Chapter Twenty



Dr. Jerome Harrison walked around the examination table, mentally assessing the tiny man peacefully lying on it. The energy lights illuminating the entire room reflected off the table, bathing his subject in a soft radiance that complemented his undi...

Dr. Jerome Harrison walked around the examination table, mentally assessing the tiny man peacefully lying on it. The energy lights illuminating the entire room reflected off the table, bathing his subject in a soft radiance that complemented his undisturbed appearance.

Jerome eyed his subject contemplatively, his gray unkempt brows sloped as he frowned. Despite all efforts to rouse his subject, the man remained sedated. From the moment he was removed from the secured container, he evidenced no effort to stir. Though his respiration was normal and body temperature indicated signs of life, it was as if the subject was trapped a coma with no intention of emerging, which was both fascinating and troublesome.

Jerome blew out a huff, displaying his irritation and overall trepidation. He hoped and even prayed to the gods of his youth that whatever sedative Wayland administered did not injure him. It was enough that his project was postponed for a week because of the mishap with the one he lost. But the possibility of this one being in a drug-induced coma was something that did not sit well with him to say the very least.

Regardless of the current circumstances, the only way to find out was to conduct a full examination, which involved overnight monitoring. Normally, Jerome would complete these tasks himself but after three nights without a good night’s rest, he knew better than to persevere too much—otherwise, he might as well prepare for a migraine. Already, he felt the tiredness moving through his tall frame, weaving itself through his muscles and joints like an infection. If this continued, he’d eventually be shielding his eyes from the brightness of the laboratory ceiling lights.

Jerome looked up at the digital clock on the wall. According to the red numbers displayed, it was ten after ten. Between preparing his lectures for his Cloning and Ethics course and anticipating his subject’s arrival, he didn’t realize that so much of the day had slid past him without notice. It was no wonder that his body wanted to leave the confines of the university laboratory to welcome the coziness of plush blankets. As refreshing as the thought was, however, he still had to record an audio assessment about his subject and needed to utilize his last ounce of energy to complete the task.

The professor looked at the man disappointedly before looking at the hologram computer hovering over the examination table. Reaching forward, he entered a seven-digit identification code. As Jerome moved the computer to the side, a swarm of particles spiraled down by the opposite side of the examination table. He watched as spectrums of light twisted beautifully, colors blending and moving until they finally formed into a 3D image of a young woman.

She appeared to be approximately twenty-one years of age, her expression innocent with a shade of thoughtfulness belonging to one beyond her years. Her long sepia shaded hair was pulled back into a messy bun while loose strands brushed against her cheeks. A crimson red blouse somehow harmonized with her sun kissed skin and vibrant blue eyes. She wore a crisp white lab coat that enveloped her full-figured body, the garment left unbuttoned to reveal her round belly. Attached to the left breast of the coat was a badge with the name “B. Connor, MD” embroidered onto it.

Jerome smiled warmly at the kind faced woman, feeling the web of tension within him unravel. “Good evening, Beatrice,” Jerome greeted tenderly.

A bright smile decorated Beatrice’s full, pink lips. “Hello, Jerome,” she replied. “I hope all is well these days.”

“I’ve had my moments,” Jerome said, nodding his head. “But what I have in my possession eliminates all thoughts of the week’s struggles.” He then motioned towards the man lying on the table.

Beatrice looked down at the subject resting on the table, her eyes wide with surprise. “So this must be the replacement you’ve been talking about.”

“Yes. He finally arrived after all the trouble of getting one here to the lab.”

Beatrice swept her eyes up and down the green skinned man, unable to contain her elevating excitement. “My gods, Jerome…He’s extraordinary!” She shifted her attention to the professor, who was watching her the entire time. “What planet is he from?”

“Planet Ny VII.”

“A Horizon planet,” she said, her expression changing to one of concern. “That’s ambitious—and very risky on your part.”

“As I’m well aware,” Jerome agreed, noticing the change in his colleague’s demeanor. “But this being is worth the trouble. I wish to find out more—at least from him. Unfortunately, he’s not exactly alert at the moment.”

“I can see that,” Beatrice said thoughtfully as she nodded her head towards the man. “What happened to him?”

“In his infinite wisdom, Stewart Wayland, the shop keeper, decided to tranquilize him. Whatever the hell he used placed my subject under heavy sedation and he’s been asleep for several hours.”

“Well, that places a gray cloud on things, doesn’t it? I’ll conduct a full examination on him—as well as monitor him overnight.”

“I’d appreciate that.”

“I believe it. Is that all you need me to do?”

“Not quite. I also need you to record my assessment of the subject for my notes.”

“I can do that, considering I’ve nothing else going on at the moment,” Beatrice joked.

“I’m glad to hear your schedule’s wide open,” Jerome countered lightheartedly. “Let’s begin, shall we?”

The holographic physician nodded, her lips curved into a friendly smile before she closed her eyes. Jerome looked on as she opened them again within seconds, revealing forest green irises that replaced her blue ones.

“Record mode activated,” Beatrice announced confidently. “I’m ready when you are.”

Jerome remained silent for a minute, sighing away the sleepiness attempting to overcome him. He then looked down at the exam table, where the subject rested. “This is an electronic assessment recorded by Doctor Jerome I. Harrison,” he finally spoke. “The time is twenty-two thirteen; the date is May 29, 2040. I have in my possession an extraterrestrial from Planet Ny VII, a Horizon planet discovered a year prior. The subject is a male, age appears to be mid to late twenties, long black hair, about 2 kilograms, eye color unknown for the time being. His ethnicity also remains unidentified—though he has a dark green complexion.”

Jerome’s gaze shifted to the subject’s arms and face, studying his physique to make certain that his information was accurate.

“As far as his physical attributes,” the professor continued, “he has a muscular build indicating a vigorous physical lifestyle. His ears are pointed and his face is painted with two red stripes on either cheek. The subject also has distinctive tattoos covering the upper part of his chest and right shoulder. Furthermore, there are no signs of wounds or blemishes—at least nothing recent.

“But the subject’s most intriguing characteristic is his height. Based on my measurements, he is approximately 25 centimetres. I would have additional information, but unfortunately the merchant from whom he was purchased injected him with an unknown sedative, which placed the subject in a comatose-like state. Therefore, my assistant, Dr. Beatrice Connor will conduct a toxicology screen on the subject to determine whether the sedative had any adverse effects and, if so, to what extent. She will also conduct a thorough examination and monitor him overnight. After I receive a complete prognosis, I will establish whether he could be utilized for future medical experiments.

“I have studied extraterrestrials for over twenty-five years and have published numerous articles on the importance of unlocking the mysteries of such creatures. I thought I had seen the majority of them, in fact. Yet of all my years as a scientist, I must admit that I have never seen anything quite like this. I am looking forward to uncovering the mystery that is this being. End of recording: twenty-two twenty.”

Aware of the unspoken request, Beatrice immediately closed and opened her eyes again, reverting her irises to their original shade of blue. “Record mode deactivated,” she announced straightforwardly.

“Thank you, Beatrice, for your help.”

“Any time. Is there anything else you need me to do?”

Jerome shook his head. “Other than what I’ve requested—I’ve no other assignments for you.”

“Ok. On that note, you will have a full report in the morning.” Beatrice then rested her palms on the exam table, locking her eyes with Jerome’s. “In the meantime, get some sleep,” she advised. “Your eyes are red from over-exhaustion and stress and you know that both contribute to your migraines.”

“I know,” Jerome smiled, sighing. “Well per your request, I’m gone for the night. I bid you good night, Doctor.”

“Good night, Professor. Your report will be ready in the morning.”

Jerome nodded, a light smile shading his lips. He then turned around and headed towards the door, struggling to stifle a yawn.


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