Treats in the Basement Chapter 1: IsteemCreated with Sketch.

in dbooks •  7 months ago
Professor Bateman began his Wednesday as he began many days
in his progressively vaguer weeks, by waking up with a start from his chair as
it began to slip backwards, banging his knee in the usual place under his desk,
and muttering the usual curses. As he sat bruising, parts of his existence
began to coalesce – for one thing, he was very old. In fact, judging by the
poor reflection in the still sleeping computer monitor, he was a bit jolted to
discover that he was at least twenty years older than he last remembered.
Searching for more clues, Dr. Bateman vigorously shook the mouse below the computer
screen. It was 1:23 p.m. As he slowly dragged the cursor across the computer
screen, reading folder names for more hints about his purpose, an abrupt
knocking at his door sent his knee reflexively back into the desk. 

(html comment removed: block)“Aeehhh”, he painfully expressed.

(html comment removed: block)Taking this as an invitation, Rupert Flard, doctoral
candidate candidate, entered. As was his custom, he began by cutting off
Bateman before his advisor had a chance to speak.

(html comment removed: block)“I know what you’re thinking, ‘Another project,’ but this
one is really set to advance the Flattening grant.”

(html comment removed: block)Bateman had not quite a recall, but at least a sense of familiarity
with the Flattening grant. He vaguely remembered a very nice young woman from
the basement who had found a mysterious pipe, which was exceptionally sturdy in
every configuration, except when touched just so, which resulted in the
object’s complete flattening. Immediately seeing its great military potential,
Bateman had called Major Busey, who agreed enthusiastically to fund further
research. Major Busey had stressed how game changing it would be, once soldiers
had the ability to flatten and unflatten at a moment’s notice. 

(html comment removed: block)“Just imagine,” he had chuckled, “bullets flying over soldiers,
but the enemy can’t hit shit because our boys are all so damn flat. The enemy
won’t know what to do.”

(html comment removed: block)The nice young woman who had found the pipe, was, in reality,
Professor Bateman’s sole postdoc who had spent many months inventing the
object, and put up with Bateman’s obvious senility in exchange for his uncanny
ability to extract money from the Department of Defense. An unforeseen
consequence of working in the lab was that Bateman forgot he had hired her
before he was able to introduce her to the rest of the group, so no one, over
the entire course of her three-year appointment, ever came to know her name.
Thus, the chronicler is required to adopt Bateman’s naming convention, “the
nice young woman.” We can only presume that what may have been at first interpreted
as a most objectionable insult was, after more careful inspection by the nice
young woman in the basement, seen as a blessing in disguise.

(html comment removed: block)Not that she wasn’t noticed by her colleagues. Although they
were unaware of her role in the lab, the rest of the lab was aware of her
extreme attractiveness and exuding greatness, which played a large part in her
continued residency in the basement without anyone ever calling security. It
was this great attractiveness and subsequent obsession with all things
basement-related, that now directed Rupert Flard’s attention far away from his research
project proposal to the note sitting on Professor Bateman’s desk, which read:

(html comment removed: block)“There is a treat for you in the
basement ; D”  

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