laboratory - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
In this dimly lit laboratory nothing but the machines meets my first gaze. There is no movement and no odour of any kind. There are lights, but like the stars in a night sky they do little to lift the blackness, showing only the activity of the hardware - plasma screens of gigantic proportions with text that's too far away to make sense of. Though I am inside, the feeling is more of being in a high tech cave the size of a stadium, black metallic roof above, black metallic floor below. Every footfall echoes around, not loudly, but enough to give away my position to anyone who happens to be concealed in here. For a moment I consider skirting around the edges, then I stop - stop moving, stop breathing, while my heart speeds up to olympic sprinter rate. What I had thought to be a movie theatre sized screen is nothing of the sort.
In that suspended moment, a fraction of a second drawn out to infinity, my brain offers an explanation and yet rejects it simultaneously. This is the stuff of science fiction, of movies, of horror. The "television" is a tank of murky liquid. What I had perceived to be a poor image is a life sized version of the toy I used to keep on my bedroom window sill as a child - a T-rex. It floats, corpse-like, but it can't be dead. To its mouth runs a shiny metal tube as thick as a car exhaust but gently arced to insert into the beast's mouth. I suck in sharp breath of the dust-less air, suddenly seeming so thick and step forwards for a better look.
Around the prehistoric beast's neck is a metal shackle and the same are fastened around both legs while his tiny arms are free. His skin is more like a fairy-tale dragon than any dinosaur I ever dreamt of, pinkish, purple, scaled. Yet in that mouth must be teeth more than a match the body armour I've always found so adequate. He isn't alone either, casting my eyes upward there are upwards of thirty tanks, the same iridescent green haze but perhaps half the size. All of them with a less developed occupant.
The laboratory was as quiet and cold as a morgue. Even the great machines lay silent. A thin film of dust lay on everything. On inspection he found that even the computer had been formatted and the filing cabinets were empty. But curiously some of the personal effects of the scientists had been left carelessly lying around, like they'd left in a hurry and somehow not thought to take their cellphones and bags. It was eerie. What had happened to them?
To new recruits they would describe their laboratory as clean, efficient and organized, what they wouldn't say was that it was ruthless, cruel and everyone for themselves. There was no team work and they would steal each others results if they could take a little more glory for themselves. The research money went to the ones who published in the most prestigious journals, to the losers went nothing at all. They all had PhD's. They were all brilliant. But here brilliance was the norm and even a genius didn't stand out.
It was a research laboratory. The white coated scientists moved in choreographed silence as they drew pipettes of fluid from one tiny tube and transferred them to others. The hum of machinery was like a soft whisper in the background. The aroma was mostly of the setting agar plates but there was an undertone of bleach. Across the back wall were floor to ceiling windows revealing a view across the city towers and spires that could only be described as stunning, but the scientists appeared not to notice, transfixed as they were by their experiments.
Now he could hear machinery, a soft, rhythmic clattering. He came to a glass panel set in the wall and looked through it into a darkened room where a second woman sat in front of a bizarre, complicated machine that seemed to be sorting hundreds of test tubes, rotating them, counting them, labeling them, and finally delivering them into her hands.
The desks and benches in the laboratory could only be described as archaic. They were like something out of the 1950's. But all of the modern equipment in it was state-of-the-art. There were stainless steel centrifuges and PCR machines. There was a huge walk-in refrigerator and several water baths. There was a double door autoclave and two enclosed areas with flow-hoods. There was a walk-in shower for chemical decontamination and several canisters of gases. My guess was that it was some kind of biological science laboratory.