Warren Murphy: Killer Chromosomes

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  • Название:
    Killer Chromosomes
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    Английский
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What happens when an insane female scientist discovers a genetic link between species - and experiments on herself? She transforms into a tiger - the man-eating kind. Wild, beautiful and deadly, Dr. Sheila Feinberg tests her new savage nature and leaves a trail of mangled male corpses behind. Insatiable, she stalks the only man worthy of her hunger for power, Remo Williams, the Destroyer. Ordered to stop the menace, Remo becomes both hunter and bait for this she-devil and winds up her prisoner, the stud she needs to create a new race. As Remo fights her bloodlust, master assassin Chiun circles in for the final kill to end the threat to humankind!

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Killer Chromosomes

Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy

For Sally Newmark-a gracious person, a beautiful woman, and the finest aunt in the whole world

CHAPTER ONE

They were afraid.

It was so small they couldn't see it with their naked eyes. It had yet to do them any harm. The nonscientists among them weren't even sure exactly what it did.

But 200 families from the greater Boston area, from as far away as Duxbury and even southern New Hampshire, pushed their way that rainy summer afternoon into the dirt and cement courtyard of the Boston Graduate School of Biological Sciences to protest against its manufacture.

"No. Not manufacture," explained an architect to one of the mothers. "They change it around but they don't make it new. Nobody can."

"Whatever," yelled the mother. "Stop them."

She knew what they were doing here at BGSBS was bad. They were making monsters that no one could stop. Horrible things like diseases no one could cure, or mutations that would come into your bedroom and put their hairy hands all over you and lick you all over and do things to you. Maybe rape you. And then you would have that horror in your body.

Like the devil copulating with Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, except here it could be real. They were so small, these things that could do the horrors, that they could enter your body without your even knowing it. Go right through your skin. You might not even have a blemish but you'd be dead.

And your babies would suffer worse. She liked the way one speaker had put it the night before at the pre-rally rally.

"I'm not going to tell you horror stories. I am not going to drag out some Bela Lugosi image out here in front of you. I am not going to use some scare tactics like telling you a mad scientist is laughing insanely over some bubbling test tube that is going to burn you all to death. I am simply going to give you a scientific fact: life, as you know it, is probably already over. You are probably already too late. We are not going to be doomed. We are doomed."

So that was it. Rationally and scientifically, any sane person would know life was over for good probably.

She saw the television cameramen from Channels 4 5, and 7 shooting down from the roof of the building and she saw great black cables stretching into a window on the third floor. That was where the evil scientists made those things and were going to try to prove they were harmless this day.

Harmless, she would give them harmless. How could something be harmless if everyone was already doomed? And if nothing else, it could ruin making babies. After all, they were using the same stuff to make babies.

A speaker rose on a small truck. He was a doctor. And he was worried.

"They are going to conduct their experiment today," he said. "They are going to take our their test tubes in their laboratory and show some five-minute expert from a newspaper or television station that what they are doing is safe. Well, it's not safe. And we're here to tell the world it is not safe. You don't tamper with the forces of life without danger. You let them make the atomic bomb and now you're living on the brink of nuclear holocaust. Well, the atomic bomb is child's play compared to this, because with an atomic bomb you know when it goes off. This damned thing could have gone off already and no one will know unless we tell them."

The speaker paused. Mrs. Walters loved the speakers in this movement. She cradled her pudgy child, Ethel, who was now dangerously moist. She was almost four but sometimes during great excitement accidents occurred. They had told all the mothers to bring their children and to make them as neat and as pretty as possible to show the world what they were trying to save. The children. The future. Tomorrow. That was it. They were simply saving tomorrow.

The thought made Mrs. Walters' eyes water. Something else was wet also. She shifted baby Ethel, who smiled contentedly at a television camera. The camera did not catch the moisture dripping down the mother's arms. Mrs. Walters tried to appear as loving as possible for the media while keeping baby Ethel away from the new print dress that might stain and stay stained.

The handheld camera came closer to her. A young man with beautifully structured hair and an immaculate suit and a very deep voice pushed a microphone in front of baby Ethel.

"And why are you here, child?"

"To stop the bad people," said Ethel. And the blue ribbons and the neat pigtails bobbed. Baby Ethel smiled. She had dimples.

"And you are?" asked the young announcer.

"Mrs. Walters. Mrs. Harry Walters of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and I'm here to protest what's going on here. I'm here to save tomorrow as the speaker just said."

"Save it from what?"

"From bad things," said Mrs. Walters. Baby Ethel reached out for the microphone. Mrs. Walters readjusted the heavy, wet bundle.

"Dr. Sheila Feinberg, the scientist who is conducting today's experiments, says that most of you don't even understand what she is doing."

"I don't understand how the atomic bomb works either but why on earth we ever made one, I'll never know."

"We were at war," explained the announcer.

"Oh, well, it was an immoral war. We had no business in Vietnam."

"We were at war with Germany and Japan."

"Now see how crazy that is," said Mrs. Walters. "They're such good friends. Why did we need an atomic bomb against good friends? We didn't need the bomb and we don't need Dr. Feinberg's plagues and monsters."

"What plagues? What monsters?"

"The worst kind," said Mrs. Walters righteously. "The kind you can't see or don't even know of."

The announcer repeated her name for the camera and sidled around the crowd to an entrance for newsmen and wondered how he could cut the crowd scenes down to twenty seconds. The station was attacking Boston potholes again and their humor announcer, who was as funny as prickly heat, was holding a special summer pothole contest that used up five minutes of air time every night. The whole station was like the Titanic where the band played as the ship went down. A New York firm gave them the snappiest theme song in the country and the station provided the downright stupidest coverage of everything.

Dr. Sheila Feinberg was upstairs under the lights of a rival television station. The announcer waited for them to finish their interview. He felt suddenly very protective of this woman even though she was a scientist. She looked so out of place, sitting there under his channel's lights, waiting for a question. Like the plain, studious girls in school that you just knew would have to settle for some drip of a husband or never get married at all.

Dr. Feinberg, thirty-eight, had a strong, manly nose and a pinched, desperate sort of face, like an overworked accountant who had suddenly forgotten a key set of books and was about to lose a client over it.

She wore a loose, puffy, white blouse, which hid the absence of womanly roundness on her chest, and she had a skinny waist and wide hips under a dark-blue, flannel skirt. She wore plain black shoes with low heals. A desperate cameo brooch on the blouse proclaimed that she was a woman and had a right to wear such a thing, but it seemed as out of place as her new hairdo. It was a pert short cut, similar to one made famous by an ice skater, but on the ice skater it emphasized a cutesy-poo face. On Dr. Feinberg, it looked like a Christmas tree atop a tank turret-a desperately inappropriate piece of gaiety.

Softly, the announcer asked her to explain the demonstration and what she was doing. He also told her that it might be better if she didn't pick at her fingernails when she talked.

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