Breakthrough at the Bio-Lab

 

 

dEar ValUeD CitiZen,

It has been a while since our last update, but we have been very busy in that time. Not only have we completed the Spool Tower releases and brought you many new products for your gaming tables, but we now have lined up a new Kickstarter for you.

 

We are launching a new product line ‘The Lost Bio-Lab’. This product line will be based on the OpenLOCK tile system and will be released on Kickstarter first, before making it across to our shop and hopefully onto gaming tables across the globe.

This is a new direction for us and will allow you to create a sci-fi dungeon complex with an industrial and Biological feel. The tiles themselves are built upon the popular OpenLOCK system that make then easily expandable, modular, and compatible with tiles you may have from other companies.

The Kickstarter has a large core pledge which will give you a series of different biomes to create a lair that could be suitable for Aliens or Tyranids among other things.

FREE STL FILES

We have created an airlock tile pack that shows how the industrial and infected tiles will be handled. you can collect them from our store.

 

We have also set stretch goals up to £15,000 which for backers with stretch goal access will give a huge array of tiles and scatter terrain for use in games like Space hulk, AVP: The hunt begins, Tyranid attack, Necromunda and many others.

 

Twitching for more?

We are streaming our test prints of these items on twitch, so check out the channel and keep up to date with what is coming off the line, as it happens. Check out the test prints on Twitch
 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the progress, get news, discounts and special offers.

To celebrate the new product line the Digital Taxidermy Storytime Collective have put pen to paper again to produce another work of flash fiction about the origins of this Bio-Lab and what happened there!

 

Story Time

 

Breakthrough at the Bio-Lab  

by Richard Holden

 

 

“Morning sleepyhead.”

Sarah rolled over between the soft sheets. “Hey babes.”

“Ready to save the world again?” he offered.

She rolled her eyes.  “You might need to be. You’re the one doing all the science jargon. I’m just here for PR and marketing” she said, grinning.

“Ha!” Steve climbed out of bed. “And which one of us completed their PhD first?” He walked off to the bathroom.

“Oh god you always tease me with that, you’re such a broken record someti.. and shut the bloody door you disgusting man!”

A deep belly laugh echoed from around the corner. “Would you prefer I’d done that in bed?”

“You idiot.” She sat up, smiling. “Besides, I thought a PhD in psychology didn’t count in your book?”

Steve climbed back into bed. “Guilty as charged. But I am your idiot, aren’t I?”

She huffed. “I supposed I can put up with you a bit longer.” They kissed.

“And I suppose I can let your field of study slide for now. But you’ll have to study some real science someday you know.”

“Ha! Whatever.” She glanced round at the clock. “Right come on, you promised me breakfast and I’ve got a board meeting at 8.”

“Hey no fair!” He protested. “I don’t have to be at the lab until 9.”

“Should have thought about that before promising then, shouldn’t you?”

Steve pulled his trousers on, trying to remember if they had any eggs left.

 

*

 

“Progress has been far quicker than expected everyone. The breakthrough last week might just be it. It seems our tenure in this hole might be nearing an end.”

Eyebrows were raised as the 7 round the table leafed through the latest status report.

Niambi was first to look up. “Is it really as promising as this? Hayashi-san, you were over at that Google X thing before coming here. Is this a sea change on what they’d been developing?”

Fumio Hayashi looked up slowly. “To be honest Dr. Martens, I think it might be. They were making great strides in terms of agricultural improvements, and tending the land in a more sustainable manner, but they had not progressed so much on the topic of new organisms. This” He paused looking round, “is more than I’d expected given the dead ends we have faced over the last few months.”

Nods of agreement to that.

“Team, I think we’ve done it. Having seen slow growth from our early test tube meats, feeding it this latest compound of different wastes is showing exponential growth for the first time. People, we’re now on track to solve two of humanity’s problem instead of one.”

They all looked back round to their chair, Mateo Diaz, the world’s leading food biologist.

“I’ll be calling the surface to give them the good news shortly.”

“Erm, everyone?” Sarah chirruped up from the other end. “I completely acknowledge the science here; you’ve clearly done a great job. But, it’s bright green? There’s no point solving the world’s food crisis if no one’s actually going to eat what we’ve developed. It’s the least appetising thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Well you’re the one with the hotline to lover boy.” Diaz shrugged. “Go ask him to make it look more appealing.” The group did it’s best to stifle thier laughs. “Besides, I’m not sure it’s a big problem. People will eat anything when they’re starving, and we all know how many people that is. And we know it’s probably only grown worse in the 2 years we’ve been down here. We need to press ahead. Dr. Stevenson, you are here because you know psychology. I’m sure you’ll find a way to market this to the masses.”

Diaz got up to leave, with the others immediately following. Sarah remained in her chair, only now looking at the final page of the report on possible issues with the substance. It wasn’t a short list. She’d have to talk with Steve before thinking about how she was going to convince a few billion people that their dietary saviour came in the form of green sludge, and the strange cutlets of ‘meat’ and high protein liquid by-products it formed.

At least that only meant walking down the hall of the sprawling underground complex they had come to call home.

 

*

 

“I didn’t expect to see you down here.” Steve looked up from the row of petri dishes.

“You’re only 50 metres away! Should I have applied for a permit perhaps? Only ‘real’ scientists allowed maybe?” Sarah approached his desk.

“Ha ha. It’s just this is only the second time I’ve seen you down here I think.”

“Yes, well the new waste compound you’re feeding that thing,”

“She’s called Sally, Sarah.”

Her look was incredulous.

“The waste compound you’re feeding that thing Steve, has got the board all excited. You know Diaz is contacting the surface right now?”

“What?” Steve looked genuinely surprised. “But we’re still ironing out the kinks, it isn’t ready yet.”

“Yeah… no one seemed to pay much attention to the final page of that report.”

Steve glanced around for his colleagues, finding no one. “I suggested they be put at the front, but after all the roadblocks we hit over the last few months, I think the others were desperate to deliver some good news.” He glanced away. “See? Scientists are humans with faults, like everyone else.”

“You spend half our time together farting Steve. I’m well aware of your faults, thank you.” She grinned up at him.

“I need try to and rein this in a bit.” He looked round again, but the room remained empty.

“Well start by telling me exactly what the issue is. I’ll see if I can talk to Diaz later.”

“Well basically what that page of jargon in the report is trying to say, is that while we’ve managed to catalyse exponential growth, we’ve not yet found a good way of controlling it. We’ve got a limited supply of a toxin here, which temporarily slows the growth rate enough that we can eat what’s there. For now it’s still a very careful balance between feeding it the waste compound and slowing the growth with the toxin.”

“But surely if you limit its waste intake in the first place, it can’t grow that much?”

“We can down here in the lab, but the idea is to put this stuff in the hands of billions. I can see someone somewhere causing an accident and then,” he paused.

 “Well what? The thing would just keep growing as it found more waste? It needs organic matter to feed on Steve. I can’t see it escaping its dish and go oozing around the floor looking for more food.”

She looked down at the green blob.

“Has that thing moved since we started talking?”

Steve looked down.

“Yeah I think it has. I probably accidentally knocked the dish as we were talking. To your point though, we aren’t sure yet what else it can eat. What if a jar of it got broken on a house plant? The family dog? We don’t know what the biological interaction looks like yet.”

Just then the door to the testing bay opened quickly and slammed shut just as fast.

“Steve!” A breathless female voice called out.

“Oh! Hi Moira, I was just wondering where everyone had got t…” But as he turned to her, the look of horror on her face halted all thought.

“Moira what’s happened?” Sarah was worried. She had grown closer with Moira the last few weeks but had not seen her like this.

“Its… it’s Bill. Oh hells it was only a few seconds ago. It… it happened so fast.”

She finally managed to look up and meet the gaze of her colleagues.

“What Moira? It’s going to be ok.”

“Steve, Bill’s dead. The substance has eaten him.”

They stood there in shock.

“He accidentally spilled a petri dish onto his hand.  The substance just started chewing through the gloves, then... then his flesh, like candy.”

They stood for a moment digesting this.

Steve snapped round first. He walked over to the door.

“How big is it now then? What is the risk to the facility?” He gently moved Moira aside to look through the porthole into the lab.

The ooze has already ballooned to half the room, and it’s wasn’t a small room. Steve looked a few seconds more.

“The growth seems to have stopped. Moira is there any other waste in there it could feed on?”

“There was a little on my bench.” She looked through the window. “But it looks like it’s already subsumed that. I think we’re ok. It’s not like it can go anywhere now.”

As the two scientists carried on, discussing the course of action, Sarah turned back to Steve’s petri dish. ‘Sally’ had definitely moved to the edge of the dish now, a trail of mucus barely visible behind it.

“You two!” Her shouting stopped a debate beginning to get heated.

“This thing is definitely moving you know?”

“Impossible.” Steve walked over ahead of Moira. But the evidence was plain to all of them.

“So that means,” Moira looked back at the door.

Steve ran back towards it. “That door is sealed, right?”

“How should I know I didn’t build this place!” Moira snapped back.

But before Steve reached it, the ooze was already sliding in from underneath, the bottom of the door slowly but visibly melting it into the sludge.

From down the hallway, the terrifying sound of the containment breach alarms rang throughout the complex. Panic gripped the inhabitants of the bunker.

 

Then the screaming began....

 

 

……

By Rik Holden - Digital Taxidermy – Storytime collective

 

Should you wish to support the Digital Taxidermy - Storytime Collective please consider a small donation to help boost their enthusiasm. 

 

So what did you think? Please do let us know in the comments or jump over to the Digital Taxidermists to chat with us and our interesting band about what possibilities you see ahead.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

(C) 2020, Digital Taxidermy – Storytime Collective

 

All rights reserved.

 

This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.