The Insane HAH's
The insane HAH's, which can be read as either "The Insane Laughter" or "The Insane Human-Avian-Hybrids."
The tagline for this story is – Sometimes they just get it wrong.
This is a flock full of wrong, and continues my creation of OC's for the purpose of giving you outside the box stories. This is a one-shot/five-shot. It's slice of life from five points of view, in five ficlets. Four of these are 1000 words, one is 500.
Obviously I own my OC's, and I don't own the general idea of Maximum Ride.
Dake grins, but then Dake's always grinning, because his face is made that way. "Shee-wooh," he says.
Jedat grins back at him, and flicks the feathers on his head, but then he's always doing that too. "Dake says he wants to peck your face off, BarBar." He says to me.
I growl. "Dake's a stupid piece of Whitecoat dung."
"We're all going to die!" Such says. Such is short for Such-a-pain. Such sees the future. The Whitecoats call her Project Athena, because Athena's supposed to be wise. We don't give a care. We just call her Such. "BarBar's going to have her wings cut off!"
I rattle the bars of my cage, watching the way that they sparkle. It's too dark in here, because the lights are on. But they're the Whitecoat lights, not my lights, my special youvee lights. Neemik's coffin is shiny too, but that's for a different reason. She's glassed in and there are special lights, like mine inside, but not. They're called Eyeare lights, and they're warm and reddish. Or at least Neemik says they are, and she can see a little bit like me, but mostly like the others.
Neemik carefully presses the button that lets her talk to us and hear what we say. "Stop it," she says weekly. Neemik is in her weekly sickness time. She's bad for three days, and then the Whitecoats give her the shots and she's better again for a while. Then she gets bad again. Then she gets better.
As if voicing my thoughts, Such cries, "Neemik's going to get better!" We all ignore her. Sometimes she says things that are wrong to be mean.
Neemik wishes she was better. We all wish she was always better. But if we had wishes then we'd wish for ourselves to be out of here first. I would. And then I'd get Neemik out, and maybe Such and maybe, maybe Jedat. But not Dake.
Dake the Mistake.
Of course, that's not much. A mistake saying another mistake is bad simply because that mistake that made them is worse. I'm a mistake too, but I'm better than him. I was one of the first, you see. Not the first to survive, but one of the first to get a few things more right. Like, I have wings, and lungs like I'm supposed to.
Not like Dake, but that's because I was made for a purpose, and he's just an experiment. I'm an experiment too, but not that kind of experiment. It's... Well, I understand it, and you don't have to.
There's that buzzing noise outside as the Lock opens. The Lock is two doors, so if we get one open, we still have to get the other open. Not that we can, or anything. Not that we would. I can't escape because I don't think I can fly with my wings like they are, all mangled up. Such just cowers in her cage, Dake doesn't understand, and Neemik will die if she goes away. Jedat could, but he doesn't want to. Jedat thinks he's the best, because he was the first one to survive. The first Ay-vee-un-hi-bridd. I don't know what that really means, but it's why we don't look like the Whitecoats.
It makes us different.
But it's not what makes us mistakes. We're mistakes, because we're not the right kind of hi-bridds. We don't look right. We don't have the right things. Dake is the least right, and Neemik is the most right. Actually, I think Neemik is all right, except for her being all white and being sick.
I almost am, but almost is not good enough. It's because I'm small, and because of my eyes.
The door opens, and the growling ones come in with a Whitecoat. It's the growling ones that told us that they're called Whitecoats, and we do, but we don't like the growling ones. They do what the Whitecoats say, and sometimes what they say is to hurt us. I don't like that. Of course, they never hurt Jedat, but that's because Jedat does what they say. Jedat thinks that they made him better. I don't know why he thinks that, because he doesn't know what he could have been if they didn't make him what he is.
They take me and Neemik.
I don't see where she goes, because a growling one takes her away to somewhere else. I hope that I see her again, she is my family. Whatever that means.
I am taken to Operating Theatre Twelve. I think it's our one. I have been here before, just twice, and I've heard about it. Neemik had her leg cut off here. She's been here before lots, because sometimes parts of her die. They go black and they smell, and then the Whitecoats come and shake their heads. Then she gets taken away, and she comes back with the black bits bandaged. The bandages come off and the black bits are gone.
I don't have any black bits, so I don't know why I'm here. Last time I had my arm cut open by a growling one, and they stitched it up. I don't have any cuts either. The time before that, they put the black chip in my eyes so I could see better. Now I can see people in red and orange, unlike before when they were just bits of shiny, and bits of black. But they said that's all they could do. They said that they can't make me any better, make me be more like I should be.
I try not to think of what Such said. They wouldn't cut off my wings, would they? Then I wouldn't be like I should be at all.
The growling ones strip off my clothes hold me while the Whitecoat sprays me with disinfectant. Then they keep me still while he injects me with something. As I fall asleep, one carries me to a table and puts me down on it.
When they take Neemik and BarBar, I don't expect to see them for a while. Neemik is getting better, and BarBar's having her wings cut off. Neemik will be back first though, in maybe a week.
Now I have to stay with Dake and Jedat for a whole week. I'm not going anywhere and Jedat's only going for a few hours. Dake's going to die in two weeks, he'll be gone before BarBar gets back, but Neemik will be here. She will be asleep, and when she wakes up he will be gone. He's not going to Die-die. They're going to put him to sleep, the wrong kind of not-sleep. But they're only doing that because if they didn't then he would Die-die.
I don't say that though, because I don't think anyone needs to know. They don't believe me when I tell them some things, but then sometimes things don't come true. I know that if I said it would happen then it would come true, but nobody else understands that. They don't see things like I do. Dake doesn't see things at all, because he's just stupid and angry. That's why I'm not sorry he's going.
"BarBar's getting her wings cut off!" Jedat gloats. Jedat doesn't like BarBar because he's jealous. Because even though BarBar's old wings weren't right, it was more than Jedat who doesn't have any wings at all.
Dake shuffles around as the Lock closes. He wishes that he could attack the Whitecoats, because he is always angry. He is looking alright, but then when he dies I know he will look bad, because his DNA is unravelling. I know things like that, because of where I was before. I have been here for a year.
I know time, because I see things that are not in their right time. I am in the now, and they are sometimes in the now, but in other places. If I see something now, that is happening now, but in some other place, a place where I could not know of it, does that make it seeing the future? Sometimes I don't know what is now and what is not.
BarBar has been here for eight years, along with Neemik. BarBar is fifteen years old. BarBar is old too me. I'm eight. Neemik is ten. Jedat is fifteen too. I don't know how old Dake is, and I don't care. Jedat came with me. We have been in another place, and the Whitecoats there were called by their proper name. Scientists.
They liked Jedat, because Jedat was the first one to survive. They didn't like me, because when I was born, I should have been right, but I'm not. I don't have any arms, because the wings are there. I have one hand, on my wing, but no hand on the other wing. Jedat's not jealous of me because he remembers that I was a disappointment, and that he was still their favourite.
I will get better, I know. They're going to do what they're doing to Neemik. She's getting a leg attached; one that's just like her old one except it's healthy. They're going to give me new arms. They're going to take me into surgery, and try to give me the proper shape – wings on my back and arms from my shoulders.
I don't know if it will work, because I can't see past the haze of the ann-us-thet-ick.
Neemik's surgery will go well. She lost the leg only a few months ago. It began to rot, because Neemik's blood isn't right. They're going to make her blood right though. With stemm-sells. They put them into your body and sometimes you get better. Jedat did, when he had that blood-disease, years ago. I don't think he remembers. Sometimes you don't get better. One of them didn't. Black-hair. I remember him. They made him go in the radiation, with Jedat. Then they got sick. Jedat got better, but Black-hair didn't, and he died. He didn't have a name. I wish he was here, not Dake and Jedat.
I curl up on the floor of my cage. Dake whistles at me, he wants to know what will happen. I don't want to talk to him, because he only wants to know the bad things. I don't like to talk about the bad things, so I don't say anything. I don't have many good things to think about, so I don't say much at all.
Dake and Jedat give up and so they talk to each other. They think I am sleeping, but I don't need to sleep, and I'm not that bored.
"Cha cha-ha shee woo ha." Dake can't talk well enough to say our words, so He says his own made up ones. Jedat can understand him best, but that's because BarBar and Neemik are happy to talk to each other and ignore Dake and Jedat, and I don't like talking to them.
I do like talking to BarBar and Neemik, but I know that I make them uncomfortable, because they don't want to know about what is happening to them next.
Jedat laughs. I'm not surprised, because Dake has just suggested what he wants to do to BarBar when she gets back. Dake really doesn't like BarBar, and would attack him like any Whitecoat. Dake hates the Whitecoats, but he likes Jedat. Jedat is the Whitecoat-iest person I have ever met. He'd be a Whitecoat if he could. Jedat wants to be important. Jedat wants to be famous, and in charge.
I just want to survive the surgery. I want to escape.
Before I die. Everyone dies. Dake will die next week, and a little boy with no eyes and no ears will take his cage. Neemik might die soon, but she won't because I'll tell her how to avoid it and she will. I've seen that happen. Jedat will die when we escape. BarBar might die so often that I don't know which is right.
The White One leaves with the One-that-makes-me-angry, and I am angry. But not because the Angry one is gone. I am happy for that.
I am in the box.
The talking one is in his box. The quiet one is in her box.
The white one is not in her box. The angry one is not in her box.
The growling ones have opened their boxes and they have gone away. I hope they come back to their boxes, and I hope the boxes are closed.
Things are not right. Things must be right, they must not be different. They are different. I do not like it.
I am in my box. This makes me angry. I wish the angry one was here so that I could tell her why I am angry. The angry one does not like me, and tells me to be quiet. The angry one tells me that if I am not quiet she will make me be quiet. The Angry one cannot make me be quiet because she is in her box, and I am in my box.
Now she is not in her box. I have no reason to be not-quiet. I do not know what not-quiet is. I do not know the words.
The quiet one ignores me as I ask her what will happen. The quiet one tells us of the things that will happen. I do not know what will happen. I know that mostly I will be in my box. I do know what will happen. The quiet one knows more. She knows what will happen when I am not in my box.
I must decide what I will do when the angry one returns. I do not like the angry one who tells me to be quiet. The quiet one says that she will not have her wings. I have my wings and my feet and my beak and no arms like the quiet one. I will make sure that the Angry one has no arms, because then he will be more like me and we can be a proper flock. All the same.
The talking one is talking to me. I am talking to him, because that is what we do when we are in our boxes. I shuffle around my box, from one of my perches to the other. I do not like being on the floor, like the other ones are, but I know that it is because their feet are strange. My feet make pain for the smelling ones and growling ones that make pain on me.
I am angry that they did not let me out of my box. If I was out of my box I would be able to make them be in pain.
Instead they take the White one and the Angry one. They are not in their boxes. When they get back in their boxes I must make sure that the angry one knows that I do not like her.
I am bored. Without the constant arguing between Dake and BarBar, there is nothing to entertain me. This room is very boring, more so than the others that sometimes inhabit it. Such is only good for a little bit of very brief amusement, but then she withdraws into her cage and pretends to sleep. She doesn't like being here. She's a fool. This is the best place in the world.
Neemik was as boring as Such is, but I don't believe that I will be seeing either Neemik or that little Miss Perfect BarBar again. They have been gone for three days, and I don't believe that they will be coming back. It's not much of a loss, to anyone, I can safely assume.
Still, I'll wait. Maybe they'll come back.
My life is one big, constant wait. Waiting for the time when I will come to be the one who I was born to be. I was born to be better than this. I was born for a reason, a purpose. One day, everyone will see what that purpose is. I just have to wait. They'll see.
Then I'll be rid of the stupid experiments I've been kept with. They'll wish that they were like me. As good as me. They're not. Not one of them is worth anything, they're only alive because someone thought they might be interesting, and because nobody could be bothered killing them.
Until now. Now BarBar and Neemik are gone, and they deserve it. Neither of them is anything like perfect.
I was made to be the first, and I survived. I don't have to be perfect, because I'm the first. I'm a survivor. They all said 'none of them would survive'. They nearly gave up, and then there was me, and everything that's happened since then is because of me. They made more hybrids, better ones, and they made worse ones like Neemik and BarBar and Such. They made mistakes. But then, not even the scientists are perfect, and I don't mind that at all.
I've only ever seen the better ones once. Sometimes, when I was very little, they'd show around one of the little babies that had just been born, one of the little babies who was everything I should have been. But it doesn't matter, I'm not jealous. I was the first step, you see, and I'll do something important. Not like the others.
They're never going to be important. They're just not built for it. BarBar can't even see, except in ultraviolet, and Neemik can't survive for very long outside of her oxygen rich tank. She wouldn't even be alive if she was Outside. And Such is the worst of all; she's just a sloppily made runt with a mildly interesting brain.
Dake's the only proper one. He's not even like us, except for the fact that he's an avian-human hybrid. He's got more bird than man, though, and he's not bad for a first try. They tried to put a human mind in an animal, the perfect kind of spy. Who would suspect? He's got a purpose too. I'm sure of it. I know about having a purpose. I know about having a life.
They all tell me, except Dake, that we could have better lives, if we were outside. They say we could have proper lives, like the scientists do, except we wouldn't be scientists. I don't know why they wouldn't want to be. They don't understand how privileged we are. We're the first in a new race – well, the first steps in building a new race, a better race. We're heroes. And the scientists are the ones who made us what we are. They're heroes too, and I wish that I was just like them.
I'm not going to die in some cage, after wasting my life, rotting away, with no one to care. The ones who made me will always remember me as the first success they ever had.
BarBar, if she isn't dead, and I bet that she is, is going to be in so much pain when she gets back. She's so stupid, she fights the scientists. She says she hates them, and she tries to hurt them. She doesn't realise that if she'd act like me, act properly, like they told me to, then they'll be nice. She doesn't care though. She doesn't have a destiny waiting for her.
Neemik's worse, because she can't even move right, not without gasping for breath, and turning a funny blue colour. She's so pale as well, because she's such a failure. Even with her wings. She might be alright if she wasn't all pale and weird looking. The scientists say she's albino. I say she's a waste.
And Such is just so very little and scared. I'm not scared of anything. Such thinks that we're all going to die, and nobody will be sad for us dying.
I know better than them. When I was moved here, one of them told me something. I didn't want to go, didn't want to leave them, in the other place, the Institute. That was my home; those scientists there were my family, not these stupid experiments. One of them told me, she told me, promised me that I had a Destiny. I had to leave because of it. They were only the ones who helped me grow up. They were the ones who watched me as I learned, as I grew older.
Now that I'm here, all I have to do is wait. That's what she told me. 'You have to get in your cage,' she said, 'You can't fight, JD8. This is what your life is. Conduct yourself as best you can. You must not try to fight; you must not try to escape. You must wait. We will tell you what to do.'
So I didn't fight. I'm waiting for my destiny. I'll be the best.
She said so.
All I have to do is wait.
When I return, things are very different that when I left. I'm different, but everything else is too. Dake is gone, and so is BarBar. Such tells me that BarBar hasn't been back yet, and she says that Dake is dead. She says that there was a little boy here for a while, but now he is gone. She means that he is dead. I wonder why he was here. Nobody just visits us.
Jedat doesn't say anything to me, he just watches as I'm put into a cage for the first time in my life. His eyes are angry, and I look away. He doesn't want to admit that maybe he's glad that I'm back. Jedat is one of those people who does not like change at all. I wonder what will happen now. The Whitecoats have given me back my leg and they have fixed my neemia, my blood problems. I don't know how they did it, but...
I am a little bit grateful. I'm happy, for once. And it's because of the Whitecoats. It confuses me for a long time, what I should feel. But I know my life well enough to realise that the only reason why I was fixed, was because it was a problem. The Whitecoats like to fix problems, just for the challenge of it.
Such says that they're fixing BarBar up too. I don't know how they'll fix her wings, but they'll try any challenge. Such is lucky, she doesn't really need fixing. Not her body. Her mind is a bit broken, but the Whitecoats can't fix that. I don't think anyone could fix her, not now.
And Jedat – Jedat can't be fixed, because he's okay on his own, he's not that kind of broken, not like us. He knows he's not that kind of broken, but it doesn't stop him from wishing to have wings, like I do. Like Such does. Like BarBar does. Even if BarBar's wings were too small and too broken, and even if Such has no arms.
He hates me for what I am, and I think, deep down, he hates himself for not being what he cannot be.
We're too different. I wish we be more similar, but Jedat and I can't be, because I don't want to be any more like him, and he doesn't know how to be any more like me. He knows what the Whitecoats used to be like, before they got mean. Back when they were trying to help. He tells us, all the time, that this is why they do what they do. But Jedat doesn't like change, and he refuses to accept that things have changed. That he has changed. That the Whitecoats have changed.
He's falling behind, and it's destroying him.
A week after I get back, I'm still fixed. Then BarBar returns, and she has her new wings. Her new, perfect, right-sized and not-deformed wings. They're grey; they used to be brown.
It's the last straw for Jedat. He stops eating and drinking. He curls up in the corner of his cage, and tries to die. It never works, though, because we've all tried it. I wonder where his thoughts of his destiny have gone to, because this isn't what he was meant for. This isn't what any of us are meant for. Sometimes, I think he wants to join Dake. Dake was his only friend. Some of that is my fault.
But then I think - maybe this is just one change too many for Jedat. Maybe it's finally sinking in, seeing that the Whitecoats can fix us, me and BarBar, that he's some kind of broken, too. He's just as much of a mistake as we are, five, no, four mistakes, all lined up in their cages. His mistake was believing the Whitecoats.
They can't fix a wish that's been broken into tiny little pieces. I don't think that they even realise that they're the ones who have done all this. They built him up, and now he's tumbling down and they don't care. He might be the first, but they have more recent successes to worry about.
We're not successes, me and BarBar, but we're more right than we've ever been. And Such is getting better too. I don't know why, because when I ask, she doesn't answer. Not anymore. The first time I asked, she said 'freedom'. She hasn't said anything since.
BarBar loves her new wings. She always knew that she'd never get to fly with the old ones, but now she thinks that she might just have a chance. Such thinks we all have a chance, now. She stops saying that we're all going to die. She tells us that people from the outside are coming, and that we might be freed.
I ask what she means by 'might', and she doesn't answer me straight away. Such doesn't like the bad things. "There's gas." She says finally. "It can kill us in seconds. Maybe the outside people will get to us first, maybe the gas will. It can go either way."
We ask her when, but all she knows is that it will happen soon. She can't tell is it's a day or a week or a month. So we all wait. Jedat's good at waiting, but he's given up. The Whitecoats take him away, and he comes back a few days later. He doesn't look much better, but we can all see that he's back to his old self. The Whitecoats saved him, so he must be worth saving. His kind of broken can be fixed.
He's been listening to what been talking about, and he does what he always did, telling Such that she's stupid. Saying that me and BarBar have problems. Saying how much better he is, and that he has a life ahead of him.
The alarms go off. Such smiles. If the men get here in time, then we all have lives ahead of us.