Cool Specs (Part 2)
Ibañez woke up to find the room empty. She was free of bonds. Still drowsy, pins and needles in her arms and legs, her head spinning and the whole place smelt of alcohol. She couldn’t say how long it took or the time. Those images of the people and Dr Mireles in a soiled apron, all appeared like a dream she saw in sleep. She picked her eyeglasses, got down and slipped slowly to the door that she found unlocked. She moved slowly through the lengthy halls, turn after turn, until she arrived at a lobby. It was daylight outside. There was no sign of a human being and she stepped to freedom.
It was hot and lightly drizzling. On the left it was a construction site. She looked up at the towering buildings. Most of them were hospitals.
She walked in pyjamas, passed a narrow stream and headed up the street. It was mid-day. She suddenly threw out. She leaned over the rear mirror of a parked car. She noticed dark patches of paint around her eyes. She tried to rub them off. She put the specs back on. She had no money and decided to look for a job. There were pubs and bars, plenty of stores. A group of girls posing by the railing of one of the bars she reached. She asked, “I’m looking for job.”
“Sorry, we are full. Try the Trabajos two blocks by the corner.”
She was hopeful and at the same time noticed a biker parked there listening to her conversation. Few paces up she heard the bike approaching. The biker inquired, “What kind of job are you looking for?”
Ibañez replied, “Anything that could owe me a peso. I’m starving.”
“Climb my bike.”
He said, “Climb my bike. A beautiful girl like you, I know exactly where to take you.”
“Come on! Climb.”
He took her at fast speed through narrow lanes and broader streets, eventually turned to a long empty road. She was about to ask where he was taking her but she had no choice just to remain calm. He turned into a pathway that took her to a house at the end of the lane. A white Mustang convertible was parked under the portico.
He said, “Stay here! I’ll call the madam.”
It was pretty cool in the shade. He reached the door and rang the bell. In a moment, someone opened and he entered. She felt someone observing behind the window curtains. Few minutes later he came out with an extremely beautiful woman in mid-thirties. Her smile so broad and her hair wet. She came right out from shower spreading the scent around. She wore a black mini.
“I’m Valentina. What’s your name?” she offered.
“Iban,” the girl replied.
“You are beautiful. Take off your glasses.”
“I need to wash this paint off.”
“Gosh! Come inside.”
The biker left.
Seated in the garden behind the house she told her story, “…and I can’t remember a thing since I left. I fainted. I woke up in the Gleco Hospital. They did not treat me well, so I ran…”
Valentina paused. She said, “Iban, I don’t want to hear lies and no cheating around here. If you work for me, do what I say. That’s the rule. Many girls work for me and most are pretty young.” She began counting on her fingers, “We do photography, modelling, cabaret, mariachi, boxing…but we don’t do porn.” She held out her little finger with the index finger of her right hand. “We are about to launch our modelling website. We have a full-mirror acrobatic hall. First you take a bathe, hair treatment and fashioning, I guess. Don’t worry. We have a huge walk-in closet. Everything you need is here. Now don’t tell me you don’t remember anything.”
“Okay,” Ibañez agreed, “What’s the date today?”
Valentina froze, “It’s July 5th, Sunday.”
She realised it was five days since she left Los Cabos.
Few hours later, she appeared refined and in a red colour hot pants for an orientation. Girls lined in a row facing two by twos probed the other’s anatomies as body parts were called…ears, arms, shoulders, hips, tits, pussy…” Ibañez choked and jolted as she got poked in her frontal.
Head of the Divisions of Gleco Hospital sat at his oak-finished desk at the top floor of Moles Tower and a wall of walnut cabinet with encyclopaedias behind him. Dr Mireles and Mr Escala were summoned.
Juan Carlos S Mireles was a local practitioner in his late-fifties, well-known in Nuevo Leon, particularly in treating bone fractures. He made an income preparing his own medicines from herbs and roots and bottled in his own clinic. He picked his raw material personally in the foothills of Sierra Madre Oriental. Anything turned into profit in this industrialised city. He even supplied small shipments of his products to the United States. Among them his medications for sinus and hair growth were most acclaimed.
When Gleco expanded, city mayor through his influences fixed Dr Mireles as head of the Anaesthetic Division in the Left Wing and because he was a national award holder in alternative medicine.
Dr Mireles attended conferences nationwide and even toured to the United States. He still conserved celebrity status in the country to his pride.
Dr Roland Garcia, American-born CEO, turned in his upholstered chair and pulled a leg on the table. “Mireles, I put down my signature on the approval for your laboratory to do venom research and come up with something like the University of Illinois on cancer cure. You have done nothing so far. What are you suggesting now?”
“It’s understood how scorpion venom helps to cure certain cancers. It contains a mixture of chemicals called peptides, some of which are known to trigger cell death by forming pores in biological membranes. Cell death can be useful if we are able to target tumour cells without attacking normal cells and that is going to take a long time and a huge cost.” Dr Mireles explained. “In the meantime, sir, I have developed a formula from scorpion venom that could effectively play an important role in the exotic market and Gleco could enter a multi-million dollar business. My formula, when administered, sends messages from the brain to endure an intensive eroticism…”
“Good Heavens! I’ve heard enough,” Dr Garcia interrupted, “You are certainly not asking for funds to process this drug?”
“I am. For conversion and pack in bottles, pills, capsules, tablets, gums…”
“What an absurd idea! The answer is absolutely not. You have no qualification whatsoever to carry out such researches and fabricate medicines. Your products for sinus and hair growth are rubbish. I hear you have been engaged in experiments on this subject which I advise it must stop at once…this madness. Capitalise on cancer cure and hope one day we lead in this field. See, a snake bite cure costs $70 in Mexico and while it is $10,000 in the United States. Imagine how many would come here for treatment if we can do something like cancer cure.”
“I don’t think many a lot would cross for that matter,” said Dr Mireles. “Even for that price Americans would rather take a treatment in the States. They still do not know the ease at the border and how peaceful it is in Mexico. They do not trust our genuine treatment of high class we can offer all because of gossips.
“I know Telson Collectors supplying scorpion venom to the United States make more money from a single consignment.”
“Damn! I hear terrible things these days about the Left Wing, Mireles,” Dr Garcia snapped. “This facility is entirely for medical purpose and we are not doing anything of the sort exotic. You hear me!”
“I still plan to do it at my clinic lab,” replied Dr Mireles unwittingly. “I will seek interest elsewhere for the exotic market.”
“Huh! Your plan, your lab, I can see you have a Bunsen burner. If I could charge my boss, your mayor won’t be able to keep you here for this long with a fake MD tag…
“Explain this…” he tossed a folder across that contained a report of a diseased woman in the thirties by the name of Vanessa Calderon. “She died under your skin. All the tests show she was poisoned by scorpion venom.”
“Excuse me, sir. This case is one year old. I can tell very well it was a scorpion sting. Nothing was tested or administered on her under my skin.”
“If I receive another case like this, both cases will enter an independent enquiry and I will send them to court. I don’t know why I’m holding this. Shameful! I tell you there will be no more eroticism project. And Filipe, watch this man. If he crosses his line, you tell me. Bring me the venom research approval for a review. I want to scratch my signature.
“For heaven’s sake…you are dismissed! In my lifetime career this is the most appalling appointment I ever had talking nonsense…utterly insane.”
The two hassled to the elevator. Filipe Escala whispered, “We are all ears and eyes. Hold your breath until we are out.”
Once outside the Moles doctor expressed, “Like I thought, the old man is not interested. I have no choice but to convince Scorpio and get his sting. He thinks the drug is still not perfected. What about the missing girl? Have you heard any news?”
“No,” Escala shook his head.
“Perhaps, she didn’t undergo the side-effects. We must find her…”