Run the Experiments (27) – Bittersweet News
(December 22nd, 2017) Here's a new episode of Lab Times' serialised crime story.
“Charlotte, where were you? Not hungry today? What the…?” Fernando and the rest of the lab team returned from their lunch break to find Charlotte kneeling in the hallway, her face buried in her hands, sobbing as she had been for the last ten minutes.
“Charlotte, what happened?” Fernando persisted.
Charlotte slowly raised her head, her eyes were all puffy. “He was here,” was all she could whisper, “He was here.”
“Who, Charlotte? Who was here?”
“Prof Bernard,” she whispered.
“Bernard? From Germany?”
“Yes, and he took it, the USB stick, our data.”
Fernando wrapped his arms around her to comfort her. “Let's grab some tea.”
In the staff room, Charlotte told Fernando what had happened; how Bernard had been so rough and intimidating.
“I think you should go home for today,” he advised.
The telephone broke their solace.
“It's Maria from our collaborating group, do you want to answer?” Fernando asked cautiously.
“Hi, Maria,” Charlotte mobilised all her strength as she took the receiver.
“Hey, Charlotte. Sorry but I have some bad news for you.”
Charlotte sank down again. “Actually, I can't bear any more bad news but go on, the day is already spoilt. Just don't ask!”
“Okay... sorry to hear that. Well, I tried to repeat some of your experiments but somehow I didn't get the same results. We did lots of control experiments to see what was going on and finally found something. Unfortunately, none of your results are real. It appears you've been chasing an artefact the whole time. I’m sorry to say, there is no real effect!”
“What!?!” Charlotte was flabbergasted, “An artefact?”
Charlotte didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After all, with this new information, she knew Bernard now had nothing in his hands, either.
“But,” Maria continued, “There is some good news,” Charlotte was jerked out of her gloomy thoughts, “Our replication experiments threw up a new lead. Come over and see for yourself. It might be just the pick-me-up you need!”
Overwhelmed, Charlotte hung up the phone and beamed at a puzzled Fernando.
Oh the bittersweet taste of lab-life!
Kathleen Gransalke & Alison Blewitt
Read episode 26 here.
Photo: Pixabay/Andy Beales