RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
by Captain Dunsel
EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH AGENDA
“Dr. Cyrus Putnam, may I introduce your new colleague, Dr. Jeffrey Napier,” Freeman said, gently ushering Jeff forward by the elbow. They were in the main Neurochemistry Lab. Jeff looked around, fascinated and impressed. The equipment was state of the art and then some. Nice toys.
Dr. Cyrus Putnam, looking just like his famous 2003 Scientific American cover… the one with the caption “Mental Health in a Bottle?”… turned to them and smiled. For such men they invented the word “avuncular.” Also the words “distinguished,” “leonine,” and “village elder.” You instantly knew you were in the presence of unassuming but undeniable greatness. He looked a lot like James Earl Jones, except fitter and with no Darth Vader vibe.
“Ah, gentlemen,” he said. “You’re early. Splendid.”
“Sir, it’s an honor,” Jeff said holding out his hand. He was nervous about meeting Putnam, who was something of a legend in the ASBMB… the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Hell, he was the only two-time recipient of the Pauling Award, and the man’s breakthrough biopharmaceutical research redefined the very concept of pharma-psych. Not to mention his pioneering work in neuropsychiatric behavior modification.
Jeff desperately wanted to make a good first impression. He might already have the job as far as BoozeMart was concerned, but as far as he was concerned he would be working for Dr. Cyrus Putnam. Jeff wanted to be appropriately respectful, but on the other hand he didn’t want to come across as some kind of nerdy fan-boy. Which meant he needed to keep his cool. That would have been hard enough, given that he was a nerdy fan-boy, but it was made even harder by the fact that he and Paul Freeman had obviously interrupted a conversation Putnam was having with a lab technician. That in itself wouldn’t have been a big deal… if it weren’t for the fact that the lab technician was a gorgeous young woman wearing a white lab coat, white panties, and absolutely nothing else.
Jeff swallowed. I should be getting used to this, he thought. But he wasn’t.
The woman looked like a softer, rounder, bustier version of Mila Kunis. Her breasts… the size of coconuts and the color of unrefined cocoa butter… were more than half revealed by the open lab coat. Research biochemists didn’t generally hang smutty calendars in their labs, but if they did, she could have been Miss April. Her coconuts jiggled when she shifted her weight, which she did often, her nipples threatening to play peekaboo. She was breathtaking. Jeff knew that if he had been deep in conversation with this very attractive, scantily-clad young woman and had been interrupted to shake hands with nerdy Jeff Napier, he would have been mightily annoyed.
Thankfully, Cyrus Putnam was a bigger man than Jeffrey Napier… or perhaps he was simply used to having conversations with very attractive, scantily-clad young women. He smiled warmly, taking Jeff’s hand.
“Dr. Napier,” he said, his voice deep and melodious and reassuring, “I’ve been looking forward to this. I’ve been following your work on nanoscale liquids with great interest.”
Jeff couldn’t help but grin.
“I’m flattered, sir,” he said.
“No ‘sirs’ needed around here, Jeff,” Putnam said. “I’m just one of the team.”
“I told you he doesn’t bite,” Freeman said. Putnam chuckled, and Jeff blushed.
“Oh yes he does,” busty Mila Kunis said with a giggle. She staggered back a step and caught herself on the lab bench, rattling some glassware. Jeff blinked. He had been so busy ogling her body he hadn’t noticed that she was drunk… though he supposed he should have expected it. Jesus, did they let drunk girls work in the lab? An inebriated receptionist or secretary or file clerk was one thing. A sloshed lab technician was a disaster waiting to happen.
“Dr. Napier,” Putnam said, taking the girl’s arm to steady her, “may I introduce Dr. Leah Kushnir, one of our Research Associates.”
“Hello hello hello,” Dr. Leah Kushnir said, giving Jeff a little finger wave. “I am simply delightful… delight… ted… to meet you, Dr. Paper… Nape… pier.” She giggled again. “Sorry. I’m quite drunk. Quite drunk, as a fat… matter of fact.” Putnam must have seen the look of horror on Jeff’s face because he chuckled and reassured him.
“Relax, Jeff,” he said, smiling. “Like most of our girls, Leah is on an alternate-day schedule. One day drunk, one day sober. And she’s not…” He slapped her ample behind. “…supposed to be in the lab on her drunk days.”
“I juss stopped by to get my glasses,” she defended herself, holding up a finger and stumbling sideways a step.
“You just stopped by to flirt with my lab techs,” Putnam countered genially. She giggled.
“That too,” she admitted, not the least bit ashamed of herself.
“Vamoose, child,” Putnam told her, giving her ass another swat, “before I take you over my knee and spank you.”
“Promises, promises,” Dr. Kushnir complained with a grin.
She regained her balance and started to leave, then stopped and looked at Jeff. Her smile changed, she tilted her head, walked over to him, grabbed his face, and planted a big sloppy kiss on his very surprised lips. It lasted long enough that Jeff felt himself blushing again before she broke it with a loud, wet smack. “Welcome to BoozeMart Researsh ann Developmenn,” she slurred, her wicked grin making it clear that he really was welcome and that there was more where that came from if he wanted it… which, not being dead, he did.
Dr. Kushnir turned and walked away, weaving a bit, but in full control of how her jiggly ass was swinging inside the thin lab coat… and obviously taking it for granted that all three men would be attentively watching it jiggle and swing. Which, of course, they were.
“Whoosh,” Putnam breathed. “That one will be the death of me.”
“You should be so lucky,” Freeman said.
“So,” Putnam said, turning his attention to Jeff, “did I hear this paper-pusher right? You’ve already signed on the dotted line?”
“Yes, I have,” Jeff said with a shy smile, thinking of Miranda. “If you approve, of course, Dr. Putman.”
“My dear Dr. Napier,” Putnam responded, “if I hadn’t already approved of you, you wouldn’t be standing here in the first place.” He gave Jeff an appraising look. “I’m impressed by your rapid acclimatization. It normally takes Paul here the better part of a day to… orient… a perspective.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” Freeman said.
“Oh? Do tell,” Putnam solicited, curious. Jeff, embarrassed, wished Freeman would shut the hell up.
“He seduced Debbie before I even had a chance to collect him from reception,” Freeman boasted, obviously proud of his new recruit. Putnam’s bushy gray eyebrows shot up.
“Debbie the Teenaged Sexpot Receptionist Debbie?” he asked, mildly awestruck.
“None other,” Freeman acknowledged. Putnam laughed. It was an amiable, good-natured belly laugh. Jeff liked this man.
“Well well well,” Putnam said, “you clearly have talents that were not disclosed on your very impressive resume, doctor.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Seduced delectable Debbie within an hour of arriving here, eh?” He slapped Jeff on the back with manly comradery.
“Within fifteen minutes,” Freeman corrected. Jeff couldn’t help but smile.
“There is some question as to who seduced whom,” he said modestly. Putnam barked another laugh.
“With Debbie,” he said, “I have no doubt. Poor Carl Redmond has a hell of a time keeping her from designing her own experimental research agenda.” Jeff and Freeman chuckled. “There’s no doubt, however, that the flirty little tease is worth all the trouble she causes.”
All three men smiled crookedly, all three undoubtedly picturing Debbie in their lecherous mind’s eye. Freeman sighed, breaking the spell.
“Well… I’ll leave him in your care, Cyrus,” Freeman said. He shook Jeff’s hand. “Once again, welcome aboard, Jeff, we’re delighted you’re here. I’ll see you when the mad scientist is done with you.”
“Right, okay, thanks, Paul,” Jeff said. “Oh, and please tell Miranda when she wakes up that I’m very sorry about her blouse.”
“Think no more about it,” Freeman said on his way out. “Believe me, that is business as usual around this joint.” And he was gone.
“Well…” Putnam said. “How about I introduce you to the rest of the team, and then you and I can get some lunch and chat. I’ve got big plans for you, my friend.”
“Sounds great,” Jeff said, smiling happily.
“Let’s see, why don’t we start with—”
“Dr. Putnam, intercom line three, please. Urgent,” a disembodied voice said.
“Whoop, better take that,” Putnam said. He walked to a nearby desk and punched a button. “Putnam here.”
“Cyrus, it’s Kevin Langford,” a man’s voice responded. “I’m in my office. I think you’d better get over here.”
“What’s up, Kevin?” Putnam asked, his brow furrowing.
“I think we have a Code Four,” Langford replied. Putnam’s eyebrows lifted again.
“Be right there, Kevin,” he said, disconnecting. He grabbed a tablet from the lab bench and slapped Jeff’s arm as he walked past. “C’mon, Jeff. I think you’ll find this interesting.”