Kam caught up with Rain outside of the building.
“Kamala Manson, you are henceforth no longer my intern, so I can speak plainly,” she spun around to face her. “Go fuck yourself, you spineless mouse.”
Kam stopped, feeling like she’d been slapped. Rain snorted, and turned around and kept walking.
Shaking off her shock, Kam followed. “He would have had us both arrested, Rain! What the hell is wrong with you, don’t you care?”
“Frankly, no. Not at all. I would have gone knowing that at least I still had my standards,” she spat at Kamala.
“You’re so self righteous! You don’t care about anything other than what you want,” Kam said bitterly.
“At least it better than going through life as a coward.”
Kam let a sound of exasperation, feeling hurt and angry all at once.
“Fine. Fine! I’m glad. I’ll go find someone with morals to study under. It’ll be better than this.”
“Good luck with that Kamala, maybe you should find an area of study better suited to your temperament, like a preschool teacher,” Rain offered before she headed off to the transportation station.
Tears stinging her eyes, Kam headed in the opposite direction.
It had been a month since their fight and Kam had to admit, she was bored.
She was still angry and stung, but the last minute replacement she’d found at the University hospitable was not nearly as exciting at Rain was. There was no encouragement to push the boundaries like there was with Rain. There was no, ‘why not’, no ‘science is proof you can recreate anything under the proper circumstances’.
There was nothing that made science exciting as Rain had made it.
Kamala hadn’t told Tamara why she’d come home in tears, other than that Rain had fired her. She hadn’t brought up what Rain was working on to anyone, the words ‘coward, and spineless’ still ringing in her ears. She hadn’t looked up Zebadiah either, too afraid he tracked his searches and would find her router.
She was on the patio when Tammy came out, took one look at her and sighed.
“For heaven’s sake, Kam. Just call Rain and make up already.”
“You’ve looked like a kicked puppy. Just call her and ask to talk.”
“She was pretty mad at me when I left Tammy, you didn’t see her.”
“If anything you’ve told me about Rainbow Miller is true, I’m guessing she’d probably already forgotten what she was mad at about in the first place, and doesn’t remember why you stopped coming to her lab,” Tammy smirked. “Seriously, just call her and see.”
Still feeling unsure, Kam nodded. Tammy kissed her cheek
“Atta way, love. Now come on, I made that salmon you like so much.”
Rain hit the workstation in frustration.
“I know you’re in there, somewhere, you Italian bastard, now come on!” She snarled at the DNA displayed on the screen.
While she did manage to get some of Leonardo’s DNA, it was slightly decayed and it left Rain trying to fix it.
She was a polymath, but DNA had never been her specialty.
Unfortunately it had been Kam’s.
But every time Rain thought about calling her protégé, her mind flashbacked to Kam spilling all of her secrets to Zebadiah and her anger came rushing back.
Rain sighed and stretched her neck, rolling her shoulders back.
“Alright, let’s try this again.” She put her fingers back to the touch screen to try again.
Science was the evidence that you could repeat anything under the proper circumstances.
It took Kam another day and half to call Rain. She did it after Tammy went to bed, still not confident that Rain wouldn’t still be furious with her.
It took multiple time for Rain to pick up the call, and when she did, Kam was shocked by how frayed her former mentor looked.
Her skin had an oily and waxen look to it. Her hair was unbrushed and mussed from presumably being pulled on. Something about her face seemed to have shrunk.
The only thing that was the same was the massive smile Rain was wearing.
“I did it!” Rain shouted, slamming her hands on the sides of the video display.
“Wait, what? You figured out-”
“I did! Without you, even,” Rain smirked.
Kam scowled suddenly able to remember why she’d been so concerned about calling.
“Oh Kam, don’t look like that. It took me three times longer without you here. You know I don’t understand DNA modification,” Rain smiled.
“It did?” Kam smiled slightly, feeling flattered despite herself.
“Yes. You have a better innate understanding of it than I ever will.”
Kam fidgeted for a moment. “Rain, I’m sorry about telling Zebadiah about the project.”
Rain sighed. “I know. I know why you did it too. I’m sorry I called you a spineless coward.”
Kam shrugged. “I was terrified of going to the labor farm,” she admitted.
“Most normal people are. Anyway, come over. Let’s finish this.”
“What, now?” Kam looked at the time. It was nearly one am.
“No time like the present. I’ll explain how I did it too. I figured out that we need to plug in the data directly, as a physical piece of DNA,” Rain grinned manically.
Kam reeled, eyes going wide.
“So get over here, I want to get started.”
“It’s one am. I’m not coming over at one am.”
“It’s only seven pm here. Come over in the next thirty minutes or I’m starting without you.” Rain ordered then hung up.
Kam rolled her eyes. Same old Rain. She looked back towards the stairs, where Tammy was asleep upstairs. She could easily get up, go upstairs, and fall asleep with her wife. Rain hadn’t said she was reinstated as her Intern. There wasn’t any reason to go around the world to help Rain.
But her mind flashed back to that moment she’d seen Leonardo’s body lying on the lab table and
thinking ‘Oh my god. We did it.’ That moment where her theory and data had become real, the fission of delight that Kam could still feel echo in her bones.
She could go upstairs…
Or Kam could go halfway across the world and make history with her crazy boss.
She got dressed and slipped her lab coat on.
“Sunshine,” she whispered, leaning close to Tammy’s shoulder. Her wife made an affirming noise that she’d heard. “I have to go help Rain with something, okay? I’ll call you tomorrow. I love you sunshine.” She kissed the back of her neck and slipped out of the condo, and into the hot air of night on the Cairo. Kam looked up at she walked.
There were never any stars that you could see from earth, not anymore. But the Bastille was a silver loop around the moon and she looked up at it admiringly as she walked to the transporter station.
Doctor Rain practically yanked Kam inside. She stumbled slightly, nearly tripping on Rain’s cane.
“You took your sweet time in getting here Kam. I was hoping having a wife wouldn’t distract you,” Rain sniffed, but she smiled regardless.
Kam scowled. “Don’t push it Rain. I’m supposed to be asleep with said wife right now. After all you never said I was your intern again. I don’t have to be your beleaguered bitch, you know.”
“If it matters that much to you, I’ll make you my intern again, so you can get the credit. After all Kam, you can rest later, because right now we are making history! We’re going to bring it back to life, doesn’t that excite you?”
Kam smiled reluctantly, because, yes, it was a little exciting.
Rain was already setting up the raw materials to make the body with.
Kam nodded, fingers slipping as she started activating the right programs.
A glass shield, all of it touch powered enabled raised over the raw materials that were separated on the steel surgical table.
“Phase one,” Rain intoned. “Skeletal structure.”
The bones formed from the calcium and other materials. Dust formed into pearly white bones, knitting together.
“Phase two, musculature.” Pink muscles wrapped around the bones, weaving together, and forming structures. Joints and tendons became rubber band tight around the joints of the bones and muscles.
“Phase three, transporting blood and organs into the body cavity.”
Lungs, stomach, liver, kidneys, intestines, heart and brain all shimmered and disappeared from their containers and into the body which looked like it slowly inflated with the added bulk. A blood transfusion started, bringing the otherwise rather grey blue looking freshly created corpse a pink and red color. Kam shivered.
“Phase four, dermal.”
Skin, pale for the southern region of the Italian peninsula, and lightly freckled gradually stuck to the muscles. This part took the longest, each pore having to create itself. Kam watched in stunned silence as for ten minutes the body of Leonardo da Vinci reformed itself before her eyes. They’d already done this once before but it was still slightly unnerving to watch as patches of skin appeared and bloomed on the muscles like some kind of sick flowers.
Rain’s voice shook slightly when she gave the final command “Phase five, reanimation. Kam, give him heart enough to get started with.” Under the work station she tightly crossed her fingers.
Kam pressed the button and Leonardo’s body gave a massive jerk as the electrical volt ran through him. The two scientists held their breath for a moment, depending on their faith to carry through, to help them achieve this impossible goal.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Once again the sound of a new heart beat rang through the lab.
“Okay, now for the real test. Kam, tell me how his brain activity looks.”
Kam shut her eyes tightly for moment before looking down at her screen.
“Oh my god Rain.”
The other scientist looked over at her, eyes wide.
“It’s incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“What?!” Rain demanded.
“His brain, both hemispheres are lit up equally. I’ve never seen anyone show these patterns before,” Kam smiled hugely at her mentor. “Rain, we did it! He’s alive!”
“Oh my god.” Rain breathed, watching her body take its first breaths of air. “Oh, my god.”