Chapter 37 Hybrid
Dustin caught himself glancing around again, and shook his head. This was ridiculous. He was so worried about someone sneaking up on him, or something about to attack that he couldn't focus. Standing up, he decided to walk around the ship to see how the improvements were coming. Most everything was being done by the nanobots while he watched.
The guns were almost done. The extra plating was coming along nicely. He stopped to check on a few things and realized he was basically done. Since when did he get something done without being interrupted by aliens or monsters?
Worried about possibly ruining his current win streak, he hurried back to the airlock. Granny was waiting with a steaming plate of something he was sure was edible. She had never given him something he couldn't eat. Changing back to his normal form, he took the plate.
"Almost done? People are chomping at the bit for various reasons, and we don't have enough supplies on board to feed everyone for very much longer."
With a sigh, Dustin took a bite of the food, but it was bland. They must have run out of seasonings, too. Having eaten much worse, he finished the plate and handed it back to Granny.
"How many jumps will it take to get back to their station?" he asked, heading towards the medical room where Walter and the others were resting.
Walter's condition had worsened, and Trey and Sherry had both fallen into comas. The medical robot was still trying to figure out what they needed, but couldn't pinpoint what was wrong. Their systems were starting to shut down, and they couldn't figure out why.
"He told me where to find Olivia. It should only take four jumps to get there with this new ship, before you added all of the crap to the sides. It may take five, but the fuel we have will only be able to handle that, so we need to get more fuel if we intend to leave the planet once we get Olivia."
He nodded at her, before going into the medical room to check on them.
Walter raised his head weakly from the table, then laid it back down with a groan. "Are we ready to leave yet?" he asked softly.
"Almost, the last modifications are about done. Any luck yet?"
"The medical bot has no clue what's wrong. It's trying to treat Trey and Sherry with everything it can, but nothing's working. I tried to describe the stuff that they give us, but it didn't have anything like it in the memory banks."
Dustin went over to the console for the robot, and typed a few things. It repeated the same thing that Walter had just said. Looking up as he thought, he turned to Walter as a thought occurred to him.
"Mind if I try a few things?"
"Go for it. We don't have anything to lose."
Dustin reached over and took Walter's hand.
"What are you doing?" he asked in confusion.
"Getting a sample."
Sticking one of Walter's fingers in the sample port of his PED, he waited for the scan to be complete.
(NEW GENETIC MATERIAL DETECTED. ANALYZING. GENETIC MATERIAL BELONGS TO MALE HUMAN HYBRID. AWAITING FURTHER REQUESTS.)
'PED what is the material hybridized with?'
(MATERIAL IS FROM A HYBRID OF HUMAN AND UZ'EN.)
'How is that possible?'
(UZ'EN MATERIAL IS ATTEMPTING TO DOMINATE THE HUMAN MATERIAL, BUT A COMPOUND ATTACHED TO THE HUMAN GENOME LOOKS TO BE PREVENTING IT. THERE ARE SIGNS OF THE COMPOUND BREAKING DOWN, RESULTING IN THE UZ'EN MATERIAL DESTROYING THE HUMAN MATERIAL.)
'If I get you two more samples, can you see if the compound is breaking down in them as well?'
Moving over to Trey, he stuck his finger in the port, then did the same with Sherry.
(GENETIC SAMPLES SHOW CLEAR SIGNS OF THE COMPOUND BREAKING DOWN AND THE UZ'EN MATERIAL ATTACKING THE HUMAN MATERIAL.)
Dustin leaned back against the counter, looking at then thoughtfully. The reason they were dying, was because half of them was killing the other half. The drug that they were given must have something to do with it, but how? The others on that station, that were born there, must also be hybrids, but what kept them from going into this self-destruction? What if the first dose of the drug had been an activator that caused the compound to start breaking down, and the regular doses they took were inhibitors that slowed the break down.
'PED, do you detect any kind of inhibitor in the material that might cause the compound to slow down its decay?'
(A MORE DETAILED SAMPLE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO DETERMINE THAT.)
Taking a swap from a jar on the counter, Dustin wiped the inside of Trey's mouth and then inserted it into the port.
(ANALYZING. AN INHIBITOR HAS BEEN DISCOVERED.)
'Can you replicate it?'
(OF COURSE, BUT WHY?)
'I want to keep them alive until I can figure out how to stop the Uz'En in them from killing them.'
(WOULD YOU LIKE TO GROW AN ORGAN THAT CAN PRODUCE THE NECESSARY INHIBITOR?)
'PED, if I grow breasts, you are in serious trouble.'
(I CAN EVOLVE A SPINE ON YOUR HAND THAT CAN ADMINISTER THE NECESSARY DOSE?)
'That sounds much better. Go for it.'
(INITIATING EVOLUTION. EVOLUTION COMPLETE.)
Dustin examined the new spine that he could protrude from the back of his left hand at will and watched a tiny drop of liquid form on the end. Since he was standing next to Trey, he injected him first, in the upper arm. Feeling the location where the inhibitor was made, he could tell when the dose was done and pulled the spine out. Moving over to Sherry he waited until the next dose was ready, then injected her next.
"What are you doing?" asked Walter, opening his eyes a crack, as Dustin moved up next to him.
"Fixing you temporarily. Hold still."
Injecting him, Walter shrieked and fought to get away, but Dustin held him down easily.
"It burns!" he screamed, thrashing around as the dose was finished and Dustin released him.
'PED, should the inhibitor cause pain upon injection?' he asked as he stood back, watching Walter cry and flail.
(THERE MAY BE INTENSE PAIN AS THE INHIBITOR GOES INTO EFFECT AS THE COMPOUND HAS HAD A LONGER TIME TO DEGRADE. CLOSER DOSING WILL PREVENT SUCH PAIN IN THE FUTURE.)
Shaking his head, he knew he had to figure out a better fix then just patching it like this, but there wasn't time. Typing into the medical robot, he set it to restrain Walter and give him pain medicine until he was blissfully unaware of what was going on inside of himself. It was to do the same with the other two if they woke in intense pain, then left.
Meeting up with Granny, he motioned for her to follow him to the bridge, where he quickly told her what he had discovered.
"Sounds like a human thing. Why do you think they did it?"
"Some of the science labs I came across said that the humans were trying to come up with super soldiers. Maybe they had some of my old PED's that I had made before I was captured, and were trying to make soldiers that could use them."
"Then why not just use Uz'En soldiers?" asked Granny, shaking her head.
"I don't know, I'm not a human. Sounds stupid to me."
"Well, someone went to a lot of trouble to try and perfect it, so it must be important to someone."
"Do you know where we can get more fuel for the ship? The star where Olivia is at, was getting unstable the last time I was there, so I would like to get out of there pretty quick."
"Well, we have a couple of options. I was going through the ships database while you were outside playing with your toys, and found two spots that looked promising. One is a human refueling station, and the other is an alien one. Both require something to trade in order to get fuel, of which we have nothing."
Dustin rubbed his face. Why did this have to be so fucking annoying?
"What kind of trade do they normally do? Did it say?"
"I imagine the same things we used to trade back in the day would still work today."
Dustin perked up. If that was the case, this wouldn't be that hard.
"Where's the nearest asteroid belt?"
"There's one just on the edge of this solar system," she said with a large grin.
"Then, let's go get something to trade with!"