Ronnie Tomaszewski was skipping yet another of his classes at North Park University when he remembered it was Thursday already and he was a bit short on cash for what was sure to be a big weekend of partying. A few of his fraternity brothers had testified to the easy money of that old college standby, donating plasma, and Ronnie recalled seeing a place called Chimera BioLabs a few blocks away on Lincoln Ave. He tugged on his Cubs jacket with the worn, shiny suede sleeves and marched down from the house he and a few other guys rented on West Wilson.

After filling out some paperwork in a blindingly-white and bleached-clean waiting room, an unmarked door next to the receptionist's desk opened and a nurse beckoned. Ronnie grabbed the clipboard binding together the documents and followed her down a hallway into your standard examination room, where he sat down in a recliner and relaxed.

An hour later Ronnie—his blood-sans-plasma returned to his body and $25 in his pocket—skipped briskly back down Wilson and immediately crashed out on the broken sofa his buddies kept on the front porch. He woke to the noise of Skrillex blasting from inside the house, where a dozen people were already getting the night started with a session of flip cup. Ronnie took his usual place as anchorman and pounded Old Style by the can in between rounds.

As the group took a break to do Jäger shots, he found himself clinging to the table, unable to balance enough to walk but certain he couldn't be drunk—not yet, at least, not before doing shots.

"Hey, uh, Ron. You okay there bro?" came a voice from the kitchen.

And that's when Ronnie vomited black ink in a torrent that splashed across the table and dripped onto the hardwood floors.