Across The Universe

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Chapter 17 (v.1) - 17

Submitted: June 24, 2018

Reads: 65

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Submitted: June 24, 2018



Standing in the examination room, looking at the blood covered cell, Adrian felt like the world had ended.  It had been a terrible day from start to finish.


Daisy was sitting on the floor, staring at her hands.  He crouched down in front of her.  He had no clue what she was feeling.  Just a couple of hours ago, Mikal was physically assaulting her, talking about them being the start of a new race, trying to coerce her to-


Adrian looked back at the cell, then took her hands in his, hoping she didn't feel guilt over Mikal's death.  "How are you?"  He asked, resisting the urge to tell her it wasn't her fault, if he did, it would imply in a way that he felt it was or that she would if course feel guilty about it.


She didn't answer.  She stayed like that for a few moments then withdrew from his grasp and stood up, moving away from him.


"The psychology report was wrong," Adrian declared, standing up.


Adani stared at him a moment.  "There was nothing wrong with his head," he stated firmly, and Adrian guessed it was because that would mean if he did admit, he would be partially to blame.


Adrian gestured to the cell.  "That is not what I would call part of normal function," he argued, and Adani came close, standing a bare few inches away from him.


"He was fine until you started messing with him," Adani stated defensively.  "Something you did altered his adrenal gland or something."


"The other test subject is nonviolent," Adrian reminded him, and Adani looked over his shoulder at Daisy, who was staring at the floor.


"She's also female," Adani said, as if it really mattered.  "You should have run tests to see if higher testosterone would effect the-"


"It doesn't and it's stupid to suggest it," Adrian said shortly.  "If it did, we would have seen hyper-aggression in the rats, because we tried the serum on both male and female rodents.  It has no effect really on the sex hormones."


"There was nothing-"


"You missed something," Adrian cut him off, all but growling as he glared at Adani.  "Daisy mentioned before that he had been behaving in an overt sexual manner towards her, and when the complaint was sent up, no one did anything.  This was completely unavoidable, but because you wanted to-"


"Do not try to blame up for this," Adani snapped, then looked up as he noticed Daisy watching him, her expression haunted.  He hesitated a moment, but went on.  "This was a horrible thing that happened, and I think an autopsy is in order to divine the exact cause of this.  In the meantime, I suggest you revaluate your methods."


"I certainly will," Adrian agreed, and Adani turned to walk away.  "If you'll refine your screening methods," he added, stopping Adani in his tracks.  "I don't want another violent sex offender putting everyone at risk.  I'm sure the man who got hurt trying to get between Daisy and him, would really appreciate you literally adding insult to injury by claiming that the serum he designed is the cause of all this.  I know I did."


Glancing behind him, Adrian saw that Daisy was no longer there.  He went out of the lab, but he didn't see her in the hall.  On a hunch he went to her room, and found her sitting on her bed, her legs pulled to her chest as she sat near the head of her mattress.


"I can't stay here," she told him, and he sat beside her, put his arm around her back.  "I won't stay here any longer.  The tests are done, Ari, I..." she trailed off, allowing him to hug her.


"Where would we go?"  He asked, their faces were well-known, and for better or worst, they were celebrities.  It would be hard to find a place that was both safe and welcoming.


"Anywhere," she told him, pressing her face into his shoulder.  "I'll change my hair, I'll even shave it off, but anywhere as long as it's not here."


Thinking about a place to hide, Adrian sat with her for hours until he was summoned by Weiler.  Promising to be right back, Adrian left, too drained to ponder what the exact reason that Weiler wanted him.


In the vast office that overlooked two sides of the building, Adrian found Weiler at his desk, looking drawn.  "Today's been a bad one," Weiler declared, and Adrian nodded in agreement.  "Are you on good terms with Mercutio still?"  Weiler asked, and Adrian watched him suspiciously.  "I was going to consult with you earlier, but things... got out of hand."


"What?"  Adrian demanded, his patience beyond stretched.


"I was talking was General Adani a few days ago and we came to a conclusion; it would be extremely useful to have you and your scientists go with the first team to Terra Mage," Weiler told him, and it took a minute to filter to Adrian.


"You want us- we're not trained as astronauts," Adrian said, falling into the chair opposite Weiler.


"No, but this is going to be a long drawn out process," Weiler stated, leaning on his desk.  "People are going to have to be adapted for very specific things, and since there'll undoubtedly be children at some point, someone will have to be there in case the next gen isn't supras.  It would be best if it was you that went.  I wanted to speak to you about Mercutio, because while she might be willing to push past her limits most of the time, she seems to be unable to conquer her aversion to heights.  I thought you might be able to convince her to do it."  Adrian didn't say anything, and the silence dragged on an unbearably long time until Weiler broke it.  "Besides, I think the other supras might see her as a sort of... milestone.  That's not the word I want to use, but she will be a symbol for them, a sign that they're not alone, a sign of hope in the future."


Adrian was about to refuse, when he realized what Weiler was offering him.  It was just what they needed, and Daisy had nowhere safer than a place amongst scientists who would agree with what they were doing, with what she was.


"I talk to her," he allowed, and Weiler smiled at him with relief.


"Good, she and Mr. Miller can go ahead on the first wave, and since your work is more vital, you'll stay and take care of the next class," Weiler said, looking at something on his desk.


"I said I'd speak to her," Adrian snapped, "that wasn't an agreement."


Weiler studied him.  "Does Dr. Mercutio want to stay here?"  He asked.  "It's been a terrible day, but for her, I would think it's far worse.  I imagine she feels enough guilt-"


"She did nothing wrong."


"No, but I think most people would feel some responsibility," Weiler said slowly.  "A reprieve of this world might be appreciated."


"A reprieve implies that she'd be able to come back," Adrian said.  "I'm not up on the mechanics, but there's no way back until a base is built on Terra, is there?"


Weiler handed him a piece of paper.  "I always try to do it the nice way first, but you're so stubborn, Doctor," Weiler remarked.  "You always force me to tip my hand.  That's a patent for her genetic code."


"That's not legal, this won't stand up in court," Adrian said, disgusted.


Weiler nodded.  "That would be true if she was human," he stated, folding his hands.  "But as we found out before, her DNA is vastly different from a human's, so as a recently discovered animal, it's perfectly legal for us to patent something that had been effected by a serum that we own.  Remember, you sold it to us to encourage us to help you."


Adrian stared at him.  "Perhaps you don't realize how insidious this is, so I'm going to suggest you pull your head out of your ass, wipe your eyes and take a good look around before you crawl back up there," he said.  "She's a person, she's not property!  I think as a collective, we all agreed that behaviour like this is-"


"Pontificating isn't going to help you here," Weiler told him.  "And either you can suggest to her to take an extended vacation, or I will."


They argued for a long time, before Weiler threatened to call security on him, and Adrian was left no closer to the right thing than he had been when Weiler showed hi mthe ace up his sleeve.


Dejectedly, he went back to her room and found her sleeping.  Gingerly, he laid beside her and she slid an arm across his stomach.  He would tell her in the morning.  He would go one more night without her coming to hate him.

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