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HeLa is everywhere: stealthy and tenacious, hungry, a laboratory weed that has ruined more than one career by eating lesser cancers alive. Longinus is everywhere too, though closer in age and lineage (he suspects) to the transmissible tumors found on the genitals of dogs.

Sometimes he fakes research credentials just to get into labs and contaminate their petri gel. Here, he thinks, poking his dirty finger first in HeLa, then in or YAA or Tsugane or EB33. Have a nice forever! He can almost see why the old bastard gets off on it, this touch of life, this infliction of immortality.