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Payback (standard:science fiction, 2511 words)
Author: Saxon ViolenceAdded: Dec 03 2012Views/Reads: 4773/2222Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Connor is a mad scientist bent on revenge, but the form that his vengence takes will surprise you.


Connor stared at the vial. The vial was almost mystical. The vial held
the means to balance the scales, to attain retribution. The Vial held 
the fruit of seventeen years of dogged research. 

Connor was a top rate biochemist and geneticist. In his own mind, he was
the best geneticist of all time—and didn't hesitate to say so loud and 
clear, if pressed. He worked for a large Pharmaceutical Manufacturer. 
He had access to some of the best laboratory equipment to be had. 

Some of his undercover work, what his blue-collar father had called
“Government Work”, had been done at work, right under their very 

But there was a limit to what even the brightest and best PhD could hide
from other competent geneticists. It was fortunate for Connor that his 
income was well into six figures. 

He had no wife, no surviving children and no other interest except
payback. His house was well out of town and it had been built to 
Connor's specifications. There was an ample basement and a 
sub-basement. In fact, the signature of his basement was about fifty 
percent larger than the house that topped it. 

His garage also had a basement and there was a tunnel connecting the
house basement to the garage basement. The tunnel was nice and wide. 
One could have parked an automobile in it, if he could have gotten one 

Connor had let the contractor think that he was some sort of Survivalist
or Prepper—nothing to get excited about. 

The place was high, dry and tight. He'd had green tiles laid on the
floors and he kept them clean enough to eat off of. He even had a 
full-sized industrial buffer in his basement lab. It was a bit 
demeaning for a PhD, who lived in a half-million dollar home to do his 
own sweeping, mopping and buffing—but cleanliness was important in a 
Genetics Laboratory and Mad Scientist types couldn't very well allow 
servants into the covert workplace. Connor had bought much of his gear 
from laboratory supply houses. Some of it he'd liberated from work, or 
gotten permission to salvage instead of throwing it away. Some of it 
he'd built and cobbled together himself. Some of the online sites 
devoted to Genetic Hacking in the Home Laboratory had been most 

He was fifty-four years old but he looked twenty years younger. Staying
in top-notch physical condition was one of his most important 
disciplines. One's brain worked better when one was in good shape and 
he hadn't known how long it would take to develop his virus. He 
couldn't have his vengeance foiled by a middle-aged heart attack or 

Seventeen years ago, his fifteen-year-old son had committed suicide. A
few months later his wife had been killed in an automobile accident. 
The other driver had been at fault but Connor was convinced that his 
wife's state of mind had contributed to the accident. 

At any rate, both his wife's life insurance and the driver's insurance
company had paid off quite handsomely. Shortly after he had the money 
in hand, Connor had resigned from his teaching post, moved to Atlanta 
to take a very high-paying job in research and development and started 
on his master plan. 

He'd driven a very hard bargain with the company. He cared nothing for
money. He didn't care about anything except getting his own version of 
payback against the type of folks who'd taunted his son until he'd felt 
low enough to take the Suicide Express. 

Maybe, he thought, if he'd paid more attention to the boy or been more
tuned into his inner moods—maybe he could have done something. But 
primarily he blamed his son's peers for their cold-hearted insults and 
jokes at his son's expense and secondly, he blamed mankind, or at least 
modern civilization for creating a society where such activities were 
allowed. He blamed himself only a very distant third. 

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