Across The Universe

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


Chapter 18 (v.1) - 18

Submitted: June 26, 2018

Reads: 59

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Submitted: June 26, 2018



"You're not serious," Daisy said, gritting her teeth as she stared at Adrian.  "You want me to leave the planet?"


No, he did not, but it wasn't like he could tell her that she had no choice, at least he had to try to convince her so she didn't find that out.


"You said that you needed to get out here, and you can't get a better offer," he tried again.  "Out there, you're-"


"A monster," she cut him off tersely.  "It's not exactly a new experience for me, remember?"
"No one tried to kill you for it, did they?  On Terra, you'll be amongst people who understand what we were doing, you'll be with others like you," he said, immediately regretting it.  Daisy stared at him, her anger rising above a simmer.


"Like me..." she repeated, pursing her lips.


"Darian, d-"


"No!  Am I that other now, that you think I'll be happier to be around more freaks!?"  She demanded, and he knew she was upset, because she never used the word 'freak' because of its roots.  It was othering, implying the subject was somehow less than human.


"No, of course I don't-"


"That I just am no longer human enough to be comfortable with my own kind," she snapped, crossing her arms.  "I was happy enough to choose you before, why do you think I'm different now?"


"I don't," Adrian told her, coming over to her, but she moved out of reach, holding out her hand to keep him literally at arms-length.  "I still see you as... you," he gestured to her.  "There's no difference, I still love you, no matter how you might physically change.  Just... you're alone now.  Friends are few and far between.  I don't know if we could find a place that would be safe."


"I'm not leaving the planet, that seems a bit extreme," she told him, shaking her head stubbornly.  "People don't pay attention, that's why people have been able to disappear in the crowd before.  A few changes, and I'm a-"


"Please, could you just consider-"


"And leave everyone I love?  Everything I know?  Adrian, how can you ask me-"


"Because Gentek owns you!"  He nearly yelled in frustration.  He saw her confusion then denial cross her face.  He ran a hand through his hair and swore.  "They're sending you there.  If you don't go, if you refuse, I don't know what they'll do to you... they might take you apart to see how you've changed."  He leaned against the wall and slid down.  "If you go, you'll have more freedom, you won't just be someone's lab experiment."


Silence reigned supreme until Daisy began to deny it.  "No, no, it-"


"I've seen the papers," he told her.  "I said to you that they used the fact that you're no longer technically human to blackmail me.  For all intents and purposes, you belong to them."


Pacing around the small room, Daisy shook her head, holding her arms to her chest.


"You have to go," he told her again, and she put her fist through the wall.


"How can you just sit there and decide that for me?"  She said breathlessly, withdrawing her hand from the hole, her knuckles unmarked.


"I didn't decide it, I just see it as the better option," he said helplessly, watching the tears roll down her cheeks.  "You'll go, it's the only option you really have left, Darian, you know that."


She angrily wiped her face on her sleeve.  "Fine, but I never want to see you again," she told him, and he jumped to his feet, walking towards her, but her arm came up again to stop him.


His heart was breaking, but it was nothing compared to what she felt.  "This isn't my fault," he told her, feeling the injustice of her words.


"Get out," she whispered, then yelled.  "Get out!"


He did, and he heard the next day that she had been moved off site to be trained with the other explorers, Charlie at her side.


Listening to second-hand news as he developed a new serum, Adrian followed her progress, unsurprised that she was aggressively attacking her regimen, shaming her comrades by being leagues ahead of them.  It was blamed on her genetic advancement, which he believed was only partly true, but it was causing a surplus of people signing up to be the next guinea pigs.


On the day of the launch, Adrian watched it on TV, getting steadily more drunk as he searched the frames for a glimmer of her.  There was a less than ten second glimpse of Daisy as she walked towards the shuttle, and that was it.  In less than ten minutes, she was out of his reach and out of his life.  It was a wretched feeling, it was worse than heartbreak and grief, because she was far beyond his reach, and he knew he would not even be able to talk to her for years.


To make things worse, the next test subjects died, horribly, after a few days where everything seemed to be going so well.  At first he thought it was because he had been so distracted lately, but it turned out that it activated a deadly flaw in the DNA strands, causing it to self-destruct.


Over the next several months, Adrian threw himself into his work, redefining everything, going over it with a fine-tooth comb, resisting Weiler's demands for instant results, until he couldn't hold him off any longer.  The serum was working well in the rats, Weiler pointed out.  It was time to try again.


A woman and a man were experimented on, and miraculously, they survived.  Then came time for batch test number two.


It was hard, the memory of Mikal was still fresh, and there was so many people this time, instead of the six as before; fifteen men and the same of women.  All of them under the impression that it was perfectly safe what they were doing.  This time he was allowed to warn them about the side-effects of transforming, but they had already signed the contract, and leaving was going to be cause of a breach of contract.  Most were fine, but when they were in the details, one of the subjects took him aside to ask a personal question.


"You've read all of our medical reports?"  Max asked uncomfortably, and Adrian nodded.  "Then is this going to effect me differently than the rest?  Like, badly?"


Thinking about it, Adrian made a decision he was willing to gamble on.  "For all intents and purposes, you're just like everyone else out there in that room," he stated.  "The only difference is your testosterone comes in the form of a pill."


Max thanked him, and after that point, he made a habit of coming by and asking questions about everything, something that Adrian could appreciate.  They became fast friends, something Adrian had tried to avoid because he continuously feared that they were going to drop like flies.


When one of the women committed suicide because of the pain, he felt like his fears were coming to light, but she appeared to be an outlier, though it did nothing to quell his guilt.


Time pass like sludge, until eventually the supras were examined and given a clean bill of health, both mental and physical, then they began the training regimen with them.  Gentek had full access to the serum, and they already knew how to duplicate it.  Adrian was beyond caring; his thoughts had turned to Daisy again, though this time with relief.  He didn't need money, he just needed her, and he didn't care what planet he was standing on for that to happen.

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