SMU - Sciences Building

Evening has fallen in the city. The flourescent lights of the Science building humm, giving light to the basement animal labs. The technicians are within the testing rooms, tending to the needs of the various animals; beagles are in cages, cats are across the room in slightly smaller cages, and the rodents are in another room all together. There are various things that are being tested, and nothing too horrible that would cause PETA to burn the building down immediately as a first resort to what transpires in the basement. Still, it's not necessarily pretty. There can be some solace taken, however, in the knowledge that whatever is discoverd during the testing will ultimately work towards helping mankind.
Off in another section of the basement, but still guarded by keypad, are some of the larger computer systems attached to the biology department. It is from here that Dr. David Trudeau is exiting, his head buried in the few sheets of paper, upon which are graphs and numbers. The door is closed behind him, his hand absently pulling it shut, and the *click* of the lock can be heard echoing down the concrete blocked corridor. Pausing at the door, blue eyes peruse the data before him, and his expression turns to something.. puzzled.

If there is one thing Summer abhors, it's animal testing in any form. While she's not as bad as PETA, she doesn't exactly condone it, even if such things are necessary to come up with new advancements in veterinary medicine. So it is that every other week, she stops by the laboratories in the basement of the Science building at the Southern Methodist University, to check on the health and welfare of all the animals that the lab uses.
"To be honest," Doctor Houston says to one of the techs, "I don't care what you're told to do. These cages," she states, pointing to the ones holding the beagles, "need to be cleaned twice a day, and you need to be giving them the proper amount of food, or it's going down as animal cruelty." Beat. "The cats need those boxes cleaned at least once a day, and your rat cages once a week."

"Doctor.." here it comes from the tech, "we were told to concentrate on keeping the suture points clean. And the moment we clean it, they just soil it again. Do you have any idea how long it takes, and what we have to do to make sure the experiments aren't compromised?"
The discussion regarding the care and keeping of lab animals floats past David as he's trying to make heads and tails out of what the data is telling him. What does strike his hearing, burrowing down into his consciousness is the title 'doctor'. While he would consider himself somewhat laid back, there is a part of him that is an elitist. Doctor means something; hard work, blood, sweat, tears— long days and even longer nights.
Lifing his head, David cocks his head to see what part of the conversation he can catch from his vantage point.

"Do you have any idea how hard it will be to continue your experiments if you're shut down for animal cruelty?" Summer glares at the tech, her meanest, most serious glare. The one she uses on obstinate pet-parents. "You can't expect to keep suture points clean when the dog decides to lay down in its refuse."
The glare continues, almost animalistic in its very nature. "In fact, from now on I'm going to suggest to the board that random inspections are done over the next two months, and if things don't get better working with animals larger than rats will have to be revisited." Well aware that she's being a bit of a hardass, she jots something down on her clipboard.
"Beyond that, you sound lazy. Experimentation is not something that should be taken so lightly, or without thought for those that you're experimenting on. Or do you think, perhaps, that next time you're in the hospital, they should lock you in a room without a proper area to relieve yourself, and just leave you wallowing in your refuse while they run their tests?"

David takes a couple of steps towards the sound of a voice rising, the doctor apparently making a response. The authority, the ire, and anger stays his hand on the doorknob, and instead, he remains at the door. The doctor is obviously a female, but there doesn't seem to be a need for him to step in. Knowing full well, however, that the perception of privacy can give courage to one who would ordinarily not try anything, he remains a silent, probably unknown witness, and potential guardian.
The threat of being shut down is enough to galvanize the tech into.. anger. "You have no right!" The young grad assistant is on the verge of shaking. That would be a real black mark on his record, and could jeopardize his study. "There's nothing wrong with them! They get damned good treatment. Meals every day.. the only thing we don't do is bring in the damn groomers. They're clean. They're so god damned clean I could almost eat off of them." Of course, what a tech says and what a professional sees is usually two completely different things…

"I have every right," Summer says quite evenly. "It is my duty to see to the care of these animals, and I'm sorry, but Subject Five-Seventeen over there," who the Veterinarian has dubbed 'Molly' on her paperwork, "is currently lying in a pile of refuse, her food bowl is toppled over, there's no water in sight, and she looks like she's on the verge of dehydration and malnourishment. There is nothing in the experimentation specs that states your animals should be in that condition."
Another note is jotted on the clipboard, a page flipped, and something underlined with a heavy hand three times.
"Wonderful. Shall we order takeout then? You can eat out of five-seventeen's cage, while I see to the proper disinfection and cleaning of it." While her hearing is not as great as that of a werewolf, she is aware that someone is nearby.

David winces under the onslaught of the verbal lashing the tech is receiving. He's not entirely sure what his ultimate reason is for opening the door; he doesn't really see a need to rescue the tech. If the student isn't working up to par, he's not working up to par. It's become obvious that the doctor doesn't need anyone swooping in to rescue her.
Perhaps it's simply to bring the level of confrontation back down to a manageable level where things will actually get done? There's the potential of ego in play now, and when that happens, nothing good can come of it.
That's not to mention the threat of failure.
The keycard is swiped, and Dr. David Trudeau opens the door to the tableau. It's a stand-off, almost literally as well as figuratively. The tech hasn't approached; his face is red, and hands are clenched. The doctor is looking a great deal calmer; obviously in control of the situation.
A tight smile is given, and David brings a hand up to push his glasses back up. "I heard Five-seventeen? She's one of mine." Mixing flu virusses to be sure that nothing will mutate into a real potential of a pandemic. Thankfully, the animal doesn't show symptoms; she's only the incubator…
The tech, meanwhile, opens his mouth only to shut it again.. and again.. before David enters. After, there's a moment before he 'stands down', giving a greeting, "Good evening, Dr. Trudeau.. This—"
"Doctor, yes.." David supplies. A hint, perhaps, where his allegiences may lie?

"Doctor Summer Houston, from the Rutherford Veterinary Clinic," she offers, taking her eyes off the mouthy tech only long enough to turn and offer a hand to the man. "I apologize, Doctor Trudeau, but it appears that your lab workers don't seem to care all that much for the animals." A nod given to five-seventeen's cage. "As you can see, her cage needs to be cleaned and disinfected, and she needs a bath." The somewhat personalization of the animal is done on purpose to remind the poor red-faced lab tech that it is indeed a dog, and not just a piece of equipment.
"If it's too much for the lab techs to handle, I can have one of the veterinary students come in and take care of the cleaning for you, but it needs to be done. I have to sign off on the paperwork stating that there's no abuse going on, and neglect is a form of abuse, even in a laboratory animal."

"Dr. David Trudeau," just to make it official, "officially with the CDC and adjunct professor here," and he takes her hand in the customary greeting. Once completed, he nods at the rest of the information; who she is, and her findings. "Ah.. yes." His gaze moves over to the cage in which the pretty little beagle has as a home, and reaching in, gives the dog a scritch. She seems to be accustomed to it because she presses down on his hand, her head moving sideways, and a happy grunt is given. "You okay, girl? We'll get you cleaned up."
David turns his attention around, his expression calm, courteous, but still holding the sobriety of professionalism, and locks on to the tech. "Clean her up. Once that's done, I'll expect a collated report of everything done up until now. And I don't care what Dr. Clayton says. If he asks you, tell him that I gave you the instructions. If it's done right, I may let you keep it as credit for one of your lab classes." May. "Got it?"
The tech is near exploding level, but there are two doctors in the room, and they both hold his future in his hand. "Yessir.." is a surly response, but at least it's one that isn't filled with too much venom. (Just a little!)
"This gets screwed up," David continues, "we're looking at a multimillion dollar research project. Not lying on the head of one dog, certainly not.. but she holds one part."
Turning back around to the now identified Dr. Houston, David inclines his head. "I understand completely."

Watching the exchange, Summer just shakes her head at the tech. When he gets out in the real world, he'll either learn to listen to authority or find himself without work, but that's a lesson that she can't really teach him. When the entire conversation appears to be over, she shakes her head again and offers a slightly apologetic look to Trudeau.
"I'm sorry that you had to be privy to that bit of ugliness, but being logical with him really wasn't getting through." Scribbling a final note on the clipboard, she tucks it under her arm, and slips the pen back into her lab coat.
"I did mean what I said though. The veterinary students would love to get some hands on time with the animals, and they can ensure your work area remains spotless. It's one of the skills they'll need if they hope to get a position in one of the state clinics."

After a certain time spent in work, regardless of career, the natural tendency is to believe that one holds all the answers. Accepting that it's not always the case can be difficult for some, and apparently, the tech is just one of those people.
Shaking his head quickly, David quickly dismisses the apology. "No.. no need." The first word is drawn out slightly, accented roundly. "It's okay. Really. Always good to see how people are translating my orders, eh?" He smiles thinly, and he's forced to agree, with note. "I think maybe he was a little bit defensive? Still got through to him, and that's a good thing. Maybe something positive will come of it.
"Like…" David puts out a hand to gesture in her direction, picking up on the request, "… your veterinary students getting in some lab time." He chuckles and inclines his head. "Following posted protocol, of course. How we do things is probably more or less the same, only a little different. I've got the forms and information up in my office if you want them?" Or, "Or I could have them sent to your office at your Veterinary hospital?" He shakes his head slowly, "Doesn't really matter to me how." Pausing a moment, he has to bring up, "of course, they'll have to have security background checks, but that shouldn't be a real problem."

That would be a fallacy of human nature. One should never stop growing and learning, and knowing when to admit that they're wrong. That's the type of person Summer is, at least.
"I honestly just think that he may have been behind, though being harsh ensures that next time the cages will be cleaned and the animals cared for. Otherwise, most appear to be in good health, though if you intend on keeping five-seventeen much longer you may want to think about adding an IV to her regimen once or twice a week until she's got a bit of meat on her bones."
There is a brief pause, followed by a nod as she considers the paperwork. "My only authority here is to the animals, though if you want to send the paperwork to Doctor Amelia Kempenfelt, I'm positive she'll be amiable to the idea. It shouldn't be hard to get the interested students bonded."

"She's a few months from being professionally fostered." His gaze moves back to the little dog in question, his voice lowering. "She's almost done with her course, which means she'll be useless to us for the next levels." David shrugs, "I'll write in her notes to add the IV."
Turning to the lady veterinarian, David finds a smile and lifts it to his face. "Probably, sure. Could be, too, that he's getting too chummy with Dr. Clayton. Some have started falling into that trap, and I've been keeping some tabs on them."
Reaching back to the cage of Five-seventeen, David offers his fingers to scritch again, and the floppy eared head comes right down. "Dr. Kempenfelt. I'll.. have to write that down." He's apologetic, certainly. "And get with her to help identify students, though it'd probably help with your recommendations too?"

"Gwen Rinaldi," Summer offers, by way of recommendation. "She's interning at the clinic now, and would love extra hours that we just can't afford to her. She's top three in her class, and has no issues with authority." Her job at the clinic is pretty much the same as what it would be down here in the labs too, which is a bonus.
A gentle glance is given to five-seventeen. "I want her," she suddenly blurts. Summer, the person who has thus far avoided having a pet of her own due to her nature, suddenly wants the little experiment dog. If nothing else, it can have a permanent home at the clinic. "Sorry," she says, coughing and looking away. "She's just so petite for her age, and…" Feeling foolish, she shakes her head. "Either way, you can call at the clinic any time if you'd like a second opinion on the students. I know a few from their rotations, and I can definitely tell you which are probably not suited for work down here in the labs."

David extracts his hand, eliciting a pawed response from the little beagle on the side of the cage. He pulls a pen out of a pocket and turns the papers in his opposite hand over. Finding a nice solid surface on which to write, the first note is regarding Five-seventeen. "Right.. first off. IV for the girl, and when done, she'll be fostered out to you." Bright blue eyes look through wire-rimmed glasses at the vet. "She's not a family dog. You know that, right? Never been socialized that way." Did he even need to tell her that?
And it's back to his paper. "Dr.. Kemp— " The theatrically pained expression is a dead giveaway that he's forgotten the name, but he waves away any attempt to jog is memory. "I'll look it up in the directory. More importantly, 'Gwen Rinaldi.'" The name is scrawled onto the paper and circled. "I'll take a look and meet with Dr.. Kemp— yes." He grins a little more brightly and nods at the prospect of meeting up again to discuss the potential of more assistants. Help them both out. "Great. I'll be sure to give you a call then. With the summer session coming, I don't know who I'll have and who I won't, so I'll play a game of hedging my bets."

First off, five-seventeen needs a name that's not a numeric. "Not every animal is overly friendly at first, but behavior can be learned given the proper time and care." Socialization is not a concern, she will be around other animals and people soon enough. Yet, Summer is not going to allow herself to grow too attached to poor little five-seventeen. No telling if she'll survive the experimentation.
"Kempenfelt," she offers helpfully. "I'll be meeting her summer class within the next few days, since we always offer a rotating internship to the classes here." A card for the Rutherford Clinic is slipped off the clipboard and offered out to him. "If you can't reach me here," she says before handing it over, "Try this number." A cellular number is written on the back.

"Just in case you were going to bring her home to the family." David hasn't noticed any indication of a ring nor mention of a family, but he is making sure all avenues are covered. "Absolutely, and she seems very stable. She may live her life happily in a crate, or she may have phobias of it one day, I don't know." Then again, he's not an animal specialist, and concedes, "I'll leave her to the experts, however." And the way it is said, he's obviously referring to his colleague before him.
"Kempenfelt.." Now David write it down, filling in the blanks. He blinks at his writing momentarily, trying to commit it to memory. Offering an apologetic smile, he adds, "I'll probably not remember it later. Just a warning."
Watching her pull a card off, David takes the proffered paper and looks at it. "Ah. Okay." And it's tit for tat as he reaches for his wallet for putting the card in, and taking out, he scrawls a number on the back before handing it over. It's his official CDC card identifying him as a Senior Lead Researcher, GS14, attached to the Dallas office. "That will ring my desk, and, on the back, my cell if I'm out in the field."
Waving his papers, "But, if you'll excuse me.. I need to see if this data is correct, or if not, where along the line it got corrupted." Taking a step back, he turns to make his way to the door and out. Pausing in his step, he remembers, "Good evening.. and thank you."

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