“I have to see if the new guys have what it takes,” he says.
“Well, how are you going to do that?”
“Well, remember sparky? We’re going to make another one,” he says.
“Seagraves, sparky was a confidential project!” I instantly get upset. I didn’t know the new patrons were going to learn about everything. “Who gave you clearance?”
“Reinhardt. We’ve already got a quota to hit and these guys have no idea what they’re in for. Time for you gentlemen to get your feet wet!”
“Fine. Go with it. But, why do you need me here. Seems as if I’m not in charge anymore,” I cross my arms.
“Of course you are, Dr. Thompson. I thought you two already talked about this. That’s the impression he gave me anyways,” he says then turns to the new hired staff. “Why don’t you all get your scrubs on and wash up. Get ready, it’s gonna get messy in here.”
“The hell we did. You ever thought to ask me about it?” I say as the six men leave the room.
“I meant no disrespect, sir. He’s the head of homeland security for Christ’s sake! I thought I could take his word for it,” Seagraves explains to me. “Besides, what’s the problem? I thought you agreed to go full steam with all the projects.”
“Watch your tone with me,” I tell him.
“I don’t have a tone. Look, I think you should appreciate what’s going on here. A few months ago we were in the hole and the college program was becoming a joke. Everything they need they have on their own campuses. They didn’t need us and it was our primary source of income. We would have had to shut down next year!”
“Do what you’re gonna do in here. I’m gonna have a talk with Reinhardt,” I say.
“Be my guest,” he replies simply. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
Seagraves puts on a pair of surgical gloves and snaps them as he snugs them against his palms. As I leave the room I hear growling and the sound of a surgical saw. The door shuts behind me and my mind is too busy to care about the dog. I walk back to my office and decide to make a phone call to Reinhardt.
“Hey there, partner,” he answers his cell phone.
“What the hell are you and Seagraves doing? I told you I’d do the research on the other projects on my own. I thought the deal was that you’d help me find human volunteers and go to congress and get the approval for the sake of Martian colonization, not to toy around with animals for the sake of creating creatures like in the sub-level! And information on those, they were not to be shared with the rest of the crew!” I tell him.
“Relax, you’ll get what you want, Edgar. But, I saw how motivated you’ve been to keep up my end of the deal so I’ve invited the others to help. All they need to do is a little reverse engineering on the genetics you’ve applied to your projects in the sub level. You’ve got two choices, now. Hold up to your end of the bargain, or sit back and watch me get what I want while your plans go to waste. I’m not fucking around, Edgar. I’m a very powerful man and I plan to use my ability wisely,” says Reinhardt.
“I’m going to make some calls. I’m going to make sure I get what I want out of this. Two can play at that game, ” I say and hang up the phone.
After I hand up I write an e-mail to an old college friend of mine. He majored in robotics and started his own company down in New Mexico about ten years ago. I helped him get the business end up and running with grants and loans. His company specializes in all sorts of