Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How I Became a Mad Scientist -Episode 5

First Episode.    Previous Episode.

Frank seemed pleased that a storm was rolling in as we worked. The thunder made me nervous. Mom and her friends had gone for a run. If the rain started, she’d come home and catch us doing…well, whatever it was that we were going to be doing. 

Frank had been pretty vague about the whole process while we were out and about. Now, he started looking in cabinets and calling out questions. “You guys have a blender, right?  Where does your mom keep her Pyrex pitchers? Good grief! Don’t you guys own any sharp knives?  Where’s the first aid kit?”

We set everything he needed in the middle of the table: knives and cutting boards, the meat, a blender, salt, dishwashing fluid, rubbing alcohol, and a strainer. “First, we’re going to extract the DNA from the meat,” Frank explained. “Then we’ll recombine it and put it into the egg for incubation. We should get at least a few cells of a Kraken-Cow before it dies.” I shook my head. There was no way that my cousin was going to extract DNA, recombine it, and create a whole new animal using ordinary kitchen supplies. He was clearly nuts.

He started chopping the steaks, I took the calamari.  We’d just thrown the meat into the blender when my mom walked in.  She wrinkled up her nose. “What on Earth are you boys doing?”

Frank turned bright red and started to stammer. “Um, Protein Shakes,” I said quickly. “Some of the guys made fun of Frank for being scrawny.  So I went on-line and found a recipe to help him bulk up.”

“There’s no way he’ll be able to choke that down,” my mom said. She rummaged around in the fridge, pulled out a jar of minced garlic, and dumped some into the blender, and turned it on. “There. That will give it some flavor and make it healthier,” she said.  “Oh, and make sure you cook it before you drink it. I don’t want you getting sick from that raw meat.” She patted Frank on the head, gave me a quick squeeze, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed into her office to work.  

Frank groaned. “I had it planned perfectly. With garlic DNA in the mix, who knows what will happen? We’ll probably get nothing at all.”

“Maybe we’ll get a Kraken-Cow with terrible breath,” I joked. Frank didn’t seem to think I was funny.  He walked me through the steps to extract DNA. We mixed the dish liquid and salt in with the meat and garlic. Our ‘protein shake’ was now completely undrinkable.  Then we smashed the goop through a strainer, and mixed it with the rubbing alcohol.  Some white, snotty stuff appeared.  Frank had me pull it out with a toothpick.  

“Those are strands of DNA,” he said quietly. “The blueprint of life. Garlic, Squid, and Cow, all mixed together.”  He pulled a syringe out of his pocket and handed it to me. “Now, inject it into the eggs.”

I stared at the syringe. “Where did you get this? You can’t just walk into the store and buy one.”

“When they took apart my lab, they didn’t check my sock drawer,” Frank said. “I have all sorts of random odds and ends left, from that time when Mom made me clean up my room for Grandma.”  I carefully filled the syringe with DNA and injected it into each egg.  Frank popped them into the incubator.  “Plug this in in your room,” he said.  “We’ll give them a couple days and then check on them.”  

“What if they start stinking?” I asked.  “Mom will suspect something.”

“Tell her you’re hatching chicks for science class at school.  But they won’t stink. We’ll stop the experiment long before they rot.”  I plugged in the incubator, hid it under my bed, and helped Frank clean up the mess in the kitchen.  Thunder crashed again, close by. The lights glowed bright, then dimmed, than flickered out, then came back on.  I wondered if the eggs were all right. 

Next Episode.

No comments: