Chapter 51 They Grow Up So Fast
"Here you are, sweetie, this should help you grow up big and strong," crooned Granny as they finally caught up with her in the kitchen.
She was perched on the counter, next to a big soup pot, that happened to be half full of some kind of thick sludge. Olivia came to a halt, just inside the door, as they both watched the sludge get sucked off Granny's green finger by their son. Her long sharp claw glinted wetly in the light as it was pulled from the baby's mouth with a small pop.
With a strangled cry, Olivia surged towards the two, hands out held to probably attempt to strangle the green grandmother who ignored her and continued to feed the baby. Dustin grabbed her arm, holding her back and when she snarled at him, he pointed without saying a word. She swung around and froze.
As they both watched, the tiny one-week old baby, gurgled happily, and clapped his hands. He was sitting up on his own, and as Granny scooped up another finger of sludge, he reached out greedily with his chubby hands, to pull the offered finger into his mouth. Loud slurping sounds could be heard throughout the room.
"What is that stuff?" asked Olivia in a strangled whisper.
"How is he able to do all of that?" asked Dustin. The kid was only a week old, right? He knew that the pregnancy only lasted a little over a month, but still!
"The two of you grew up away from others of your kind, so the only experience you have of babies, is those of human babies. You are not human, and neither is your baby," Granny patiently explained, as she slowly scooped up another finger of sludge, then encouraged him to grab her finger and pull it into his mouth.
"Your race mimics other races, giving you the option to become better then you were. The two of you have made personal tweaks with the aid of that PED machine Dustin made, but that doesn't change what you are. By coddling your baby, he wasn't growing right. I've given him a template that's better then his own to mimic, and my kind grow up into adolescence very, very fast. We can go from newly hatched, to teenager in less then a month. Faster if our lives depend on it. Then we stay that age for a very long time. We normally don't mature into adults, until the need to reproduce, to replace lost populations, presents itself."
"That must be confusing now that you're not on a planet anymore," said Dustin, letting go of Olivia's arm now that she didn't seem to be about to attack anyone.
"Oh, it is. Normally, we get the urge the moment we run into the opposite sex, because we can't stay together anywhere anymore."
Olivia licked her lips and held out her hands for Kit. He looked over at her and the smile that lit up his face almost made her cry. Granny handed him over, then picked up the pot and finished it off.
"So, this means, the more he's with you, the faster he will grow?" asked Dustin carefully, eyeing Olivia, who was snuggling the baby and carefully checking that he still had all of his fingers and toes.
"Only if his mom stays around to tend to him. I don't want to raise the brat, only encourage him some."
"So, change his diaper," said Olivia as a rank odor filled the room.
"Exactly," Granny chimed in, as she made a hasty retreat.
Relief washed over Dustin. No one was going to die, today.
As Olivia left, to tend to the odor from Kit, Dustin noticed there was something wrong. Two of the PED's he had on the three guys back in the medical bay had stopped communicating with his.
By the time he had arrived, Sherry and Walter were both flat-lined. Trey was sitting up on his bed, looking around confused.
Dustin didn't hesitate, sending the robot medic to resuscitate them, and started checking with the PED's to find out what had gone wrong. The reports were surprising, and Dustin had a hard time believing them.
"What happened? Where am I?" asked Trey, staring at Dustin with a half crazed look on his face.
Dustin didn't answer him, commanding the robot to restrain him as he finished going through the reports. As he was held down, he started to fight, and suddenly, he had a seizure, snapping his teeth together, then died.
Cursing Dustin, started resuscitating him as well.
'PED, remove all toxins from their bodies!'
(INITIATING EVOLUTION. EVOLUTION COMPLETE.)
Walter and Sherry gasped and both of them bowed their backs as they woke up. Dustin, stepped back to let the robot take over, as he moved to check on them.
"What?" Walter was looking around in confusion, and Sherry was just looking at Dustin in complete terror.
"You're going to tell me why all three of you are trying to kill yourselves."
Walter swallowed, then looked over as Trey woke again with a gasp.
"The toxin you used to kill yourselves has been purged. It won't work again. I want the truth!"
"Walter," whispered Sherry, she was shaking in fear.
Trey lay there, refusing to look anywhere but at the ceiling. The robot was still restraining him, but all of the fight seemed to be gone.
"They figured that you would find out we were hybrids and would change us into full Uz'En." Walter closed his eyes then turned to look at him. "I don't want to be the father of the next generation. Now that we're full Uz'En, we won't be related to anyone anymore."
"What the hell? That's the lamest story I've ever heard. Want to try again?" Dustin crossed his arms. Of all the stories that had been fed to him, this one sucked.
"What?" whispered Walter in confusion.
"I've heard stories, and I have a better understanding of science then that. Try again."
He glanced at Sherry and she shook her head ever so slightly. Trey refused to acknowledge anyone or anything.
"Look, I don't care what kind of crap you're hiding, but I refuse to listen to your lies. With these PED's I can torture you in ways you've never imagined. I will not listen to your crap any longer. Tell me the truth."
Sherry leaned back and closed her eyes. She could have gone to sleep for all he knew. Walter's face changed completely.
"Fine. The station is a breeding facility for your people. We were born against regulation, so we were chosen to befriend you in the hopes you would fix our inefficiency."
Dustin nodded. "That's better. Now, how are we going to fix this?"
"Fix what?" asked Walter in confusion. Sherry and Trey glanced at each other, also confused.
"I'm guessing you don't want to be used as breeding stock, so you planned to kill yourselves, right?"
"Partly. We had already decided that we couldn't let you go back. They have a trap planned for you."
"I already know that."
"What?" cried all three of them.
"Come on, I wasn't born yesterday. The moment I found out your station was death station, and that there were hybrids being bred there, I knew that they would want me back. The real question I want answered, is: Did they already take a sample of my genetic material?"