Snip snip snip.
He squinted into the test tube. The stems of heather floated in the solution of sodium dodecyl sulfate, suspended, waiting.
Laughing at him.
Gene closed his eyes. No, he thought, not now. Not after all this. Not when I'm so close.
Flashback to the grimy street where he was born, eleventh child to a drunk and a slattern. When he dared say that he would grow up to be a scientist one day, oh how the neighborhood toughs had loved it. Another reason to pound him, day after day. "Gene, Gene the gene-machine, work...