Brother and sister professors, Albert and Brittany Crestfield, paused for a final step of due-diligence. All their work collecting and assembling the specimens, all their time thinking through the experiment, planning the process, when to do what, had almost exhausted their interest in the project, but the opportunity to make a difference was so compelling that they pressed on.
Now it was time to close the loop, seal the deal and press the button to see if it would work. The small room beneath the old well cover was an odd place for the lab but it fit their isolation concerns. After today, success or failure, they would not need the room any longer .
Photo credit: KL Caley
“Albert did you verify the batteries? They must be fresh and fully charged.”
“Yes, they’re good to go, but the specimens, I just don’t know if this can actually work. They’re all so different that I still fight the fear that we won’t be able to overcome their natural incompatibilities.”
“But you also know that we’ve planned each step and adapted each connection to deal with those incompatibilities. I say that we’re ready and should proceed. This could be a game changer for science and society. Our children and their children will never forget us.”
“Of course, you’re correct, Brit. I think I’m just, just awed by it all. Let’s do this.”
– – = = * = = – –
“Ah, there you two are! It’s time for lunch. We need to be at Popo and Nana’s house in two hours and need to eat now if we’re going to make the ferry. I should have known I’d find you in this old well. What are you doing?”
“It’s an important experiment Mom,” Brittany answered.
“We’re almost done,” followed Albert. “We just need ten minutes?”
“We could make ten minutes work but . . . Wait. What is . . . Eww, what ARE you two doing? That looks disgusting.”
“Yes, it looks bad now,” Albert answered. “But that’s just the experiment. If it works, it will be great and not needed again.”
“We’re trying to engineer the perfect pet Mom,” Brittany said with her best, most enthusiastic voice that she always used to justify their most bizarre ideas.
“Let me see.” Mom knelt and poked her head in to see the little table with the experiment laid out better. “Oh my . . . Is that — no, you wouldn’t, but that looks like the head of one of Gracey’s puppies.”
“Um, yea, that’s the one that died yesterday. We only buried most of it.”
“And the rest? What am I looking at?”
“The wings are from a dead raven we found near the Jameson’s property,” said Albert. “I think Mr. Jameson must have shot it.”
“The tail is a snake that someone ran over on the road,” added Brittany. “His head was mashed but the rest of him was untouched and made a great tail.”
“We got the body from . . .” started Albert.
“Stop. I don’t want to know. What were you thinking — that somehow, you’re going to put all these pieces together and bring them back to life?”
“Yes, as the perfect pet, Mom. One that could cuddle and run and fly. We did have to catch a live fish to get the fins so it could swim.”
“Albert wanted to crazy glue the parts together, but I told him that would poison all the pieces, so I sewed them together and we’re using the batteries to. . .”
“Just stop. I get it. This has to be your most outrageous . . . “
– – = = * = = – –
Unnoticed by any of them, two invisible, animated vapors moved around the kids, passing through walls and bodies as if they weren’t really there.
One said to the other, “So these are the two specimens you wanted me to see? I agree, this is the kind of promise I doubted we’d find. Do you have anything about what inspired the idea?
“I searched the timeline and they both read a book called, Frankenstein which had a similar theme,. They didn’t fully come up with this themselves. They extrapolated from that story.”
“Did you also check their future timeline? Does this go anywhere?”
“Oh yes. They apparently never forgot whatever is about to happen and the creature we could not account for in our time was the result of a later version of this same experiment. They actually manage to create a better human.”
“And our part in this transition?”
“In about 12 years, we need to arrange college scholarships for both of them. You’ve heard their saying about “dominoes falling”, well, this childish experiment and our scholarships are two key dominoes that save there species in um, yes, 43 years.”