Prometheus drove through the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale, towards his workshop. It was pretty far from his home in Boca, admittedly, but he’d wanted a lot of space to work with. Space in Boca was fucking pricey, so the hourlong commute to Fort Lauderdale was something he was happy to deal with.
He turned his car off the main road and onto a dirt one. Drove for not too much longer before reaching his workshop. It was a small garage, the door for which opened as soon as his car got within twenty feet.
His car rolled into the garage. His assistant Sharise, who’d been alerted to his presence by the GPS in his car, was ready for him. The second his car stopped, she opened the driver-side door.
He parked the car and got out.
“I’ve prepared the samples you requested,” Sharise said.
It had been a real hassle, too. Prometheus had asked about some do-nothing metahuman in Iowa, some kid who could shoot a strange substance out of his wrists. So Sharise had had to call around and get to the Metahuman Bureau, who only agreed to let Prometheus have samples of the substance if he asked nicely and paid handsomely.
“Just like potatoes and gravy,” Prometheus said, walking towards the metal table that stood about twenty feet away from his car.
Sharise blinked, having no idea what the fuck he was talking about. Still, she followed him.
“Just like potatoes…” Prometheus said, but then trailed off. “Is that an inside joke I had with the other Sharise?”
“Probably,” Sharise said.
“It’d help if you let me choose a nickname for one of you.” Prometheus reached for the box of gloves that Sharise had carefully set on the metal table.
“You clone your assistant, then tell her that one of her has to choose an entirely new name?” Sharise gave him a look. Prometheus couldn’t actually see the look, but he knew Sharise well enough to know that she was giving him a look.
“There’s no one quite like you.” Prometheus pulled a pair of gloves out and snapped them on. “I needed you in the office at all times. I understand it’s weird and I appreciate your sacrifice, but it had to be done.”
Sharise had a PhD and a sense of humor. The combo had been surprisingly hard to find.
“I was fine with being cloned!” Sharise said. “But making one of me choose a new name, just for your convenience? That’s taking it too damn far.”
“You each have your own shifts. Why can’t I call one of you Morning Sharise, and one of you Afternoon Sharise?” Prometheus took a close look at the petri dish, which contained the strange metahuman substance.
“No,” Sharise said. “Strong no. Veto.”
The metahuman substance was white, sticky. Prometheus dipped his thumb into the substance, then pulled it out. He rubbed the tip of his thumb along his pointer finger. He pulled the thumb away from the pointer finger, and the white substance stretched with it.
Sharise spoke up, “You’re only interested in this shit because it reminds you of when you learned to masturbate, you stupid perv.”
Prometheus smiled, shaking his head. Sharise was the only person he allowed to talk to him like that. Well, the only person besides Anne, he supposed.
He thought about Anne’s potential — about her apparent lack of purpose, and how long she would probably get along with the rest of his office.
“Sharise,” he asked, “do you think we could use another scientist around here?”