Chapter 47 - Temple of Science
Professor Tryon performed a cursory examination of Apoc and concluded that he was dehydrated, possible shock, possible concussion, and possibly comatose. His brilliance was underwhelming. He said that he may have internal injuries, but he couldn’t be sure and certainly couldn’t operate. He said that he had absolutely no experience with animal physiology outside of domesticated farm animals. And that was mostly postmortem experience on the animals that they were testing. He decided the safest course of action was to take some X-Ray’s to give to the vet when she arrived. He set up a morphine drip and saline and said there was little else that he could do. I could tell from the way he twitched that he couldn’t wait to get started examining me.
I refused to get into the cage until Red assured me that Alan was going to go with me every step of the way, and he would stay with Apoc.
Professor Tryon had picked a solid metal box with circular holes along it to disguise my presence. I’d growled when he’d moved to lock it shut, so he relented and assured me it just needed to closed not locked. He had recruited two of his senior teaching assistants to help out. I watched Apoc through the little holes in the cage until we rounded a corner. He looked so small on the table, so still, flopped on his side. I hoped the vet was going to be able to help him.
Professor Tryon was filling out a chart and grilling Alan as they wheeled me past the empty dark classrooms and down the empty, echoing college hallways. He had made it clear that he didn’t want Stella anywhere near me. I wondered if he had really considered the possibility that everyone he brought me into contact with might have a very short life span, or if it was more of a selfish effort to keep the knowledge that he may learn from me a secret to help his own research. Maybe I was just a scientific golden goose to him, just with more fur than feathers.
Over the next couple of hours I was poked, and prodded. I walked up and down the lab where he filmed me from every angle, the movement of my legs. He examined my eyes, nose, throat. Listened to my lungs, checked my reflexes. He drew blood, scraped the inside of my mouth, trimmed my toe nails, collected urine (without my permission) and even pulled out some hair. He complained bitterly about the state of education budgets and the lack of money for an MRI. But he did run an ultrasound over my body taking a look at my organs and any modifications and relocations. He seemed surprised that my reproductive organs seemed to be present and in the same place. He was cataloging and logging every bit of observable data. It was as if I wasn’t even there... at least not as a person. My form was convincing enough for him to see me as just another lab rat.
Alan came and sat beside me on the table, when Professor Tryon and his techs were setting up another test. “I know he’s not much for people. Trust me, I remember his class. But when it comes to science, and more specifically biology I’ve never met a smarter guy. He kinda inspired me, not because he’s cool, but more because he’s so passionate and fascinated by the field, it’s hard not to be inspired to learn more. I figured the only way to protect you... really protect you is get the information out to so many different sources, that they can’t just wipe you or me out... there would just be too many people they’d have to silence, and if they did that it’s going to make them look worse than if they just deny, deny, deny, and make the lab where they made you disappear. I figured the only way to get the word out was a reputable institution doing a study of you, and then putting that information out.”
I was tired and worried about Apoc, my thoughts kept circling back to him. Was he ok? Had the vet arrived? Had she helped him? I looked at Alan.
“Are you worried about Apoc?”
“Professor, have you heard from the vet yet?”
The professor looked distracted, “Stella should be here by now.” He pulled his cellphone out and dialed. “Hi Stella, oh yes, working late in the lab. So have you... good, so you’ve stopped the bleeding? Well, I... you did?” He looked me square in the eyes. I was still trying to process the ‘stopping the bleeding’. “You don’t say? What sort of modifications?... Really? That’s just... amazing. Yes I’ll be down in a minute.”
He clicked off the cellphone. “Well it looks as if your lupine friend is just as unique as you are. You two stay here and run the next test.” The assistants nodded.
Hell no. I was not going to wait up here, I wanted to see Apoc, and now. I jumped onto the floor, and made for the door.
Professor Tryon turned to me. “Where do you think you’re going?”
I growled, I was a heartbeat from biting this asshole.
Alan wheeled up the crate. “I think it’s time for a little break, don’t you professor?”
Professor Tryon looked down his nose at me for a long calculating moment. “Fine. You two grab all the notes and follow me. You back into the cage, the last thing we need is some hapless college rent-a-cop sticking his nose into this.”