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The Lab
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The Lab is the second story in chapter 3 of Sluggy Freelance, Holiday Seasons. Dr. Irving Schlock and Kiki appear for the first time in this story.

Bun-bun sends half the people in animal services to the hospital, so he is sent to a cosmetics animal testing lab (which Torg confuses with cosmetic surgery, leading to a disturbing mental image). In the lab, Bun-bun meets Cinny-bun, who believes that her GPA will suffer because she hasn't studied for the "testing." Dr. Schlock attempts to test "slightly radioactive" mascara and eyeliner on Bun-bun, who retaliates by shooting him in the left eye. The next day, a bandaged Schlock attempts to use Bun-bun to test whether his "air-pills" will permit underwater breathing. Bun-bun again attacks him; his injuries are unknown except that he required a defibrillator. On the third day, Schlock sports even more bandages and the left lens of his glasses has been blacked out to conceal his eye injury. (Schlock is seen wearing these glasses from that point forward.) He tries to test a vaccine on Bun-bun, hoping for his cooperation. Surprisingly, he agrees that the test should be performed; he gives the vaccine to Schlock and locks the lab's entire staff in the animal cages.

Meanwhile, back at the guys' apartment, Zoë is learning more about Torg and Riff. Torg tells her he's a freelance web designer, but has trouble explaining what Riff does. He settles on "freelance bum." Zoë tells the guys that she's a communications major and is trying to get a job as an intern at a radio station. Later, Sam, Torg and Riff are in a bar, speculating on Bun-bun's fate and unaware that Bun-bun himself is watching them through the window. Bun-bun shadows Torg as he walks home, then confronts him with his switchblade as he's watching TV, demanding that he change the channel to Baywatch. He also reveals that he left the escaped animals from the lab at Sam's apartment. Among them is Kiki, who is formally introduced in Sluggy of the Living Freelance.


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