The Taken Child - Cyro's story

His feet felt cold on the metal floor of the vessel, the cold steel disagreeing with his bare feet and he walked alongside his supposed father through the halls of the warship. From what he knew it was an old corvette but had been stripped out for science purposes, what was being done here was beyond him as the child looked up to his father.

“Um…dad where are we going? Why aren’t we home anymore?”

The young voice was timid and withdrawn, the new environment instilling fear into the young Cyro as his father sighed, looking down to meet the curious eyes.

“Please refrain from asking so many questions, you will find out soon enough why you are here and that is that. Anything else and you will not find out anything are we clear?”

Cyro nodded in response, turning his head back to the floor as they walked into a clear white room. Before them was a group of a few dozen other children, all human but of clearly different ways of life. Some showed signs of high class upbringing on some city world in the core worlds, the others bared more striking resemblance to him with the scruffy hair and torn clothes standing out like a sore thumb in the pristine white.

Why such a diverse group of children had been brought to one place was something he could not understand, his homeworld being a somewhat under privileged place on the outer rim worlds. Lacking the technology to accomplish tasks even as simple as interstellar travel the whole concept of being on a space faring vessel was new to him, for all he had been told he was born in one and placed on the world for reasons not revealed to him.

He approached the group as they turned to face him, but before he could open his mouth to speak he was cut off by his father speaking in a rather commanding tone.

“Greetings all of you, my name is Zulkaz Kimari and I will be your carer for the foreseeable future, your time here will be spent living a normal life the only exception being when you are required to take medical exams twice a month.”
The majority of the group groaned in disappointment at the statement as Zulkaz smiled an almost gentle smile.
“Now, Now let’s not get upset you’re a special bunch you know and you alone have been chosen to be taken from your worlds to become amazing adults when you all grow up. Trust me ok? I’m not a bad person”

With that he produced a set of sweets from his labcoat and presented it to the children, hesitant a few approached taking them and upon eating them glowed with joy as they jumped up and down on the spot with excitement taking bites out of their treats. Only two remained standing away from the rest of the children after a short time Cyro was one and a young girl was the other.

Turning his head to her he smiled and though she attempted to avert her gaze he approached her holding out of hand.
“Ummm…h-hello I’m Cyro, or at least that’s what they call me anyway who are you?”

She paused and took the chance to look the ragged and dirt covered boy before her up and down, her long dark hair flowing at her sides as she hesitantly took his hand.

“Aki…Aki Toshima”

That was the only words Cyro managed to get her to say in the time they were there, he attempted to make small talk to no avail as they were filed out of the room before being presented with rooms of their own. Now alone in his own quarters aboard the ship he walked around the perimeter of it, tracing his hand along the walls as he attempted to make himself feel even the slightest bit at home in this strange place.

As his hand glided along a desk he felt a small nip of pain in his finger, lifting it to see a small clean cut at the tip. Pushing on the desk he managed to move it to the side, a small piece of paper that had been lodged at the back, squatting down to pick it up.

Tilting his head in confusion he observed the scribbles and markings he could see, turning the paper to different angles to try and make sense of what he was seeing. For all he wasn’t from the most high quality world from his perspective he knew how to read and write, if this was writing it made no sense in the slightest as he took a seat on the bed to ponder what it could be or mean.

His next few days were somewhat mundane, spending a large amount of time in his room and only being allowed to leave for meals and a series of initial medical exams that he couldn’t really understand, not that any six year old from any world would know what was going on here.

As all this was going on in a large room across the ship Zulkaz stood in a large office room leaning back in his chair with a datapad, scrolling through camera feeds of the individual children in each of the rooms and with a sigh tossed it down onto the desk in front of him as there was a knock at the door.

“Enter”

He had not been in command long, only receiving the promotion due to his initial successes before this project in producing combat stims and recreational drugs for wounded soldiers. This was his first personal experiment; being done away from the prying eyes of the republic he had more leeway and time to produce results though so far many of the tests had been failures.

A pair of Scientists entered the room, one a rather overweight man way past the prime years of his life, clinging to a clipboard as if it was a photo of his late mother. The second a pale women of a more calm composure, though in her eyes Zulkaz could see an air of nervousness.

“S-sir” The man stuttered attempting to form a sentence “We have the results back from Science vessel A-1”

Zulkaz raised an eyebrow, sitting forward in his chain and taking a deep breath as brought up his datapad and glanced over the information about the ship though he already knew everything required of him about it.

“A-1? That is where test subjects one through seven are being held after initial tests went awry. They weren’t meant to report back for another few months until mistakes were rectified.”

There was a strong hint of disappointment in his voice as the two scientists spared a glance at one another, taking in a deep breath before the woman spoke.

“Well that’s just it sir they have reported in and the news has not been good. Subjects five and six are deceased and subject seven is well….we don’t know, everything on it went dark. All the data we had is corrupted and the subject is missing.”

Zulkaz face turned from one of disappointment to one of concern as he turned to a computer built into his desk, bringing up the files for subjects one through four and reading the latest reports on each one.

“This will have to do, send the remaining subjects on the ship to contain Subject Seven and attempt to cover up this mess. If word of this gets out to the republic it will become more trouble than it’s worth”

The pair nodded to him before saluting and leaving his office, Zulkaz now alone shook his head and unpinned the buttons going down his labcoat as he wiped a drip of sweat from his brow.

“This is turning out to be more of a mess than it’s worth as of now, but as a scientist I am compelled to continue with the work. Subjects twenty through twenty eight show promise and I even had to place my own flesh and blood into these tests to make them worthwhile.”

He looked back to the pad and the feeds of the subjects watching through old footage of the first contact between each subject before pressing a button on his wrist mounted intercom system.

“Nanao this is Zulkaz prepare for genetic preparation of subjects and pairing for trials in building social skills and off world communication we are bringing them into stage one”

Receiving nothing but the usual “Yes Sir” over the comms, Zulkaz wandered over to his bed and lay down on it. Looking up to the ceiling he wondered to himself.

“This batch must be successful and I will oversee the process myself to ensure it, we will not fail again.”
With that thought it did not take long for him to fall asleep the ship becoming quite as it drifted through the void in the far reaches of space.

To be Continued