The Secrets of Capricorn

If he had the choice between changing a single person’s life and changing the world, what would he choose? If it means giving up all that he’s ever loved, would he really take that place for the one person he cares about the most and stand in the front row, armed and ready to fight against the Last Apocalypse?

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As soon as he entered the room, Junhyung was shocked at the dank condition of the area. The aroma of the whole room was worse than disgusting, and it was starting to make his head feel heavy. The only window in the room, which he could just about see, was dirty and small, and blocked off by short planks of wood. How could the scientists leave such a precious and valuable creation in such a state? He shook his head to try and get rid of his never ending thoughts and walked over to the tiled bath that contained the bubbling mantis liquid. On one knee, he knelt down on the cold, concrete floor and took a closer look at the substance. He wanted to take a small sample of it, but he had no glass vials with him and he didn’t want to risk putting his hands directly into it. His brain was still pulsing in his skull, and all he wanted to do was take a quick peek at SO-1 and go home, but he just felt that he needed to make sure that he was being treated right. But he clearly wasn’t.

He stood up again and finally made his way over to the glass tank containing the genetically engineered human being. He stared in awe, but most of all, astonishment, at the magnificent creature in front of him. It was still hard for him to believe that such a thing could exist, let alone someone being intelligent enough to create him. The boy, being held captive in the isolated container, was being preserved in formaldehyde. Although masked by a thick sheet of plastic to stop the liquid from touching his face, his frail, slender body was huddled tightly together at the bottom of the tank. He could just tell that SO-1 was beautiful, in a strange sort of way.

Even though he wasn’t born from a human womb, he still had an umbilical cord, which ran through a thick tube that connected from the back of the tank, to a small machine behind him. There were tiny pin-sized holes in the glass. It was pretty obvious that the only way he was being fed was through having food injected through that tube, into his umbilical cord. He looked over to the appliance. It was monitoring SO-1’s health and behaviour. It was pretty strange for him to be surrounded by the foul smelling chemical, considering it was mainly used to perpetuate vital organs such as the human brain. He placed both of his hands on the tank in front of him and pressed his ears up against the glass to see if he could hear anything. But the only sound that brushed along his eardrums was the familiar song of silence.

“You are truly amazing, beyond beautiful, absolutely phenomenal.” He felt stupid for saying such a cheesy thing to someone he didn’t even know. He just thought it was relevant.

Balling his right hand tightly, he lightly tapped on the glass to try and get SO-1’s attention. He sighed when there wasn’t a response. He was just about to try again when he heard a faint murmur coming from outside.

He retreated into one of the shadows in the corner of the room to make sure that he could remain unseen. He watched a young male scientist open the door and enter the room with an older female scientist with nothing but a black leather briefcase in both hands. Just like the man, she wore a white lab coat.

“I feel bad for leaving him in here to rot.” The woman said. He voice was high pitched but croaky.

“There isn’t really much we can do though. I mean, what we’ve all done is against the law.I feel guilty for us having to do this to him, but this is what he was created for, for experimental purposes only. We can’t just release him and let him live a normal life. When we signed the contract to work here, we agreed to do what we’re told, and not to let our personal feelings get involved.” The man’s voice was dry, and it sounded as though his throat was sore.

“He may be a human being, but he wasn’t born. He has no rights in the world today, and since Dr Jang is dead, The Boss is now in charge. We do as he says, and we don’t argue back. We can’t risk our lives for SO-1.”

The woman pursed her lips and said nothing. He was right though, they didn’t want to put their lives on the line to protect something that shouldn’t even exist. There was just no point. At least, that’s what they thought.

Junhyung frowned to himself. What exactly was being done to him? He doubted the SO-1 was really created for experimental uses. The whole idea of him was phenomenal, so why would they just waste him and use him for testing out different chemicals? Unless of course, they were finding cures for the diseases and illnesses that were eating away at Earth’s population, but that was highly unlikely, considering that there were now cures for illnesses such as Cancer, AIDs and HIV. Surely ‘The Boss’ was hiding something from the scientists and workers at Capricorn. He just didn’t know why.

They had now placed both of the items they were previously holding onto the same table that held SO-1’s machine. The woman opened the briefcase and took out a small syringe that contained a neon green liquid. She poked the long needle into the pin sized hole and squeezed the unknown substance into SO-1’s umbilical cord. From his far distance, Junhyung could tell that SO-1’s skin was gradually growing paler. Neither one of the scientists took notice of the change in his skin tone.

“It’s time to begin our experiments.” His voice was hoarse as he licked his dry, chapped lips.

The woman pulled out another syringe out of the briefcase. This time, it contained a bright pink coloured liquid.

“We only need to test this chemical on him and make notes on his reaction. Then we can finally go home.” She told the man as she handed it to him.

He nodded and took it from her. She picked up the folder from the table and opened it, trying to find the right page and pulled out the black Parker pen from her lab coat pocket. She watched as the man did exactly what she had done before. She observed SO-1’s reaction to the chemical so that she could note them down. She looked at his face as it contorted into a frown and then wrinkled up in what seemed like pain. He opened his mouth to scream in agony, but the only noise that could be heard throughout the room was a loud bubbling sound and his faint, muffled groans. His muscles inside his body felt like they had been set on fire and like they were constantly tightening.

His body began to tremble at the bottom of the tank and both of the scientists stared in shock as he started to slam his head forward into the glass over and over again.

“What’s happening to him?” She asked, he eyes wide in horror.

“How am I supposed to know Jinsil?” He spat back at her in anger.

“What did we even inject him with?!”

“I’m not sure...” She trailed off.

“The Boss just gave me the briefcase and instructed us both to do this.”

She looked back at SO-1’s machine, which was now beeping like crazy.

“What should we do? Min, what should we do? We can’t just leave him!” She screeched as her voice started cracking.

“There’s nothing we can do. We have to just leave him until it wears off itself. We don’t even know what we’ve injected into him. So there’s no way we’ll be able to find out how to help him anytime soon.”

“Can we go now? I can’t stand to watch him in this...state.”

He nodded and packed away all of the things they had brought with them into the briefcase. He picked it up and carried it in his left hand, while he put his right arm around Jinsil’s shoulder and hurried back out of the room. Not once did they look back.

It had taken a long, strenuous moment for Junhyung to pull himself together and stand straight. His body was still shaking as SO-1’s painful struggling echoed in his mind. He steadied the palm of his hand against the wall as he pushed his body forward to meet SO-1 again. He looked over and saw that he had now calmed down and was rocking forwards and backwards like a mad man.

He stumbled on his way to the tank, in fear that SO-1 would start hurting himself again. When he had reached the glass container, he stared down at the boy who had his face buried in his kneecaps. He lightly tapped on the glass with the tip of his index finger. He didn’t want to startle or scare the poor boy.

SO-1 jumped slightly and lifted his head up. He froze when he saw Junhyung standing in front of him. Junhyung examined his face. His eyes were bloodshot and swollen and he had bags underneath them. His lips were quivering as he tightened his grip on himself. Junhyung knelt down on one knee so that he was level with the boy. He placed his hand on the glass to see what SO-1 would do, and to his surprise, SO-1 had positioned his hand parallel to his own from the inside.

He sighed and whispered something he thought the boy wouldn’t have heard.

“I’m going to get you out of this prison.”

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