Nautilus

Blackout in the Brain Lab

When the power goes out, the two young scientists are plunged into pitch blackness. After exclamations and fumbling they turn their phone lights on, creating bisecting cones that spear wildly at the darkness and dance over the ceiling.

“I guess they didn’t take seriously the idea of a power outage in a Manhattan research facility?” Kierk says. “And it’s past midnight. We might be the only ones here.”

“Oh my god, the organoids!” Carmen exclaims, “They’ll die without power. We have to check on them.”

It takes a couple minutes to find the right floor in the darkened research building. The lock to the lab beeps red to both their cards and through the glass window the lab is in shadow. She can’t see the cerebral organoids, the small brains grown from induced stem cells taken from adult human tissue samples. Among them is the organoid from her tissue sample—and it doesn’t look like it or any of the others are getting heat or light. Carmen is already calling, pacing the hall. 

“Hey! Hey, it’s Carmen.”

“What? Is this Carmen?” The tinny reply is from Todd, the researcher in charge of the organoid project.

“Todd, the power is out. That’s why I’m calling. We’re at the lab and the door is locked and the power is out.”

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