part 2 of chapter 1 Rise of the Pheonix
“I wasn’t referring to a star system,” Reyes knelt down and examined the young woman’s body. “It was a clandestine program funded and operated by me.
“Nine children. We modified their DNA,” he continued, “A specific blend of traits one of our scientists came up with. They had faster reflexes, stronger muscles, and greater stamina. However, all but one died in their mid teens. Each suffered either mental instability leading to suicide or were struck down by an illness no one had seen before-much less treated.
“This girl, Kate Almir, is the only one left. She survived ‘til Ferini’s dumb ass guards tried to kill her. The single delta nine survivor, Doctor. THAT is why I want her saved.”
“How did she end up on Necko if she were part of your experiment, Admiral?” Matthews chewed on the end of his pen again. The soft hum of the stasis chamber was the only sound in the room.
“Because I controlled her entire life,” Reyes looked straight at Almir’s face. “And now she’s back with us.”
“At what cost?” Matthews asked. “I’m willing to bet her psyche profile is way off what we need.”
“Maybe,” Reyes shrugged, “But she’s tough enough to handle what you can do to rebuild her.”
Matthews sighed at the last comment. It was obvious to him that Reyes had made up his mind and there wasn’t a chance of changing it. He just hoped the Admiral knew what he was doing.
We have one body built right now. I hope it isn’t wasted.
“Doctor,” Reyes stood up. “I want you to prepare your team for the procedure. I want this handled quick as possible.”
“I want to log a formal protest to this, Admiral,”
“Noted,” Reyes said. “But I have fifty million credits of black book funding into this and will spend it how I see fit. Prepare for the procedure.”
Reyes stepped into the observation gallery and pulled up a chair. He lit a cigarette and looked down at the operating room below. Matthews was a genius with cybernetics, but he needed to learn how to follow orders.
Almir was a special case. He remembered when she was born and had stood in front of her incubator during the first week of her life. How she had been the only one of the nine to survive, he didn’t know; but the time on Neco kwould have hardened her and prepared her for what lie ahead.
He looked down at Matthews as they removed Almir’s brain and placed it into the cybernetic body. It had taken 12 hours to fabricate a head, and face, to was identical to the one she had worn before. Things would still be touch and go when the young woman awoke but at least she would recognize herself.
Reyes crushed out another cigarette and stood up. He stretched and cracked his back before pacing around the glass enclosed room. It had been eight hours and the team below was only three quarters through the delicate task of integrating Almir’s brain into her new body.
It was a small chunk of his hidden black book funding that Intelligence got from the Alliance Congress. No one, not even the President, truly knew who much he got because it was earmarked onto other bills that passed. Either way, the young woman below represented a major investment and, whether she liked it or not, would be under his thumb for many years to come.
Reyes stared down at Almir’s new body as the door swished open behind him.
“Good,” Reyes lit another cigarette. “Did you install Directive 12?”
“I did,” Matthews sat down in a chair. “I don’t see WHY though.”
“Katherine has been on her own for 18 years,” Reyes blew out smoke rings, “And she’s taken care of herself. That will make her…difficult to control. Directive 12 is our insurance policy.”
“I hope you know what you’re doing, Admiral,”
“I do,” Reyes said, “You’re dismissed, Doctor,”
Reyes smoked alone as Matthews left.
I hope I do too.
You need to be logged in to comment