Title: In Thade We Trust
Warning: The usual disclaimer, not my property, just playing with the characters. Takes place shortly after the end of Planet of the Apes (2001).
Summary: In the darkest parts of the human mind lies the ability to be needlessly cruel and inhuman, a baser nature that separates us from the animals.
Leo blinked slowly as he stepped closer to the statue. His mind racing, mouth suddenly dry, and his heart beating far too fast, he shook his head as the face of the statue loomed over him.
"It can't be...what...what the hell!" he yelled, his voice echoing off the stone walls.
The sound of sirens brought his attention back to the stairs where his crashed pod was. He ran over to the top stair, his fingers twitching as he wished for the hundredth time that he still had a weapon.
"What now..." he groaned as he saw the bodies of the police officers moving faster than he thought possible towards him. Leo felt the first flickers of panic as he realized that the officers, who were running at him, their guns pointing at his head, weren't human. He saw the tufts of fur, the sloping brows and let out a pained growl.
"No, no" he muttered as they descended on him, his arms behind his back before he could blink; the cold snap of metal around his wrists. He began to struggle, kicking his legs out desperately. One strong backhand to the head sent him reeling into unconsciousness.
The crowd around the now comatose body parted as one of the chief officers walked up to the arresting officer. His eyes hard and unflinching, he leaned towards the officer.
"How long since you got here?"
The officer nodded. "Two minutes. He tried to get loose, we cuffed him."
The chief officer kicked at the prone body before him. "Get him into the ambulance now. The damn reporters will be here any second."
Leo sluggishly opened his eyes against the too bright lights of the room. He squinted as he tried to look around. The dull throb in the back of his head began to flare with pain right at the moment that someone walked through the door. Leo tensed as the chimpanzee came closer to him, his hands opening and closing. He tried to move backwards, only to find that his hands were still cuffed. He backed into the corner of the small room, his eyes already searching for an escape.
"Easy there little fella. It's ok now," he said softly while taking slow steps towards Leo.
Leo snarled at him, and hurled his body to the side, attempting to run past the chimp for the door. The doctor sighed sadly as he took a small metal stick from the pocket of his lab coat and pressed the top two buttons. Leo's eyes bulged out in pain as he hit the ground, his wrists screaming in pain from the electric shock that traveled through his body.
The chimp leaned over him and looked him in the eye. "Now, don't try that again please."
He held up the metal stick. "I really hate using this, but I will if you don't behave."
Leo glanced at the chimp then at the stick. He was silent for a moment, afraid to move, to speak. 'So brave hmm?' his mind sneered at him.
The chimp put the stick back into his pocket before leaning down and hauling Leo back up in one smooth movement. He dragged him back over to the corner and dropped him unceremoniously on the floor. Leo rested his head on the wall, warily watching the chimp's every move.
For ten minutes he watched as the chimp filled out various forms, using stamps for approvals before putting his pen down. He looked over at Leo and rubbed his chin.
"Hmm, I don't know if you know what I'm saying. Previous experiments indicate that you humans have the ability to talk. Whether or not you're listening is not really of any importance. I suppose. I'm Doctor Naira. I'll be with you most of the time," he said as he flipped through a few pages.
Leo stared vacantly back at the doctor, his mind working fast to figure out what the hell was happening. He began to stiffen again when the doctor came close to him. He suppressed a shudder at the feel of the strong, wiry fingers on his chin. A flashback of Thade yelling down into his mouth hit him like a slap. He tried to yank his head away, only to find it useless as Doctor Naira had a firm grip on him.
"Settle down Boy. I'm only checking your vitals," the doctor snapped impatiently.
He shined a light in Leo's eyes, checked his ears and throat. He turned to the side, mumbling to himself as he jotted a few lines down. Leo let his body go limp as the doctor checked him over. He was deeply afraid to try the doctor's patience again.
'Play dead now, and find a way out later' he repeated to himself as the doctor hefted him like a sack of beans onto the examining table.
He squirmed at the cold metal that bit into his chafed skin, his arms uncomfortably cuffed behind him. The chimp doctor looked over at him and was about to berate him for not lying still when he saw that Leo's arms were locked. He made a 'tsk' sound and grabbed a pair of keys off a hook on the wall. He unlocked Leo's arms and nodded at him.
Dr. Naira moved from the side of the table to a counter that had several tools laid out. Leo felt his heart rate triple as he recognized some of the tools. He began to struggle to get off the table, his limbs moving far too slowly and clumsily for him to get far. The doctor grabbed him with one hairy hand and yanked him back to the table with a thud.
"You humans are all the same! Trying to escape for Thade's sake! Where do you think you're going to go, honestly?" he yelled while placing Leo's hands into restraints.
Leo bit his lip, hard enough to make it bleed. He wanted to scream, to cry, and to rip the cruel doctor's hands off. He watched through a brave façade as the doctor came close to him, a long, sharp needle glinting in the light in his hand. The doctor jabbed it into his arm with a smirk.
"You really must learn. Apes have always been superior to you humans. Fighting us is useless..." the voice above him trailed off as Leo felt his eyelids growing heavier, the urge to sleep washing over him with promises of taking the pain away.
Doctor Naira watched Leo until he fell asleep. He walked back over to his desk and picked up the phone on it. He sat back in his chair, one eyes still on the troublesome human. He barked an order into the phone, his fingers drumming restlessly while he listened to the hold music.
A voice came back on the line. "Doctor Naira, what do you have for us?" a smooth voice drawled out.
Naira rolled his eyes. "Come down and see for yourself, Senator. I've got the human that they found on the Thade Memorial. He's a fighter this one, I had to sedate him. Perhaps it's for the best."
The senator chuckled, his dry laugh an irritating sound to the doctor. "I'm sure."
Naira hung up the phone with a disgusted sigh. He was not one for politics and held little regard for those who were. He eyed the sleeping human and mentally went over what experiments he conduct next.
Leo moaned once as he felt a sharp pinch in his side. Panic flooded in as the memories of everything that had happened rushed at him. He tried to sit up, only to find himself strapped down.
"No" he grunted fiercely, tugging uselessly at his restraints. He pulled as hard as he could for several minutes before giving up and lying back on the table, panting helplessly.
"God damn it!" he yelled, his voice hoarse and strained. "I'm not an animal"
He gasped as his eyes took in the scene around him. He was in what looked to be similar to an operating theater. He could see the rows of wide empty seats above the operating area. He breathed in small gasps; the urge to scream was back. He looked around the room, deeply grateful that his head was not restrained.
He smelled rubbing alcohol in the air. On the table closest to his head, he spotted a few scalpels that still had traces of blood on them. 'My blood' he thought, horror running across his face. He gagged weakly.
'What have they done?' he thought frantically. Leo tried to lift his body forward some more to see if any part of him was missing. He quickly flexed each leg and hand, breathing a quick sigh of relief at each limb that moved when he commanded it. He slowly ran his eyes over his chest and made a faint whimpering sound at the sheer number of small surgical cuts that were on his chest. They ran all over, varying in length and width.
Leo laid his head down, pain and exhaustion making him feel faint. He heard voices behind him, just out of his sight. He craned his head, noticing for the first time that his arms were strapped down to the table, straight out from his sides. 'I look like I've been crucified,' he thought with a near hysterical laugh on his lips.
He then observed that his legs were also strapped down and spread wide open, his naked body visible for anyone to see. He closed his eyes, desperately wishing for help when he felt a furry hand land on his shoulder. He jerked lightly in his bonds.
Naira stood over him, a blank look on his face. He turned to the other chimps in the room and nodded at them.
"He's ready to be moved. Take him to Testing Room 2a. Wait for my command."
One of the larger chimps stepped forward and pressed a button on the wall nearest him. A near silent gong echoed through the hallways. Naira busied himself with straightening up the tools, dropping them in a cleaning fluid solution. He observed Leo, who was doing his best not to draw attention to himself.
While the other chimps were discussing their findings with each other, Naira leaned in close to Leo and smoothed one hand over his forehead. He crouched down as if to pick up a dropped piece of equipment and whispered in Leo's ear.
"I'm sorry Boy. The tests must continue. I'll be back to get you later this evening."
He stood up abruptly and left the room. Leo cracked one eye open. He shivered in the coldness of the room, feeling lonely and truly scared for the first time since he was a child.
A pair of large gorillas marched into the room, their eyes forward, not once resting on the operating table despite their curiosity at the sight of the human. A chimp doctor stepped forward and addressed them.
"Take it to Testing Room 2a and hurry up. No gawking!" he snapped at the guards.
The gorillas moved as one when they went to Leo, un-strapping him from the table. Before Leo could even think about moving, he was scooped up like a puppy and carried down the hallway. He shivered violently in the cool air that filled the halls. He was dropped into an all white room on a softly tiled floor.
Leo cried out as he hit the ground, his abused body still stiff and sore. He flipped off the departing guards, hiding a smirk at their confused faces. He stood up slowly, using the wall for support as he made his way around the small room.
'Nothing. Nothing at all. No windows, nothing sharp' he thought with a sigh.
He sat in one corner, his body tight with anticipation. After what seemed like an eternity, Leo heard a small hissing sound. He scanned the room, guessing vainly where the noise was coming from. A grey fog began to fill the room sending Leo into another burst of action. He began to beat on the door with both fists, hammering frantically as the fog descended on him.
Coughing harshly, he collapsed to the floor. He curled into a ball, tucking his head as far down as it would go. He breathed shallowly. The hissing sound stopped, leaving the fog behind. Try as he might, Leo found himself breathing in more of the fog. It burned his throat as it went down. He gagged and choked on it, clawing at his throat as he gasped. Darkness blurred over his eyes.
Leo cracked one eye open groggily. He moaned faintly as the room spun, his stomach loudly growling, and a gnawing hunger that made him queasy. He opened his other eye slowly, the bright lights blinding him. He could hear the doctor's speaking to each other quietly, their words flowing over him as if he wasn't there.
'Of course they are; you don't matter to them. Are you even really here?' his mind taunted him, the words cutting deeply. He shuffled to the side of the bars around him, his body still hunched protectively over. He bleakly observed the steel cage he was in.
'No more bamboo cages I guess. Huh, guess they've evolved' he thought, a dark smile on his face.
He waited for something, anything to happen. He struggled to ignore his empty stomach. Leo calmed himself by counting backwards from a hundred while waiting for the scientist's and doctors to notice him. Their words reached him as they came closer to his cage.
"He's shown great resistance to the suffocation fog. He did pass out but only after lasting much longer than the first subjects. He was still fighting to break free long after the others would have lost consciousness. And the healing! He's already scabbing from the cuts yesterday..." the voice trailed off as they passed by the cage.
Leo shook his head slowly. A whole day had passed! He thought longingly of Ari while he tried to ignore the speculative way that the new groups of scientists were staring at him now. One of them stepped forward, his head cocked curiously as he studied Leo.
He moved closer to the cage, one foot after the other, approaching Leo as though he would break through the bars and grab him. When his hands touched the bars, he spoke with a low murmur.
"Come here, c'mon, I won't hurt you. That's a good boy, come closer," he cooed softly.
Leo frowned. Did they think he was a dog? He stared up at the chimp in front of him, his eyes angry at the way they talked to him. 'Bastards' he snarled silently.
The scientist quirked his head at the doctor nearby. "Give me a banana," he said out of the corner of his mouth.
The doctor tossed him a banana from the tray. He cautiously slipped his hand through one of the spaces between the bars, offering it to Leo.
Leo was torn. His stomach rumbled threateningly at the sight of the food before him, but his pride was screaming at him not to take the offered fruit. He shook his head once, ignoring the mental threats he heard.
The scientist waved it encouragingly. "You've got to be hungry by now, little guy. Don't be silly, come eat the nice banana. You want the nice banana right? C'mon, little closer."
Leo gazed at the chimp with such contempt in his eyes. He eyed the group behind the first one. The door was still wide open. He spotted a pen in the top pocket of the coat that the chimp in front of him wore. In seconds he was up and had grabbed the chimp's arm, knocking the banana to the side.
The element of surprise was on Leo's side, he was still strong enough to grab the pen and hold it dangerously close to the chimp's eye. The other chimps gasped in horror. One slipped off to the side, and pressed an alarm button on the wall. Leo pushed harder, bringing one of the captive arms up higher to the middle of his back. The chimp made a squealing sound as pain spread like wildfire through his limb. He could see the pen hovering close to his eye and felt queasy as the image of a severed eyeball flashed in front of him.
"Let me go, or I'll kill him," Leo rasped, his throat raw still from the fog.
The chimps gasped again as they heard the first words from him. At that moment, several of the gorillas burst into the room, the alarm in the hallway clanging loudly. Before Leo could blink, he had one of the gorilla's arms around him in a bruising grip. He dropped the chimp in front of him as a scream of pain was dragged out of him. One of the chimps had whipped a needle out of seemingly nowhere and plunged it in his arm.
Leo sagged limply against the gorilla that held him. He fought weakly against the new, stronger chains that were placed around his wrists and tied to the side bars. He slumped over in the cage, his head racked with pain, falling into a troubled light sleep, passing in and out of consciousness as the hours ticked by.
When he next awoke completely, he saw Dr. Naira checking over a lab report on the desk next to his cage. He let out an involuntary groan of pain and hunger, wincing as he realized that this had drawn the doctor's attention. Dr. Naira glanced over at him and chuckled softly.
"Well you certainly have a way of making yourself known, I'll give you that," he said as he swiveled the chair closer to Leo's cage. Leo stared back at him defiantly.
"Now, I know you understand me Boy. Escaping is just not going to happen. And the sooner you accept that, the better off you'll be. It's not everyday that a human crash lands on one of the most important memorials in our country. They aren't going to let you go, so fighting is pointless," Naira said, his voice grave and serious.
Leo blinked away angry tears. The last thing he wanted was to cry in front of the chimp. He curled up, facing away from Naira. He didn't want to look at his captor. The doctor sighed. He stood up, popping his back with a long groan. He walked over to Leo's cage and pushed the banana closer to him.
"In case you decide to stop being stubborn," he said, not really expecting a reply.
Leo remained silent, his teeth clenched tightly with rage. The doctor opened the small dog flap at the bottom of his cage and pushed a bowl of water in. He watched Leo try to stop his shoulders from shaking.
Dr. Naira grabbed a few sheets and tossed them into a file folder. He hesitated a moment before turning back to Leo. He cleared his throat as though he were about to say something, then thought better of it and left the room silently.
Leo shivered in the cold air, still naked and chained to the wall of his cage. He let a few heated tears slip down his cheeks in the stillness of the room.