Author : J.A. Prentice

Lily was halfway through a dissection when she got the first call, faintly buzzing in her skull. With a sigh, she blinked her eyes and was standing in the oak hall of an old mansion, under the shadow of an old moose head. She looked down at her fingers, seeing the slight haziness that was always the mark of a holographic avatar.

“Doctor Greene?” a distinguished elderly man in an elegant suit asked.

“That’s me,” Lily said. “Pleased to talk to you at last, Professor Hawke.”

With a thought, she returned her attention to her lab, applying the laser scalpel to the creature’s leftmost tentacle, carefully moving layer by layer and making precise mental logs of her observations.

“Your paper was an interesting read,” Hawke said and Lily returned her attention to him.

“I’m glad you thought so.” She noted two glowing, spherical organs– possibly natural anti-gravity generators. “Xenobiology is my passion.”

“The position is open to you if you should want it.”

Lily’s heart leapt. “Really? You don’t–”

Her words were cut off by a surge of pain. She cried out, her hologram flickering out without the mental focus it needed to remain solid.

Looking down, she saw that she’d cut off three fingers with the scalpel. She rolled her eyes as she felt the nanites begin their work in repairing the damaged tissues.

Rule One of dissections, she thought. Keep your mind on your work.

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