AN EXCERPT FROM FRESH FROZEN
CHAPTER 4 “THE TRANSGRESSION”
As Rizzo proceeded through the final security maneuvers to get them into the embryo lab, Mia hoped that at least her workdays would no longer be bathed in boredom. As she entered this sacred place, she was soon to discover what patients were receiving at the
hands of Drs. Van Deman and Chamblee. She would soon be privy to what really went on behind closed doors. Mia had no intention of violating specific patient confidentiality – she was professional in that regard – but was warming up to the possibility of becoming more involved in what the Center was doing to help the
unfortunate, infertile people, all the while making a little extra money on the side at Rizzo’s expense.
Unlike the other members of the clerical staff, Mia would no longer be left to endless hours of pecking on a computer keyboard. Oblivious, her peers would remain on the cold, banal outside. They would tragically be stranded to converse among themselves, exposing the commonplace drama of ordinary lives – boyfriends,
children, ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, girlfriends of ex-husbands, girlfriends of ex-boyfriends, poor finances. They would also dwell on the mundane such as where to purchase the most attractive scrub suits or what was new at Target – all a circle of stagnation broken only by the infusion of an occasional new hire or two and
the attached fresh gossip.
Mia felt true remorse for her clerical sisters, but was certainly not sorry enough to trade places with them. In making patient appointments or posting patient treatment charges, they would remain miserably frozen at their computer screens, unaware of the sophisticated technologies playing out behind the closed doors of the Center, one of which was beginning to open under the
direction of this nitrous oxide delivery man.
Evans breathed even easier. Having a grasp of the inner sanctum would add meaning to her work, even though her regular salary would remain a pittance. Once more, she would still be able to keep this job since no one was watching her enter forbidden ground.
But to the contrary, someone was watching Mia Evans creep along the corridor to the embryo culture lab and was delighting in every minute of it. During a furtive glance or two as she worked through her diminishing guilt and fear, Mia had stared directly into the looming eyes of Tinker Murtagh via the lens
of the security cameras tucked into the ceiling air conditioning vents. Believing correctly that the exposed security cameras were in place as safety measures at the entrances and exits to the building as well as to protect the parking areas, Mia and the other employees remained unaware of the intricate in-house spy
network that Dr. Van Deman had installed. Furthermore, the Center’s administrator and Dr. Knox Chamblee, in addition to the security guards, remained ignorant of the widespread placement of additional live cameras.
As Tinker Murtagh electronically scanned the sectors in range, he was curious about the young woman, the first person to enter the building each morning. He was not at all interested in the security guard still spotted outside the building, who at that moment was violating the property’s no-smoking rule. The snooping eyes of Tinker Murtagh had already judged her fairly attractive and physically fit. Probably works out, he thought again. I wonder if she puts out. Tinker’s appreciation of the opposite sex transcended racial barriers.
Since the digital video feed was black-and-white, Tinker could only reason that the girl’s complexion was a rich caramel color, definitely not ebony. Her coarse-looking hair had been well relaxed so that it fell down to her shoulders, making Tinker long to touch it. He liked thick hair and wondered how much time or money it took to get the girl’s hair to behave that way.
Her anxiety was obvious. Studying her under magnification,
Tinker judged the girl to be in her very early twenties and much
more appealing than was his first impression. Definitely cute, he
decided, and not too shy, definitely not shy, but probably hot –
yes, hot, but not shy, no, not at all shy. The caramel-colored, cute,
hot, uninhibited female was for some unclear reason following the
delivery guy, whom Murtagh had noticed in the building the week
before when he reviewed the recorded video of that morning.
Tinker felt growing excitement that he was experiencing this
particular morning’s action live.
“What’re this guy and girl doin’ together, all alone in this
medical building, just the two of 'em?" Tinker asked aloud. Is
the chick looking for a little tryst with this guy she’s trailing? A
little video porn action comin’ up, maybe? Probably on the soft
side? he wondered in anticipation of a break in the monotony
of Internet video surveillance, a morning wakeup spectacle for
Tinker Murtagh. The two in the corridor were moving toward the
central infertility lab, an area visited only by the same two doctors
and a couple of regular laboratory technicians who generally did
not appear there until somewhat later in the mornings. On some
days Tinker had spotted others in the perimeter of the area and
assumed them to be patients.
Tinker’s pulse quickened in anticipation as he leaned into his
computer screen. A clear deviation from the morning routine was
unfolding before him, something over-the-top, perhaps. Never
before had he spotted this particular girl in this usually quiet
part of the building, nor had he noticed her as nervous. Not even
a heterosexual male could deny the good looks of the physically
buff guy that the nervous-looking girl was following, as Murtagh
continued to look on with envy concerning what he was sure the
couple was going to do. He might even want to magnify the action
up close on the screen.
“Frank Andrew Rizzo” emanated from the tiny speaker that
was no more than several dark slits marring the smooth finish
of the wall. Seeming to engulf the entire corridor, the sound was
heard only by Rizzo and a startled Mia as she jumped back several
inches from the wall. She shuddered again as the latch to the thick
metal barrier popped loose on cue.
While Tinker remained glued to his computer monitor and
switched screens in anticipation of the next step, Rizzo moved
purposefully into the room as Mia fought her last-minute
reluctance to follow. “Stop here and put these on,” he said,
reaching into a plastic bin that served as storage for disposable
shoe covers, a collection of commonly-used surgical supplies
that resembled a pile of light-blue-colored wads of corrugated
paper. Rizzo tossed her a pair which, unraveled, revealed an extra
Puzzled, she separated the elastic-lined material and raised the
third cover with her right hand as she held the remaining, pair in
her left. “They’re to keep the floor clean since the people 'round
here don’t let the regular housekeeping crew in to clean up after
their sloppy asses,” he chuckled, understanding her question from
the confused look. “These people are real worried about security
and crap like that. But, screw that – here you are – here we are.
So much for all that expensive security.”
Tinker continued to watch in earnest as Mia gently returned the
third shoe cover to the bin as though it would break and clumsily
stretched the remaining material over her low-rise pumps.
“Hey, are you OK?” Rizzo asked as Mia realized her suddenly
colorless fingers were trembling. She imagined Dr. Van Deman
or Chamblee or any of the nurses putting on their own shoe
covers with much greater dexterity, a procedure they no doubt
performed many times a day. Dr. Van Deman, Dr. Chamblee, Mia
thought again as a wave of guilt overcame her.