Run the Experiments (7) - On the Run
(May 22nd, 2017) Here's a new episode of Lab Times' serialised crime story.
Prof Bernard had disappeared into his office. The coast was clear. But it wouldn't take him long to find an empty USB stick and return to the lab. With trembling hands, Charlotte reached for her own USB stick in her lab coat pocket. Yes, there it was. It was a birthday present last month from her mum. She hadn’t gotten round to thanking her for it but it would now prove to be her most valuable possession.
On her way to the computer, Charlotte almost dropped it. Plugging it in, she prayed there was enough space for all of her data. “Beep!” It was empty.
In the twinkling of an eye, she had saved all her data onto the USB stick – all tables, all images, all graphs. All of the work from the last six months. “Saving complete”. The sound of a door slamming echoed down the hallway, Charlotte gasped, Prof Bernard must have found what he was looking for. Now, she heard his footsteps coming back, closing and closer, steadfast and urgent.
The adrenaline rushed through her blood, her hands started shaking. “Delete, delete!” It was only one click away. But she couldn't point the mouse cursor to the right command. Thud, thud; he was coming closer. What would he do, when he found her here? Could she talk herself out of it; find a somewhat reasonable excuse for hiding all that data from him? No way, he would tell her to get out of the lab, never to return. She would lose all her carefully assembled data, her future. She would not be able to work as a scientist ever again. Finally, Charlotte pressed the delete button on the keyboard and everything was gone.
Grabbing her backpack and notebook, she rushed out of the lab. Seconds before Prof Bernard came hurtling around the corner.
“Fresh air!!” Charlotte inhaled deeply as she stepped outside the building, her legs could barely carry her and giddily she leaned against the wall. What had she just done? Did she just “steal” data from her boss? Was it a crime? No, it was the right thing, she thought. She had done all the experiments; she had invested all her time and energy into this project. There was no other way.
Pensively, she made her was way home through the dark and empty streets of Heidelberg, but then a thought struck her. What was she to do now? Run away? Where should she go? The chase was about to begin.
To be continued...
Kathleen Gransalke & Alison Blewitt
Read episode 6 here.
Photo: Pixabay/Andy Beales