Just when they thought it was under control, circumstances conspired to cast a shadow on Dr. Lucio’s work. Towards evening, after expelling gallons of MIFF, and thoroughly exhausted, Evo’s phone rang. It was Dr. Ted Honcho, the Chief Medical Officer at Brookstone.
“What’s going on over there, Lucio?”
“You mean the smell, Chief?”
“That’s bad enough. But now we have plants melting in the ER, not to mention a roomful of frightened people.” Evo stuttered incoherently.
“A Mr. Nadley says he saw something similar in your lab.”
Evo silenced his phone and looked over at Ayden: “What’s going on?”
“Burt Nadley came by earlier today,” Ayden explained. Evo managed to keep his cool.
“We had an accident, sir,” Evo explained. “Mr. Nadley must have contacted it in our lab. Fortunately, it infects plants only, and MIFF stops it.”
“The universe knows you’ve been spraying that stuff!”
“A word of caution, sir: this plant disease is highly contagious. We can’t let it escape the ER.”
“You mean we have to quarantine the ER because of your, your Frankenslime?”
“That’s about it, sir. Great name, by the way.”
“Damn it, Lucio! Get over here now!”
Heading quickly for the door, Evo beckoned Ayden to join him. Katey stayed behind to guard the lab. She got hit the hardest by the toxic fumes and wasn’t feeling well. With full canisters of MIFF strapped to their backs, they hit the main campus road.
En route to the ER, street lamps were just coming on. As they passed by the campus football field, they noticed that a number of students had gathered, mesmerized by an unusual sight. The field was ablaze in green slime, partitioned into sections by the white yard markings. You could almost see it throb, like bread rising. It was hypnotic, like beach waves, or a campfire. Yet ungodly.
The jogging track stood as the only barrier to Prime Slime’s escape into the nearby woods. It was only a matter of time, they surmised. So Ayden stayed behind, while Evo continued to the ER. Cautioning the crowd to stay back, Ayden commenced spraying. A direct spraying would require too much MIFF, so he sprayed around the perimeter, hoping to contain the blight. Students looked out their windows, and gathered on the dorm rooftops–from a safe distance–to watch the light show.
Meanwhile, in the ER, another storm was brewing. Usually adorned with lovely flowers and plants, the place was now a haven for Prime Slime. Plants were disintegrating in front of your eyes. Beauty is known to turn ugly, eventually, but never this quickly.
Evo entered the ER and seized a microphone at the main desk. “Attention, everyone! Not to fear. It’s just a plant disease. But we don’t want it to spread. Please stay calm while we neutralize it.
“We will concentrate on spraying the plants. The lights will go out soon. Find a comfortable spot and please stay put.”
Confusion followed. Honcho was fuming. Once everyone was settled, Dr. Lucio resumed command:
“OK, shut ‘em down!” Evo shouted. The lights went off, and the ER lit up like a hippy den. Plants radiated and undulated like lava lamps. Flowers dripped on the floor. Neon green goo filled the clay pots. The ER had gone completely psychedelic.
Evo sprayed directly on and around the plants. Then he sprayed the exits to prevent escape. He gave the entire ER a light dusting with MIFF. When the room went dark, the lights went back on. This intermittent spraying was repeated all evening. Custodians helped as well. They were handed MIFF-soaked washcloths to help snuff out luminescence and wipe down the bottom of everyone’s shoes.
As things began to calm, one guard quipped: “Looks like Nadley dragged it in, Doc.”
“Where’s Mr. Nadley now?” Evo asked.
“In Isolation Room 3.”
When the curtain opened, Nadley brandished a rope of slime: “Here’s my homework assignment, Doc.”