Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
The Albertson Pharmaceutical Laboratory ...
Due to an unavoidable delay, it is Monday morning before Drs. Riley and Cooper arrive at the Thomasville Airport. David Albertson is there to meet them in a chauffeured limo.
“Doctors, so glad that you could make it. I’ve got some things that I want to discuss with the two of you before we journey to the site. Please get into the car.” A cheery David replies as the two men follow his lead.
It is extremely comfortable inside the limousine with all the latest accouterments. There is white leather seating, a fully supplied refreshment bar, a combination stereophonic radio/tv, and of course a telephone. Just before David can begin his conversation—the phone rings.
“Hello.” David answers and within moments the smile on his face becomes menacing. “I don’t care dammit, get it done. I told Colonel Broadnax that everything would be ready within six months. Don’t let me down.”
David abruptly slams the phone down, then turns to the two anxious men.
“Is there a problem, Mr. Albertson?” Ben inquires feeling very uncomfortable.
“No, not at all. Nothing that you need concern yourself with at the present time. Please forgive the interruptions. Now where was I—oh yes. I want you to be very specific in how the laboratories are designed. There will be three.” David explains.
“Three labs?” Nelson moves forward in his seat a bit.
“Yes. One will be for development, one for experimentation and the third containment.” David notices the surprising looks on the doctors’ faces.
“Gentlemen, you will be doing research on a drug that hopefully will control aggressive behavior in animals first— perhaps humans later.”
“I thought there were already such remedies available that address this problem.” Ben states.
“There are but they only have short-term affects and their potency is limited. I want this drug to make the subject totally docile until a change of behavior is warranted.” David explains looking directly at Ben.
“What you are referring to is some type of mind-manipulating drug, Mr. Albertson. They can prove to be quite dangerous in the wrong hands.” Ben warns.
“I am well aware of that, Dr. Riley. Regulating aggressive behavior in animals have been a problem for years. There are breeds of dogs that seem docile but will turn on their owners. What if we could monitor their behavior more fully? And one day, hopefully, people who are manic-aggressive. Those who are more prone to perform violent acts against others. What if we could neutralize them with just a single shot?” David expounds excitedly.
“That’s a very interesting concept, Mr. Albertson. I wasn’t aware that you were interested in that particular field. As a microbiologist and geneticist I am always interested in channeling the behavior processes. I welcome the opportunity to fine-tune my expertise and be of benefit to you.” Ben is beginning to research the possibilities in his mind.
“That’s just what I wanted to hear. Dr. Riley, let me be perfectly honest with you. Every since that incident with Colonel Schneider in Germany, the United States government has been concern regarding future acts of fascism.” David explains.
“I never did understand what went on over there in Europe. The whole darn thing was hushed up so.” Dr. Riley remembers asking his friend Dr. Rachel Weinberger-Hawkes about it and she became very tight-lipped.
“To give you the short version—Colonel Schneider was hellbent on world dominance. He had a very impressive band of followers who were eager to carry out his plans, too. Even enlisted the services of Dr. Sydney Holloway. However, that didn’t end well.” David informs him.
“In what way?” Nelson is utterly intrigued.
“Got himself decapitated by Alpha 1-X.” David answers.
“What in the world is Alpha 1-X?” Both men question.
“A highly intelligent, exceptionally intuitive killing machine. A large predatory beast that is trained to seek and destroy!” David can’t hide his own enthusiasm with the prospects.
“You said is—do you mean to tell me that this beast still exists?” Dr. Riley asks incredulously.
“Yes, Dr. Weinberger-Hawkes is trying to rehabilitate the beast. I don’t know how successful she has been with everything being so top-secret. However, Army Intelligence believes that if Albertson Pharmaceuticals can create a drug that will influence aggressive behavior, maybe it will be possible to use Alpha 1-X as a deterrent to future would-be dictators. Maybe such a drug could be administered to them.” David summarizes.
“That’s a pretty tall order, Mr. Albertson. But I must admit that it does have very interesting implications.” Ben speculates.
“I certainly would like to get a look at that animal!” Nelson exclaims.
“That is not possible. At any length, your responsibilities will be in creating the serum. You can understand why the necessity of secrecy exists, gentlemen?” David inquires and both men nod in agreement.
“Good. Now we are almost at the campus. I will leave you with the architect for a couple of hours then return so that we can have lunch. I believe that this will prove to be a very successful undertaking.” David surmises. He fails to mention that Army Intelligence is not the only ones interested in such a serum, but he is not about to show his hand.
One half hour later, the limo arrives at the Thomasville Research Center. The outside of the building is in relatively good condition. However, inside there is debris, scattered papers, broken vials and a huge cage.
“I wonder if this is where Alpha 1-X was housed?” Nelson whispers to Ben as Pete Weatherby and Bernie Lancaster approach.
“I bet it was but let’s discuss that later. Here come the workers.” Ben murmurs back as he waits for the gentlemen to begin the conversation.
“Are you Dr. Riley?” Bernie inquires.
“Hello, I’m Bernie Lancaster, the architect. This is Pete Weatherby. He will be doing the actual construction. I was just noticing that cage in the other room. Are you people going to be doing—” Before Bernie can finish, Ben interrupts.
“Mr. Lancaster, you’re here to understand my needs in the way of offices and laboratories. I don’t mean to be rude but let’s keep it that way.” Ben acknowledges.
“No problem.” Bernie is taken slightly off guard. “Here are the original plans for the Conservatoire. As you can see there were only two laboratories, one large and one small. Also a couple of office suites and storage rooms. My understanding is that you will need more space.”
“Yes, Mr. Lancaster and again I apologize for my terseness.” Bernie feels a lot better after the second apology and enthusiastically listens to Ben.
“We will need a Reception Area, Executive Office Suites for myself, Dr. Nelson Cooper here and Dr. Hilton Frye. Standard Office Suites for my administrative assistant and a senior lab technician. The rest of the staff will be divided into the three laboratories. One large and two functional size rooms will suffice. A nice lounge and a couple of rooms for an Infirmary for possible patients. Oh yes, I want a reinforced steel containment room.” Ben finishes.
“That’s a pretty tall order for six months!” Pete scratches his head. “Reinforced steel?”
“That’s right. The inner room will house laboratory equipment.” Ben says.
“And the outer room?” Pete inquires.
“Put bars on it.” Ben says and leaves so that the men can get started with their work.
“Why do you want a room with bars, Ben?” Nelson inquires of his friend.
“I get the feeling that we are going to be swimming in some very dangerous waters, good buddy. Creating a drug that will be a mind manipulative agent has all types of ramifications. One mind tells me to turn tail and run back to Seattle—”
“And the other mind?” Nelson enquires.
“It says full steam ahead!” Ben looks at Nelson and both men smile.
“I just hope things don’t get out of hand.” That last comment is only a thought in Nelson’s mind.
To Be Continued ...
Spores: The Nemeses Within 3
- Spores: The Nemeses Within 3
David Anderson is patting himself on the back for his new accomplishments. The purchase of the old Thomasville Conservatoire and hiring Dr. Benjamin Riley. However, he is quickly brought down to earth with the information from Colonel Broadnax.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 27, 2020:
Hey ... its going to be heavier than that! Spoiler hint ... things are going to get mixed up in a very bad way!
DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on April 27, 2020:
Oooh, getting scary already! Think I would have been hightailing it out of that lab already. Has overtones of Jurassic park!
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 26, 2020:
Treading in dangerous waters ...