Disclaimer: I still own Nothing
Thank you Mercer, for taking the time to beta this for me!
Leaning back into his leather office chair, General Bayt focused his attention on the most recent report his doctors and scientists had given him. Around him his office was sparsely furnished. There were no pictures of families, while the walls were adorned with various maps of the general area and the compound he was in charge of. Against the far wall, opposite his sole window, were some bookcases with various books and reports adorning the shelves. Had it not been for the large and imposing desk and chair, it would have looked like any other office.
The General had been in charge of this facility for almost two years now. While not being an ‘official’ branch of SHIELD, they always had the proper backing, both politically and monetarily.
The main purpose of the facility was to research the ever growing ‘Mutant Menace.’ Already they had a few test subjects that were constantly keeping their doctors and scientists occupied.
Recently a portal had been opened. It was by pure coincidence that the portal was at the far range of another facility operated by his backers. Apparently the portal had but one user before becoming inert once again.
The description of the portal was a bit disconcerting. Whatever the portal had been made of seemed to resemble blood, it had only been open for a short time. It was time enough for a soldier to take notice. The reaction time of the soldiers at that facility were a credit to themselves. In a matter of moments the portal was covered by a compliment of soldiers, awaiting a possible invading army.
The portal, however, only deposited one person. Due to the keen observation skills of the soldiers, this newcomer was quickly determined to have a superhuman healing factor.
Due to the procedures already in place, in no small part due to past experience with Weapon-X, the young man was subdued and placed on enough sedative to keep him in a light coma.
While the origin of the newcomer was not truly known, it was decided to treat the kid as though he was a mutant. And because of that, he was transported to his, General Bayt’s facility.
The kid was put under immediate observation with a constant stream of sedatives to keep the kid under. It was up to him to determine a threat assessment while the scientists at the other facility went about studying the portal. It had also been decided to place a metallic shield over the portal. They hoped this would stop anyone else from emerging should the portal once again become active.
He still had to decide what to do with the kid. On the one hand, the kid needed to be interrogated. Where was he from? Was his point of origin somewhere on the other side of the world? Was it from another world, or perhaps even another dimension? Was he the first to come across, would there be others?
There were quite a few questions that needed answers. However, it was also important to learn as much about the kid as possible before waking the kid up. Without knowing just what the kid could do, it may be a wiser move to keep the kid under until they had learned all they could from studying him. And, seeing as the kid’s healing factor was well above norms, there would be quite a lot the doctors and the scientists could learn from him.
There was also the General’s gut feeling to go with. His instincts told him that the threat of invasion was not too likely. For one thing, why send a kid, who was apparently injured before entering the portal, as a probable scout?
For one thing, at first glance, there was no way that the kid was a soldier. According to the file he had been given, the kid had nothing with him other than a robe that was currently being analyzed for fiber content, and a solid block of wood that looked to be no larger than a box of matches.
From the pictures of the kid that had been taken, he looked emaciated. If anything, it was far more probable that the kid used the portal as a means to escape. Especially when he took into account the more recent pictures taken of the boy, those had been taken only a few hours ago, no more than an hour after they had placed him in a lab for baseline tests.
After hooking the kid up to a bunch of medical and scientific equipment, that he would never understand, they had changed the sedatives they had the kid under, while at the same time, adding an IV with nutrients.
The affect was almost immediate. Before their very eyes, this kid who looked to be no more than skin and bones began was visible transforming into a healthy specimen. As soon as the solution of nutrients made its way into the kid’s system, it was as though months and years of damage had been reversed. Before anyone had reacted, a healthy looking young man was on their examination table in a medically induced coma.
The General had to shake his head, and thank god for the discipline of some of the men under his command. They had been able to hold off the doctors who had wanted to add some steroids to his solution and observe the results. It wasn’t that the general was against the idea, especially if something similar to the Weapon-X project was green lighted here. But still, some discipline was expected.
In front of him was a very long list of tests the various doctors and scientists wanted to run. With a nod of his head he signed his name which green lighted those tests. It would take some time to get those done, and lord knew that there would be more added to the list.
In the meantime, he would set up the impending interrogation. However, at the moment, the threat of an invasion did not seem imminent. It also appeared to him to be more important to learn about the physical limitations of a possible enemy, especially if his healing ability was not due to a mutation.
A shiver went down his spine as the thought of an army of people who could heal like the kid apparently could. Not to mention that the healing was being done while being drugged to the gills. If such things were even related, there was no telling how powerful their healing factor would be.
General Bayt relaxed into his chair as he observed the excited doctor pacing in front of his desk. It had been four days since they brought this new test subject to the facilities, and still, Doctor Reese had the same maniacal excitement shining in his eyes from the first day they brought the kid in. Shaking his head he glanced back down at the reports the doctor had handed him.
“I must say, the times shown in here are quite impressive.”
The doctor snorted. “Impressive!?!” He asked incredulously. “I’ve never seen anyone or anything with an ability to heal this fast before. Every time we go to make a god damn incision we have to use surgical clamps to keep the wound from immediately healing.” He shook his head. “Even then, if the wound is not held far enough apart it reseals itself while shoving the damn clamps aside.”
The doctor raised his hands in exasperation.
“I don’t know how his body does it, but when we tried to insert micro-sensors into his body to get better readings; his body somehow expelled the damn things.” He shook his head sadly. “The damn things were fried too; we weren’t able to get any usable data.”
Seeing the General eying him, he shrugged his shoulders to an unasked question.
“It may be possible, if we surgically implant it to his bone, that we can keep his body from ejecting a foreign object, but as of right now, such sensors or,” he looked the general in the eye. “Or the behavioral modification chip we are developing would never work. Especially as we have no idea what fried the damn sensors.”
The General flipped the folder close.
“What else do you have for me?” He waved at the folder. “I’ll review this myself later.”
Doctor Reese’s eyes lit up with excitement as he sat down across from the general. “Oh, his physical make-up is simply amazing.” He took the folder and flipped to a particular study, and its results. “Take a look the various blood samples. For one thing, the guy is a universal donor, from what we can tell, even those with rare blood conditions that need extremely rare blood could take his blood in a transfusion without having any adverse effects.”
The General’s eyebrows rose at this. Having a soldier, or many soldiers, that could give blood in a combat situation would have many advantages. Though, if the rest of the people this kid belonged to were physically like the kid, having a universal donor would be redundant. Still, it was noteworthy.
“And that’s not all.” The doctor grabbed his attention with the excitement in his voice. “His blood, no matter how it is stored, has shown no signs of the normal degradation that would be expected when exposed and not held in controlled conditions.”
“Why would any of his blood not be held under strict quarantine and under the utmost of controlled conditions?” The sharpness in the General’s voice was easy to hear. The kid may not appear to be some soldier, but that did not mean that an enemy could not slip some sort of deadly virus into the kid and send him through the portal. Proper quarantine should have been upheld until the proper tests could have been run.
The doctor held up his hands in surrender. “We ran all of the required and necessary tests, and they all came back clean.” He shrugged. “But I wasn’t even referring to that. After being put through the various and rigorous tests, there should have been degradation in the samples taken.” He shook his head and smiled. “Those samples were as pure as when they were first removed from storage. Hell, they were as pure as when they were taken from the subject.”
The General began flipping through the pages. “What else can you tell me?”
The Doctor snorted again. “Well, tendon, muscle, sinew, skin, hell even bone all regenerate at the same amazing rate as any other wound. It is incredible to cut out a section of muscle just to watch it re-grow right in front of you...” His voice trailed off as his mind wandered back to those memories.
“Bone, Doctor?” The General’s voice was just as sharp from earlier. He truly did not want those doctors going further than they should. Especially as they apparently had a lot to learn, not to mention an interrogation that was to be run later.
“Oh, we just took a sliver to study. Once we allowed the wound to heal, we made incisions into his arm and cleared away the muscle. Where there had been a trace of a line the scalpel made when the original sample had been taken, there was unblemished bone.” The doctor looked slightly sheepish. “After seeing that, we decided to make another incision, this time we watched as the bone healed over, as though we had never cut into it.” Again, that maniacal gleam entered the doctor’s eyes. “We haven’t experimented with this yet, but I would wager my salary that the subject’s bone marrow would replenish itself just like the rest of his body does.”
“Let’s not go overboard just yet, Doctor.” Noticing the doctor suddenly fidgeting in front of him, The General’s eyes tightened. “What happened Doctor?”
“Well, you remember earlier today, when some of the other lab technicians had trouble with subject codename ‘Scream’?” At the General’s nod, he continued. “At the time my lab assistant, Mr. Preston, was collecting some tissue sample from the subject’s palm. Well, here, we captured it on video, take a look.”
The General was not quite sure how to react at the doctor’s half disturbed and half gleeful countenance. He simply remained quiet as the doctor logged onto his computer and pulled up a file to be played on the monitor that slid out of a wall positioned between two of his numerous maps.
A video began to play, zooming in on the lab tech as he began to make a careful incision with the ademantium laced scalpel. There was a brief moment where items began to shake caused by the vibrations when ‘Scream’ let loose a sonic wale. The video feed wavered due to the mass vibration, when it came back the various lab assistants and doctors were working frantically around the kid, who was now missing a portion of his palm and all fingers other than his thumb and index finger.
There was a massive amount of shouting on the video; however, before the General could voice his own displeasure, a hush fell upon the occupants of the lab room. It seemed as though before the severed appendages had settled on the floor, new muscle wound its way through the exposed palm. The bones and knuckles of his fingers jutted out from the exposed wound. Muscle, sinew, and blood seemed to spiral around the bone as skin formed around the new fingers.
In mere moments his hand had been re-grown. Dr. Reese could be seen approaching the subject with a wet cloth, and a few moments later, had it not been for the severed appendages that were now resting on a tray, there would be no way to tell that anything untoward had just happened.
“Well,” Dr. Reese’s voice could clearly be heard in the silence of the room. “This was unexpected. Oh, and Mr. Preston, do be more careful in the future. And please do clean up once the subject is brought back to quarters.”
The video came to a close as the doctor and general simply stared at one another. The doctor continued fidgeting for a few moments before motioning to the file once more.
“There is something else that is worth mentioning. We are having problems getting some readings from the subject.” Flipping through the file, the doctor pulled out some of the readings he had just mentioned. “Whenever the subject is placed within the lab, we have had sensors trying to get a reading of his brain waves. The results were a little disturbing.”
“Doctor, I have no idea what I am looking at hear, please get to the point.”
“Every reading you have there is identical, and they all basically read as the subject being brain dead. Hell, if it wasn’t for his body’s ability to heal at such a pace, not to mention being told that the subject was alive, but injured, and also conscious when he arrived here, I would have told you someone with these readings as simply being dead.” The doctor simply shrugged his shoulders in a confused fashion. “But his heart beats and his body heals.”
“Could you sensors be malfunctioning?”
The doctor smiled. “Not malfunctioning, they simply were not complex enough to get a proper reading.” Pulling out another page with similar readings, he handed them to The General. “These readings, which incidentally led us to another area to research, came from a powerful MRI. Here, you will notice a pattern, a steady rhythm.” The doctor was simply radiating excitement.
“There’s not much here on this new development.”
“That’s because the MRI machine blew up!” His eyes were shining. “With sparks and everything!”
“Hmm, first your little ‘sensors’ and now this MRI machine…is there a pattern emerging?”
“Indeed, and this is the other area that we are currently looking into.” The doctor was basically bouncing on his feet. “I have no idea why, but whenever we try to run any test, the best results are those of a non-invasive nature.” Seeing the look he was getting, he quickly amended his statement. “At least, as long as those tests are electronic in nature; and that’s not just the MRI. When we were running scans on his blood and DNA, the deeper we dug, the more degraded our resolution became.”
Pulling out some more files, he continued.
“These results were actually gotten by using some of our older equipment. As you can see, while not of the greatest quality, or detail, the subject does have what we would call the ‘X-Gene’ however we were not able to ascertain any specifics like we would be able to nowadays. Also there seems to be some sort of interference, even at this level of technology. Whenever we tried to use newer equipment, the results were so degraded as to sometimes show a null in the results.” The doctor shrugged, looking helpless. “The scientists are all excited about this. Apparently the newer equipment has special shielding in the case of an EMP, and they have no idea how the subject could be causing such interference, especially when that interference comes into play when running tests on his blood or other tissue samples we have taken. At best guess, they believe he, and all parts of him, are radiating some sort of unknown energy field that does not interact well with our own equipment.”
“The kid’s radioactive? Is he putting our men in danger?” The General was quickly flashing back to the chance of the kid packing some sort of disease. Well, radiation was not much better in his book.
“Not so much as we can tell. Hell, we can’t even detect the damn thing. But we do have all personnel that have come in contact with the subject reporting for their own extensive testing.”
The General nodded. “Good, have everyone on base tested, myself included. If he is passing on some sort of radiation, those exposed could pass it onto others. In fact, I want this facility under lockdown until we can verify that nothing dangerous has been passed along by our new guest. I also want a report of all personnel who have left this base since the kid was brought in. Have each one contacted and ordered to isolate themselves until further notice.” There had better not be a god damned outbreak. By now it would be impossible to contain. There was little chance of finding everyone his people had come into contact with outside of the base, not to mention all of the people those people had come into contact with.
Typing in some commands on his keyboard, he sent a message to the guards watching the entrances of the facility. The entire base was now under lockdown. While it was probably nothing, this could easily become one hell of a nightmare.
“If we cannot get a proper scan of the boy, can you be sure he does not have some sort of technology that is messing around with our instruments?”
The Doctor nodded. “Yes, good. But no, there has been no indication that there is anything metallic, or non-organic within the subject’s body. Also, while we do know that there is a faint unknown energy signal, there is no centralized location of this signal, nothing to pinpoint an energy source.
The doctor paused before continuing. “Sir, after we screen the base personnel, I would like permission to perform some more…invasive tests.”
“Define ‘more invasive’.”
“With the subject’s unheard of healing factor, I would like to try cutting into some of his organs, to see how they heal. I would like to also remove an organ to see if he is able to re-grow it, such as he did with his hand earlier.” At the General’s sharp glare he went on. “I’m not talking about anything important. Perhaps we can work on and remove a kidney, he only needs one.”
The General paused for a moment, thinking over the advantages of such tests.
“Approved; however, before you go on to such organs that could lead to a fatality, you will notify me before any such procedure is attempted.” At the doctor’s quick nod if his head he decided to clarify. “Doctor, I still have an interrogation to run, there will be no operations on anything vital until I am notified and have given my approval. Do you understand me?”
“Crystal clear, Sir. I promise, you will be notified in advance once we reach such a stage in our tests.”
“Good, now go run your tests on base personnel so I can rescind the lockdown.”
“At once, Sir; should we start with you?”
The General just glared at him.
Time went on, the base was cleared and the lockdown was rescinded.
As each week passed the tests became more and more invasive. They became more and more daring. By the time two months had passed, they found themselves removing his heart and watching a new one grow in mere seconds, right in front of their eyes.
To the doctors, he was a miracle, an amazing test subject. To the guards he was a freak and a punching bag that would never show the damage done to him mere moments after the damage had been done.
The doctors and scientists were stumped as to how their subject had looked so emaciated when he had been brought in. They had gone weeks with giving him almost no nutrients, and excess sedatives, but if there was any degradation to the subject’s body, they could not tell. It certainly had no bearing on his healing ability.
It was decided that, like most mutations, it must have activated due to a stressful situation, not too long before he had gone through the portal. A portal which had shown no sign of life since the day the subject had arrived.
Over the weeks the doctors had decided to lower the dosage of sedatives they were feeding constantly into his body. They were hoping to get some result, some change, in his brain wave activity.
There was no way for them to know that the results they were receiving had more to with him than it did with the drugs. Occlumency, it could be both a blessing and a curse.
Tonight, however, as the guards left Harry in his cell, shortly after they worked off some of their own aggression, they would regret not making sure that the IV that was supposed to be keeping a steady flow of sedatives into his system was still attached to their ‘subject.’
In the cell next to his, a lanky girl with blonde hair reached her thin hand through the bars. Her fingers were just able to brush against the unmoving figure of the man she had been talking to every night for the past few months.
Her eyes became milky white as they fluttered behind the opaqueness. As her eyes cleared, a genuine smile appeared on her face.
“It’s ok Bob, it’s almost time; you just wait and see.” She leaned further into the bars separating the two of them, her fingers grasping the loose clothing issued to all of the test subjects. She pulled him close, his frame leaning slightly, but no indication was given that he was aware of her presence. “Everything will be fine, Bob, just fine.”
With that she leaned back, and in the quietness of their cells, she couldn’t help but smile as she imagined the roaring sound of each and every ‘drip drip drip’ the sedatives made as they made contact with the floor, only to be absorbed by the sweatshirt ‘Bob’ was wearing.
“Yep, come tomorrow, everything would be just fine.”