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Sleeping in the lab
The door slammed, and Danika startled awake.
“Huh? Who? Where am I?” She sat up on the wobbly cot in the corner of her lab. Her eyes squint in the bright lights that flicked on, and memory fuzzed recognition.

A technician rounded the bench, but after a greeting, went off to check the sensors on their cold fusion box. Danika hadn’t left the room all day (and night) and apparently was still there the next morning just in case something went wrong.

“What time is it?” She rubbed her eyes to the crunch of yesterday’s makeup under her knuckles.

“Seven o’clock, Dr. Zayed. Do you want me to bring you some coffee?” The technician leaned to check the array blinking alongside the box.

Danika stood. Her clothes were wrinkled, but nothing that a spritz of water and a few seconds under the hand-dryer in the bathroom couldn’t fix.

“How’s it look?” she said, peering alongside the technician. In his white lab coat and neatly cropped hair, it was he who was frequently mistaken as the senior researcher for weeks until everyone recognized the eccentric scientist for who she was.

He shrugged, nodding approvingly. “Actually, I can’t believe it’s held stable for more than five minutes let alone all night. You were right. I am sorry to have doubted,” he said.

“Of course I was right. Don’t beat yourself up. Some people can’t fathom this level of theory.” She cued up a holoscreen and began to make notes. The technician scratched his chin idly, seemingly just standing there. “Well?”


“Oh, yes ma’am.”

Just before the door closed behind him, Danika yelled out after him. “300 milliliters with two and a half sugars and 28 milliliters of creamer exactly.” She was sure he heard, so she waited patiently for his return.

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