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[This is Part 7, the final installment of my original short story "Blood Science" - a tongue-in-cheek look at a scientist trying to write Science Fiction and Fantasy from a logical perspective. See the "Coming Soon" tab above for more on the upcoming schedule, including the return to The Lab Rats Guide to the Brain.]
A notice popped up on Bob's computer. Sara was online and wanted to talk about the story. Bob opened the messenger client and began to type.
(17:41:13) DrBob09: Here.
Announcing yourself on the chat manager was usually polite. Announce then wait for a response. Sara came back almost immediately, she had been expecting him, after all, she had requested the dialog after he sent the manuscript.
(17:41:42) SWriter: There.
That was another custom of theirs. Bob usually tried to start a conversation with a pun or joke. Fortunately Sara usually got it and sometimes beat him to the punchline.
(17:42:18) SWriter: You named her MARY SUE?????
It was a bad joke about bad writers and fan fiction. 'Mary Sue's' were thinly disguised versions of the writer him (or her)self.
(17:42:53) DrBob09: Sure, you kept telling me my characters were all Mary Sues
(17:43:26) DrBob09: and you bet I couldn't write seriously about vampires
(17:43:37) DrBob09: because I'm a scientist.
(17:43:48) DrBob09: So I wrote logically,
(17:43:59) DrBob09: but not too seriously,
(17:45:21) DrBob09: and I named her Mary Sue.
It took a couple minutes for Sara's reply to come back.
(17:48:04) SWriter: LOL
(17:48:12) SWriter: You are a BAD man!
(17:48:39) SWriter: And I mean that in a nice way.
Bob decided that deserved Sara's usual reply: 'LOL' – the email and messaging abbreviation for 'Laughing out Loud'.
(17:49:17) DrBob09: LOL
After a few minutes without a return message, Bob typed.
(17:56:34) DrBob09: Gotta go.
(17:56:40) DrBob09: Trish is waiting.
(17:56:47) DrBob09: Tired
(17:56:53) DrBob09: Didn't sleep well.
(17:57:05) DrBob09: Tell you about it later.
(17:57:17) DrBob09: 'night.
(17:57:43) SWriter: Do.
(17:57:48) SWriter: Tell.
(17:57:54) SWriter: But later.
(17:58:06) SWriter: get some rest
(17:58:21) SWriter: Say Hi to Trish for me.
(17:58:40) SWriter: 'night.
They both signed off and Bob shut down the programs he'd been using on the computer. He was glad to have the story complete. Once Sara had looked at it, he'd consider where to send it. For now he didn't want to even think about vampires and scientists. Maybe his next story would be about lumberjacks or car mechanics.
As Bob was packing up to go home, he saw John walk past his office door.
"I thought I told you to stay home."
"Sorry, Boss. But I'm feeling much better, now. Keisha gave me one of her herbal remedies."
"Herbal remedies from a Goth? You trust it?"
"Naw, she's not like that. She's a nice girl."
"I know, just kidding, but I heard she and Nigel were sick, too. Back in my day that usually meant wild parties with illicit substances."
"Yes, yes, and you walked to class barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways. It's not like that. We were at a pizza place with other students. Nigel, Keisha and I shared a pizza. It must have been bad pepperoni."
"Okay. Fine. Just so you're well for Comps next week. You've got your evening exam. It seems that Pathology and Biochem have had to start doing the same thing. Must be something in the water."
"Or in the blood."
"Huh? What? What was that?"
"Oh, nothing, just a night crew joke. Don't worry. I'll be ready."
"You'd better. I lost one student early in my career to bad Comps. Bright kid, couldn't take comprehensive exams worth a damn. I hated to see him go."
"You worry too much, Dr. Bob. I've gotta get downstairs and start testing the rats. Mañana."
"Yeah. Tomorrow. No, tomorrow's Saturday. Give the rats the weekend off. Rest up, and study. Watch the 'Buffy" marathon on Sunday. 'See you Monday."
"Buffy? I'll pass. Nope, vampire hunters aren't for me. Too much blood."
"Oh sure, says the guy with fifteen units of blood in his fridge."
"What? How do you know about that?" John said, a bit too quickly.
"Well, I had to sign for it. Dr. Tepes will be looking for it. Compartment B-3. Tell him not to drink it all at once." Bob turned and left the office, then called back over his shoulder. "Oh, and you've got some ketchup on your chin, you might want to wipe that off or people will be thinking you drank the blood!"
As he turned the corner and headed for the lobby, Bob failed to notice the look of horror on John's face.