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Saturday, 23 January 2016

THE EXPERIMENT --by Nickz


(Image source: www.youtube.com)

Present Day. . .

The inscription was in legible black fonts: NO ENTRY. AUTHORIZED PERSONS ONLY. In the whole facility, only Dr.Wale Ayinka, Dr. Natalia Brian and a technologist from Singapore, Mr. Antonio Hooke had access to the forbidden chambers. Only the three researchers understood what was happening behind those steel doors, and of course, the great one too who monitored everything from a distance. The three researchers were very concerned about the outcome of their series of experiments.  They had reached the peak of their findings, what was left was the application. Dr. Ayinka was excited and scared.  It was the first of its kind. He had been working with the research team for a month and had been transferred to the Vital Research Department where they handled a classified project. They called it “Project LIFE”. There was a ten percent probability of error but it could be taken care of. They had prepared to shutdown the project if it gave any hiccup.  With heart in the throat, Dr. Natalia entered the combination and the steel door opened. They were prepared for whatever would be.

Five Months Ago. . .

Dr. Ayinka was a renowned Botanist in the University Research Unit, the only African with the BAEET Award, an award of excellence for outstanding biological engineering and botanical researches that benefitted society. He had discovered an embroic variation in the seed pod of opuntia ficusindica, what is commonly known as cactus. Under close experiments and monitoring, he had found out something that may shake the world; a self-nourishing plant could actually exist. With such possibility, men could inhabit deserts and be sure of nutrition. Plants would grow with little or no water and sunlight and still yield sufficiently. The world would be another paradise that would barely require cultivation toils. If the element could be extracted and properly understood, it could be synthesized and initiated into other plants.

Dr. Ayinka was so excited about his discovery and was desperate to make the world see but his institution was very limited financially. He needed capable sponsors. That’s why he had consistently requested for an appointment with Prof. Tambewa, the Minister of Agriculture. A response letter came one month later inviting him for a thirty minutes interaction with the Minister. He would never forget the “are you nuts?”expression on the Minister’s face. “Look Dr. Ayinka, before I got to this level, I was a researcher like you. These kinds of projects are not realistic. I admire your zeal but we live in a scientific world not Disney world.” He had left the Professor’s office a little downcast but not enough to be shattered. The vision was big and the passion was strong.

Two Months Ago. . .

A letter addressed to Dr. Ayinka arrived at his office in the university. It was posted from the Headquarters of International Association of Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. They were interested in his research and were inviting him over for a presentation. It was a reply to one of his long shot applications and it came like a miracle. The ambitious scientist was ready to make the world hear him.

One Month Ago. . .

Adam Filip, a tall and well dressed gentleman in his mid forties introduced himself to Dr. Ayinka as he received him at the Bratislava International Airport. He was a staff in the logistics unit of the IAPT. “Welcome Dr. Eye-in ker. We’re pleased to have you with us.” He admired their infrastructures and terrains, even though he had seen better in Abuja. “Thanks Mr. Filip, the honour is mine. The name is Dr.  ‘A-yin-ka’”

The research facility was like someplace he could only imagine. The massive glass paned-structure was an architectural feat. He had enjoyed a long and refreshing sleep and now, was led by Mr. Filip through the facility to meet someone for appropriate reception and introduction. He was ushered into a twenty person conference room where he could see only one man seated at the end of the table. His chair was pivoted so that he was backing the table. “That’s the big boss, Professor Pavol Lukas. He’s the Head of Operations.” Mr. Filip told the Doctor. Afterwards, he further added in a whisper, “Hey, be careful. They call him Zeus, he’s like a god; he sees and hears everything here. Goodluck.” With that, he exited, leaving the two in the room.

Like a man on impulse, the Prof made a swift rotation of his seat and faced Dr. Ayinka, doing his best to put on smile which did little to hide his regular stern and acrimonious disposition. He motioned for the doctor to have a seat. “When I first read you proposal, I asked myself one question. Why would you want to bring such a potential scientific breakthrough to us here but I found the answers myself. I did some investigations and I realized your government is more concerned about fighting corruption and importation. The statistics of scientific research in your country is really tragic and so, it becomes logically clear to me why you need us.” Dr. Ayinka was impressed by such preamble. He was just saved the excessive explanations. “Well said, Professor.” He waited for the elderly man to continue, which he did. He was given more briefings on the standards and visions of the association, ongoing researches in the facility, and so on. After the lengthy talks, the Prof concluded their session. Dr. Ayinka rose and started leaving but the Professor called him back. “Dr. Ayinker,” he turned and listened. The old man continued in a casual tone. “You may hear people say a lot of things about me here. It’s mostly false. I’m mortal like you.” He nodded in comprehension and left the room.

 The night seemed to have been shortened as a result of the late finishing touches he had to make. It was already thirty minutes to his presentation. Standing by the mirror, he appreciated his traditional tunic and red round hat. He really represented Nigeria.

The twenty person conference room was filled with intellects bearing resounding professional pedigrees. It was up to Dr. Ayinka to convince these reputable gentlemen and ladies on the viability of his proposition. He was optimistic as he commenced. Professor Pavol Lukas was at the head of the table like yesterday, looking nonchalant like a high court judge. The hall was dead silent except for his floating voice. His introduction was intellectual; he proceeded to problem statement before dropping the findings of his research and the potentials it bore. The first question came from a lady whom he got to know as Dr. Natalia. “Dr. Eyinker, during your embroic assessment of opuntia ficusindica, what part of this embryo bears the resistive adaptability features of the cactus specie?”
“Like I had said, we don’t have all the answers yet but the good news is that, through several elimination experiments, we’ve narrowed down the possible region to the precursor tissues. These tissues have complex structures and with the right technology, we can speed up analysis on the sequence. The result will provide the answers we need.” Two more questions followed which he answered adequately. “Ladies and gentlemen, any more questions?” The confident doctor asked. Dr. Natalia raised her hand again but this time, with a little shyness like a high school girl. She cleared her throat and proceeded. “Errm, Dr. Ayinker, it’s more of a personal question. Your outfit is really cool. Can we take a shot?”

Few hours later, while in his hotel room, he received a direct call from Prof. Lukas. “We think your proposal is buoyant. We’d love to have you with us. Consider yourself part of the IAPT research team. Accept my congratulations!”

Present Day. . .

Dr. Natalia walked in first through the steel doors, followed by Dr. Ayinka and the technologist. They were about to test run their experiment with an organic specie.
. . . To be continued
*****

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for reading David. The sequel will be published this week. Please keep in touch everyday. We appreciate.

    ReplyDelete

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