72 shivered in his sleep, his body twitched like an animal would when tranquilized. In his mind he couldn’t stop thinking about his sister, how beautiful she looked, and when her eyes opened he knew they had something between each other, but he still couldn’t understand what it was. He felt something bad was going to happen, and splitting himself with his sister was just the beginning of it.
Luna caressed 72’s hair as he rested back in his room. Just a while ago her boss elbowed her badly in the jaw just so he can gas the hybrids. Their lifeless bodies being pulled away from one another tore Luna’s soul into pieces, knowing that the company’s very first surviving experiments meeting each other ended in a nightmare. She shifted the ice pack Brendon gave her in her free hand on her jaw. It was swollen badly and could have been worse if she had bitten her tongue.
She was worried badly about both specimens, how their future might be like. But hey! Their just stupid experiments to be used as tools for breeding just like how any animal locked in a kennel would for their lifetime undergoing painful tests and never seeing the light of day until they die.
Could it be different? Luna knew the whole process, blending human DNA with those of specific animals to create a powerful being. She knew it was highly illegal to do so, she knew it must have taken half of Bill Gates budget to literally perform the whole operation, especially in space.
72’s body twitched, Luna pulled the covers close to his body and rubbed his back in gentle circles. His cot had recently been upgraded to a comfortable hospital bed; it even included a small buzzer so 72 can summon Luna whenever he pleases if no one is around watching over him. Other than being monitored by camera 24/7. Wires and he usual oxygen mask was back in place after his sister tore it off.
Levi, the dude who caught Luna after her boss whacked her dizzy in his arms was assigned to be at 62’s aid for now since Blank is getting caught up in his work. Luna was relieved to hear the news, knowing that Blank would stay out of 62’s development was perfect. She knew 72 would hate to have the man’s scent on his own sister.
Luna’s gaze fixed on 72’s long skinny legs. By the looks of his body length he almost looks about a few cm higher than an average human being. Of course, she expected changes from a man with animal DNA grafted into his own.
She scrutinized his large feet, looks bigger than Brendon’s that’s for sure. Luna would realize that he would curl in his toes whenever he rested, then they would flex for a few seconds then curl in again. What surprised Luna was that his toes were a little longer than an adult’s would. They look good enough for clinging for balance, just like how a gymnast would do on a balance beam.
The hybrid twitched once more before curling into a ball. His arms wrapped tightly around his knees. He looked so vulnerable, so innocent. He just looks like some lost grown man trying to piece together his life. Oh wait, isn’t that occurring right now?
Luna watched as he began to slowly open his eyes. She resisted to gasp when she noticed something highly unusual about his eyes when they opened, he had another eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane which is a transparent eyelid shown in some animals eyes such as alligators. 72 blinked, adjusting his gaze on Luna as a thin smile appeared on his lips.
“Luna?” he whispered, pulling himself up from his bedding as Luna gently pushed him back down. His long fingers pulled at the new mattress, feeling the soft new plush underneath him.
“hey sweetie, how do you feel?” Luna asked, adjusting her ice pack. 72 suddenly looked around frantically, terror in his eyes. “Sister?” he squeaked.
Luna bit her lip to avoid welling up in tears “she’s okay hon, don’t worry”. 72 shook his head, beginning to pull the covers off of his shivering body. “no, not okay” he said, wanting to get off his bed before Luna stopped him.
“no 72, stop” she ordered in a serious tone. 72 narrowed his eyes at her before plopping back into the pillows, his eyes followed to her ice pack.
“Luna hurt?” he asked, reaching up to touch Luna’s hand gripping the pack when he jerked his hand away. He examined it with a concerned look. “was it cold?” Luna asked. 72 just tilted his head in confusion.
Luna removed the pack from her face, exposing her swollen red cheek which began to alarm 72. He pressed his hand against her chilled skin, looking scared and concerned for his fellow scientist. “Luna hurt?” he repeated. Luna sighed, gripping the pack against her shaking hands. “yes, Luna is hurt”
Luna already began to hate seeing 72 like this, in such a scared state, but for her? No one on the ship never really cared about one another but only to get their hourly wage which could soon add up to a bolstering amount of cash at the end of the month. They were forced to care about the experiments over time when they realized that their wages were being cut short every time an experiment failed.
As for Luna, people were forced to be kind to her. Their true emotions were only driven by fear and nervousness when they approached her since she was the head’s assistant. Luna hated being treated like if she was fake and by only going for her status. There were only a few members on board who actually treats her like a normal being. 72 was going on that list at the very top.
72 pulled Luna close to him which startled her. Thinking that he might kiss her, when he actually did on her swollen cheek. Her face flushed red with embarrassment, how soft and tender his lips were. It almost felt like a butterfly just landed on her cheek. He pulled away, blushing. Gently touching his cheek curiously from the strange emotion. Luna was glad that Blank at least hardwired them with emotions.
Luna held the icepack back to her cheek while 72 began to play with her hair. She had to sit beside him this time so she wouldn’t have to lean forward. The specimen rested his chin on her shoulder as he carefully examined each strand of Luna’s white hair, cut right at the shoulders. Luna rubbed his back with her free hand, making him doze off right at her side. Whenever she stopped rubbing, 72 would awaken until she began to rub his back again.
Luna was too caught up with 72 that she didn’t notice Blank enter the room. If 72 was not in her arms she would have jumped high enough to bear a hole in the ceiling. Blank gave her a death stare, wondering why this experiment is nestled up against his assistant like that when he should be undergoing tests.
He nodded at Luna’s ice pack “sorry about that, I got a bit too excited in there” he said in a flat tone, Luna just shrugged, no point of arguing with the boss. His gaze turned to 72 who was beginning to stir in his sleep, Luna held him closer hushing him.
“no no, let him wake up” Blank said, his expressionless face turning wicked as a grin played on his thin lips. The lights above him reflected brightly off of his bald head make Luna squint a little. 72 opened his eyes and frowned, seeing his traitor infront of him. He pulled his head underneath Luna’s lab coat.
“how childish” Blank snorted at 72’s act. He raised his eyebrows in amusement when 72 peeked out of Luna’s coat, shooting the head of the ship an evil glare which made Blank burst out laughing.
“would you look at that! He really does hate me!” he whooped, Luna gasped when 72 began to clutch onto her, hard.
Blank turned back to Luna where she was quietly hushing the poor specimen under her coat. With a disgusted grunt, he grabbed her coat and tore it off of 72, exposing him. A strange wail erupted from 72 as he pulled the coat back down on his head.
“you have to stop treating him like this Luna” Blank snorted, his smile fading away as he spoke “In fact both specimens have to stop being treated like children, I have already issued this command to Levi and im expecting for you to follow” he said, pulling a wrinkled white handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed his shining forehead with it.
“You do know that their very close into testing Luna, sweet remarks won’t be necessary when they’re in that process. They will eventually become smarter and stronger, they will grow away from you and closer to each other, that’s when the going becomes good” Blank remarked before 72 pulled the coat away from his head and gave Blank another death stare. He grinned.
“don’t be happy for long buddy, you have so much to do” he snickered as 72 stuck out his unusually long tongue out at Blank making him roar with laughter.
The moment the doors shut 72 peeked out of Luna’s coat, staring into her eyes. She brushed her hand over his hair making him let off a soft noise that sounded like a purr.
“you’re getting pretty vocal aren’t you?” Luna smiled as 72 returned the smile back.
72’s sunny mood didn’t last for long when he fell back asleep on his friend’s lap. Twitching and moaning until he remained still from Luna’s back rubs. When 72 was finally rested, Luna took the chance to finally slip out of the room. Knowing that minutes later 72 might end up wailing for her again, almost like a lost puppy.
Back at Luna’s office, she hungrily drained the last of her coffee and slapped the large metal cup back down on the desk. The shiny dark green exterior of the mug was plastered over with visible fingerprints as she tightened her grip around it. Luna was back into the usual multi-tasking scheme once again, flipping over her notepad as she scribbled furiously on a document with a blue pen that would constantly bleed or stop working on her. Why does Conor use up his budget on a fancy ship when he can’t even afford a better pen to write with? Luna glanced over her piles of paperwork scattered over her desk to the coffee machine mounted unexplainably close to her. The machine surprisingly was actually a gift from Blank himself on Luna’s birthday. Luna has been so caught up with her work that she has even forgotten when her birthday was anymore, at least the coffee kept her going and sane at least.
Luna didn’t realize that she was scribbling so hard on the document that the pen bled on her, ink seeped through the paper, tearing it as she wrote frantically as if writing an important scripture. Her sweaty fingers slipped the paper into the awaiting pile of finished work as she reached for another one. Her other hand grabbing the coffee pot and frowned, scrutinizing the little remains of the caffeinated drink sloshing around in the pot.
She pushed the pot back into the machine and tore open a bag with her teeth as she continued to write. Emptied it into the machine and pressed the ON button. Discarding the bag into the trash with a perfect shot without even looking at where she was throwing it. It surprised her that 72 didn’t even notice the smell of coffee on her breath, even when-
The pen slipped through her pale fingers and clattered onto the document, slightly marking it with blue. She drove her fingers through her white hair and groaned. The only sounds in the room were the soft hums of the machines surrounding her workspace and the coffee machine whirring and shuddering. 72 has been on Luna’s mind almost every day. It was extremely difficult to take him off of your mind when you cannot resist that sweet face of his, his eyes, his smile, his-
Ugh, here we go again. Luna thought as she braced her weary head against the rest of her chair. No matter what she thinks about, it could either be work, calculations, ponies, whatever, 72 always popped up in her mind somewhere and she could not get rid of it. Like a song stuck in your head, and when you finally get rid of it, you hear it once again and there goes that cycle.
Strange that Luna was only concerned about 72, but not his sister in crime, 62, who is indeed all part of this operation. She sighed, what if 72 actually does grow apart from her? And when the going gets good? It’s hard to imagine.
Luna bit her lip when she thought of 72 tearing away from her. How he might stop giving her those sweet, innocent looks of his and might replace it with a look of hate like how he would see Blank? Luna knew by heart that she would never betray or harm 72 in anyway, the only thing she is afraid of it the test’s, and how 72 might react to the scientists around him now.
This isn’t all fun and games anymore. No more ABC’s and 123’s, connect the dots and coloring pages for homework. Both specimens are fully grown adults, not children… but they do act like them. How 72 would play with those little toys like any curious toddler would, and how he would always smile whenever he got something right. He wasn’t just the average adult who is almost drained of emotion, struggling though life. Luna found this hard to believe, but that 72 is beginning to open up her inner child.
Luna’s pager brought her back into reality, seeing that it came from 72’s room. Why thank you Captain Obvious. Luna peeled herself off of her comfortable chair and made her way down the halls to 72’s room. The moment the door slid open Luna was hit hard with a reeking smell that almost made her double over. The room was empty.
The source of the smell almost made Luna shriek. Right near 72’s new bed was a retched pile of fresh vomit that made Luna gag just at the sight of it. The fresh new pillows and blankets were thrown everywhere, a blanket close by the throw up as if trying to cover it. Some machines were thrown down as well. Probably the work of 72, but how?
A soft yet strange sound suddenly filled the room, sounding like whimpering. Luna took a cautious step into the room. Her legs were shaking so hard that it felt like if they would give up on her any second.
“72?” Luna croaked as she continued her agitated walk into 72’s chambers. She knew he was in the room, by the sounds that came from the large vents nearby, he had to be there.
“72?” she repeated, a little more confidence in her voice. “where are you hon?” she asked hesitantly as the whimpering continued, now beginning to get a little louder. Sucking in a deep breath, she approached the vents protruding from the ground that formed the shape of a tube reaching a short distance from floor to wall. There curled up tightly in a pale shivering ball, laid 72. Crammed within the narrowness of the vents that looked too small for an average person to squeeze into.
Luna didn’t know whether to laugh or to yell at the poor hybrid whose hands were covering his face. Ashamed. Instead, she smiled. “There you are” she chirped in a tone as sweet as honey, but inside she just wanted to strangle the life out of someone right now.
72 didn’t even flinch at the sound of Luna’s voice, not even a single sound or movement came from him as Luna knelt down to his height. “what are you doing back there?” she asked. Silence.
Luna didn’t know if 72 didn’t want to talk to her or is afraid of something. Last time she left him, he was just fine. Other than that incident with Blank that is. “don’t you want to tell Luna what’s wrong?” she asked. 72 didn’t respond, but he slightly turned his head around to face her. His hand were still covering half of his face between his fingers, but the melancholic look on his sweet innocent face streaked with dried tears almost made Luna choke up.
She held out her hands “come here love, come to Luna”
72 whined again, the noise sounded like if there was a bubbling in his throat, he tried to move but the tightness of the vents kept him down, he whined even louder, his face twisting up like if he was about to cry. He was stuck alright. Luna laughed to herself and pressed the button on her pager. “bring Brendon in for me please”
The look on Brendon’s face was priceless when he first discovered that 72 has left a present for him on the floor and when he found out that the sweet thing was stuck between the vents. It took some time to reach the wailing specimen who flailed at Brendon’s touch to get out of the vents. The moment Brendon placed the hybrid into Luna’s arms, he was already howling. Smeared on the outside of his mouth were the remains of the vomit mixed with tears. He was pretty strong against Luna’s grip as she tried to soothe the crying specimen. Caring less of the retched fluid being rubbed onto her coat. His long legs kicking gently against her and his arms bound tight against Luna’s grip made it harder for him to stop crying.
Luna couldn’t help but to smile at herself as she continued to settle 72 down. It was actually pretty humorous to find the poor thing ashamed of his acts and hide away like a child would whenever they did something wrong. She sang him random songs with made up lyrics and smoothed his now tangled hair back. The more Luna spoke to him, the more he began to calm down.
He listened closely to her singing, his head pressed against her chest as he let out shuddered breaths followed by tears that dried his eyes. His large protective hands were clenched tightly against her lab coat. He looked more of a child in the arms of his mother, even though Luna isn’t his mother. 72’s genes came from donors, so god knows who his real biological parents are.
Soon the hybrid was fast asleep in her arms. He let off soft gurgling sounds from his throat that sounded like purring. His hands twitched in Luna’s protective grip as he napped. Luna brushed her cheek against his soft hair. The smell of the vomit now smeared on both 72 and herself stunk up the whole room as Brendon rushed out to grab the janitors.
Luna stayed close to 72 as Brendon carried him out of the room as the janitors worked. 72’s arms were wrapped around Brendon’s neck and his face pressed to his broad shoulder. Luna giggled at his position, Brendon couldn’t care less until he dumped him into another spare room when Luna stopped him.
“wait, take him to my room. Ill take care of him there” She said, a smile forming on her lips. Brendon lifted a thick eyebrow. “are you sure Ms Luna? What would the boss say?”
Luna shook her head and straightened out 72’s shorts. “forget about him, ill deal with the consequences later”
Brendon didn’t bother to argue any further and carried out her command. Luna made sure no scientists were snooping around when she ushered Brendon in and to her personal lab where Brendon settled 72 on a clean white examination table.
Thanking him as she ushered him out. Luna removed his filthy shirt and cleaned his body and face. 72 didn’t stir at all as Luna worked around his nude body, other than the occasional twitching as she pulled on a new pair of shorts on him.
Luna carefully hooked him up to some of the machines around the room filled with tables set with numerous vials and test tubes in a variety of sizes. Smooth black countertops set off a glare from the overhead lights that illuminated the room’s white interior. Shelves were packed neatly with perfectly labeled substances, chemicals and liquids lined in precise order. Some peeked through glass cabinets containing other containers and vials corked with liquids.
The machines hummed to life as Luna pulled out a file from one of her many drawers, packed so tightly with documents that Luna thought she might need another filing cabinet… again. Her lab was filled with all the crazy kick-knacks and gadgets you expect from a laboratory from genetic engineers. Charts ranging from human anatomy, animals, cells and DNA strands hung from the dim white walls to avoid the look of Blank’s sense of style. If you know what I mean.
Luna’s personal lab might just be the tidiest room of the whole ship, whenever Blank does not suspect it, she would run secret experiments and observations in her lab. The very lab where she spliced and fused together DNA strands in order to find a perfect match between animal DNA with human DNA. This is not vinegar and baking soda volcano science; this is like rocket science X10.
Pulling out a clipboard, she silently recorded 72’s stats. Watching his every breath, his every stir. The way his fingers and toes flexed every few minutes and the slow beat of his heart on the monitor. “you’re so beautiful” she whispered to him, hugging the board close to her chest as she finished up the results.
Then, an idea hit. She slid off of her stool and towards a desk where she booted up a computer. She pulled off her glasses and another special pair that was attached to the computer that has a tiny video camera right at the lenses. She typed in a few codes before the screen flashed to life of herself in the screen. A live stream of what was going on, and wherever Luna moved, so will the camera catching everything.
“perfect” she smiled into the laptop. Her view on 72 now. “Experiment 72” she spoke outloud as the camera picked up everything. “awakened and alive as ever” she smiled as she approached the sleeping hybrid.
Luna was used to video diaries on the ship the moment she arrived on her first day. It helped keep her sane throughout the whole orbit around the moon, and after the numerous failures of the experiments, Blank too.
“beautiful body structure, big broad shoulders, long arms, long legs. Somewhat a few inches longer than the average adult…” Luna continued, circling around the bed “twitches every few minutes or so, about 2.5 minutes perhaps, Could be his developing muscles. His fingers and toes also flex in his sleep, you can see how tightly curled in they are… some big feet he got too hahaha. Anyways, everything about him is just fine, heart rate is as stable and strong as usual, vitals are nice, brain waves though…”
Luna paused, hooking up a few electrodes to his head. The monitor flashed to life with waves jumping up and down at a gentle, yet fast pace. “very strong brain waves, even when asleep” Luna breathed, stroking his hair. 72 moaned in his sleep, beginning to stir as the waves jumped frantically on the monitor. “amazing results!” Luna whispered as 72 turned to his side, whimpering.
“poor baby, he just want to see his sister again” she cooed, kissing his forehead as the waves returned back to normal. “what else…. Oh yes, reason why I ‘kidnapped’ him in here is because he regurgitated his first meal, consisting of solid foods such as potatoes, carrots, strawberries ect etc. Basically we gave him everything on the cart other than the broccoli. Since he is an already grown adult with strong teeth-“ she paused moving his lips apart to show off his pearly whites “look at those bad boys hahaha, he still somehow refused to take in the foods presented to his body, probably because we could’ve over fed him that time. We might need to take it slow now and feed him small portions unless he’s really hungry. Might need an increase of calories due to his animal genes, but that will take time when they begin to react with the DNA”
Luna sighed, leaning back in her chair. “Still trying to find out why he changed in the first place, found some results from the last transfusion he received from the chief, it was obviously suspicious. The syringe was a fake, and the substances were harmful enough to corrupt his DNA, yet only physical changes has occurred so far, nothing mentally as yet, well, other than his usual childish tantrums”
Luna rubbed his arm, suddenly she noticed something. Gently turning the back his arm to the light, her eyes widened. Dark splotches of his original skin color was dotted from big to small dots were scattered around near his armpit. Luna knew too well of what 72 had, vitiligo. A skin disease that destroys the skin pigmentation.
Her heart skipped a beat, it was just a clue but it was suddenly coming together. She raced for her board, scribbling down so furiously on the paper that she nearly tore it. “signs of the skin disease Vitiligo located upper of his armpit of his native skin color, splotches range from small to large leading to the armpit, could be more signs of the disease elsewhere on his body.”
Luna set the board down and hurried over to a counter where she pulled out a small sedation needle for a quick knockout. She only used it to medicate her subject for a few minutes to study before they awakened again. She took a ten minute dose and injected it into 72’s arm, he whined at the pain.
“hush baby, Luna just wants to check you out for a moment, just relax and it will all be over soon”
what do you think of what Luna discovered might link to the transfusion? comment comment comment!!! :D