Cultivating the Holy by Orin Drake
It's... something, alright.

        Chapter 1

        Every week, torn away from whatever "normal life" they'd placed her into, just to be transported to that godawful "clinic" for more tests, more injections.  And all of those people... those goddamn, self-righteous bastards that believed everything they did was for some kind of "greater good"... she could just, fucking, kill them all.  Not that she hadn't tried.  Not that she wasn't strong enough to.  They'd just anticipated that.  Realizing that fact had taken pain the likes of which no mortal could ever comprehend... lucky for her.
        But Robbie was different.  He was kind and funny and treated her like any patient... because he didn't know.  They hadn't intended him to be so knowledgeable about the medical sciences they'd needed, to learn it all so well... but he didn't view the results, and he had never been privy to the back room.  Nor did he know there even was a basement, so he was easy to keep in the dark.  All of the other "patients" had already been destroyed, mentally.  Blown apart in a very real sense.  They must have appeared to merely be developmentally challenged or disfigured in car accidents to most people.  If only they knew.
        Dr. Robert "Robbie" Ward was so kind to her, in fact, that she didn't want to get him involved.  This business of breeding nephilim... she had no idea if he would believe her.  Nor if she could be left alone with him long enough to tell him...
        Her transporters pulled her from the back of the overly plush van as they parked in the clinic's lot.  They weren't about to take chances after last time... even if it was thoroughly programmed in her that it was in her best interest never to act up like that again.  She still threw off their touch, more content with walking ahead of them than she was to have them touching her.  If that was the way it must be, fine--but she'd do it herself.
        Through the hallway and into the waiting room, she noticed it an awful lot more crowded than usual.  A puzzling thing, as they didn't usually trust her around others.  So far she had remained mentally and physically stable, after all.  They certainly didn't want her being somehow affected by the failures.
        She was lead over to the far corner of the room, where she stood rather than sat without complaint--but with many a threatening look.  It's couldn't technically be considered a life threat.  As they departed to leave her to her own internal cursing of them and their organization, she preferred to face the direction of the wall, anyway.  Technically speaking, all the rest of those destroyed shells were her siblings.  It wasn't the most pleasant of thoughts, even if she never did get to have a single conversation with any one of them.
        Footsteps advancing behind her made her turn; none other than Robbie approached, apparently having just gotten back from lunch by his lack of lab coat.  "Hey, Kara."  He greeted warmly, pulling her in for a friendly sort of one-armed embrace.  "We're a little busy here at the moment."
        "I notice."  She responded darkly.
        Robbie laughed, used to her extremely pessimistic view of the world.  It had taken a little while to learn that it wasn't directed toward him, but more toward the rest of the world.  "And unfortunately all of the rooms are full at the moment, so I'm pretty much relegated to the waiting room, too."
        At least she'd have a little worthwhile company, anyway.  Even as he selected a seat and took it comfortably, she didn't quite have the urge to join him.  There was a steady nervousness clenching her gut.  Never before had this happened.  All rooms full?  So many "patients" merely waiting there?  Something was deeply amiss...
        And then she caught a glimpse of the real reason things were slow that day: there was a boy.  She saw him for only an instant through the glass as a staff of at least a dozen wheeled him down the hallway outside the waiting room.  He was thrashing, screaming with a mouth that had no cheeks.  There were fangs.  Elongated mouth.  Spraying blood from the eyes.  Two extra limbs flapping around behind his shoulders, gory and atrophied.  He was a project gone wrong, and now they were paying for it.  Now they'd have to subdue him for the purposes of "study"... but chances were that his mind was already gone.
        She bit her tongue hard enough to swallow blood.  Half so she wouldn't start crying... and the other half so she would throw up.
        Robbie noticed the flinch, uncertain of why--and then he glanced over his shoulder, catching only the very back of what had rolled by immediately before it was wheeled into the doors at the end of the hall.  Sure, that was a little strange.  He'd though only the supply closet was there... but maybe someone had needed... something.
        Her chance, she realized.  This was her chance.  All of the extra staff had been called to take care of the situation, leaving the patients safely to stare at the walls--and unthinkingly leaving her, as well.
        Dr. Ward was very surprised when she kneeled in front of him--even moreso when she spoke in a whisper.  "Just listen."
        The seriousness of her tone was what kept him silent.  She'd never used that sort of rushed, necessary speech with him before.
        She continued, quickly and softly but with absolutely perfect articulation so that there was no way he could mishear her.  "This is not a clinic, and I am not a patient.  None of them are.  Just look at the blood test results for proof."
        He felt his jaw unhinge slightly.  He ought to be asking questions, but--
        "Please don't give me that injection today."  She pressed her pride away just long enough to make the plea.  "And find the results.  Just find the results.  Don't talk to anyone, don't let anyone find you."  She stood up immediately, certain that someone would think of her soon enough and that she could not be caught speaking.
        The words were so absolutely puzzling...  Again, he was sure he needed to be questioning her words, the concept of them.  He knew that the rest of the patients were hardly capable of understanding, let alone conversation... and it did strike him strangely that she was the only one that seemed undamaged, mentally, although...
        "Dr. Ward."  One of the Nazi-esque female doctors called, peeking in from the hallway door and taking a long look at the situation.  Didn't appear as though she was going to get into trouble for leaving them alone, at least.  "We've got a free room for you."
        All of his days as a drama geek in high school finally starting to pay off, Robbie shook off all of the stunned curiosity and threw on a smile.  "Well it's about time!  Come on, Kara."


        She wondered if she'd even gotten through to him when he was taking another three vials of blood.  Always three goddamned vials of blood.  She was getting sick of getting the shakes afterward.  Her eyes were averted as usual, taking all too close note of the "assistant nurse" in the room with them.  Spies, always.  Ready to subdue struggling "patients" if the need arose.
        Robbie fiddled around at the counter, getting the vials arranged and labeled quickly.  That much done, he made a note in her folder... then got around to getting out a clean syringe and needle.
        She couldn't swallow.  She knew she couldn't make a sound, nor any other communication... if only she could make one more plea...  She'd never felt more on the verge of crying out in frustration than right then--and that was saying a lot.  She turned her eyes from everything going on, trying to suppress the hopeless rage burning in her chest.  She couldn't even look at him when he approached and took her left arm, wiping the inside of her elbow with the alcohol pad.  It would hurt.  It always hurt, as careful as he tried to be with her.  She didn't even feel it with all of the emotion screaming through her head...
        --Or was that it?  The usual searing burn that traveled up her arm, simply... didn't seem to be there, this time.  She was careful not to react, giving a somewhat real performance when she winced as the needle was removed.
        "Alright, that's it."  He confirmed, giving her the usual pat on the back.  "See you in here next week."
        She nodded, once... but couldn't make eye contact.  Not this time.  She couldn't risk any unintentional signals being exchanged... as much as she wanted to thank him just for giving her the benefit of the doubt.  She hoped he could get to the paperwork without getting caught... but they did regularly trust him to lock up these days...
        The "assistant" took hold of her arm, then, to escort her out.  Well, at least she'd be able to get back to her pre-established home without throwing up for a few hours.  Hopefully.

Content copyright Orin Drake 2011.
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