The experiments had deadly consequences.
March 23, 2014
A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental
When they got a private moment Angus said to Skeeter, “Okay, on our to-do list: We need to run up to Dallas and see Dr. LeBraun, sometime. We need to pick up your brown bomber at the airport. Can you think of anything else we need to do?”
“That is just what I had in mind, Angus. Until we get my car, you will have to be my chauffeur.”
“That’s okay. I came and picked you up this morning, didn’t I?”
“Yeah, that’s a big 10-4.” Skeeter giggled.
Captain Sullivan moseyed by with his nose in a newspaper, The Austin American Journal. He slapped the paper down on Angus’ desk with a whoosh! “You made the paper, Angus.”
Angus zoomed in on a photograph. The caption read: “Homicide detective, Angus Carlyle, gets a welcome-home kiss from one of his admiring fans (identity unknown). And what adventure has taken detective Carlyle from Austin?”
“Damn! That bastard! There are other people involved here and he knows it.” Angus was furious. Skeeter and some of the other detectives came to peer over his shoulder at the photo. “I would like to kill that Blackie Sparks!”
“But you won’t, of course!” Sullivan emphasized. “Angus?”
There was no answer.
* * *
“How does it look, doctor?” Angus asked Dr. LeBraun when he and Skeeter arrived at his office on their day off. Angus had taken off his shirt so that the doctor could look at his lion wounds.
Dr. LeBraun washed his hands. “Come over here and get under this gooseneck lamp, please. Uh huh. It looks like you two amateur doctors have done a fine job. You are fortunate. People have died from these types of injuries—the infection that follows. Not many, but a few.” He got out a magnifying glass and looked some more. He went to his intercom. “Bill, do you want to see Angus’ lion scratches?”
“I’ll be right up,” Bill chirped.
Bill came into the room as if he were riding on a small, low-down cloud. His eyes widened when he saw Angus shirtless. “Hello,” he said as Angus and Skeeter smiled at him.
“How’s business, Bill?” Skeeter asked.
“Step right up! Angus, turn around. Don’t be shy, Bill,” Dr. LeBraun commanded.
Bill seemed a bit shy, but he examined Angus’ back carefully. “Oh my. A very big kitty-cat made that. Remind me not to go to Africa.”
“Do you guys feel like going to lunch? My treat.” Angus asked.
“Sure. We can go for a little while. We want to hear all about your African adventures.”
“That is our purpose for coming,” Skeeter admitted.
As they finished their last nail-biting tale over coffee, Angus asked Dr. LeBraun. “Do you have any idea yet what kind of varmint Glastonbury could have been putting in the honey pots?”
“No. None of us have figured that out yet. It is a hybrid that he created in the laboratory. He is a very smart man. Some have speculated that terrorists have been trying to recruit his services for biological warfare. That is always a possibility. We think he was mainly doing experiments on his creation and trying them out on random humans.”
“What about the explosion? Do you think it would be a possible point of contamination?” Skeeter asked. “Angus and I were wondering…”
“That is a gray area. We think the heat probably killed everything. But there is always the possibility something could have escaped. It would have to have ideal conditions to go through a life cycle, and that’s another bugaboo, pardon the pun. We still have not been able to figure out the complete life cycle of the thing, nor could anyone else. My cronies and I speculate on this all of the time and we will be watching closely. It is one of our favorite topics.”
“Thanks for letting us take up your time,” Angus said as they dropped Bill and Dr. LeBraun off at the medical examiner’s office.
“We wouldn’t have missed it,” LeBraun said.
“No body cared that we were even gone,” Bill added with a little laugh.
Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.