toxic :: imprint :: fluorescent :: cream :: water pressure
The gas in the canister Marie uses to dispatch the virologists on the third floor isn’t what she would call toxic. She is very careful about this. Not toxic but probably, almost definitely noxious. All she needs is a homicide case as well as aggravated burglary. But it is definitely strong enough to knock them out for the 12 minutes it’s going to take Marie to dress Robin, get her out past the others and, most crucially, past security. She palms the fake visitor’s pass in her pocket. Robin continues to smile blithely at her.
“Robin,” Marie begins, then stops.
“Yes, Marie?” Robin replies, angling slightly towards her, maintaining a suitable – but not quite creepy – amount of eye contact with her. Just like they practiced.
“I would really appreciate an inspirational quotation or two if you can think of one.”
“Thinking,” reports Robin. Then, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.”
“A little more positive, please,” Marie says as she taps Robin’s shins. “Up please.” She starts to pull the charity shop jeans up Robin’s legs.
“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
“Mmm, not quite ,” says Marie, pulling on some socks now.
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Robin pauses then adds, with a slight curve of the mouth – “Supposedly.”
Despite herself, Marie is incredibly proud of Robin who is really picking up on the concept of humour. That lesson took forever.
Robin beams down at her and then, surprisingly, takes her hand. Robin’s skin is impossibly soft with pearly smooth skin which stretches over thick sinewy ribbons – like arteries but more sophisticated. They carry, amongst other things, the mostly likely cure to the biggest killer in the world: age. Robin has never been out of the facility and Marie doesn’t know how this kind of skin will react to a bitter January night in Dundee so she checks that she still has the second pair of gloves in her bag.
Robin says, “Whatever you believe in, Marie, I can achieve for us. Are you ready?” before grabbing her hand and opening the door of the sealed incubator space.