Across The Universe

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


Chapter 9 (v.1) - 9

Submitted: May 20, 2018

Reads: 111

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Submitted: May 20, 2018



It wasn't even a full day when Daisy was pushing herself upright.  She looked like hell, but she was rallying.  No one was surprised when she asked for updates on what she missed.  It took her sometime to process it, but she refused to have it dumbed down so that it would be easier for her to understand at that moment.  Looking over the sheets of paper, she turned to Charlie, who had been flitting nervously around her, as if expecting her to lash out.  The mistake had been explained to Daisy so she knew why she had been vomiting blood, but she just nodded tiredly and moved on.  "So, we have our proof?"  She asked, and he nodded.


"As much as we're going to get for now," he agreed.


Hopping off the table, Daisy pulled the blanket around her tighter.  "Than we need to bring it to the community before it gets too complicated, before we can't keep our facts straight about that night," she announced, and no one liked the idea of getting a tribunal right then, questioning whether they had violated the human rights act or any other law that they probably broke in this endeavour.


"Maybe we should wait a day or two so that you're-"  Daisy shook her head, cutting Adrian off.


"Is it still office hours?  We might as well make the call now," she insisted.  "Let's get it over with."  She struggled to focus on their faces as she pressed her hand to her temple.  "We don't have much time before we'll be forced out of here, too."


Reluctantly, the call was made and a representative of  Gentek, the cooperation that Adrian had tried before to fund his project, came straight to the lab, reviewing their evidence with horror and fascination, the truth of Daisy's mutation the final straw, stopping the tour.


No one was expecting to be arrested, but four out of five were, to wait in prison until a trial date.  Daisy was taken to medical wing of Gentek as the lab was cleared, things locked up in secret places to stand as evidence against them.


The medical staff was aghast to see that Daisy was missing internal organs, and they were absolutely traumatized when she began puking out her organs again, though after contacting the head of Gentek, Daisy was given an IV so she wouldn't get dehydrated, and was monitored for further injury.  There was nothing else they could do, and it seem miraculous when the next day she was walking around her guarded room like nothing happened.


The regrowth of her organs were recorded, and subsequently, she was mildly tested on, proving that Adrian's theory was correct.  The rest of the team wasn't released, instead Harvey Weiler, head of Gentek called General Michael Adani, former marine and current overseer of the space program set to launch the first people to Terra Mage.


"We have it," Weiler said, taking credit for the strides taken to make the serum.


Adani went to speak with Adrian in prison, accompanied by Weiler.  Sitting in the too pristine room used for visits with lawyers and the like, Weiler spread the notes of the AP on the table.


"The world isn't ready for this," he said, shaking his head, "already there's been a lot of backlash."


"I wonder whose fault that is," Adrian muttered, dying to ask if Daisy was alright.  She was still shaky and ill the last time he had seen her, her face drawn and clammy.  As much at the team wanted to pretend, she wasn't out of the danger-zone yet.


Weiler held up his hands.  "You know it's standard operating procedure to contact the science committee when it comes to things like you were dabbling in.  You crossed a line."


"Or rather, she did," Adani put in, pulling out a photocopy of a picture from the stack of papers.  It was of Daisy injecting herself, her mouth open and eyes partly closed, no doubt in mid-blink as she explained in intricate detail what she was doing.  "No doubt, you were unaware of what was happening, since no one else was in the room."  He stared at Adrian for a moment, and it was clear he knew it was planned, but where was his proof?


"If it was left under the committee's supervision, human trials won't happen for another twenty to forty years," Weiler went on, then looked at him out of the tops of his eyes.  "You'll still have to go to trial for what's been done," Weiler continued, "that's unavoidable, but you won't suffer any repercussions, really.  The government will make sure of that.  The rest will be released in due time."


Sighing, Adrian rubbed his eyes.  "What do you want?"  He asked tiredly.  "Why are you here?"


"You to sign over exclusive rights and protocols to the space program," Adani said, passing a sheet of paper and a contract.  "The Advancement Program was registered in your name, you have all the rights to it, not your team."


Adrian blinked at the paper, incredulous that they were demanding everything he had been working toward for the better half of his life.  He had his ideas and visions as a kid, and now they wanted to be solely entitled to them.  "And if I let it die with me?"  He asked bitterly, glaring at them both.


Weiler shrugged, pushing forth a folder and flipping it open.  On the first page there was a string of letters and numbers.  Adrian had seen enough of those to know that it represented the essential breakdown of the DNA code.  "Dr. Mercutio's," Weiler said, giving a tight, rueful smile as he flipped it to the next page, the code was markedly different, but due to practice, Adrian could see that it was belonging to a human.  "Unfortunately, and I enquired with the UN, they're involved, by the way, Dr. Mercutio no longer can be classified as human, so human rights do not apply.  She is nothing but an over-glorified science project whose value stops at the genetic aberration.  The program will run under your guidance, but if you refuse to assist, Dr. Mercutio becomes public domain and we can take over to see how she was made."


For a moment, Adrian's vision went blurry, and their words faded to unintelligible babble.  When his vision cleared, they were watching him expectantly.  He held out his hand and Adani held out the pen for him to take.


Adrian signed.


The time between trial and freedom dragged an impossibly long time, but to prove he wasn't completely heartless, Adani brought a short video to the prisoners to show them that Daisy was alive and well.


When the day came, Adrian bypassed going home to the Gentek lab that was being converted in space for him and the rest of the team.  It completely dwarfed the previous lab, and he had to remind himself to not act too pleased with the new set up, seeing as how the terms had gone for him to be there.  It was over two thousand feet for the lab and the stress work, two and half floors for the project, including a salt water pool to test lung capacity and cognitive ability unhampered by gravity.


That was where Daisy was, swimming impossibly fast in the pool, the black of her suit reminding him briefly of a shark.  She sunk to the bottom, pressing her hands against the floor, feeling around for something it seemed until he realized she was walking, using the grooves to anchor herself.


"She's been underwater for over an hour," Dr. Zimzi told him, a veterinarian.  She pointed into the pool.  "We have no idea how long she can go for, and we were going to check that, but-" She went over to the pool and hit the water.  Daisy looked up before swimming slowly to the surface.  Touching the wall, Daisy saw him and grinned with relief.


"So, you're here," she said carelessly, and he nodded.  Daisy grabbed the ladder and pulled herself out of the water.  He tried not to stare at the water cascading off of her practically naked body.  "Come, I have notes to show you," she said, gesturing him to follow her.  It was just like Daisy to put work first.  Exhaling raggedly, Adrian walked after her.  It had been over seven months since he had seen her, and it was hard not to grab her and hold her tight.


Going through a door that was at the end and side of the pool, they went down three steps, Zimzi going right, going down more steps into a sunken room that had one glass wall looking into the pool.  A man was sitting at what looked like a console from a recording booth, he held up his hand as they moved on, going through a tiny kitchen to the left, and rooms beyond that.


There was an office at the end of the short hallway, and Daisy let herself in, ignoring the wet footprints she was leaving.  She opened a filing cabinet and took out a notebook, handing it to Adrian.  "It was hard convincing them to let me see at first, but I've put down everything, every test result, every-"  Daisy stopped when he wrapped his arms around her, crushing her to him.  She squeezed him back, kissing him hard.


"You have no idea how much I missed you," he murmured.


"I have an idea," Daisy said, and laughed, leaning her head on his shoulder.  Something seemed a little off but he didn't want to say anything.  When he finally let her go, she explained that she was technically a prisoner, but she was willing to cooperate as long as that meant that the rest of them were released without hitches.  She wasn't surprised to hear that Weiler played them both.  She went on to explain that through the testing, there were strange changes.  She didn't elaborate, simply told him to read her notes, before going on to tell him what was wrong. 


"I've grown three inches," she told him, then tipped her head to the side and closed an eye.  "Three and a quarter, but I thought it was alright to round down."  He looked at her, and realized that was what seemed off; she was approximately the same height as he was now.  "Where are the others?"


"The others have lives and family, I don't so I came to see you," Adrian said, and she rested her chin on his shoulder.  "I don't ever want to do that again, I don't ever want to be separated from you for even half that long."


She her mouth his cheek and he kissed her, gently biting her lower lip.  "Then don't," she said simply when he let her go.

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