The building was bland, and had an unwelcoming feel to it. Though I suppose making a laboratory pretty on the outside wasn’t the prime concern of whoever had built it. It functioned purely as a means of… well, conducting science experiments I suppose.
My car pulled into the carpark and found an empty spot, then I turned my engine off.
The leaflet had come in the mail several days ago, addressed to myself, asking people to come forward and help the scientists and their experiments – to offer my opinion on their work so I may help them identify what the public’s needs are, and if what they’re doing is the right thing.
Sniffing, I pulled myself out of my car and slammed the door shut behind me. Immediately I was hit by frozen December air so that my eyes watered and breath escaped in plumes. My hands took to shivering so I thrust them into my pockets – it didn’t help.
‘Right. Let’s do this then.’ I mumbled, and started off towards the building. The main reason I was here, being out here on Saturday of all days, was the fact that the leaflet guaranteed a reward for any that came forward. Perhaps they meant a cash prize? I wasn’t sure, it didn’t seem to specify exactly what the prize was, but I had nothing better to do today anyhow. No wife and kids to look after, just a cat that I still hadn’t bothered to name yet – that sort of shows how lazy I am, doesn’t it? I’ve had it for a year.
As I neared the building I could see people through the dark tinted windows, people inside were wandering around and making gesticulations with their hands, busy with their work. It made me feel a hell of a lot better, because from the outside one would assume this place was deserted. The sort of place that you’d feel really uneasy being around in the middle of the night. Though now I supposed the exterior was the least of the concerns of the scientists working within. I stepped up to the large double doors and stepped through.
There was a man standing just inside the door, holding a pad and pen and wearing a white lab coat. He had a mottled grey beard, thin eyebrows and Einstein-like hair, not to mention two grey eyes that seemed to drill right through me. Despite all this he was smiling, which I immediately felt was very uncharacteristic of him.
‘Welcome!’ he said, ‘you must be James! I’m Dr Harrod.’
‘Nice to meet you.’ I replied, offering a hand, though he didn’t take it. Instead he rummaged in his coat and pulled out a pair of yellow, elastic gloves.
‘In case of contamination, you understand,’ he said; I nodded and took them.
‘How did you know who I was?’ I asked, pulling them on. ‘Are there many others coming today?’
‘Several others have come, yes. Process of elimination I suppose: I have a list, see?’ He waved the pad quickly in front of me, but I didn’t catch any writing. Then he placed the pen and pad on a table nearby.
‘Anyway, welcome to Eaglebound, one of the last remaining science laboratories in this area.’ For the first time I looked past his shoulder and cast an eye around the large room I had entered.