Unlocking the Potential of the Human Mind
Scientific Breakthrough…Or a Really Bad Idea?
Research geneticist, Lionel Adams is on to something hot –the key to unlocking the vast reserves of the human mind. Everyone is interested in it. Bio Vita-Tech, the research lab he works for, is excited about the possibilities. So are their foreign competitors who are counting on their inside man at Bio Vita to deliver Adam’s secret into their hands.
Everyone seems to want a sample of Adam’s formula, except his college buddy, Flip MacDougal, who makes a surprise visit to Bio Vita to play a practical joke on his old friend, Adams. Unfortunately, it’s Flip who ends up with the sample. His world is turned upside down as he struggles and maneuvers his way through the trouble he has gotten himself into as he unwittingly spreads his “gift” to others.
Seeds of a New Birth is a technological thriller about a future where the highly volatile formula of biogenetic engineering coupled with corporate and personal greed threatens the course of human evolution and perhaps mankind’s very existence.
Scheduled for Publication: November, 2011
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Please note, Seeds of a New Birth is a science fiction techno-thriller with adult themes that include several explicit sex scenes. (Hooked yet?) It is not intended for teens and is rated M for mature audiences.
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Not sure whether to claim your review copy? Read the first chapter below then decide.
707. This is the room, Flip MacDougal thought. If his information was correct, Lionel Adams should be sitting behind this door. Flip glanced down the hall in both directions. It had been so easy up to this point. Denise was right when she’d told him that breaking into Bio-Vita would be a piece of cake.
Won’t Lionel be surprised to see me here? He tried to imagine the look of astonishment that would be on the man’s face, finally deciding it was easier to see it in person. From the pocket of his trench coat he removed a black enameled card, an essential item donated by his new friend. Within the thin layers of plastic resided the magnetic code to this as well as other doors. He ran the card through the small crack in the security lock. The latch silently tumbled open, and a thin ray of light appeared at the edge of the door. Flip pushed it open and walked into the lab.
Across the room, a lone figure sat on a wooden stool, his back hunched over a binocular microscope. The white lab jacket, draped over angular shoulders, was motionless, its wearer intensely concentrating on the scope. Flip’s Reeboks fell one in front of the other, quietly, as though the sound had been cut from the scene on a television detective show. He stood behind the scientist, reveling in the triumph of the moment. Flip lowered the attaché case he’d been carrying to the floor, careful not to disturb the silence. His gloved hand released the handle and slowly joined its partner. The two hands traveled steadily towards the hunched shoulders. As though on cue, Lionel raised his head away from the microscope. Perhaps a premonitory warning had finally knifed its way into his consciousness. The hands continued towards the neck, paused, and then moved again, not to the neck but toward the eyes. The smooth leather caressed the eyes, closing off all light. “Guess who?” Flip asked, his soft voice shattering the silence like an alarm.
* * * *
Lionel Adams sat in front of the microscope, entranced by the sight of the mutated cells, unconscious to the sharp pain in his lower back, a product of sitting too long in such a position. It’s amazing, he thought, how those tiny flagellated cells could be such an important part of the creation of life. He continued to watch, hoping to find at least one altered in some way. Perhaps it would move a little faster or have a more direct path across the slide; anything that would suggest a change in the cell.
Only the twitch on his nose was finally able to break his concentration. Sneezing while looking in a microscope can be devastating on your sight, he thought as he looked up for a moment and sniffed in an attempt to hold back the sneeze. Still concentrating, now on the sneeze, the sudden loss of vision followed immediately by a strange voice behind him sent Lionel leaping off of the lab stool. While still in the air, he twisted in an attempt to see who was behind him.
“What the…who the…” He gasped as he fought to regain his balance. The intruder stumbled back, laughing hysterically, and tripped on something behind him.
“Oh, God…did I ever get you…Oh, what an expression…”
Lionel finally found his balance, coming to rest against the counter, his hands grasping it for support. Glaring harshly at the intruder, he tried unsuccessfully to see through the man’s disguise.
“Don’t you recognize me?” The stranger asked as he pulled first one glove, then the other, from his hands. Then removing a pair of mirrored sunglasses, he placed all three items in the coat pocket. “Your lifelong friend and fraternity brother?”
“Flip? Flip MacDougal?” Lionelle stared unbelievingly at the man, unconvinced his old friend could possibly be in his secure, top-secret lab. He slowly recognized the truth. “Flip, can it be…yes, it can. Flip, I swear, I’ll strangle you with my bare hands this time.”
Still weakened from the laughter, Flip circled away from his friend.
“Now Lionel, control yourself. Remember, you’re a respected scientist and community leader, or something like that.” The two men circled around the stool, exchanging places.
“I swear, Flip, you’ve out done yourself this time. If I weren’t so glad to see you, your life wouldn’t be worth diddly right now. As it is, you still deserve a thorough thrashing.” Lionel continued to stalk his old friend, but stopped suddenly as he noticed Flip’s hand glide across the lab counter. As though in slow motion, he watched as it collided with the beaker of blue reagent.
“Watch out…” he began but knew it was too late. “Don’t get it…” but stopped again, realizing the second warning was also too late as the beaker tipped over, spilling its contents across the counter.
“Damn. Sorry about that, Lionel. I hope it wasn’t something important.” Flip looked around frantically for something to wipe up the spilled liquid. Spying a box of kim-wipes, he yanked several tissues out of the box.
“No, don’t do that,” Lionel shouted as he grabbed Flip’s wrist, inches from the pooled liquid. “Let me clean this up. Go down the hall and wash your hands thoroughly. Use plenty of soap. I’d let you do it here but I don’t keep soap in the lab.”
“No problem.” Flip said as he started to wipe his hand on the trench coat then stopped, a look of concern on his face. “Is it acid or something?”
“No, it’s just best that you get it off your hand as soon as possible, that’s all. Now go. I’ll clean this up.” Lionel reached into his pocket and pulled out his ID badge. “Here, take this in case someone stops you. Tell them you’ve been assigned to this lab.”
“No problem, Li. You know I can always talk my way out of anything. I need to bleed the old snake, anyway.”
“I’m beginning to remember,” Lionel replied. He watched until the door closed behind his friend, then quickly grasped a small glass pipette and bulb and began carefully sucking the liquid back into the beaker.
Flip pushed the door to the men’s room open, less concerned with each passing minute the fluid remained on his hand without any adverse effect. With nature calling with increasing urgency, he walked to the nearest urinal and, without bothering to untie his coat, raised its hem and unzipped his pants.
“Ahhh, the pause that refreshes,” he muttered as he stepped a little closer to the urinal. As he finished, he noticed a small pubic hair sticking tenaciously to the tip of his penis. Without thinking, he picked at the hair to remove it. As he did so he felt a stinging at the tip of his penis and realized he’d used the contaminated hand.
“Shit,” he muttered as he quickly shook his penis and returned it to his pants. “I better wash this stuff off before it starts to eat my hand off.”
But the damage had already been done. Microscopically, the complex compound from his hand mixed with the fluids of Flip’s organ. Molecule after complex molecule traveled up the urethra. The journey was a slow one but there was plenty of time. The journey would be complete and the near magical molecules would be well seated in the testicular tissue of Flip’s sexual organ long before there would be call for him to flush the biological tube again. By then, it would be too late. By then, the seeds of a new birth would have formed in Flip’s loins.
* * * *
“Important?” Lionel muttered as he worked to save as much of the precious fluid as possible. “Nine months of distillation to get this much template, and it took Flip less than that many seconds to jeopardize my entire project.” He shook his head but a smile crept on his face. He had to admit it was good to see the old bastard again.
Lionel had finished rinsing and collecting the fluid for re-distillation when Flip returned to the lab. Before Flip had a chance to speak, Lionel said, “Don’t bother asking me about it, Flip. You know I can’t tell you what I’m doing here, but you damn sure better tell me what you’re doing here; more importantly, how did you get in?”
Flip pushed himself onto one of the counters after carefully inspecting it to be sure he didn’t repeat the accident. “It was really quite simple, Lionel, but before I tell you, do you promise not to report it to anyone?”
“You know I wouldn’t do anything to get you into trouble.”
“It’s not me I’m concerned with. Promise?”
“Well, you know the lady that sits at the front door?”
“Yeah,” Lionel replied slowly, a look of recognition appearing on his face. “You mean Denise?”
“Yes, Ms. Denise Cabbot; very gracious lady. Quite captivating, really.”
“You bribed her, didn’t you?”
“Well, in a manner of speaking, but I want you to know, she really is very good at what she does. When I first approached her, she wouldn’t have anything to do with
my plan, not until she thoroughly checked my story and verified I was only a slightly sick college buddy with a fondness for playing practical jokes.”
“How did you get to her?”
“Well you know, the MacDougal charm has always been quite an effective negotiating tool.”
“When do you pay?”
“Tonight at 8:30. It really was a fantastic bit of negotiating. It was a win-win situation. I win by getting in and scaring be-jesus hell out of my old buddy, and I win again by having the opportunity of going out with a luscious creature of God. Win-win.”
“Flip, when will you ever settle down and get serious about your life?”
“Lord willing, never, if getting serious means giving up the pursuit of the fairer sex. It’s a MacDougal tradition, one I am only too happy to perpetuate. Besides, my philandering gives you an escape, a release valve. If you didn’t have my escapades to tsk-tsk about, you’d have to spend some of your precious research time living your own escapades. So you see, in reality, I’m doing my patriotic duty, keeping you here in this lab coming up with the next…what did you say your project was?”
“Good try, Flip. I didn’t, nor will I. How long has it been Flip, two years since you last darkened my doorstep with your shadow?”
‘Two years, three months and fourteen days. I counted it up back at the hotel, while I was planning this latest mission.”
“By the way, where are you staying?”
“At the Triangle Park Radisson in this most sterile of research parks. I must say you have definitely found your own element here. I would never have dreamed there could be such a concentration of eggheads in such a folksy state as North Carolina, but The Research Triangle has more eggheads than Perdue has chickens.”
“Well, you know you’re welcome to stay at my place, although I know you won’t.”
“That’s right. It cramps my style,” Flip replied as he pushed off from the counter. “Besides, the Radisson has more than a passable bar and an indoor pool. My suite has its own whirlpool and…” glancing at his watch, “… if I don’t get myself on the road, I’ll be late for Ms. Cabbot. I know you wouldn’t want to be responsible for that.”
“You tell Denise she has a lot of explaining to do to one special researcher. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I forget the fright you gave me.”
“Well, I would imagine that despite her taste of the MacDougal charm she might consider making it up to you in some gracious fashion.”
“No, no. I know better than that. Once they taste a night of MacDougal they’re never the same, isn’t that what you always say.”
“Yes, that’s true, but I wanted to make you feel better.”
Lionel picked up the beaker containing the precious liquid and carefully placed it well out of Flip’s reach. “I’ll just hang out here in my little dungeon for a few more hours, but will you be around until the weekend?”
“Oh sure, I have a couple of obligations in the evenings but I’ve reserved the entire day time for my old fraternity buddy. And by the way, it would appear from your ‘dungeon’ that my old buddy is doing quite well for himself here at Bio-Tita-Vet.”
“Bio-Vita-Tech,” Lionel corrected. “And yes, they’ve been very gracious with the grant money. Private industry has certain advantages over the academic scene.”
“Give me a call later. I’d enjoy a weekend of reminiscing. Should I call security to escort you down?”
“No, that won’t be necessary. I promise I’ll leave straight away.” Flip stooped to pick up the briefcase.
“By the way, what’s in the briefcase?”
“What’s in the beaker?”
“You know I can’t tell you that.”
“Well then, I’ll take the secret of the briefcase to my grave.” He grasped the case under his arm securely. “Sure you won’t reconsider?”
“I’ll pass, thank you. Remember, straight out. If Security catches you sneaking around, they aren’t likely to settle for a date with you.”
After Flip left, Lionel returned to his work area. He glanced around the spacious lab at the glistening beakers and the bright lights of the latest, state-of-the-art equipment. Yes, Bio-Vita-Tech had been good to him, and he had returned in kind many times over. He found himself staring at the diplomas over his desk.
Upon each one in various forms of Old English type was his name, Lionel J. Adams. Fine peasant stock that had made good, he thought, remembering the words his father had used to describe his only son. And now Jacob Adam’s son was on the brink of his most brilliant discovery to date.
Lionel lifted the small beaker up to the light and slowly swirled the blue liquid. Perhaps, just perhaps, within the small beaker was the breakthrough Lionel had worked so arduously to produce since his graduation from Duke over seven years ago. Could it be that within the molecules of this liquid was the key to unlocking man’s true capacity, the ninety to ninety-seven percent of the mind which man had, up to this point in his evolution, been unable to tap? It was too early to be sure, but already there had been some remarkable breakthroughs.
Oh sure, Lionel had had more than his share of setbacks as well. Like the rodents that had been born with enough legs they looked more like centipedes, and the guinea pigs that could shatter glass with their shrill whistles. But those had been in the early days, before he had really understood the technology of recombinant DNA; not that he completely understood it now, but he was closer.
He now knew for certain that within a special blue-green algae was the raw material of the special template he had been looking for –the template which allowed him to re-structure the DNA molecule, the code of life, to whatever shape and configuration he desired.
Take for instance the golden retriever pups that he had been working with most recently. Their learning quotient was extraordinary. There was a strong indication they could actually manage rudimentary language differentiation. They were actually communicating with their trainer. No talking Plutos yet, but not far off.
Lionel placed a stopper firmly into the beaker and walked over to the refrigerator. As he spun the combination on the special lock, he recalled the most recent report that had sent him back to the lab. The retrievers had suddenly developed an aggressive streak that had been unexpected and far from desirable. It appeared, despite their sudden evolutionary leap, there had been an equal reversal to their ancestral tendency to form aggressive packs.
No, the template was not perfected, not quite. He placed the beaker in the special container in the refrigerator and pushed it to the back. Tomorrow he would filter the fluid again to clear it of any possible impurities and run spectrophotometry on it to be sure it had not been contaminated, but for today he was finished. It was getting late, not that Lionel often worried about leaving the lab at any set time. But of late he had started frequenting a small church close to his home, particularly on Wednesday nights during Bible study. If he left now, he’d still have time for a quick dinner before the services began.
Lionel walked to the door. He couldn’t explain the reason such a habit had become a part of his life lately, but there was no doubt it was important to him. Few other things could drag him away from his lab at such an early hour. He switched the lights off as he left.
Scheduled for Publication: October, 2011