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The Prehistoric Art of Vengeance
“It’s a rather peculiar beast I suppose, how long on this one?”
“It’s survived approximately twenty minutes longer than its predecessors, I’m quite pleased actually.”
“Nonetheless, its death is inexorable, I give it only a couple-“
“BEEEEEEEEP!” A message flashes across a nearby computer screen.
“Haha, I was too generous.”
That’s all he has to say. That pugnacious b****** Satoshi… I truly despise him. I despise the way his osseous, withered frame quivers with every step. I despise that, despite this fragility, he has the demeanor of a pugilist.
“That’s… All you have to say Dr.?”
“What do you want? Does the petulant child expect a lolly?!”
Satoshi turns to leave without saying another word. How dare he depreciate my work! I raise a finger as a bubble of rage grows in the pit of my stomach. The bubble punctures, but instead of the fierce roar I want, I let out some sort of incoherent growl that vacillates between querulous and terrified.
Satoshi turns to face me.
“Did you have something to say to me?”
“… That’s a negative, sir…”
Dr. Satoshi leaves the lab. The only sounds to be heard are the stringent, methodical echoes of his footsteps. I imagine his face, always so calm and focused, almost docile… Yet he is terrifying to me. It is as if each wrinkle and crevice upon his otherwise unexceptional face is an inscription that reveals the wrathful monster I have come to loathe.
Unfortunately, due to a generous grant from a biotechnical company, I am placed under his jurisdiction. A sort of fiscal insurance for the higher ups I guess, having Dr. Satoshi as a middleman is a win-win. If my experiments fail, they can use Dr. Satoshi as a scapegoat. If my experiments are successful, and more importantly lucrative, they will take partial credit for my work, alleging Satoshi’s involvement as pivotal to my success. It’s a great heap of crap, but I’ve long realized ratiocinating my situation is pointless. I have signed dozens of contracts and forms that set in place legally binding restrictions. There is no easy way out. The point is, I need my experiment to succeed. If for nothing else, that these torturous ligatures on my freedom be severed. Unfortunately, the only man who can grant me this approval is Dr. Satoshi; he alone is the arbitrator of my fate.
Yet despite my best efforts, despite results that would instill wonderment in a sensible man, Dr. Satoshi remains unimpressed. I wonder if I-
The sound of shattering vials pierces my ears. My mind rapidly oscillates between panic and intrigue. I gather my wits and conclude that the sound came from the incubation chamber. I look through the glass observation window. The room is completely static. All I can see are shards of glass, and the shredded remnants of my research twirling to the ground.
A distinct tapping faintly pummels my ears as I approach the window. I can hear blood pulsating through my temples and the synchronized rhythm of my pounding heart and the enigmatic tapping is all but maddening. I search intently for anything coherent within the chaos before me. The tapping halts and begins again periodically, further stimulating my anxiety. I nearly decide to just open the door, when I finally find the source of the tapping… An obsidian claw, glistening and curved like a scythe, attached to the pebbled reptilian foot of the creature I thought dead just minutes ago. I move to get a better angle through the smaller window on the door. The creature is listlessly hopping up and down, clawing inquisitively at the surface of a small mirror in the far back-right corner of the lab. I stand there for a moment, paralyzed. I had created life, life not present in this world for at least sixty-five million years. I finally did it. And the possible repercussions of it all horrify me, and become all the more apparent as the velociraptor by now has turned around, gazing at me with intense, unblinking eyes. It is a scene I imagine would be in the pages of some sort of foreboding literature; the creator unsure whether to feel fidelity or fear for what he has created. I imagine the creature in the same position, assumedly feeling either curious admiration, or… voracious hunger.
I suddenly jump at the sound of a sharp ringing tone; my sudden movement startling the creature. I cautiously walk toward the source of ringing to find a cell phone next to the coffee machine. It is Dr. Satoshi’s. I answer.
“Hello, Dr. Satoshi, it’s Nancy”
I pause. I have been practicing my impersonation of Dr. Satoshi for some time, mostly for the sake of mocking him. Maybe I can…
“Yes? This is he.”
“Oh hello Dr., is there something the matter?”
“No, of course not.”
“Are you sure? You sound sort of funny.”
I alter my tone and think of the appropriate response.
“I’m fine! Will you stop your nit-picking you insufferable fool?!”
“Oh! I’m sorry doctor, I just wanted to call about your e-mail.”
“Ah… Yes, what did you think?”
Why did I pick up? I’m sure this sort of thing is probably illegal, the last thing I need is to be litigated for impersonation.
“We are very pleased with the results. The specimen’s lifespan is steadily increasing and this is exciting news. We are also aware of your concerns about your partner. We will get rid of him for you, judicially or otherwise. He will no longer impede your progress, and we are very sorry for the nuisance he has caused you. You of course are solely eligible for all of the credit concerning your breakthroughs. Does that sound right Dr. Satoshi?”
I can’t reply. This entire time I have been toiling over my research while he has done nothing but interrogate my every decision and belittle my every explanation. It was all so clear now. Dr. Satoshi had supervised my every step, he had absorbed every inkling of discovery I had made, questioning everything, not to enforce his authority and the probation I’m under while working for his company, but to fully understand my breakthroughs so that he himself could claim credit, the minute details his proof. I look through the window again; the raptor is sniffing at the glass, causing a large plume of condensation to obscure its scaly face. A soulless, predatory eye materializes from the slow ebb of the dissipating fog… I know what I have to do.
“This is not Dr. Satoshi, please inform him though, that he left his cell phone in the lab.” I hang up the phone.
A few minutes later Dr. Satoshi storms in, his face contorted in menacing rage.
“Well, well, well, I hear you have something of mine you thieving b******! Where is my phone?!.”
“I did not steal it Dr. Satoshi, you left it in here.”
“Alright fine, but it doesn’t excuse your down-right criminal intentions when you impersonated me!”
“Please Dr. Satoshi, I tried explaining to, Nancy was her name right? That she was confused, but she just kept on blabbing. By the time she realized it wasn’t you she just panicked and hung-up. I suppose it does appear rather dubious though.”
“I don’t believe you, stop trying to cover your a** you damn coward, where the hell is it?!”
“Hmm… I must’ve set it down in the incubation chamber, I was sequencing some genomes when I received the call.”
“Why are the lights off?”
“Sorry, I turned them off, force of habit I suppose.”
“Stay right here you little piss-ant, your organs will be commercially available by the time I’m done with you.”
Dr. Satoshi approaches the door to the incubation chamber. He peers through the window, but can see nothing beyond the errant streams of light reflected by the broken glass scattered across the floor.
“Looks a little messy…” He hesitantly latches on to the door handle
“Afraid of the dark doctor?”
At my ruse Dr. Satoshi slams open the door and turns on the light. The phone is near the back of the room. Dr. Satoshi retrieves it and begins swiftly trotting back…
I shut the door. The lock clicks shut. A puzzled, then furious expression forms upon the doctor’s face. He begins banging on the door and yelling imprecations at the top of his lungs. I peer at the angry, flailing man, a maniacal grin spreading across my lips. I rest my finger on the light switch and watch patiently. I see the raptor slowly creeping towards the doctor, bobbing its head as it stalks. The huge retractable claw on its foot begins tapping again. The doctor slowly turns toward the sound and I see his eyes widen with horrified revelation. Almost simultaneously the raptor breaks into long, powerful strides across the room. It lunges into the air feet first and crashes into the doctor with surprising force. Its razor-like claws bore into the soft, wrinkled flesh of the old man as he struggles in vein to keep his balance. Dr. Satoshi screams. I flick the light off.
I hear the light thud of Dr. Satoshi’s frail body hit the linoleum. I hear his screams gradually wane into guttural howls… and then finally silence. I smell the pungent scent of blood waft into the room.
I taste sweet, sweet revenge.