User:Eirik/Cleaning Day at the Mad Scientist's Lair

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Cleaning Day at the Mad Scientist's Lair

Author: Eirik

The impossibly tall, impossibly gray building of stone stood before them on top of the hill. It was sitting on the edge of a precipice the likes of which neither of the two young men had ever seen before, even though they'd lived in the area all their lives. The sky above the building was dark and cloudy, as if on the verge of a thunderstorm, yet the rest of the region was clear and sunny.

"Are you sure that the temp agency said that this was the place?" asked Murray.

His friend Sam looked at the index card the girl at the agency had written out. "Yeah, this is the address. 1313 Thirteenth Street. Funny, I never really noticed this place before."

Murray shrugged. "It is a little out of the way. Com'on, let's knock. We're running late as it is." The both started cautiously up the walkway to the castle-like structure. The closer they got, the more imposing it became. They reached the impressive oak door and pressed the doorbell.

They listened to the muffled tones though the door and looked at each other, "Wasn't that the theme to the Smurfs?" asked Sam.

Murray didn't have a chance to answer. The imposing door swung inward revealing a man with impeccable hair and clothing, save for a few stray bloodstains on his otherwise blindingly white lab coat. He smiled, "Finally! You must be the young men the temp agency called over! Perfect timing! Come in, come in!"

They stepped into the foyer and were surprised to find that, despite the dramatic dark look of the outside, the inside was decorated in a pleasant Southwestern style. The man in the coat grimaced. "Please excuse the décor. I could have killed my interior decorator!" He paused a moment. "Come to think of it, I sent that group of pigs to the butcher last month, so I guess I did." He turned his attention back to the temps. "Still, it has been handy at times." He started walking down a hall and beckoned them to follow. "The names Derksen, by the way. Doctor Bryan Derksen."

Sam tapped Murray on the shoulder as they followed. "Wasn't Derksen the name of that guy the cops were looking into last year?"

Murray thought a moment then shrugged. "Can't remember. But apparently not. He's not in jail, is he?" Sam just nodded slightly in agreement, but still seemed concerned.

They followed the good doctor down a set of stairs into a rather large basement area. The ceiling was several feet higher than a normal room, and there were several small windows near the roof level for light and ventilation. The room was full of equipment, jars, boxes and papers. Cables hung from every possible hook and there were several empty gurneys around the room. "This is my hobby room, you might say." Said Derksen with a bit of a grin.

Unsure what to say, Murray just smiled warily. "Sure is a lot of stuff in here." He finally said lamely.

Derksen nodded mournfully. "Yes, there is. I'm afraid that a lot of it is going to have to go. I'm moving my equipment into a new facility. Much better for my needs, but it is smaller."

Sam nodded understandingly. "A more modern place?"

Derksen looked positively shocked. "Modern? You mean one of those horrible sterile labs? Are you out of your mind? Don't you realize that fully 90% of all the greatest mad scientist creations are done by accident? Remember that two headed blood beast that ripped up that diner last Halloween? If it wasn't for a leaky sewer pipe over my chemical apparatus, that would have simply been another telephone solicitor."

Murray looked at him opened mouthed. "You create telephone solicitors? That's evil!"

Derksen smiled and bowed slightly. "Thank you. But I must say that I like the occasional blood beast or two. Hard to make, but they are so valuable! But to answer your question, I'm moving into a darker, danker lab across town. I'm really very proud of myself. All the other mad scientists were lining up for it once the previous tenet met with an 'unfortunate accident'." He started counting off on his fingers, "Jeckel, Frankenstein, Mourea, Stein, and a host of others. But I got it."

Despite himself, Murray was curious. "How did you manage that?"

Derksen grinned again. "Simple, my young friend. I simply promised the landlord that I'd never use him in an experiment if he gave me the place." His smile turned to momentary shock. "Oh drat it all! I completely forgot! Son, can you hand me that jar on the table behind you? No, the one with the large toad in it."

Murray picked up the large glass sample jar and looked for a moment at the large bullfrog. It was pretty jammed in there and looked uncomfortable. "This one?"

Derksen nodded vigorously. "Yes, thank you! In the rush to get out of this place I totally forgot to drop him into the terrarium." He unscrewed the lid and dropped the toad into the fish tank sized habitat. He looked at a moment shaking his head and smiling. "You'd think that people would learn that you never trust a mad scientist. Oh well, at least I don't have to pay any rent."

Closing the lid, he turned around. "Okay, now as to what you need to do. I've got a bunch of old experiments in this lab that I need to dispose of before I can move this stuff. You know, body parts, preserved animals, brains. That sort of thing. You just need to drain out the liquids into a biohazard liquid jar, drop the tissue or specimen into the red bag and the glass into the biohazard sharps container. Any questions?"

Sam frowned a moment. "Why on earth are you following EPA guidelines?

I thought that you were a mad scientist."

Derksen looked at him like he was insane. "What are you talking about? It would take someone nuts and stupid to mess with the EPA, and I am not stupid!"

Sam let that one pass. "Does everything like that go in this room?"

The mad scientist looked around quickly and nodded. "Everything in here and in the closet that is a specimen. Don't touch anything else unless I ask you." He scanned around the room again one last time, slapping his hand to his forehead. "Damn, I forgot again!" he said as he raced across the lab, picking up a small cage with a couple of lab rats. They squeaked angrily as he jostled them. "Well, I'm sorry dear, but I forgot. Jeez, you're as much a pain in the ass now as you were before. Keep that up and I'll skip the breeding part and go straight to the experiment!"

To Sam and Murray's surprise, the rats stopped squeaking.

Derksen barely noticed them as he passed, taking the cage upstairs. "My ex-wife and her personal trainer." He said by way of explanation as he left.

As he closed the door, Sam looked at his friend. "Are you thinking that we should just skip this job?"

Murray laughed. "Oh, come on! The guys a little nuts, so what?

Besides, we're getting good money for this. Let's just get to work."

Murray regretted his words pretty quickly. As they started going through the crates and shelves, they found dozens and dozens of jars of organs, tissues and small animals all over the place. Sam had jokingly commented that there was enough stuff in here to build an entire person.

Of course, they found that person in the closet, propped up against the wall. He didn't seem all that active, so they left him alone.

But the worst part was the smell. Whatever this scientist used, it wasn't exactly fresh as a country road. Or rather, it was if that road had been recently used to parade every bit of livestock in the tri-state area after they had all been given large quantities of Mexican food. It didn't take long for the pair to start gagging as they worked.

Derksen popped in a few times to check their progress. He didn't seem to notice the stench that filled the poorly ventilated room, indeed he seemed invigorated by it. At one point, he stepped in and took a big hearty breath. "Smell that?" he said with a smile, "Formaldehyde. Nothing smells quite like it. I just love the smell of Formaldehyde in the morning."

Murray groaned quietly at the line, but Sam didn't really notice. He was more intent on squashing the roach that had scurried off the box that he'd just picked up. Even as his foot came down on it, Derksen screamed "No!"

It was far too late. There was a sickening crunch as the streamlined insect became a flat one. Sam picked up his boot and looked at the scientist running at him. "You fool! Didn't I say not to touch anything!"

Sam stared at him incredulously. "You're kidding, right? It's just a cockroach!"

"Just a..." sputtered Derksen. "I'll have you know, that roach could easily have been your brother!"

Sam rolled his eyes. "Yeah, right. And I'm a monkey's uncle."

"That can be arranged." Muttered Derksen as he knelt down to examine the splotch on the floor. "Lucky for you, this wasn't anyone important." He said finally. "But be more careful!"

Sam just rolled his eyes and opened a jar of gangrenous small intestine to dispose of.

Four hours later, the two friends were sweaty, smelly and irritated. They'd breathed in so many chemicals that their heads pounded rhythmically, their nostrils burned and they both had gone through dry heaves at least twice, either at the sight or the smell of a chunk of decaying tissue.

But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. They were done with the main lab and were nearly finished with the hidden closet. With Derksen's permission, they'd moved the stiff ("I call him Al.") out to get to some of the boxes of samples.

Sam opened a smallish, oddly light box and found that it contained a series of smaller, thin, black boxes all stacked on top of each other. They seemed to be some sort of sample container. His brain numbed a little by his headache, he gave into his curiosity and opened it. Inside, he found what looked like a heavy growth of powdered mold. Holding it up slightly, he turned to Derksen. "Doc? What would you like done with this?"

Derksen looked at him angrily. "I told you, only touch my glass encased samples! That stuff is..."

As he spoke, Murray had his first work-related accident. As he walked over to the biohazard setup with a large jar full of eyes, he slipped in a small puddle of formaldehyde. As he slid backward, the jar left his hands and sailed a few feet into the unexpecting Sam. It struck Sam right in the mold case, shattering the glass and splattering mold spores, chemicals and eyeballs all over him.

"Now look what you've done!" shouted Derksen. "You thought that the EPA was a pain in the ass, you should see what OSHA is like! You know how many forms that I'll need to fill..." his voice trailed off as he looked at Sam.

The young man was holding his drenched and bloody arms out away from his body in shock. The bare skin was suddenly turning darker and harder, almost scaly. His hands were starting to get larger, menacing claws growing from his fingertips.

Derksen shouted happily. "Fantastic! I've got to document this!" he yelled as he grabbed a notepad and started writing. "Let see, powdered Venutian mold, and whatever was in that jar... oh, I'll have to check the lid!" he started muttering as he wrote.

Sam continued to change, though. His arms and hands grew until they were at least as large as a gorilla, but instead of hair they were covered in an armor-like plate. The compound had gotten into his bloodstream and the changes were happening all over his body. He doubled up in pain as his torso started to expand, and his scream as a thick, spiked tail sprouted turned into the growl of a beast. His splitting headache got incredible as his skull moved around, bending in ways that bone should never do. His jaw detached like a snake in order to accept larger loads, and his digestive system altered to match. The old fashioned human teeth became needle sharp, and four fangs grew out.

When it was all through, he was the biggest, ugliest, foulest smelling beast off of Sunset Boulevard.

All this time, Derksen continued to write. "Smells something like a cross between raw sewage and a McDonalds dumpster, but with a hint of oregano. Appears to be confused as the moment of change completes. With luck, he'll exhibit..."

A screech from the beast-that-was-Sam cut him off. Derksen looked up nonchalantly as the monster moved to cut off Murray, who had tried to escape the lab. Holding his friend in his massive hands, he looked at him intently, as if deciding what to do. Murray cried out weakly as the razor sharp claws pierced his arms, drawing blood. Sam looked at the trickle on his hand and some monstrous urge caused him to lick it off with his thick, black tongue. The taste almost seemed to surprise him, and he started licking his hands more and more, finally licking the blood off of Murray's arm.

"Sam? What are you doing?" cried Murray as the licking became more and more intense. But the blood wasn't pouring out very fast, and Sam was getting frustrated. He opened his impressive maw to bit Murray in half.

Derksen barely looked up from his notebook as he heard Murray scream in terror. He casually picked up the large tranquilizer gun and fired. The monster cried out and fell to the floor on top of Murray, asleep.

"The beast has a taste for human blood. Wonderful! Excellent!" he shouted as he slammed the notebook shut. "This will make all the guys at the mad scientists convention green with envy! Even if they don't drink the punch, that is." He looked at the monster and Murray struggling to get out from under his considerable weight. "But you know what would even be better..." he murmured as he picked up the gun again and shot the other temp in the arm with a dart.

Murray woke up strapped to a gurney in a room that he didn't recognize. It still smelled like hell, though. As if those chemicals were still in the same room with him. There wasn't much light in the room, save for a single bright fixture hanging from the ceiling. A few slight sounds got his attention and he painfully turned his head over to the left.

There he saw the massive monster that his friend had become strapped to a table next to him, though a few feet away. The mad and evil Derksen had his skull cap off and was tinkering with some electrodes. After a few moments, he noticed that Murray was awake and he smiled broadly.

"Wonderful! You're awake. I'm just about done with your friend. It's incredible. The brain has been so wonderfully simplified. I don't think that he can reason much more than the average carrot, but has an insatiable lust for blood, specifically human! You know how hard that is to do by accident?"

There was a long pause until Murray realized that it wasn't a rhetorical question. "Uh, very?"

Derksen practically danced around the room. "It's unheard of, boy! Totally unheard of! It usually takes months to get a good, healthy bloodlust going! These monsters come ready made. I can ship these critters out into swamps and abandoned summer camps all over the world before the end of the fiscal year!"

Murray was shocked. "You can't do that! It's evil! It's immoral!"

"Flattery will get you nowhere, my young experimental subject."

Murray tried to squirm off the table as Derksen said that, but the straps holding him down were simply too tight. "What are you going to do to me? Make me into a duplicate of that?!" He shrieked.

Derksen laughed. "I could, but you know how cost ineffective that is? The chemicals alone to change that many people are horribly expensive. I'd barely turn a profit even if I wiped out all the teenagers having illicit fun on the continent. No, no. Breeding! That's the answer!" he said as he tilted the experimental table to an angle that approximated a standing position.

"You're insane! How can you do this?!" he screamed again.

As he set the open box of mold up in front of Murray, he laughed. "Simple kid. I'm evil. Now hold still." He took a few steps back and hurled the second jar of eyes. "In other news tonight, six teenagers have been reported missing somewhere in the Lake Expiration area. Police have indicated that the group of young people had talked about going up there despite the fact that four other groups of teens have vanished in the same area over the last two years. At this time, police have no suspects other than a local rumor about some kind of monster roaming..."

Derksen shut off the set and grinned wildly. He walked down the damp and clammy hall and into his darker, danker laboratory set up. Smiling, he looked at the two beasts in the cage. "You two will be happy to know that your eldest daughter is doing well. Though if she keeps eating like she is, she's going to start getting fat."

Both of the beasts growled menacingly. Derksen just nodded. "I know you're proud, what parent wouldn't be?"

There was a buzz from the intercom. He walked over and pushed the button. "Yes?"

"Uh, UPS here. I have a package for a Dr. Derksen." Came the hesitant reply.

Derksen nodded even though the mad couldn't see him. "Fantastic! I'll be right up." He clicked off the intercom and glanced at his prize beasts. "Looks like dinner is here! I'll be right back down with it." There was another menacing growl. "I know, I know! You want it alive. Jeez, you'd think I tended to forget things!"

As he passed the cage with two rat skeletons perched on the wheel, he paused at the plaque hanging on his wall. After wiping off the dust from his Lifetime Achievement award from the Mad Scientists Association, he jogged upstairs.

Copyright 1997