Luna walked back to the examination room where 72 was being held, hands stuffed in her pockets, Luna trudged down the hallways, her thoughts flooding her mind. So many questions to be answered, so little time.
Luna’s device beeped, showing 72’s stats and vital signs, showing that he was going to wake up soon. Luna wanted to make sure she was there before Blank was, if not, she was sure 72 wont speak to her for a while.
Luna finally made it to the examination room. The scientist that was keeping guard was alert and ready, unlike the other one who was keeping guard of 72. Luna nodded at her and smiled.
“good work Mary” she piped up as Mary allowed her in. Mary smiled and nodded at Luna.
Luna grinned as she entered the room, only seeing 72 sprawled out on the metal table, his limbs and hair everywhere. What a nice life, even when he struggled to even get on the table in the first place.
Luna decided to play with him a little, tickling his toes and hands. 72 moaned softly as Luna pushed his hair away from his face. She knelt close to him and watched him slowly open his eyes, it reminded her of when he first awakened. How he stared at her so innocently.
“hey hun” she whispered, stroking his cheek. 72 stared at her blankly, he looked lost.
“72?” Luna asked looking into his eyes, 72 continued to stare at her, his eyes drilling into her head.
Luna pulled out a small flashlight and shone it into his eyes, 72 blinked and looked away from the light. Luna continued to shine it into his eyes.
“hey, look at me, look at the light 72” Luna said waving the light around to get his attention. 72 didn’t seem to bother, he just turned the other way, like if Luna never existed. She sighed, she knew he must be angry at what happened during the examination.
72 continued to stare off into space. Luna snapped her fingers near his ears, waved a hand across his face and even faked trying to poke his eyes. 72 couldn’t care less. Suddenly a few scientist entered the room.
“Miss Luna, is he ready for stage 2?” one of them asked
“yes” Luna said. 72 brought himself back into existence and clung onto Luna’s shirt as the scientists rolled in a cot into the room. 72 glared at the scientists for a moment and stuffed his head into Luna’s lab coat. As if he suddenly loved her again.
Luna patted 72’s head, still burrowed in her lab coat. He peeked out shyly, giving Luna his usual innocent stare.
The scientists helped 72 onto the cot as he was rolled onto his next stage. A bath.
Luna walked up to the scientists who were preparing the water for him. This may not be such a big test for 72, but being stuck in a glass case filled with orange like liquid for years may actually be a big deal. Imagine being stuck in a case filled with water and stuck in it for years, must be very uncomfortable.
Yet the liquid 72 and his sister was in, as well as other failed experiments from the past didn’t give the effects a normal human would experience when underwater for a long time. Their skin was much more complex and able to withstand such effects.
Luna knelt near the tub and reached to touch the water. A scientist politely stopped her.
“miss, its best not to touch the water until ready” the female scientist said pulling a thermometer out of the tub.
72 was later brought in, knowing that he cannot walk yet, the scientists settled him down onto the floor as one of them removed his oxygen mask, 72 gasped a little as the mask was replaced with a portable one. Luna has never seen the mask before on the ship.
Sighing, she nodded to the other scientists. Two of them lifted him up and over the tub, 72 looked down into the water, unafraid, even when another scientist tore the towel off his waist, leaving him nude…again.
72 was slowly lowered into the water. Luna held her breath, afraid he might flail when he makes contact with water for the first time, surprisingly he didn’t even bother. He looked… curious.
The specimen stood still in the water for a while, curious of his new surroundings. Lifting a pale hand out of the water, admiring the invisible liquid that fell from his fingers. Luna let out a sigh of relief, only to shoo away the other scientists just to be alone with the curious hybrid.
One scientist though decided to pull Luna away, he gave her a stern look that peered over his tiny glasses that rested at the very bridge of his nose.
“what are you doing Miss? He needs to be monitored-“ he exclaimed as he began to brag on about this and that about water hazards and so on about safety, Luna just rolled her eyes.
“is that so?” she interrupted him in the middle of 72 being an experiment with heath difficulties ever since he woke up. Yet he was so healthy while in the case, but ever since that transfusion… has given both him and Luna a nightmare.
“with me in charge I know what im doing” Luna continued “ he trusts me better than anyone on this ship, do you remember what happened in the examination room?”
She waited for the scientist to give her an answer, knowing he don’t have any Luna shooed him away as well as the other remaining scientists in the room. If that scientist had a tail it would be between his legs.
Turning back to the specimen who was staring right back at her, sat patiently in the tub.
‘what are you waiting for?’ his eyes read, ‘are you going to stand there or what?’
And she did, after giving the somewhat calm specimen his bath. Luna quickly yet carefully dried him off and wrapped a towel around him. The whole time not a single peep came from 72, even when Luna tried to begin a conversation with him he would just watch the toy rubber ducky float around his long legs that stuck out of the water.
“how talkative you were back there hm?” Luna said as a few scientists hoisted him onto a fold out wheelchair, she offered to roll him back to the room he was in when he first woke up, afraid 72 will flip again if taken to the examination room.
Luna tried once again to speak with 72, so far after what happened after the strip search, he don’t give a damn about anyone at the moment. For a second he is the most talkative person- or hybrid in the world, now he had just sealed himself up in his shell.
The moment 72 reached his wing, his gaze turned towards the blank hallway. “I know what your thinking 72” Luna giggled as she wheeled him into the room. Luna knew he was too eager to see his sister, but he was going to have to wait.
In the meanwhile, Luna and a few other scientists did a quick procedure with the hybrid. 72 never spoke throughout the procedure of wires being placed here and there on his body, when he was quickly switched back to the oxygen tank due to the mask not working as properly. Only when a needle was held in front of his face, his eyes widened as big as moons and latched onto Luna’s body.
For the rest of the procedure 72 continued to latch onto Luna, she could hear him whimper when the scientists placed a few needles on his back. After all of that, 72 appeared to be weak since he has had his blood drawn again as well as the needles. Laying him down to rest Luna walked out of the room to bring in a little surprise for him.
After a short walk to her office, Luna pulled a large cardboard box out from under her bed and opened it. She has been waiting for this day for a long time.
In the box was filled with numerous toys and books, some of them were from when Luna was a child and others were donated to the company. Knowing that one of the surviving experiments would one day use the toys in the box, Luna almost threw them away into the depths of space knowing that every experiment was a complete failure. She knew there was no point on keeping the box.
Proving herself wrong, she can finally introduce 72 with the goodies, but he can’t keep everything to himself. He has to share with his sister or he won’t get any of the toys at all.
Picking up a soft teddy bear that limped in her hands, she knew that the experiments cannot be expected to be acting like adults for now, she wanted them to gain a little sense of childhood in them before going onto higher expectations.
The box was far heavier than expected as Luna struggled to lift it, years ago the box was only filled with a few books from what children learn to novels and hardcovers in every level. The toys were only a few stuffed animals and plastics that had the company’s logo stuck onto it.
Failure after failure, the corpses of the dead mutated experiments were shipped to the head chiefs ship before being sent down to earth for examination or disintegration. As a boost to continue going with the contract, we have been earning blood money after blood money as well as donations for continuation as well as brand new toys and books for any surviving experiments.
After 54 and 44 died the company was getting restless for their hybrids, the blood money was cut from average and less donations were sent onboard, but they didn’t stop giving donations. Luna was happy with the amount of toys in the box as she lugged it down the hallway; it filled the very peak that the box was soon going to give in.
Bumping into Brendon along the way, he grabbed the load into his hands before Luna could break her back. Luna was dumbfounded by him having no difficulty at all with the box, of course, carrying the lightweight 72 and an oxygen tank strapped to his back can prove such strength. She always thought of Brendon not only as a bodyguard, but a true friend.
Entering 72’s wing, Luna noticed him toying with the IV in his arm, his crimson red blood beginning to seep out of it and onto his pale arm. She quickly grabbed a cloth to take in the blood, scolding him. 72 couldn’t even look at her.
After adjusting his IV back in place. Brendon set down the box onto the floor with a soft thud, a small plastic toy robot toppling out of the heap and clattering onto the ground brought 72’s attention to it.
The company’s logo was the main eye catcher, a picture of a pixilated moon with the exact space ship we are on hovering by, but that wasn’t the specimen’s eye candy. He was most interested in the robot itself, since he has never seen one before.
Luna picked up the small toy, holding it out to 72 who examined it wide eyed. She watched him gingerly feel the toy, the metal painted eyes, the tiny retro style claw hands and its tiny chest covered in mechanics. Taking the toy in his hands, he experimented with the arms, moving them as well as the legs and head. He enjoyed every second of it.
“robot” he suddenly said, making Luna and Brendon jump. Luna stared at him bug eyed. How did he learn such a word?? He dont even know what he is holding for crying out loud! Brendon let out a laugh when he saw the word ROBOT scrawled on the logo in large lettering.
72 peeked around Luna to spot the box overflowing with toys, his eyes brightened like the stars. Brendon held him back before pulling himself off cot and onto the floor since he still don’t know how to walk as yet, but Luna knew it wouldn’t be long until he begins to take his very first steps.
Setting him down on the ground by Brendon, Luna allowed him to search though the overflowing box of toys and books for ones he can have for his own, but not everything for himself. 72 examined every single toy and book, touching and feeling every detail for himself as he tried to figure out what the heck he was holding in his hands.
“book, this is a book” Luna said, sitting cross legged beside him watching him trying to open a children’s book about a chicken. Taking it into her hands, she softly read a few words from it, showing him how to flip pages and pointing out the cartoon drawings to him. 72 might not know what a book or a chicken is, but the look in his eyes showed he wanted to learn more and more.
“book” he whispered as he held it in his hands. He repeated the word as he placed the book beside him, the toy robot resting on his lap as he searched through the box for more goods.
Soon 72 had a grand pile of toys beside him, everything was an interest for him in the box. Whatever he pulled out he would gently touch every limb and detail of it, the books were a big interest for him, only forgetting how to open a book again as he placed aside a small pile of them whose covers caught his eye.
Another pile was set with toys, most of them blaring the company’s logo as they were ranged from small plastic figures to teddy bears and other small stuffed animals. Luna’s eyes swept by every toy he set down beside him, satisfied with his choices but it seemed that he was going a bit overboard with his choices.
Before the specimen could set down a small, silky red teddy bear with the white embroidered space ship on its tiny chest into his pile, Luna gently pulled the bear away from his grasp. 72 tried to grab for the bear again, hurt was written all over his pale face.
“no” Luna said, holding the bear away from his reach. “you must know that all these cannot be yours, you must share with your sister as well”
72 stared into the scientist’s eyes blankly, having no clue what she just said but only recognizing the word ‘sister’ he glanced over at his pile of toys. Guilt washed over his face as he moved his fingers across the toy robot on his lap.
Luna looked up at Brendon for a moment, he just gave off a mere shrug before looking back at the specimen in shock. Luna snapped back at 72 seeing that he has just dumped the whole box filled with the toys onto the floor, the sound of the toys and books all flowing out of the box frightened the hybrid, making his eyes widen in fear as he tightly clutched his little robot in his hands. Tight enough to make his knuckles go white
The monitors in the room all began to beep at a fast rate, showing his heart rate had increased as well as his brain waves. Looking back into his eyes to show that they were clearly dilated. The strange white ring around his pupil expanding as well.
Luna reached over and gently hugged him, feeling his thin frail body in her arms made her worry more about him. Yet he was strong with a healthy build, she spoke to him in a gentle tone to ease his nerves. Soon the noises in the room began to return to their normal state as 72 released himself from Luna’s grasp.
“sister” he squeaked, his voice sounding hoarse. His eyes swept over all the books and toys scattered out in the room. With a trembling hand, he gently pulled a book out from under the pile of toys. Then another, then another.
Soon he was busying himself by creating two piles of toys and books, the recent pile that had his chosen toys and books were in one of the piles. Luna coudnt help but to laugh, seeing him create a pile for his sister and himself. Choosing every toy carefully for his dear sister. Topping it off with the red teddy bear.
“how did he do all that?” Brendon finally choked out. “he don’t even know any of this! You didn’t teach him how to make piles did you?!”
Luna shook her head in disbelief, yet a smile spread across her face as she examined the piles. “we have never taught him any of this, he must be very intelligent then by the way he is acting”
Luna loved seeing 72’s sudden intelligence bloom at the very beginning, not knowing how he learned all this by now and only days ago he was locked in his tank, limp and lifeless with no chance of hope for him ever getting out.
After ordering Brendon to haul in another box for 62’s newly chosen toys by the one and only. Luna began to load the toy carefully into the boxes as 72 watched her every move, soon he began to pitch in with her, placing a few in the box. Only freezing when the door suddenly opened, Blank entered.
Brendon saluted to the head of the ship before being dismissed from the room. His expression turning from joyful (which was somewhat common on the ship) to dark when he saw the hybrid sitting on the floor. Wearing only nothing but a robe from his bath.
72 looked up at a grim Blank, who was shooting his scientist friend a death glare. A book held over the pile of toys for his sister was frozen in his hands , the book slipping from his grip and into the box.
“what is he doing on the floor?” Blank finally snapped, tearing his gaze off Luna and onto the now terrified specimen.
Blank’s cold hard gaze soon swept over the boxes, his expression becoming harder. Marking beginning to show at his forehead, the lights bounced off his bald completion that now busted with throbbing veins, a sign to show that he is clearly pissed off to the max.
“And what the hell is THAT doing here?!” he boasted angrily, the veins throbbing at his head ”You know by now Miss Luna that these experiments are in no need of that years old crap”
Blank rarely called Luna ‘Miss’ he always refers only by her name. Luna knew the way he was acting, and speaking, was clearly unacceptable since 72 is in the room, and he can pick up words fast.
Luna knew apologizing to her boss was BS, she would just get a hard lecture of this and that. Messing with the heads of the ship is a big No No, getting in major trouble or just acting foolish can cost your job on the ship. Luna has seen many scientists get hauled back to earth, one of them was banned permanently after fiddling with one of the past experiments controls, and killed it in the process. One mess up with the experiment’s stats, they could die almost like that.
“he needs to learn the basics somehow” Luna sighed looking back at 72 who was busy clutching his toy robot tightly in his grasp. Blank noticing the toy in the hybrid’s hand, he bent down and swiped it away from him, making 72 cry out angrily, swiping back for it.
“Give” he snapped, holding out a wired hand. Blank seemed pleased by 72 command, but he just waved the toy in his face.
“you will get this back whenever” Blank teased happily. 72’s face went red with anger as Blank used the robot’s arm to wave goodbye to him. The machines in the room began to beep again, now at a much rapid rate. The monitor that showed the specimen’s brain waves were amazingly high.
Blank looked around the room in wonder, seeing him distracted, 72 lunged for him only making it for the legs as he grabbed onto Blank’s long white lab coat. “GIVVEEE!!!!” he wailed, sounding like a wounded animal. Luna shrieked in terror.
Blank, now realizing what was going on, lightly kicked the crying hybrid away from him. 72 skidded onto the floor like if it was a massive blow. Some of the wires on him snapping off his body making him wince in pain. The specimen wasn’t done his tantrum, only continuing to wail GIVE! In a hurt tone. Luna wrapped her arms around the crying hybrid, tears now beginning to form to his eyes.
72 began to panic even more, not knowing what was happening to him as the tears rolled down his cheeks. Blank watched 72’s tantrum, amused to the core without any life. A slick smile stretched across his face as he watched the hybrid wail and struggle in his assistant’s arms.
Seeing his very first tears, Blank pulled out a small test tube and caught one of them in it. A keepsake for him.
“sedate him” Blank ordered, sealing the tube. Luna shot him a look.
“no!” she pleaded “he just wants his toy back that’s all!”
Blank shook his head, pushing his sharp rimmed glassed back up the bridge of his nose.
“experiments like him with high expectations from the chief does not deserve a chance at toys, he must learn like an adult and how to act like one, these childish toys and books are simply worthless”
Blank reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a syringe, filled with sedation medicine. Seeing the needle made 72 panic even more, wailing at the top of his lungs as he buried his head into Luna’s coat.
Luna stroked the hybrid’s curly black hair as Blank thought about it for a moment. Shrugging, he stuffed the robot into his coat pocket and left the room.
“he should not be acting like this Luna” Blank said grimly, turning back “such behavior can affect his status, find a way to control himself or I will”
The doors closing behind him made a wave of relief pass over both Luna and 72. The readings on the monitors returning to normal as she rocked her beloved specimen in her arms.
72 clutched onto her lab coat, already drenched with his tears, his very first tears. Luna could feel his frail body warm up increasingly as he calmed down from his little tantrum. She kissed him passionately on the forehead, feeling like a mother soothing her child.
“relax sweetie” Luna crooned. “he’s gone now, its alright”
72 looked up at his friend, his beautiful yet unusual eyes looking straight into her soul. Using her lab coat, Luna wiped away the hybrid’s tears and pulled him closer to her body.
“ill protect you 72” she whispered into his ear “ill keep you away from that man no matter what it takes me, even if I do lose my job on this ship”