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Delicate Destruction | Riding
on Whispers | When
Elements Collide | Far
General Ryojin wasn’t particularly fond of the
genetic program on the Enzo base, but on occasion it produced some excellent
results. Lieutenant Donnelly was one of the few great accomplishments of the
Heishi Project and at present he ran the program.
The general had been ordered by his superior to
check on Lt. Donnelly’s new pet project. It was a project he’d been promised by
the lieutenant would cure some of the less than pleasant side effects of their
patented serum. If Lt. Donnelly was correct in his assumptions he would be up
The general slid his hands in his pockets and
walked through every check point without stopping to present identification.
Soldiers saluted as he passed by. Every general was given a certain level of
security clearance provided by a chip inserted in their arm. Checkpoints
automatically registered the serial number and allowed them to pass.
He flicked his longer than regulation hair out
of his face. There weren’t many people above him in rank and no one brave
enough to enforce the policy on hair length. He’d lost count how many
checkpoints he’d passed as he made his way deeper into the base, through levels
of security, a tiny fraction of the population on the base even knew existed.
The Heishi Project was one of the best kept
secrets of the Federation. Some of the
details leaked to the masses. The enhanced soldiers who came from the project
became a type of bogeyman. No one knew the exact extent of the project and so
wild tales arose to fill the holes.
Ryojin stopped outside the last checkpoint. The
soldier stared and fumbled with his ‘sir’ as he tried to salute at the same
time. Ryojin knew the effect he had on his soldiers. He was the youngest
general in history at thirty-three but it wasn’t always the reason they stared.
Ryojin was almost pure Japanese, and one of the few remaining noble families
able to keep their bloodlines pure.
He was a rarity among the mutts of humanity.
Ryojin heard screeching and a crash from the
genetic labs. His eyebrow rose at the young soldier. Those were not sounds he
wanted to hear. The young man stuttered again and opened the door for him,
trying to explain but his words were jumbled. Ryojin sighed. He walked through
the door and around the corner.
The general stopped in his tracks as he
witnessed something he did not usually see in the labs. A young woman with the
whitest skin he’d ever seen screamed at three of his soldiers. All of the
soldiers were men and all of them were at least three times her weight. She
flipped one over her shoulder and hit the second with enough force to drop him
like a rock.
The general frowned. He got a look at her eyes.
No, she wasn’t Japanese. Something was not right. He intended to find out what
exactly was going on.
Donnelly had some explaining to do.
The general walked forward with purpose as she
whipped around to face the third soldier. The soldier gritted his teeth but
didn’t back down. It amused Ryojin to see him try to take her on though it was
clear how outmatched he was. She feinted a punch and then kicked him in the
genitals; a low blow.
When she turned on the general, neither of them
hesitated. Her fist flew at him with impressive speed. He caught it easily
enough without breaking stride and spun her around. He held her close,
incapacitating both her arms without too much effort. The girl was strong, but
not stronger than him.
General Ryojin was the shining achievement of the Heishi Project.
She growled low and animalistic, bucking against
him but he held her tight as he quickly inspected her. The girl was
malnourished which angered him. There were marks and bruises all over her body,
some were from the mandatory tests, but there were other marks that shouldn’t
have been there.
He sighed as the realization came to him.
Donnelly had been slipping again without reporting it. They couldn’t manage the
sickness if it wasn’t reported. The lieutenant would need to be dealt with.
A doctor came out casually from her lab with a
syringe in hand. He arched an eyebrow at her nonchalance. “Care to explain,
Lyn Tallis was a woman he knew from childhood,
but they had taken separate paths to reach the point in their lives they were at
now and it was mere coincidence she worked for him.
The girl in his arms laughed in a manner which
concerned him. He frowned down at her and wondered again where she’d come from.
Pure Europeans were nearly extinct. At most a few thousand remained in the icy
north of Earth and his guess was generous.
“Only a test, cousin,” Lyn said. She stepped
over one of the fallen soldiers and approached the girl. “She did amazingly
Suddenly the weight in his arms doubled as the
girl collapsed. He almost stumbled forward before he caught himself against the
sudden change in balance.
“It’s all right, Lyn,” the girl whispered. “You
don’t need to sedate me.”
He watched the exchange closely with narrowed
eyes. Clearly there was more going on than had been on the report. This girl
was a captive subject and not a willing one. That information changed
“Where is the lieutenant?” Ryojin demanded. He
needed to be debriefed. Immediately.
He didn’t let go of the girl. He didn’t trust
“I didn’t know you had cousins,” the girl said.
Lyn grimaced, her version of a smile. “Of
course, Katerina. Now you can go back to your cell or finish the test.”
Ryojin propped her up and let her go. When he
finally looked into her eyes they were dead and lifeless. None of the fire in
them he had seen moments before. He needed answers.
Her eyes snapped to his and the grey flashed
like lightning. The sudden light allowed him to witness the raging storm inside
before shuttering once more as she followed Lyn.
He was going to like her.