The Origin Story

“Hello, my name is Doctor Yuki Masaki. But you can go ahead and call me Yuki; there’s no need for formalities. Not here. This isn’t your ordinary laboratory or educational environment. Technically, this place doesn’t even exist. I mean, regardless, the average person in the scientific community wouldn’t be caught dead in this place knowing what I dabble in.

“And before you ask, yes, I am a real doctor with real degrees from real, fully-accredited universities—from the America, Australia, and Japan. Now, these degrees and doctorate are in “real” academia and “real” science.

“You’ll notice the air-quotes.

“True. My passion and work here is of the “pseudo” variety (again, please notice the air-quotes). Yes, I know, a segment that is almost universally scoffed. But within these walls—I assure you—you will see things beyond your comprehension, things you may have previously believed to be impossible. Your mind may start to unravel with what you’re exposed to and the results may cause you to question your very existence. Or, you know, you’ll see some stuff from across town… hey, with no exterior equipment, that’s still a pretty big deal!

“My newest creation requires—for now—the assistance of at least one other. And I’m so very glad you were able to come out this way on such short notice. The pay won’t be much, I’m sad to say, but I’m sure by looking around you’ll see that my money goes straight into my research and not into a luxurious lifestyle. That being said, rather than a low hourly rate at full-time, hows about we put you down to part-time and double your pay?”

“Umm…Miss Masaki?”

“Yuki, please.”

“Yeah…Yuki, I’m not actually here for a job.”

“What? Then what could you possibly be all the way out here for?”

“‘I’m selling magazine subscriptions as part of a school fundraiser program. We have National Geographic, Wired, and—oh, you might like this—Popular Mechanics.”

“So, where the hell’s the kid I was supposed to interview today?”

“I mean, the driveway and the footpath aren’t the most obvious things out there. I only saw this place by chance.”

“Hmm…You don’t say. In lieu of the person that was supposed to be here this afternoon, I welcome you, young man, into my home and laboratory, and to this interview.”

“Oh, I really wasn’t looking for a job, so—”

“It’s not so much an interview as it is an orientation.”

“You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”

“The lab is downstairs and requires a combination keycard and fingerprint scan. We’ll get those sorted here shortly. Now if you’ll come along this way—”

“Hey! I already said I’m not interested!”

“Hmm…Fine, keep the part-time hours and add twenty-five percent to your pay.”



“Make it thirty and you have yourself a new part-time assistant.”

“Welcome aboard!”


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