American Chimera – 13.1

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Dr. Worthington’s eyes blinked a few times when her cell unexpectedly opened. “Lord, you nearly gave me a stroke. I didn’t expect visitors at this hour – assuming time’s still ticking out there.” She reached out a withered, old hand. “Help me sit up.”

The interrogator let the door shut and lock behind her, then walked over to the feeble old woman. She offered a hand and picked Dr. Worthington up from the soft trap. “Would you like me to place a pillow behind you? For your back?”

“That would be nice.” She groaned with relief when she leaned back against the feather-filled cotton. “Oh, Lord, sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to have just died when my husband did.”

The interrogator took a seat on the foot of Dr. Worthington’s bed. Her nose twitched as she sniffed the room. “Why?”

“Should be obvious. The world’s going to hell in a handbasket, and nothing I or my friends or even my generation did can stop it.” She coughed a bit after she breathed in. “Now. I’m glad you’ve come to visit an old woman in her death chambers, but I’m sure you’re looking for something else out of me.” The doctor leaned forward a bit, then back when she realized it was hard to hold the position. “And why haven’t you taken me to the interrogation room this time? Why visit?”

The interrogator looked to her own feet and intertwined her fingers. “Records indicate you’re not in the best of health, and our living conditions aren’t improving that. The guards suggested I come here to question you today.”

“Hmph. Now I know you’re lying.”

“Will my lying change anything?”

“Depends.”

“I’ve learned from Dr. Smith, the resident scientist here and foremost expert on Chimeras such as Dani Huffman, that your medical notes have been invaluable. He told me something about, uh, ‘cranial treatments’ that you’ve done. I was wondering if you could tell me more about those.”

Dr. Worthington closed her eyes a moment. “I know what you’re talking about. I couldn’t tell you exact formulations, and most of the medical documentation’s already in my logs. I don’t think there’s anything more definitive I can tell you.”

The interrogator’s face turned directly to Dr. Worthington. She placed a dark hand on top of Dr. Worthington’s pale white. “I was allowed to see the male chimeras. They’re little more than animals, but the stories I’ve heard from Dani’s parents, friends, and teachers have all indicated she’s more than a pet or a killing machine. I’m on the training docket to visit with Dani eventually, but I need assurance, doctor. I need assurance that I shouldn’t be afraid, that what’s inside her exoskeleton is something human.”

Though hidden beneath mounds of wrinkles, Dr. Worthington beamed a gummy smile. “I’m not sure if you’re trying to play psychological games with me. You’re wilier than you want people to think. I’m too old for your crap, though.” She clutched the interrogator’s hand. “So listen, and listen well, because Dani deserves better than what you’ve given her. She deserves better than what you’ve given me.”

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9 thoughts on “American Chimera – 13.1

  1. Jules says:

    oooh…. The good doc likes her experiments does she. I dunno messing with DNA and the like is just a tough nut I’d rather not chew. And you’ve given us another clue about the interrogator 🙂
    (Well at lest to me since I’ve been skipping around.)

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