The closet was more like a small room, and with no windows it was dark and musty. Claude felt for the switch on the wall and turned on the light. The room was filled with boxes, all labeled RESTORE. No piles of old study files or discarded lab materials and equipment as Claude had expected to find. He moved in further, sliced a box open with the key that let him in the room, and opened the flap to find carefully packaged nutriment vials. He looked around the box, at the others. They must all be nutriment vials. Why were they kept locked up in this musty room and not with the others? Maybe they were old or contaminated, meant to be discarded or something, he guessed. He heard the lab door jostle and leapt over to turn out the light and shut the door, and stood backed against the wall.
He heard footsteps. They stopped, continued and stopped again. Somehow over his heart racing, Claude could hear Mike’s muffled sounds. “Boy left his VCC on. Of course.”
He continued on with some other discernable sounds. After twenty minutes, just when Claude couldn’t take the hot, stale air in the room anymore, he heard footsteps and the door to the lab closed. He took a vial from the open box and re-sealed the package as best he could, locked the door and re-taped the key under the desk.
He slid in the chair in front of his VCC, taking another quick look at the door, his heart rate finally began to slow. Flipping the vial around in his hand, he continued to wonder why nutriment vials were kept in that locked room. After feeling a bump on the bottom several times, he flipped it over to discover an embossed R on the bottom. He pulled his head back and squinted before moving to the lab counter, taking out a glass slide, pulling the contents from the vial with a dropper and sliding it under the microscope. He jerked his head back abruptly. “What the… ”
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