Choc shuffled into the lab. “Steve, would you stop that thumping noise.”
“I’m not making any noise, Miss Harvey.” He glided silently down the bench to meet her.
“Well, whatever it is, can you please turn it off?”
“I cannot hear any thumping, Miss Harvey.” Steve rotated, scanning the entire lab.
“What! You can’t hear that boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom? It’s as clear as day.”
“From your description I think you will find that is your heartbeat, Miss Harvey. It is to your advantage if I were to leave it running.”
“Well, it’s definitely too loud.” Choc sat down heavily on the lab stool, almost toppling off in the process.
“Perhaps this would help Miss Harvey.” Steve produced some painkillers and a steaming mug of peppermint tea, setting them down gently on the bench. Choc winced as she took a sip.
“What am I supposed to be doing today?” asked Choc, following the tea with the painkillers.
“You were going to, and I quote, ‘show those idiots’ on Celebrity Big Brother that they were wrong by resuming project Four Seven Alpha Tango also known as the Smibble, Miss Harvey.”
Choc nodded, “OK, although bio-engineering a hangover cure sounds like a good idea right now. Clear the bench and get the Smibble out of stasis please Steve. I’ve got a Nobel Prize to win.”
“I anticipated your request, Miss Harvey,” Steve announced, “I have had the stasis pod reanimating overnight. It should be ready momentarily.” There was a beep and the lid slid open on a small clear box further down the bench. After a few moments later there was a twitter and a small ball of sky-blue fur topped with a pair of bunny-like ears hopped onto the bench.
Choc moaned into her tea. “How can I procrastinate, when you’re being efficient?” She picked up the Smibble which squeaked as it was turned over. On a ring through its ear was engraved TAMaxwell.
“I see it has a name already,” said Steve, amending the file where he had already entered ‘Alpha’ in the column headed ‘Test Subject’.
“Is the equipment ready?” asked Choc, picking up a pair of surgical gloves. The Smibble gave a small squeak of alarm and squirmed its way back onto the bench.
“I have just run a double-check, and you appear to have everything you requested including the pair of shears and the Rank Corporation gong.”
“Right then, please keep the tea filled up and make sure there are plenty of digestive biscuits on hand.”
“Of course, Miss Harvey. What are you planning to feed to the Smibble?”
“Damn! The super-radish,” said Choc, spotting TAMaxwell munching on the last few bits of root. “I guess experimenting is over already then. I’ll have to wait 24 hours to see the effect of the radish DNA.”