Author: A'isha Ishtar PM
My sequel to Splice. It was probably true; she shouldn't have gotten involved with something like this. And yes, that woman had warned her several times, and she was probably right. But none of that mattered now... not now, and it wouldn't ever matter.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Suspense - Words: 1,407 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 12 - Published: 02-18-12 - id: 7848758
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I JUST saw Splice today, and I loved it. Immediately thought up a sequel 'cause, you know, I'm a nerd. (And NO, I don't mean I'm a member of the Nucleic Exchange Research and Development lab. But that would be cool.)
So anyway. Here's my intro chapter, and I hope you all like it!
Emily Reed pushed her way through three other geneticists to the front of the incubator. She wasn't one of the main doctors, but she'd be damned if she didn't get to see it! This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, she wasn't going to miss a chance to see it or - God forbid - maybe work with it.
It was small, alright, but it was bigger than a human baby. Of course, it was about thirty-three percent human, but it definitely didn't look human. Whatever the other half was, it had dominant genes that overwrote human genes. This was so exciting! The thing must have been at least ten pounds!
It was only a few hours old. The scientist who had been pregnant with it, as she understood, had been induced at about nine o'clock earlier. It was almost midnight now - eleven-fifty-something.
"Look at it," she breathed, getting closer to the incubator and putting her hand near the spot where the baby's chest was. "Holy shit. What is it?"
"It's female, and you're fogging up the glass," Andrew scoffed, grabbing her arm and pulling her away from the incubator. "And it's not doing well, so I think you better stop scaring it."
Emily scoffed right back, yanking her arm away. "She," that word was carried with an impossible amount of emphasis, "was crying before I even got here, so you leave me alone." She got right back near it and looked in at the baby.
She barely had any arms, and they were thinner than sticks. Her fingers were almost imperceptible, but they were there. Her head was big and creased in the middle, with dark, far-set eyes. And she had a tail, with some kind of protrusion at the end.
Emily pointed a finger at it. "Is... Is that a stinger?"
"That's what we think," Andrew replied with an annoyed look, obviously deciding that trying to dissuade her from being so close was useless. "We'll find some way to surgically remove it."
"Damn, all she's missing is the blue skin and she could be, like, Nightcrawler's daughter-"(1)
"It'll just grow back."
Both Emily and Andrew turned around at the voice. Behind them, in the doorway of the room, was a blonde woman in a hospital-style gown, wheeling an IV stand along beside her. She looked worn, and tired of the whole world, as if she just wanted to die.
"E-Elsa, you shouldn't be up." One of the other scientists, a meek lab technician named Jeremy, stepped over to the woman. "You just gave birth three hours ago."
"I want to go home." Elsa's voice was cold and the only emotion that Sam could detect was barely repressed anger. "When can I leave?"
"In the morning." Jeremy put his arm around Elsa and turned her around the other way. "Come on, I'll take you back to your room." With that, both of them left the room.
Emily raised an eyebrow. "What's in her panties?"
Andrew sighed. "She didn't want the kid. But a lot of industries are gonna benefit from what this thing's got inside it - maybe humans too." He tapped the top of the incubator, eliciting a high-pitched whine from the infant inside. "So Joan Chorot offered her a deal she couldn't refuse."
"So, basically we bought the baby?"
"Yeah, pretty much. Elsa doesn't want anything to do with it."
Emily leaned down and looked at the infant again. The label on the incubator read H-30. That must have meant 30% human.
H-30 blinked at her, ceasing its cries for a moment. Emily met its reflective black eyes, and wasn't sure whether to smile or be horrified. It clearly wasn't all human, but life was a miracle no matter what it was. After a moment, H-30 continued to scream in the way that infants do for days after birth.
Emily stood up and straightened her back, crossing her arms over her chest and scanning the creature. "I think she's cute. I'd love to be able to work with her."
Andrew snickered, slapping her on the shoulder. "Hey. Better you than me, Em."
"Don't call me that!"
"Emily Reed. Do have a seat."
Emily swallowed hard and did as Joan asked, sitting two seats away from the woman at the head of the table. "Afternoon, ma'am."
"Let's skip the chitchat, shall we, Dr. Reed?" Joan leaned forward. "This discussion concerns the infant specimen H-30, who as you know was born last night."
"Yes. I saw her."
"I know. And thanks to Dr. Reynolds, I also know that you expressed interest in working with her."
"Andrew's a bigmouth. Why would he tell you?"
Joan interlaced her fingers, resting her chin on the bridge they made. "I was in the incubator room, looking for some persons who would be potential caretakers for H-30. And before Dr. Reynolds commented, no one seemed to be keen on the idea. But he said you were fascinated by her and wanted to spend time with her."
Emily blinked a few times, then nodded slowly. "Yeah, I... well, I guess so. I've never worked with anything like that before, and it seems like it'd be a great opportunity. Not to mention, so cool."
Joan smiled slightly. "That's what I wanted to hear, Dr. Reed. I am offering you that chance. Will you take it?"
Emily felt her eyes widen. "What, you mean like - like be her babysitter or something?"
Joan shrugged. "Well, essentially, yes. I want you to work with her. To find out how she processes things, to draw blood and test her, to impart to her new concepts and to help her learn. She has a lot of valuable resources inside her body, but we can't make use of them if she gets herself killed. If she follows the path of her father Dren, the half-human hybrid created by Elsa Kast and Clive Nicoli, she should mature to the equivalent of eighteen years in... a month."
Emily's eyes bugged out of her skull again. "But... But that means... she'll... she'll die in less than a year!"
She received a nod in response. "We're anticipating that. However, we're hoping that since she was conceived inside a real human uterus instead of an artificial variant, perhaps the aging may slow down once she reaches maturity. Or her rate of aging is not as fast as Dren's was. But if you should accept this position, it will be your responsibility to test her, isolate enzymes and proteins. You can hand them off to someone else to synthesize, but I want you to understand that I am putting a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, Dr. Reed."
Emily glanced down at the slick wood of the table. She put her hands atop it and started playing with the frayed threads on the ends of her too-long sleeves. She thought about it for a minute. If something she did caused H-30 to die, she would be blamed fully. It wouldn't be blamed on an immature immune system, or the instability of hybrids. On the other hand, if she helped the child flourish and she survived longer than expected, it would feel so rewarding.
Maybe the child would even come to think of her as a mother figure. It would be great if she would be able to teach something that had come into this world knowing nothing, and maybe not even being capable of fending for itself. Taking care of it and teaching it would be an amazing experience.
"... I'll do it."
(1) - X-MEN REFERENCE YOU KNOW YOU LOVES IT. lol...
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