Here is Chapter Seven 🙂 Please remember this is a rough draft, and as the author I own FULL copyright to it. This work may not be copied/shared in any manner other than a link to this blog. Thanks and enjoy!
An hour then another hour ticked by as Eoin kept up his ardent study of the microscope and the instruction manual. Ally paced the lab, occasionally asking Holi questions but it the lab was almost silent bar the insistent steady nose breathing Eoin made. As interesting as it was to watch him make sense of it all, Ally could feel the muscles in her shoulders rippling with agitation as her patience waned. Pausing her pacing, Ally switched direction and headed for the bedroom. Let’s see what popular music sounds like, she thought to herself.
Eoin breathed a sigh of relief at Ally’s departure. The crackling sensation of Ally’s body electricity when she was bored or irritated made the hairs on his body stand stiff.
‘Here, sir.’ Holi’s voice made him turn surprised to see her gesturing as if she offered him something. The blonde smiled and bowed her head. A slither of sound drew Eoin’s attention back to the bench. There, right beside the microscope, was a short squat beaker of vivid orange liquid. He recoiled, both at the color and sharp arid scent. ‘What is that, Holi?’
‘A stimulant. It will refresh your mind and allow you to focus. Drink! The liquid degrades rapidly.’
Not exactly encouraged by that last piece of information, Eoin still obligingly swilled the liquid down. Curiosity wouldn’t allow him to resist. It seared his throat and made him cough sharply, setting the glass back on the bench. There was a whisper of sound as the glass moved seemingly of its own accord, across the bench then vanished into a small portal in the wall that closed an instant later. As he watched he felt the internal shudder as his system rapidly processed the concentrated serum. His eyes watered as though he’d stepped into an icy gale and his skin tingled. ‘WHOA!’ Eoin turned to grin at Holi a moment later. ‘That stuff is good!’ As the words left his mouth music, curious pulsing sound with a voice that didn’t sound quite human, erupted around him. Clapping his hands over his ears, Eoin hollered for Ally just as she pelted out of the back rooms.
‘Holi! Make it quiet!’ Ally shrieked, uncharacteristically high pitched with alarm.
The sound promptly reduced to a low, manageable level.
‘My apologies, Alyssa. The remote must have shorted, if you’ll both excuse me I’ll see to it immediately.’ Holi’s image vanished.
Eoin blinked, ears ringing from the burst of sound. Standing a couple of meters from him, Ally regarded the doorway to the living quarters with an expression of deep suspicion. Her hair had fluffed up curls tangling past her eyes and her shoulders were squared and ready, hands half curled to fists, legs taut. Neurons firing into sudden blinding activity, Eoin lost his balance for an instant and staggered. Ally was there, a hand on his shoulder, guiding him to a seat.
‘Are you okay? I’m sorry! It’s made my head swim too!’
‘No,’ Eoin shook his head as everything cleared. His body felt alive, tingling and exhilarated, his mind sharp and his senses brutally aware. Ally, kneeling beside his seat as she watched him closely, cocked her head slightly.
Eoin pulled her to her feet as he jumped to his, his mouth on hers an instant later. He felt her chuckle before she made an approving sound deep in her throat and wrapped her arms around him.
‘The remote is now fixed, Alyssa, you may use it at will.’ Holi’s unexpected tones made them jerk apart, staring in shock at the blonde who smiled pleasantly at the two of them.
‘Errmm.’ Ally flushed.
‘Holi, do you have a deactivate command?’ Eoin began.
‘Of course,’ the blonde smiled again, with an underlying smugness. ‘You simply need ask. I will leave you two alone to enjoy your coitus.’ The image vanished.
Ally snorted and stepped back from Eoin, cheeks flushed. ‘Well now she knows how to kill the mood.’
Eoin laughed and winked at her. ‘Later?’
‘You’re on.’ Ally’s own smug smile was almost enough to distract him from the excitement of the new equipment, he wavered, eyes flicking from her to the bedroom door.
Eoin’s torn expression made her laugh and she swatted him. ‘I’ll keep you up all night, promise. Now, show me your new toys.’ The cheeky yet guilty grin he gave her caused another peal of laughter. He motioned her to look over his shoulder as he gestured away at the microscope.
‘The equipment, when you consider its actual age, is just phenomenal. It can fully break down DNA sequences to the precise nucleotides! From what I’ve been reading in the instruction manual-’
‘Are you managing to read that?’ Ally interrupted, peering at the flat screen with its jumble of words. ‘That’s all old English isn’t it?’
‘It is. It’s giving me a bit of a headache, but Holi gave me something for that. The more I read the easier it gets.’
‘Does it offer any other languages? Anything closer?’
Eoin shook his head as he tapped at the screen, the text on the screen flicking from German, to Chinese, to Russian. All the languages had individual words Ally recognised in an instant, but as a whole they felt foreign. ‘English is the closest to what we use now,’ Eoin said, running his fingers along the screen before motioning a word. ‘See this, this I don’t understand so well, so I can switch to German or Chinese, and with all three of them it’s easier to decipher.’
Ally wrinkled her nose. ‘No wonder you had a headache. Anyway. DNA sequencing?’
‘Yes! Yes, the microscope and computer equipment is at a strength we only dreamed of. It’s the stuff of fantasies,’ he rolled his eyes at Ally’s snort. ‘Well, a scientist’s fantasies anyway. With all this I should be able to fully understand how our nano-virus works within our bodies. And, hopefully, how to fix a few things.’ Eoin sucked a deep breath, letting it out with a satisfied smile. Then blinked and twisted, looking for something. ‘Here! I just need a sample of your blood.’
Ally didn’t protest as he wrapped a skinny strap around her arm, tightening it till her veins swelled up. She watched with a level of morbid fascination as he eased the tip of the syringe into her skin. A moment later blood flowed into the test tube clipped to the syringe. Removing the needle once the tube was full, Eoin unclipped the strap and repeated the process on his own arm. Ally didn’t watch, too absorbed in watching her body swiftly repair the tiny hole the needle had created. After a minute you’d never have know she’d had blood taken.
With meticulous care Eoin delicately put together two slides, labelling them E and A with a dot of blood from each of them. Ally watched with interest as he positioned them in the microscope then called the remote back up. Punching a few buttons, the wall of steel vanished, replaced with the alien images of what the ‘scope projected. Eoin made a noise of satisfaction at it before turning his attention back to the remote, selecting a further few buttons. A secondary image appeared beside the first and a foreign metallic voice rang out as the projection on the wall in front of them began to automatically compare the two samples; Eoin’s blood, and the human blood on record.
Slipping into teacher mode, Eoin began pacing the wall, indicating the images as he did so. Ally stepped back out of his way and cocked her head, listening as she half squinted at the strange images, just managing to keep up with him. ‘You’ll see here and here,’ Eoin jabbed at the wall, mouth twisted as he openly debated his theories. ‘Very, very similar, as if on a certain levels human intended to one day be able to intermix the species. As it stands, with the few variants here we are very alike. They’ve simply made improvements based upon their own genetic make-up. When we shift to a cellular view, we again see strong similarities. The documents already on this system,’ Eoin paused to lunge back to the bench, recalling the remote and quickly changing the screens before continuing. ‘They show the improvements. Lighter bones with a different structure that also makes them stronger. An immune system that reacts at over ten times that of a human, faster when the nano-virus is triggered under a level of stress. An ability to re-grow limbs. Many of these abilities, like the electroplaques in our hands, have been inspired by animals. But with all these straight forward adjustments, they kept the base genome similar enough that in theory, interspecies breeding should be possible! In fact, with all this information, I don’t understand why it isn’t? We know Promethians CAN reproduce. I’m sure,’ Eoin paused to consider that then reasserted it. ‘Damn sure it must be the nano-virus.’
Ally nodded equably then thoughtfully suggested, ‘Perhaps not for interspecies breeding. Could the similarities be to allow organ transplants?’
Eoin’s eyes went wide and his jaw hung. He blinked a few times. ‘Ally… Hell, it COULD be! Not enough to create us for their own intentions, but as walking talking organ donors?’
Ally shivered at the thought, skin prickling at the idea of being just another creature humans farmed. ‘Tell me again why we’re trying to achieve interspecies breeding?’
Shaken from his reverie of discovery, Eoin regarded her dry question with an ironic but sad look. ‘We’ve managed to cling on for five millennia, love. I’d like to think I’m giving our child, maybe even children, a better chance. I do believe that Promethians could help bring the human race to a higher level.’
Ally snorted in derision. ‘They don’t deserve it.’
‘But WE do. If we do this we’ll be blending the species, stopping the ridiculous hatred against us, and saving both species. They can’t survive the super bugs, and their cancer rates are astronomical in comparison to ours. They’re lucky they can breed so prolifically, otherwise they’d be extinct.’ Eoin smiled wryly at her. ‘We are almost never sick, have long life spans and strong bodies. But our birth rate will eradicate the species in another half century.’ Turning from her to the wall again, staring at the images of cellular make-up, Eoin continued. ‘They created us to be nothing more than pawns. I’d like to turn the tables on them, and finish what they attempted to start with us. To create a true humanoid super species.’
Ally considered that softly spoken sentence and thought of something. ‘Holi?’
Eoin turned in surprise as the projection flared to life in the middle of the room.
‘We are trying to understand the major differences between humans and Promethians. What would prevent interspecies breeding?’
Standing sharply to attention, Holi regarded Alyssa for a moment, eyes flickering, The flickering cleared and in an almost monotonous voice the blonde explained.
‘Began as an experiment to predict the next step in human evolution the Promethian project was intended to be theory only. However as technology progressed so rapidly, a Dr Mathias proposed considering an attempt to create a single Promethian. The proposal brought world wide condemnation. A second proposal was suggested. The concept of creating a race of peace keepers, to act as military and policing requirements. In order to satisfy the demands of the concerned populous, certain instructions were added to the nano-virus already designed into the species. It would prevent interbreeding of the species, and limit the number of births amongst peace keepers.’
‘How,’ Eoin asked hurrying to stand in front of Holi, his alert and voice anxious. ‘How does it limit the births?’
‘When a Promethian female experiences her first complete birth the nano-virus is programmed to fuse her fallopian tubes completely. Eradicating any future pregnancies.’
‘What!’ Ally cried indignantly. ‘Why not fuse the males’ tubes?’
Eoin leaped into an intense conversation with Holi, drowning out Ally’s question. With a huff she turned her back on them both, stalking to the bedroom quarters.