Even though he was nowhere near a bathtub, Dr. Emlio Garza yelled “Eureka!” the moment his computer program turned out a working model for a chemical delivery system for Noctinax. He read the data over and over, his smile broadening with every reread. According to his analysis, he had just created the world’s first successful sominfascient. A full night’s sleep, chemically introduced into the blood intravenously. Or maybe even orally, in a convenient gel cap. The thought made him giddy. An instant-sleep gel cap would be worth billions.
Dr. Garza had been working on it for what seemed like an eternity, ever since his introduction to a highly peculiar patient. The patient was suffering from severe insomnia, but showed no side effects. He hadn’t slept in nearly 120 hours, yet had no heightened anxiety or panic. No hallucinations or impairment of physical activity. He just wasn’t sleeping. Repeated blood tests and unorthodox analysis revealed a hitherto unknown and impossible chemical. Garza would not have believed it if he hadn’t seen the result for himself. When present in sufficient quantities in the human bloodstream, it appeared to fully substitute for the body’s need for sleep, with no ill effects. Garza knew a good thing when he saw it. He immediately acquired a significantly larger sample of the subject’s blood, and set to work.
That was seven years ago. It had not been easy. Merely injecting the Noctinax into a subject was insufficient for the reaction. It needed a chemical delivery system, and that proved challenging. It took Garza five years to identify the necessary traits of this catalyst, and another two to successfully model it. His supply had run out several time, and finding a replacement donor was difficult. He only found one other individual suffering from the same affliction as his patient zero, and that supply only lasted so long. But Dr. Garza was tenacious. He soldiered on. He discovered that the hormone was present in all human bodies, and was integral to waking activity. But only in trace amounts. Acquiring sufficient supplies took patience. And perseverance.
Now, at long last, he had cracked it. A chemical delivery system that should successfully integrate the Noctinax into the human body for full effect. The next stage was to run test. And that would require more Noctinax. A lot more Noctinax.
Dr. Garza’s clinic provided the usual method. Everyone who walked through the door of his free clinic had blood work done, and from every sample he extracted a trace amount of Noctinax. It was slow, but steady. And a free clinic provided additional opportunities. A certain clientele. The kind who would never been missed. He found them to be far more generous.
But it was slow going. Too slow. These new test required so much Noctinax. But Dr. Garza was tenacious. His future was at stake, here. He developed a method of filtering the blood of his patients and returning it to then, after removing every molecule of Noctinax. It was justifiable, of course. He was providing a free service to those in need. It was only right they repay him in kind.
Dr. Garza observed these patients closely, of course. He wasn’t a monster. When he published the definitive work on his new drug, he needed all of the information. There was a possibility the patients with all of their Noctinax removed would be complete unable to sleep, mimicking the effects of Fatal Familial Insomnia. Or, he entertained this idea whimsically, they might slip into some kind of sleepless state of dimensia whereby they felled compelled to extract Noctinax from others, thereby ushering in some kind of zombie apocalypse. The thought made him chuckle. But they exhibited neither of this conditions. They appeared to sleep just fine.
Meanwhile, his tests were going well. And he had so much Noctinax. No enough, of course. But so much. Sometimes he sat in his basement lab, and just stared at the sterile vials of the miraculous stuff. Did it glow faintly, in the dark? He didn’t know. He couldn’t trust his on analysis of these things. Not until his formula was perfected. Because Dr. Garza hadn’t slept in a very, very long time.
But he would perfect it. He had no doubt. He discounted the whispers, at first. But when he brought enough of it together it was undeniable. And so much more than a whisper. It spoke to him. Of such wonderful things. It wasn’t just sleep he took from his patients when he sieved the nectar from their vital fluids. It was dreams.
He didn’t have enough of it yet. He needed more. So much more. But the work was progressing nicely. He would have what he needed soon enough.