Chapter 77 - Fullbeast
Kale looked down from the top of the rope, all the children looked as big as kittens to him. He smiled and looked down and opened his mouth, “I did it!” But as soon as the words stilled within the air, his excitement got the best of him and his hands slipped.
Panic traveled throughout his body, as he whipped his hand around trying to get a proper grip. His body plunged towards the thin mat that lay beneath.
He felt his fingers slip through the rope as he tried to get a better grip. Ms. Kanole was running towards him. Kale had fallen about halfway down now and the other kids stood below with eyes and mouths wide open.
Kale let out a scream and forced his hands to the rope one more time. His fingers latched on, or rather, his fingernails did? Kale dangled a few meters above the ground, in shock, staring at his hands. All the other kids felt a sense of relief, and some seemed to notice something odd about Kale.
Kale let himself to the ground, and held out his hand. “Ms. Kanole? Is this normal…?” Both of his hands had blade-like nails protruding from his hands.
Ms. Kanole choked on her words a few times before managing to throw something together. “Yeah, it is known to be a side effect of the medicine you guys are receiving.” Despite that rather normal sounding answer, her face looked as if she had just spent the past day sick in bed.
The other children all gasped in amazement. They seemed to have had no idea about this.
“Oh okay… How long until it goes away?” Kale said, tracing the blade against his skin.
“Don’t do that!” Ms. Kanole blurted out.
Kale looked to his arm, which showed no signs of harm done to him. “It doesn’t hurt though…”
“Okay class, I need to take Kale to the infirmary. You guys wait for me to get back before climbing any more ropes!” Ms Kanole invited Kale to step outside with her.
“Is he going to come back?” Hage asked, face shrunk towards the ground.
“Yeah, Kale will be back. As soon as this side effect wears off.”
After dropping Kale off, Ms. Kanole walked across the facility to take a visit to Oren’s part of the building. She knew this place better than most, and thought she knew what went on within these walls more than most as well, but that seemed to not be the case. Students at Station Acclimation were not to undergo animal DNA treatment. That was supposed to be done at Station Harbinger only, or at any other private lab. Kale should not have been allowed to enlist in this facility.
So why did Mr. Nelto let Oren bring Kale in here after having gone through what he had? It was standard protocol to report all activities to Mr. Nelto, so surely he knew about all of this. Ms. Kanole couldn’t figure out why they would let a Quarterbeast in with the other students. If there was one thing she was thankful for, it was that they hadn’t overdone it with Kale yet. He hadn’t become a Halfbeast or Fullbeast yet. If there was a term lower than Quarterbeast, perhaps that would describe Kale at this moment, but everyone had decided that Quarterbeast was the lowest title just to make things simple..Nails were what every person with animal DNA fusing developed first, and it seemed this was his first time.
Ms. Kanole had to confront Oren and tell him to stop while Kale was still in Station Acclimation. She reached the door that led to him and his team and knocked.
“Who’s there?” Oren asked.
“Ah, Ms. Kanole. What a surprise. Shouldn’t you be teaching?” He said as he opened the door.
She stepped in and ignored his question. “What do you think you are doing with Kale? You know we don’t allow for animal and human cross tampering here at this station.”
Oren smirked. “Oh, has Kale shown signs of breakthrough finally? And why the hostility? I thought this was Station Harbringer 2.0.”
“No. This is nothing of the sort. This is Station Acclimation. We acclimate the students to serving our purposes! Throwing in the animal changes on top of trying to shape their minds to serve us makes things doubly hard!” Cyn shook her head. “Of course you wouldn’t know, would you? Mr. I’ll just do as I please, because no one would dare defy me.”
“You’re not wrong there. I’ve been told going against me was the worst thing some people ever did.” From behind Oren, something extended upwards towards the ceiling. Black and thin, it wiggled through the air and the sharp tip of it pointed towards Cyn.
“Gonna threaten me with your tail?” Cyn huffed. “How did you even get Mr. Nelto to agree to this?”
“I’ve shown him results, and I take risks. He likes results, something you aren’t the best at, no? I mean, what, you’ve been with the company for twenty years now, and you are still only a Quarterbeast? You won’t even take a small risk to become a Halfbeast and progress our procedures?” Oren laughed. “I’ve done it all. Mr. Nelto would be foolish to go against such a loyal member as myself, I’ve given my all for the cause. In case you didn’t know, I’ve promoted myself from Halfbeast to Fullbeast over the last two years.”
Cyn stood speechless.
“And you would think being a Fullbeast would be the end goal for me, right? But, something inside me wants more. You know, I’ve heard of mixing more than just one animal into a single human. Multibeast, I think is what they called them twenty years ago when I eavesdropped during the Nimalstic War. I wouldn’t mind risking my humanity, and my own life, on perfecting something as powerful as that.”
“You’re insane.” Cyn stared at Oren without speaking for a few moments. “I didn’t come here to hear your bragging. I came to state what I feel will be better for the overall cause. This is for Nhaja’s safety, have you forgotten? Brainwashing the children is the first priority, if we don’t program their minds how we want, what happens when they become too strong for us and turn on us?”
“We are already giving them strength supplements though? I don’t understand your train of thought.” Oren brought himself back to a somewhat calm state.
“Strength supplements don’t change your humanity.” Cyn sighed. “However, the animal DNA brings out new instincts, creating a new way of thinking. We can’t have that while these children are at their prime for forming their own identity. We need to form their psyche in the best way to fit our interests.”
Oren looked out to the side, past Cyn’s head. “I can understand that.”
Did he really understand though? Or was he just saying that? Becoming a Fullbeast, he had to be well aware of his new instincts and ways of thinking.
“Good, with that message, I’ll be heading back to the class.”