Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Chapter 21: September 24, 2031 Transfer Student

Garth was settling into his new room in the Naropa Extension Service organic interest cooperative at Colorado State University, with his fellow transferees from Denver Community College Students, and roommates, Wesley and Razib.  The room was designed for two, but space was short and the program was popular this year, so they he upgraded one of the corner rooms from a double to a triple.

Despite thirty-five degree lows, the blast of heat from the miscalibrated radiators was so intense that the three young men had opened up all of the windows to let the overheated air out, and stripped down to shorts and slick thin night shirts in reflective white.

Razib's desk was dominated by a real time, three dimensional projection of his animal lab.  Snakes slithered, rats scampered, and fluorescent insect colonies advanced across the surface offer food and a mild toxin to prey that might be inclined to consume them in excess.  Butterflies flitted back and forth above the scene, in an airspace they shared with fruit flies, Africanized wasps, and two inch long bats. Maggots slithered in and out of carcasses, and below the surface, worms writhed.  Piranhas and leaches filled the water runways of the lab.  Dart frogs perched on the low lying foliage.  Pharming products, like anti-fungal age enhancing plant nectars,and dopamine enhancing mushrooms, grew in small, well tended lots. Overlooking it all was a fishbowl with a small octopus equipped with eight simple tentacle controls that allowed him to manage the process.  Razib's octopus was called Krishna, for his many arms and sometimes profound wisdom.  If everything started to spiral out of control, Krishna would panic and alert Razib.

Wesley's desk was less cluttered.  A silver tone flute lied atop a large, month at a glance calendar filled with rehearsal times, project deadlines, spare doodle filled vacation days, and times reserved for videocalls with his grandmother in Bhutan.  The only animal in his third of the room was a three dimensional paper dragon in the image of Bhutan's nation symbol.  He picked up the flute and played an intense eight bar phrase three times and then put it down and then took his pen and continued to expand his latest composition, occasional music for a school play.

Wesley's girlfriend, a six foot two Masai woman from Kenya, she went by Kinda although her full name was longer and more complicated, sprawled out on the area rug in the center of the room captivated by his every movement, licking her lips, and softly swaying as if he were still playing his latest musical riff.

Garth hardly noticed, as he balanced the cooperative's checkbook on his tablet computer, sitting on his bunk since it would have been impossible for him to sit at his desk with everyone else in the room. 

The total wasn't right, of course.  He'd been embezzling from the cooperative for two almost a month now, creating a fake entry for sale tax expenses on the cooperative's food purchases, even though they were sales tax free.  The funds, through a couple of intermediary steps, were accumulating in a debit account in the name of a shell corporation putatively owned by his department chair at Colorado State University, with which he planned to finance a trick that would make the youthful incidents of animal torture that had forced him to become a "supervised person" look like the child play that they were by comparison.  A diversion of animal euthanasia gases to the biochemistry laboratories would teach them true fear.

In the meantime, he watched Kinda sway on the carpet and wondered how many pints of blood it would be possible to extract from her if she were properly bound and tapped.