petenshis: (Default)
[personal profile] petenshis
Let's see if I can flex some writing muscles.  I've been wanting to do a Christmas advent again for a couple years now.  And this year is probably a terrible idea because I'm incredibly busy with work and homelife at the moment but we'll give it a go and see how far I get.

I'm using some old prompts and some new.  Feel free to toss me more if you have an idea.  (Also LJ is very different from the last time I used it and and I'm having to relearn how to post stuff so hopefully this isn't too wonky...

He seemed so small, a dirty little ball of skin and bones, nothing much more than a pair of giant wide eyes peering out from under a filthy nest of hair.

The Doctor glanced at me and then chuckled, “Don’t let his appearance fool you, he’ll bite your hand off sooner than accept a hug.”

“He doesn’t look strong enough to hurt a fly, let alone do what we need.”  I crouched down and studied the child more closely.

“I’m strong enough.”  He glared and made a fist, baring teeth at me which were surprisingly straight.  “I promised the Doc I’d do the job and I don’t go back on promises.”

I sat back on my heels and smiled, not really believing him but amused nevertheless.  “Well then, I guess you’re going to try.  You know why you’re here?”

He nodded.

“Good.  First thing we need to do is get you cleaned up.  That means doing something about your hair.  Then I need to take some blood.  I hope you don’t mind needles, you’re going to see a lot of them in the future.”

He shook his head and I stood up, offering him my hand.  He looked at it and then me with eyes so old and scornful I took a step back.

“I’m not a baby.”

“Okay, I get it.”  I shrugged and started to walk away, expecting him to follow.  “What’s your name, kid?”

He sprung up and fell into step beside me, jogging to keep up.  “It’s still new.  I’m not ready to share it yet.”

I raised an eyebrow over that cryptic remark but decided it didn’t matter.  He was just a street kid.  Best not to get too attached anyway, none of the other attempts had worked and he was the youngest the Doctor had found so far.  He’d probably die, if not from the training, then the course of injections we’d submit him to.

“That’s fine.  I’ll just call you Kid.”  It’d be easier that way.

No attachments.

He’s in pain, I can tell.  We’ve put him through simulations that grown men, trained soldiers, couldn’t handle.  I watch him blink back tears gathering in the corner of his eyes as the pressure increases, but he doesn’t say a word, just grits his teeth harder.

I watch him through the video feed at nights, shivering and pacing around his room, trying to walk out the muscle cramps and aches that are a result of the injections he received that day.  A cocktail of stimulants and genetic recoding designed to strengthen his bones and increase muscle growth.  The Doctor hasn’t told him that forcing his body to focus on bone density, muscle strength and flexibility means it doesn’t have the reserves to spare for typical growth.  He’ll be shorter than average his entire life.  Strong but slight.  Perfect to fit in the cockpit of a war machine.

Watching him pace and shiver, grit his teeth and pace some more, I’m not sure he’d care anyway.

Stubborn child.

The Doctor was shocked, I could tell.  Mid-simulation the kid reached out and reconfigured the coordinates for the projected flight path.  They’d been uploaded earlier after carefully being calculated by the men working the console, complicated math calculations that required time and focus to accurately work out.  Somewhere there had been a mistake.  It happens.  Nobody expected the kid to lean forward and quickly tap in the correction, though.

Later I overheard the Doctor grilling him, “How did you do that?”

The kid just shrugged like it was obvious.  “It’s just numbers.”

Contrary to all expectations.

The others avoid going near him in the weight room.  They watch his slight form, no more than 60 pounds, lift weights twice his weight and look away, uncomfortable.  It’s too late to feel squeamish over what we’ve done now.  He doesn’t know how old he is but I’d guess about twelve.  He’s fast.  The fastest we’ve ever seen in the simulations.  The others can’t keep up, he out maneuvers them before they can react and is ruthless in his destruction.  He’s the best pilot we’ve ever seen.

He asks the Doctor for harder simulations, grits his teeth against the g-forces and each day, gets stronger, grits less and demands more. That’s why they’re afraid.

The Doctor decides the kid needs to learn physical combat as well and has Marco provide the instruction.  Marco has lost to the kid in every flight simulation they fought in.  He takes the opportunity to teach the kid a lesson rather then provide one.  It’s ugly and when it’s over the kid props his bloody broken body against the wall and grins at Marco who’s panting.  “Feel better?”

Marco doesn’t reply, just walks out.  He barely makes it to the nearest toilet before he throws up.  The next day he starts showing the kid how to block and how to strike and they don’t ever speak of the broken arm and nose I set, or the blood stain that smears the far wall of the training room.

We may have created a monster.

He’s forever finding things to tinker with, bits of wiring.  His room is a mess of tools and half completed gadgets.  Eventually he starts leaving small objects, tucked away but clearly intended for a specific person.  A tiny flashlight for one of the technicians who’s constantly crawling under simulation panels when things cock up.  A delicate wire bird, shaped to look as if it’s flying, is left for the cook who seems to keep an eye out for the kid and slips him an extra piece of cake on the rare days he’s allowed to eat in the cafeteria.  My tech assistant even receives something, perhaps because she’s always the one to offer a Band-Aid and sympathetic smile after I’ve delivered the latest batch of injections.  It looks like a metal rod, not much bigger then the length of a man’s hand but when she snapped her wrist, the rod extended out with a pop, a coiled spring on a magnet that dealt a wicked blow.

A generous but deadly boy.

The day before the operation was to commence, the Doctor finally told him the real plan.  I never heard the kid say no to anything before.  He never balked at anything we threw at him until this.  He wasn’t the tiny little child anymore, taller, strong and willowy.  He wasn’t twelve anymore either and his eyes which could smile at you so wide, could still turn on you in a flash.  He said nothing to the Doctor then, just looked at him with those judging eyes, turned and started to walk away.

“I’m going to need some clothes.”  He kept walking but somehow I knew he was addressing me.  “Something a priest would wear, with more pockets.”  I wanted to ask why and he seemed to know without looking.  “It's only right if I’m to be the God of Death, I look the part to deliver last rites.”  Then he left the room.

I think the Doctor knew what the kid would do.  And he was okay with it.  You had to develop a flexible approach to morality to do what we did for so long but even I was relieved.  So the kid was going to steal the Gundam.  Good luck to him.

“You’re not going to stop me?”  He peered down from the cockpit, fingers flying across the console programming some coordinate I couldn’t follow.

“No.”  I swallowed and for not the first time, felt guilt swell up and threaten to overtake me.  I remembered a conversation held long ago.  “I was wrong, you are more than strong enough to do what is needed.”

His expression flickered and I could see he remembered as well.  “I made a promise to the Doc and I never go back on my promises.  I just don’t think their plan is a very good one.  I’ll get it done some other way.”

I nodded and stepped back, preparing to go behind the blast door as he started to seal the cockpit.  “Hey kid, you got a name?”  I couldn’t help the question as it flew out, one last parting shot.

He leaned forward as the hatch closed and smiled.  “It’s Duo.”

I forgot to mention it was Gundam Wing.  Of course!  :)
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


petenshis: (Default)

December 2016

     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 1617

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:01 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios