--- ??:??:?? XX (hh/mm/ss) --- - [Haringale Facility of Biological Research & Genetic Modification / (???)] -
That's all that one could see in the room, a deathly, pitch black. One might think that the lamp had blown itself, or that the power was out. Yet neither had happened - and only the breathing beast in the room would know that.
It was quiet. Seemingly asleep in the dark, but the click of two claws echoed through the room every half minute, as it snapped new fingers together. Eased up at the head of the bed, only a bare, unseeable outline marked it's shape. Much time, much more time was left to wait though. The beast was weak, and unfinished - it'd have to be completed at the very least before it could carry out any action.
Sometimes laughter would vibrate distantly through the room, high pitch and irritating. Sometimes 'Chick' Cassy would throw her weight around in the room next door, growling and groaning through her inability to speak. She must be tearing up to have no one listening to her.
-That put a cold, half-hearted grin on the shadowy figure's face. She wasn't the beast's target, but she talked too much anyway. Better off silent, it thought. Despite these nuisances, it must bide time, hide it's true face.
That was about when the Doctor entered, and discovered the broken ceiling lamp. He went to get a replacement for it. The beast was ready however - it's act would not be revealed by a simple light. Only ten minutes later, a replacement was brought in posthaste so the Doctor could start speech exercises. The figure cleared his face of emotion, shutting it's eyes as if it were asleep.
Flick of the switch.
--- 02:12:13 PM (hh/mm/ss) --- - [Haringale Facility of Biological Research & Genetic Modification / Subject R&R Ward] -
The electro-shock therepy was numbing and utterly unnerving. A bunch of leads and electrodes were hooked up around Garrin's lower body as he lay out uncomfortably across the bedding. The Doc had re-adjusted his pillow to fit under this neck better, but he was forced to turn it to either side to avoid smothering his snout.
The electrodes throbed on and off, in short jabs, forcing Garrin to sense where his new body was. It was a rather jarring experience for him, but he bore it as much as he could. When the doctor finally let up on the shocks, Garrin could hardly feel even his upper legs - but at least there was sensation in his far lower body now. The position he lay in felt even more awkward with his long feet going way over the edge of the bed, calves apparently a little stockier and shorter and huge thighs to compensate.
Doctor James plucked all of the pads off, and disconnected Garrin from the battery pack, moving it somewhere out of the room. When he returned, he was carrying a large sheet of somthing metal. He held it up against the wall.
"Mr Fitch, you've done a fine job at cooperating. I believe it's time for you to get a full picture of yourself now that I believe you are stable. While we're at it, I'll also run through with you what to expect with the out-of-chamber growth you'll experience while on the ward."
He flipped the metal sheet around, revealing that it was actually, a mirror. Still on his belly, Garrin craned his head around and up a bit to see himself fully. The first thing he looked at, was straight into his own gaze-
-Two dark green orbs stared back from inside the rather bulky skull, forward facing. His snout wasn't all that long compared to the head width, with a bony ridge around each of the black nostrils on his muzzle. A dab of red scale was forming from the end of his snout up towards his eyes, but a patch of deadish skin lay between, with a few minor welts on it.
Cocking his head, he viewed himself from different angles, the doctor helping by angling the mirror for him. He realised he had a bony ridge of scale instead of eyebrows, which he could manipulate slightly when he tried. Two holes on either side of the head proved to be his ears, while a pair of bony stumps sat on the back of his skull, where his horns were growing from.
The doctor also began angling the mirror so Garrin could see his body better, in a rather poor looking state in areas. The floppy wings, tail and rejected skin all appeared to be immensly unhealthy.
"Your scutes and scales will continue to grow over these next months, completing likely before you are put back in the chamber. They needed to be exposed to the air to harden and strengthen properly. Your horns and teeth will also need to grow, and be sharpened. Your wings however, will remain useless until after your second visit to the chamber. They will be put through acelerated growth then, and be conditioned fully afterwards."
When he finally set the mirror down, he gave Garrin a nod.
"I'll be visiting you during dinner for speech training. Rest up, or practice if you will before then."
--- 07:54:13 AM (hh/mm/ss) --- - [Haringale Facility of Biological Research & Genetic Modification / Subject R&R Ward] -
Two nights had passed since the training had begun, and Garrin was quickly getting the controls under his belt. He was training vocal pitch now, and accentuating words to be pronouncable. His locomotion exercises had also progressed, and was able to stand and walk on his own, if slowly. He awaited the Doctor to arrive while still in bed, resting on one side.
However, Doctor James wasn't alone when he walked in this morning. He seemed slightly earlier than usual as well. A reasonably high toned voice yelled down the hall, accompanied by heavy plodding footsteps from behind the good Doctor.
"Mr Fitch? Ahh! You are awake! Good news today, Mr Tamarilin has recieved the all-clear to navigate the ward on his own, and wanted to visit you and the other subjects today. Are you fine with that?"
"Auuhh, Yuh! Sure, let him in."
Garrin's own voice still sounded unfamiliar to himself.. it was still deep and gruff, and was constantly fighting to make it higher pitch and more audiable.
Troddling through the large doorway from the hall came the giant, rainbow-lime reptile, unmistakable as Tucker's model that Eglan showed everyone what seemed like just a few days ago. Tucker was leaning forward to better clear the height of the doorway, on all fours with his thick tail dragging around the floor behind him. When he pulled himself fully in, he sat back onto his hind legs, spreading his long, flat feet out to the sides to better balance as he sat on his rump.
"Duuude! It's so good to see you man! Wasn't that whole experience just sooo.... Trigonometric? Yeaaah, that's the word. Perfect word."
His voice was more or less the same, if slightly squeakier and lighter. His orange neck was much more thinner than Garrin's, with a pinky-reddish head perched on top, bearing a rather long muzzle for the width. His gleaming eyes and eyebrow-ridge were enough to show his excitement at walking around the wards finally. He was a fair bit slimmer and generally lighter than Garrin from what it looked.
Tucker had similar patches of jaundice, yellowed skin on his legs and tail, showing Garrin that he wasn't the only one to have the problem. The Hippie dragon's lime green scales had all but taken over his main body, merging into an assorted spectrum of colour over his limbs, with almost iridescence between main colour changes.
"So how ya been man? Enjoy the treatment? Dude, they were like "Woah! He's talking an' stuff, should he be like this after only a day?" and I was like "swweeet, look at my skin! It's all smooth, like a paper bag, I swear."
"Huhuhuh!, you are prutty talkative ar-eeen't you Tuckur? I'm ge- geetting close to spee-. SpEEeeeaking, properly. The... 'eeeeee's' are hard though.."
"Duude, I had, no trouble at all with my voice. Must be your neck which ruined you, you're like a truck man! A buldozing freighter train on rockets, yeaaaah. Nah, do you see these feet?"
He demonstrated by lifting one up, slapping it back onto the ground.
"I feel like I'm wearing tennis racquets for shoes, but they ain't shoes, they're my feet! They need to be that big to hold me upright, but I'm like a penguin on hind legs, gotta waddle everywhere!"
He laughed in that squeally voice, propelling out the door and all through the ward. Garrin joined with his own throaty chuckle as well - that had to be the first comparison the Hippie said that actually made sense.
"Hey Dude, I gotta run now, gotta learn the layout, gotta save the day. Can't wait to see you around, we should go exploring next time we meet! Yeeah, that'll be... be..... Gyroscopic, that's the word. Later man!"
Tucker spun around, almost knocking the lamp and stand over by the bed as he left the room, tail sliding over the shiny white flooring. It was certain to get absolutely dirty no matter how clean the floor was. Dr. James gave a sigh as he went to get Garrin's breakfast (more soup), muttering "What a character, Tucker Tamarilin". Garrin couldn't help but wonder if Tucker had a dictionary somewhere he read in his spare time.
While he was eating, the Doctor stood up, and cleared his throat.
"Mr Fitch, you've improved very nicely over these last few days. I believe it is time that you become acquainted with the layout, and begin with the actual records of your mental health. To give you the all clear for navigating, you'll need to be able to answer all of Mrs Stanley's questions. As Lead Researcher, it's her job to guide all the tests and record all the answers you provide.
We'll go down as soon as you're finished here, Ok Mr Fitch?"
Garrin nodded, wondering what sort of questions that would be asked. It would be interesting to finally walk this place on his own as well, to figure out exactly where everything is. He was also looking forward to meeting the other paitents - apparently, Melvin Teakle had awoken from what his Doctor said yesterday, and Cassy's condition had improved as well. Bella was still blind however, and James had no idea if it was fixable.
"Yus Doctar. Oh, how's Mulvin...-Meeelvin, today?"
"He's getting better, but he's still very weak. I'll be checking with him while you are taking the test."
He hurried drinking up the slop, if only for Melvin's sake. When he was done, the Doctor tried to help guide him off the bed. Garrin had done it before, but it was still hard- rolling over so that one side of his body was hanging off the edge, planting down his feet, minding the weakened back leg. Then, carefully inching his front foot futher and further from the bed, so he would have room to place his other front limb down as well. Afterwards, the Doctor moves away the blankets and assists in lifting the other back leg onto the ground.
After all the effort, Garrin slumped onto the ground and pulled his legs under him much like a cat would before it pounced. He shakily raised himself, back legs first, then front a few moments later. It was reasonably easy to stand once he had gotten off the bed. He turned, and the Doctor lead him out into the hall.
Padding through the ward, there was no doubt the facility had been built for this purpose- to allow large creatures to navigate around easily. There was the ocasional squeeze when a man in biohazard gear with a trolley of chemicals wanted to get past the somewhat clumsy dragon, but there was room to maneuver. The main hall in the Subject R&R Ward apparently looped around itself, in the shape of a square with smooth corners. The subject rooms were all located on the outer edge of one side of this square, with other important looking rooms and occasional halls leading away from the Subject Ward dotted around too.
As they went around to the opposite side of the whole ward, they passed by two locked metal doors with glass windows. Plants and trees could be seen beyond.
"Uuuh, Doctur, I thought ...w-eeeee arr undurground? Why arr... thee.. theee-ree."
The Doctor stopped Garrin, asking him what he wanted to know. It saddened the poor dragon that he couldn't communicate his point.
"Plantss. Plant undurground. Out theeere. How?"
"Oh! Yes Mr Fitch, that there is the bio-conservatory. It has a lot of airspace, with a glass dome in the ceiling which lets light in for the plants around the edges. The main reason for that room is to help get your bodies used foreign particals and organisms in your airways, and to train flight skills should that ever be plausible. Also, it's simply a nice place to relax in- after you stop getting sick from every germ in the room."
Satisfied, they turned a second corner, before turning into a room offside labled 'Examination Room #2'. Unlike the corridors, which were made entirely of white plastic linoleum with metal edging, this room was filled with trustworthy blue carpet. It felt odd between the new-born dragon's feet, treading the nylon threads between his toes as he got used to the dim sensation around his legs.
He was just about ready to slump down from the exsaustion of simply walking halfway around the ward, but he heard a familiar voice beforehand.
"Mr Fitch! Welcome, I've been preparing to record here. Feel free to lie down anywhere in the room, we cleared it out to make space for you, of course."
It was Fione, typing up a hurricane on the keyboard. Garrin had no doubt of his size now - he was very clearly looking down at the woman, his longer neck and generally larger body both helping drastically. She wasn't alone however - a man he had never seen before, short and stern, gave a look over his scaled form. His suit and glasses gave an air of importance, which somewhat swept away his apparent old age.
Noticing the dragon's gaze, he gave a brief smile, before bowing slightly.
"A walking, breathing.... miracle. I cannot wait to hear your emotions, your memories - tell us, what is it like to become.... a myth?"