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"Mac, the beeping."
"Make the...the beeping stop."
Silence. No. Not silence. The purring of a machine. A red glare burned into her eyes. The light was so bright, her eyelids were like bonfires.
Silvia opened her eyes to the blinding white of the lab. Today was the day they would prove to the world the extent of Escargot Extract's possibilities. They had tested for months since discovering on accident the hallucinogenic properties of the tiny gastropod from Fidififi, and all the signs pointed to go. Well, the scientists had tested it, she was there for the image.
Everything led to today. The final step was multiple people reacting to one another in a safe environment. Individuals in testing were fine, but they tended to become melancholy. Interaction was the key. Nice people coming together for a relaxing afternoon in the paradise of their making. And it would be projected to the whole world via WeView.
The beeping had pulled her out of a mini-session with the Extract. She noted on her I can't believe it's not paper tablet:
Relaxation dosage allowed noise interference. Avoid outside interference if possible for best results. Test for frequencies, types of noises. Increased auditory sensitivity, as per testers. Reminder to self – try classical music or nature sounds next time.
"Mac?" she asked.
"Wha?" He swiveled around the desk in his rolly chair to face her, a pen clamped in his mouth.
"Are we ready?"
He gave he a roguish, conspiratorial grin, and with a flourish produced two shot glasses on a small medical tray. "Am I ready? Here's to success."
For a second, she almost forgot he was something of an ex-boyfriend, if you could call casual dating for a few weeks a relationship. It had hurt when it ended, but business was business.
She could ignore his charms and studied handsomeness. He smiled, teeth as white as the lab walls. Damn, he had a big, square jaw.
Not for the first time, she wished she could make him suffer, just a tiny bit. And he should still pine for her. That would be nice.
"Silvia? Do you want it or not?" he asked.
"Is drinking allowed on the job?" She eyed the slightly yellow liquid, nervous flutters coming back in her stomach. Before every test, every new step, every time she tried to move forward, her instincts said she was making a mistake. Was today a mistake? But if it was, what could go wrong?
"Hey. Let the heavy-weights worry about the test subjects. It's not like we can do anything but enjoy the ride, in any case." He lifted his glass, the crystal sparkling at the beveled edges.
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Lords & Ladies of the M'Verse: An Ooorah AnthologyScience Fiction
Each of the 100 stories featured herein will be set within a Universe of the writer's creation, all being a part of a larger, shared Multiverse. Writers have free reign to tell the story they wanna' tell and providing...