Heisenberg Laboratories Inc. did human research. It was no secret, and it was just like every other part of The Lab; scientists did things, stuff was discovered and then it was
all hidden away so it could be released at the proper time. Though, unlike all the other parts of The Lab, this one was focused on humans. Volunteers. This didn't sit particularly well with the
The volunteers were actually more like paid temporary employees, seeing as we gave them a hundred bucks mostly just for showing up. No one volunteered unwillingly, and, surprisingly enough, we were never in short supply of them. Most of the people we got were extremely poor, but that was alright. Paul would have given them the money if he'd just met them on the streets.
The human research section was actually one of the safest areas of The Lab. No one was allowed in without identification cards, especially if they were escorting volunteers. Dangerous chemicals and other such objects weren't aloud to really even be on the same floor.
All volunteers were treated with respect and often given free meals. All tests and experiments were not preformed without the volunteer's consent. Nothing was terribly harmful to them, though not all the experiments were pleasant. However, injuries were slim and casualties even slimmer. Paul held himself responsible for anything that happened to any volunteer (or anyone at all for that matter) that stepped through the glass doors of the lobby. I later took this same oath.
As always, however, there are people who can't read past the words Human Research. Someone was always complaining that there were people being tourcherd in the basement of the facility or that we were turning people into animals. Every single leader (as far as anyone can remember) of Heisenberg Labs has had to calm a group of protesters or prove again and again that "No, we're not making cyborgs down there."
A group who called themselves HoH (Helpers of Humanity) had formed in one of the northern states and grown to such size that they were almost as recognizable as PETA at that point. Apparently, while visiting the state The Lab is located in, they had heard tell of a place that did strange things. Then, they heard the words Human Research, and that was it.
Moore had previously explained the human research part of The Lab to me, and I thought it sounded perfectly reasonable. Why not give money to the less fortunate and discover things at the same time? But, there will always be whiners.
They had scheduled an appointment with Paul to 'talk' as they said, but he had been around too long not to smell an obvious trap like that one. So, he had a few employees file the right paperwork, contacted a few of his more consistent volunteers, and planned on bringing both me and Mr. Harrington with him to the meeting.
"Harrington's just there to intimidate them. Plus, he knows how to talk. You're just there to learn." He smiled at me. We were headed to his office, but we had stopped on several floors to pick up the paperwork Paul needed.
Harrington was waiting for us. He opened the door for us and we slipped inside the dimly lit room. HoH wasn't there yet, something I considered a relief. I had been instructed not to talk throughout the meeting, and I was pretty sure I was about to have a sneezing fit. While Paul and Harrington spoke to each other and looked over the paperwork, I walked over to his desk and the tissue box that resided there.
After blowing my brains out in a tissue, I tossed it in the trash and looked towards the window. Sunlight reflected off of everything outside, momentarily blinding me. When my vision returned (though now a bit purple) I spotted a familiar looking car parked across the street. A man who looked like Dawson had his back turned to me, and was talking through a cell phone. After a few seconds, he suddenly whirled around and threw the phone on the sidewalk. Then, he got in his car and drove away.
"They're late." I nearly jumped out of my skin as Harrington spoke next to me. Paul shrugged.
We waited. Paul occasionally paced around the room, looking more and more frustrated. I leaned against the wall, bitting my lip. Finally, Annie called from the lobby. Mary White couldn't come, and HoH were nowhere in sight.
Harrington scoffed. "Call me if they decide to show up." Paul watched him walk out of the room and sighed.
"Bastards. Probably trying to make some kind of statement or another." He sat down in the chair behind his desk and looked at me. "Guess you can go hang with your buddies for a bit then."
"Are you sure you don't want me to stay?" I asked. I didn't like how exhausted he looked. How exhausted he'd been looking for awhile.
"No, no. I'm fine." He attempted to smile, but it was small and weak.
I stood there for a moment, wanting to say more, but I knew it would do no good. The reality that Paul was going to die hadn't quite washed over me yet, but it was getting there. I took the elevator to Kumar's floor, wondering whether he was on break. If errand boys had breaks that is.
I had actually walked in while he was preparing to run something down to the lower levels. It was a small box with the word Dangerous printed in large red letters on top of it. He looked up as I walked into his small office, and smiled.
"Sorry I can't talk, gotta run this to Dr. Gilbert. Who knows what he plans on doing with this!"
I shrugged. "I got nothing else to do. Mind if I come with you?"
"I almost begged you to."
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