Erasing Mistakes Chapter 3
Professor Rosario López removed her glasses and wiped them on her oversized white lab coat that almost ran to her feet. When she had first put it on five years earlier, she had been considerably shorter, and it had hung around her like a bridal gown. It had been the closest to a bridal gown as she had ever worn, and now that she had tested positive for the disorder that had been tentatively christened the Lindsey Anjora Syndrome, after the first woman to be diagnosed with it, it was unlikely that she would ever marry.
But she did have her one child. His name was technically CO-5589384, but she always referred to him in her head as Javi. An old nickname from a language forgotten eons ago. He was her brain child. She had discovered the method of creating him back when she was nothing more than an intern in her first two months of working at GenTech. He was the 5,589,384th attempt at creating a certain type of being commissioned, strangely enough, by one Ilia Hawwa herself. And Rosario had been the one to figure out how to make it possible. Hawwa had given GenTech a strange type of DNA, and wanted it to be put in a human. However, every single attempt before Javi had ended in failure.
Not that Javi was completely human. He was humanoid, which was a step, but he was strangely disfigured. He was very skeletal in appearance, and he had dark beige skin, with a large number of bony growths protruding at jaunty angles from his body. His eyes were small and black, and rather than a nose, he had two small nostril slits, and his mouth was filled with dozens of spiky teeth. No, he wasnt very human. But Hawwa considered him a success and Rosario considered him her child.
As Rosario had been working exclusively with Javi for the past five years, she was extremely surprised to see the note that was placed on her desk, in her bosss scrawled handwriting.
Meeting at 9 in the Blue Conference Room
Bring materials covering The Lilith Project
The Lilith Project had been canceled due to lack of funding when Rosario first arrived at GenTech. Could President Marjo really be serious about restarting the project that had almost caused GenTech to go bankrupt?
Rosario sat in the uncomfortable plastic chair, trying to look interested in he colleagues idle talk. The meeting wasnt about to start for a few minutes, and everyone was voicing their speculations concerning this strange turn of events. However, silence fell as President George Marjo, founder of GenTech, stepped up to his seat at the end of the long rectangular table and sat down.
Marjo was fairly young, being only in his late thirties, although he appeared even younger. He was well built and tall, and his erect posture made him look more of a soldier than a businessman. His red hair was slicked back, but he apparently hadnt had time to shave this morning. The dark spots under his eyes combined with the stubble to give him the appearance that he had been spending quite a while awake pondering what he was about to say.
He cleared his throat, and began to speak. "No doubt, you are all hear because you received my notes. And now Im going to cut the bullshit and get right down to business. Yes, we are going to resume the Lilith Project. And I suppose you all are just dying to know why." He waited for everyone to nod before continuing. "I have received word from inside sources that Kim Kasim is continuing Project Emeralda."
Hardly anyone held back their gasps of surprise. An elderly scientist name Professor Green raised his hand and asked breathlessly "How can Kasim resume his project? He has no funding, no approval, and like as not insufficient means to do so. Plus the Church was obviously against him. Doe she not know it is a lost cause?"
"I do not know the details. All I know is that he is planning on resuming it," replied Marjo.
An orange-haired lab technician raised her hand, but started asking her question almost immediately after doing so, without waiting for permission. "And how are we going to afford to maintain the Lilith Project? And how will we avoid the scrutiny of the Church?"
"Contrary to Kasim, we are not using nanotechnology. We are not creating artificial, mechanical life. Lilith in a bioandroid, without real life. She is programmed to act as if she had free will and thought, but in reality, she has none. That is how we are getting past them. With the reasoning that we arent really creating life. As for funding we are terminating all current projects to accommodate our current one."
The was a roar of incredulous outrage and shock. Marjo quieted it with a deft wave of his hand and a cold glare. "There will be no exceptions, nor disputes. All current projects will be canceled, and everyone will be put to work on the Lilith Project. We have to get Lilith ready for mass production before Kasim finishes his Emeralda. Is he is successful, it could mean the end of GenTech. So dont fail me, people. You are to wrap up your present assignments today. We resume the Lilith Project tomorrow. Dismissed."
Marjo stood up to leave, but he was stopped by Rosario. "Sir do you mean to say that I dispose of "
"Your project? Why, yes, López, last time I checked, company rules applied to you as well. Destroy it." He turned to leave again, but Rosario was persistent.
"But Ilia Hawwa herself commissioned the project! The government is funding it; we cant afford to destroy him right away!" She suddenly realized her mistake as soon as she said it. She bit her lip.
Marjo turned to her, with a look of combined exasperation and surprise. "Did you just call it him? I think youre getting a little too involved in your project. Destroy it."
"López, destroy the damned thing already! Im not willing to discuss it any further. Dispose of it yourself, or you can leave GenTech and someone else will do the damn job instead!" Marjo turned away and left briskly, clearly angered, before Rosario could continue the conversation.
Rosario sighed and began the walk back to her laboratory. As she strolled morosely down the halls, people were bustling around her, eager to wrap up projects that would never be finished before they dedicated their careers to Lilith.
In her lab, she found that there was no one there save Javi in his tank. Everyone else must have been busy. She peered into it, and tapped the thick glass lightly. Javi swam up to her, his ghastly face showing no emotion.
"Javi " she said under her breath. She leaned against the tank, thinking. If that Kim Kasim had never restarted his Project Emeralda, then GenTech would have never felt the need for competition, and she wouldnt have to do what she was about to do
All she had to do was press a small red button, and scan her thumbprint for verification, and press the button again. Then it would all be over. An intense heat would blast into the tank, evaporating the water and completely disintegrating Javi. There would be trace left that he had ever been there.
It was for the better. There was nothing she could do to prevent it. She smashed her index finger into the red button, hasty in her nervousness.
[PLEASE REMAIN STILL DURING THE THUMBPRINT SCAN,] a loud, metallic, feminine voice said.
"Damn it," Rosario muttered under her breath. She had used her index finger instead of her thumb. The button glowed as her finger was scanned.
[INVALID THUMBPRINT SCAN,] the machine chided her.
She collapsed on the floor and sighed. Even when she put her mind to it, she still couldnt terminate Javi. Hes just an experiment, she reminded herself. Just an experiment. Ilia Hawwa commissioned him. Commissioned. There. People arent commissioned, only experiments. Hes not a person, hes an experiment.
She was suddenly showered with water and shards of glass. The liquid stung her eyes, and she was blinded for a moment, but she could feel something wet and rough crawling beside her and hear it panting and dragging its body along the floor of her lab.
When she was able to open her eyes, she saw Javi out of his tank, slithering to the window overlooking the sea. Hes escaping, she thought. Hes escaping to the sea, where he will be safe! But he cant. The window is too smal-
She quickly realized the error of her thoughts when not only did the window explode outwards for no explained reason, but it took the majority of the wall with it. Javi crawled to the gap, and she tried to follow him, but couldnt seem to move. He had already broken his tank and taken out the majority of her wall without touching it. Could he be mentally paralyzing her as well? Why had she never discovered these telekinetic powers? Why hadnt he revealed them to her? This was an amazing discovery, one that would be praised for years to co-
"You kill me "
"What?" she said, amazed. He was talking, although it was completely unexpected. She then realized that after finding out that he was telekinetic, she should hardly be so surprised that he could make out some form of speech.
"You kill me "
Her eyes opened wide with horror and shame. She shielded herself. What was Javi capable of doing? She knew that his ether readings were astronomical, let alone his apparent telekinetic powers, and if he could break out of his tank and blow up the wall, it wouldnt be too hard to kill her either. She decided to plead with him. "I I had no choice! They made me, they made me because we have to stop what were doing and beat Kasim and-"
"I find Ka sim."
"I find Ka sim I kill Ka sim "
Rosario could only sit there, her mouth agape.
"Mother not want I kill Ka sim but I kill for other Mother "
And with that, he threw himself through the hole in the wall. Rosario heard a large splash where he landed in the water. She finally found the strength to rise to her feet, and she stumbled over to the whole and peered down. She saw no sign of him.
"Professor López?" an intern asked as he walked into the room, taking in the sight. "What what happened to the CO?"
Rosario didnt turn to look at him. Instead, she continue to stare out the wall. She knew that he had referred to her as Mother. But who was this other mother than Javi had referred to? What what was he? Ilia Hawwa had never given an explanation for the DNA sample that she had given them to test Did she know of Javis power? And what would become of Kim Kasim? The Emeralda Project, while financially dangerous to GenTech, could indeed save humanity did she want to see that dashed to pieces because it was a threat to her as a scientist?
"Ja- The CO is gone," she said simply.
Little did she know what she had unwittingly unleashed on the world.
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