Dr. Douglas Jensen
Full-time Father, Part-Time Mad Scientist
Dr. Douglas Jensen, a bio-geneticist, was working for Cargill seeds engineering hearty seed corns that would provide thicker stalks and larger quantities of corn. Through his research he found a genetic trait that would allow seed producers to engineer corn seeds that could grow in most conditions, the exception being the extreme cold or 100% sandy soil. In August of 2000, the family moved to Zionsville, Indiana as Jake’s father took a new position with Dow Agroscience as head of research, allowing him to continue plant research he began at Cargill years earlier.
For the longest time, Douglas kept a terrible secret: his eldest son Sam was an almost literal vegetable. Even his wife had no idea that, deep within the bowels of Dow Agroscience, Douglas had a secret lab where he kept Sam sedated.
Sam had been born with severe defects. Jensen saw an opportunity in the genetic research he’d been doing to perhaps help his son, but he knew it was unethical. He succumbed to scientific temptation. Telling his wife the child was dead, Douglas called in a huge favor with the hospital administrator and took the infant to an unused lab facility on the Cargill campus.
For the next five years Jensen tended to his son, while at the same time conducting weird human-plant genetic splicing experiments on him, both in an attempt to save him and to open a whole new field of science. But things went terribly wrong. Sam began to sprout uncontrollably. Jensen rushed his boy outside, thinking that fresh air and dirt would calm the plant DNA that was going wild, but it only exacerbated the effect. Sam grew with such speed he was soon towering inches above his father, and growing faster all the while. Jensen wrapped himself around his boy’s shoulders and was lifted off the ground, like Jack clinging to the beanstalk. He whispered into Sam’s ear, soothing him, and before long the growth slowed, stopped, and then reversed.
Douglas kept his secret for the next 15 years, until a crazed mob of electrified thugs rampaged through the Dow grounds and managed to cut power to the secret lab. Sam escaped, and Jensen’s secret was revealed to the world (see Issue 25).
He now faces multiple charges and awaits trial while out on bail. He has been fired from Dow.