--- 10:23:34 AM (hh/mm/ss) --- - [Haringale Facility of Biological Research & Genetic Modification / Central Genetics Department] -
The air inside the facility was cool and clinical, the scent of disinfectant floating through the air. Garrin swore it was just like a hospital, except...
"Nursey, these hallways just widened up coinsiderably! What's with that, you could drive a car through here!"
"Well Mr Fitch, we handle many different chemicals and poisons, animals and beasts, moving them around through these halls. For safety reasons, we need these trolleys to be able to pass each other, with enough distance between them so as to avoid agrevating the contents of any container, alive or not."
"Sheeesh, you guys at... Hearing-Gale must have though of everything huh? Building this place, I mean."
"It's pronounced 'Har - ing - Gale', not 'Hearing', And yes. We're heading to the Cryostasis Chambers now."
That gave Garrin food for thought. He was silent as Mrs Stanley lead them through various halls, passing rather technological and oddly glowing rooms along the way, electronic's clicking and tickering escaping into the hall at every open door. The ocasional sciencey dressed fellow would pass one way or another, carrying charts or a tray of fluids. Many wore lab coats, like 'nursey', but just as often they were in full white biohazard suits with oxygen tanks on their back, enclosed like an astronaut's suit.
They opened out onto a catwalk, a story above a massive room full of tanks... tanks of deep blue fluid. At one side, there were machines holding hundreds of little cylinders a bit bigger than maybe that of the typical canned food container. In rows halfway through the room, many floor-based tanks stood, each big enough to hold a human with maybe their elbows outstretched, but certainly not their full arm width.
However, the big attention grabbers were a row of ten tanks at the back. Each was about four of the human-sized ones combined. You could have a party in those things! A large screen over the ten tanks displayed general temperatures, humidity and air composition. Over the other side of the catwalk, a few rows of computers manned by a handful of people were checking on the tanks.
"This, is Cryostasis. These chambers are for preserving and cooling life. In your case, you will never go below zero degrees celcius - there's no need to. the fluid inside them is breathable when laden with oxygen, to help avoid emergancies. If you agree to becoming a test subject, you'll be spending about a year in these chambers."
Garrin's eyes flew open suddenly, the realisation hitting him.
"A.. A year! It's that long term? Wooahh, so you want me to basically stay here asleep all year!"
"You won't be in a coma all year. We'll be waking you up at intervals to make sure you are progressing well in your... transformation."
"Progressing well? Transformation? *Heheh*, explain yourself nur-.. er, Fione. What exactly will be happening to me in this place?"
Fione, finally glad that the man realised the consequences of the testing, AND said her name right, gave a big smile. She led him off the catwalk to a more normal sized room, filled with computers and a single tank. The room had one man facing away at a computer, but was otherwise vacant. Metal gutters around the edges of the room hinted at even more precautions than just spraying disinfectant around. The lab was built with these fluid containers in mind.
"Garrin Fitch, meet Harvey Eglan. He's our leading Geno-Assembler. I'm sure he'd be happy to explain exactly what you're here for."
The person on the chair swivelled around, revealing a rather eratic man clenching his hands together. If his all-over-the-place hair, wide eyes with tiny pupils or overly large grin on his face didn't already give it away; he was obviously encentric. He stood up, limping forward as he held his flimsy hand out, a pair of spectacals balancing precariously on his nose.
"Hello Hello! Shhhooow, Yosh must be a tesht sub-ject! Eglan, Eglan'sh my name! Shhow I hear yosh want to know WHAT yosh are doing here, yesh?"
"Er, Yes I suppose, not that I want to take up your time if you're busy, Eglan."
"It'sh NOOOO Problem! I jusht hope you can hear me through my accshent! Have a bit of a speesh impediment, yosh she?"
Garrin said it was no problem, so Englan walked up to the tube, wiping his hand over the surface. His handprints were left smeared all over where he had touched the smooth glass.
"Shhow, yosh are a tesht sub-ject for a transh-form-ay-tion! We have teshted on frogsh, ratsh, fishh, all shorts before!"
"All shorts? *oh, all sorts*"
"Yesh! What we do, ish put a virush into their body. The 'H29L55' virush, in fact. A spesh-al virush indeed. It doeshn't replicate, shhow we can yosh it without fear!"
".. shhow we can yosh it? Oh 'So we can use it', I see."
Mrs Stanley nods, before taking over a bit.
"The virus cuts out the old DNA, and replaces it with whatever Mr. Eglan had programmed into them. By doing this in a cooled enviroment, the organism doesn't have enough chance to react and retaliate against the virus. We can effectively change who you are."
In disbelief, Garrin started shaking his head, chuckling a little beneath his breath.
"So you're saying, you put me in one of these chambers, infect me with a virus and I turn into something else? That's ludicrish! *I mean, ludicrous! his accent is contagious...*"
The ecentric man pulled away from the glass, the half crazy grin on his face enough for anyone to disbelieve his word. He roughly pushed his spectacles up closer to his face, then pointed straight at Garrin.
"Yosh are Absholutly correct! The transhformaytion is a bit shlower than a magical fantashy though.. we eshtimate, closhher to maybe... a year? Yesh, a year. A year plush learning time, when yosh are out of the chamber, yesh, yesh..."
".. I can't believe that, that's impossible! You can't just... change.. someone. What will you be changing me into anyway?"
Fione stepped up again, as Mr Eglan began laughing in a squeaky, somewhat annoying fahsion.
"It's not just you by the way. We have four females and three males selected already, and you'll be the last of the lot I believe. For the test, it doesn't actually matter what you're changed to, so you and the others will becoming.. something invented."
"Some things don't exist in nature because there is simply no way for it to have evolved into it's final form. Some things also don't exist because in the past, they couldn't survive. We are unbound by both these restrictions however - that is why Mr Eglan has created a new species of creatures entirely for you and your group. You'll be becoming-"
"DRAGONSH! You'll become one big... wing? flight? group! Shomthing like that, of Dragonsh!"
Garrin couldn't tell if Eglan was laughing hestarically now because he was psycho, or because it was genuinely funny that he's trying to turn a group of humans into... Dragons. Now that he thought about it, the Geno-Assembler's speech impediment sounded rather similar to a drunken buffoon.
"This, isn't some sort of joke now is it, er, Fione? I've heard of crackpot doctors before, but surely this guy takes the cake."
"I'm sorry Mr Fitch, it's the truth. We have all the preparations underway, and the facility is capable of attending for eight dragons of medium stature. Half the reason for doing this is to try and condense research - we want to find out how hard it is to create entirely new, benificial species, while at the same time hearing it from a person in full how the changes are affecting them."
"I'tsh your call Mishter Fitch! Yosh aren't being presshured to do anything, undershtand? When yosh are being transhformed, we will be making shure yosh are fully intact with yosh brain, and teachshing yosh how to flap your wingsh! And chew, and talk with yosh new mouth.."
Eglan went into a quiet mumble, feeling that it was time for someone else to speak. The man in the red sweater was laughing awkwardly at the situation, trying to absorb what he was being told.
"Ok, Ok, *HAHA!* You say, that, *HEh*, you want to make me into a dragon? And you want to train me how to get used to my new body? Sounds incredibly dangerous, not to mention IMPOSSIBLE! Besides, what do I get out of all this? What's in it for me?"
"That's a pretty simple question, Garrin. You'd get a new body. Not to mention, you'd be part of a leading scientific effort. This research goes towards much more than than just changing people into different things. We can remove genetic defects, repair faulty chromosomes. Hereditary disorders can be cured. That, including some forms of cancer."
That put Garrin to rest. Even Fione knew that was a little bit of a low blow, but it could be true in Garrin's case. He started thinking proper now, the gears in his head spinning like the random ticks and whirls of the machines around them. Eglan settled down to just sniggering, and grabbed a cloth to wipe the previously dirted glass, blowing on it to mist the glass before shining it.
Mrs Stanley dusted off her coat a bit, before clearing her throat.
"There's no need to make a decision right now. You have a week before we'll start any of the tests on anyone. You can say 'yay or nay' before then, if-"
"Fione, I'll be a test subject for this project. I've got little else going for me, and if this works...."
A huge smile overcame Garrin's face, and he started bellowing laughter-
"Maybe all the Laay-dee's will be going Gaga over a real Dragon! YEeaayea!"
"I'm glad you'll be with us Garrin. I'll phone you in tomorrow to negociate what we expect of you, and what you'll be allowed to do. Things like human rights, for example. We'll go over the basics, and by the end of the week, meet with the other participants. Lets leave Mr Eglan alone now, I think he's had enough social contact for one day."
Walking out the room, Eglan settled back to the computer while the pair made their way out back through the complex, and waved goodbye at the entrance. Garrin complimented the desk lady as he left, much to the receptionist's dismay.
"what fine nail's you have! such vibrant red~"