{ A/N: i unearthed the first draft of this while avoiding writing my AP papers, because i am a conscientious student like that. anyway, this fic is dedicated to two of my dear friends who love kalas, fan and skyraptor. they are also glorious writers, and you, dear reader, should become one of their readers as well! unless of course you, dear reader, happen to be either of them. that would be awkward, since you are. probably already familiar with your own writing. um.

well, in any case, i hope i did kalas justice! *u* this is kind of an experimental fic, as it is written from the pov of BABBY KALAS, so bear in mind that any weird grammatical mistakes or tense changes or misspellings or what have you are actually intentional! }


That man is here again.

He comes here a lot lately, and I know he must be important because he wears a lot of gold and funny armor and these big huge wings, like the ones Gramps makes but a lot more fancy.

He comes here to look at Fee with Gramps and Uncle. One time he looked at me. He looked mad, and he kept telling Gramps about how he wanted the "specimen" gone soon, and when I asked Gramps later what he meant, he just ruffled my hair and told me to go put Fee to bed, because Fee's still a baby and he can't do it himself. I'm big, though, and I know how, so I help Fee.

Everyone is playing with Fee now. Uncle left for a while to go I don't know where, but he came back today to see us. "Kalas," he said to me (my name's Kalas, and Uncle told me that it means something neat in another language, but he never told me what) when he walked into the lab, "you must be a good boy today."

"I'm a good boy every day, Uncle!" I told him. I don't think Uncle thinks I'm a big boy, but I am! That makes me worried. I hope Uncle isn't going to become mean, like that man... I hope Uncle still likes me.

Uncle laughed then, but not a mean laugh, so I think he still likes me just fine. "So you are, Kalas," he said, and he patted my head once. "So you are!"

Uncle doesn't touch me like Gramps does - Uncle's hands are always really stiff, and his fingers don't bend when he pats my head, and every time he does it, it's only one time, every time. Then he went to go talk with Gramps. I followed him.

They talked about Fee for a little while, and then the doors to the lab came open and a bunch of guards came in. I thought about hiding, because Giacomo might come in, and I don't like him, because he's mean, too. But it was just that man and some guards, and then the man made them leave, so it was just him and Gramps and Uncle and Fee and me alone in the lab, and even though that's only four it felt like a bunch more, like the lab shrunk or something when we weren't looking.

The man was glaring at me. He was frowning bigger than I'd ever seen anyone do, too, and his face was all wrinkled up from how hard he was frowning. He looked scary, but he also looked funny, because his face was all painted like a lady's. He was really ugly, too, and kind of fat. I still thought about hiding.

"Geldoblame," Gramps said real soft, looking at the man, "you're scaring Kalas."

I jumped up and stomped my foot. "Nuh uh! I'm not scared! I'm a big boy! Big boys don't get scared!" I keep having to tell people that, because they keep forgetting for some reason. It's annoying. I wish they would remember.

Uncle looked at me, but he was talking to the man. "Kalas doesn't mean any harm, Geldoblame," he said, and he brought his big eyebrows down like he did when he was telling me I did something bad. "He's a little excitable."

Geldoblame must be that man's name. That's a weird name. I feel like I've heard it before... I'm trying to remember where while I lean back against the side of the big table that's farthest away from them. I wish they'd all stop looking at me...

Gramps cracks his knuckles sometimes, like when he messes up one of his experiments or when he and Uncle have one of their really long talks in the back of the lab. He's doing it now, while he talks to Geldoblame. It's really loud. Sometimes I think he might break his fingers off. (That would be really awful, but he could probably make new ones, so it'd end up okay I guess. Gramps can make anything!)

"If you want to see the child, come now, or I'll have to ask you to leave," he says, and then Geldoblame laughs at him. It's not a nice laugh, like Uncle laughed at me earlier. Everything he does sounds mean, even his walk, because he wears these stupid weird shoes that make big, loud sounds on the floor when he moves and it makes my heart beat really hard. I bet Uncle can hear it even without his stethe... Stetic... Doctor necklace.

I go to the other side of the table, because I want to hear what Gramps and Uncle are saying. They had Fee over there all day, poking him and prodding him and doing tests and stuff, so we didn't get to play today. I pretended not to care all day, but I kind of miss him. He's really good at Hide-and-Go-Seek. One time he hid so good I thought I lost him and I was so scared I almost cried! But only almost.

"His growth is perfectly normal for his age, and there have been no complications with anything so far." That's Uncle talking.

Gramps says, kind of loudly, "Don't touch him. Can't you see he's asleep?"

I hear that horrible sound of Geldoblame's shoes on the ground again, and Gramps cracking his knuckles real loud. I look around the corner to see what's going on, and I see for a second that Geldoblame has his face really close to Gramps's, and he looks mad, but also like he's laughing. Like when a really nasty fluffpup has its lips open and its teeth set in a big pointy smile right before it bites you really hard.

Then Uncle says, "Geldoblame, please!" and Geldoblame starts laughing again. I don't get what's so funny. Then he walks around some more, and then... then he's looking right at me, and I want to cry. I back up to the other side of the table and I almost fall down. But I don't. I don't, because big boys don't cry, and big boys don't fall down like dummies like that. Big boys don't hide either, so I make myself look at his ugly face like I'm not afraid. If Gramps and Uncle aren't afraid, I'm not afraid.

Uncle walks over and touches him on the shoulder then, and he spins around and almost hits him with one hand, and slams his other hand down really hard on the table. I have my hands on the table, and I feel it all the way up my arms, like when you touch something cold and you can feel it making your bones prickle.

"Don't touch me!" Geldoblame yells, and it sounds like a bark. He's breathing really hard. He reminds me of Giacomo, because Giacomo is like a big mean dog, too, barking all the time and trying to bite people.

Gramps comes over too, and then he looks really hard at Geldoblame for a long time while Uncle goes to stand behind him. Then he says, "The child is developing exactly as you've been hoping; you know this now, so you have no reason to be here." He narrows his eyes. "You may go."

"I may go?" Geldoblame snorted. (Before, I thought he was like a mean fluffpup. Now I think he's more like a pow.) "As if I require your permission." It sounded like he was spitting out the words onto the floor, like they tasted bad or something. He looked like he was going to start yelling again, but then he turned looked at me right in the eye said something weird instead. He said: "Get rid of the defective specimen, or I'll rid the program of it myself."

He kept looking at me for a little while, then he looked up at Gramps and Uncle and opened his mouth in a really mean-looking smile, with all his teeth showing again like he was gonna bite. Then he turned really fast with his big golden robes swishing out all around him, and he finally left.

I turned around after the doors closed because I didn't want Gramps and Uncle to see me crying, but Gramps came over and turned me around anyways. He put his big wrinkled hands on my shoulders and asked me if I was OK. I looked up at him and sniffed really hard so my nose kind of wiggled around, because I'm trying to stop crying. I don't wanna cry in front of Gramps. Gramps would never cry at anything, not even that awful man yelling at him. (And I'm still a big boy, and big boys still don't cry.)

"Gramps?" I asked, " ... am I 'the specimen?'"

Gramps squeezed my shoulders so hard it kind of hurt.