Harmon pressed his fingertips on the glass which separated him from Susana and the scientists working to save the use of her arm. He was well aware if she couldn’t use the arm she’d be marked as defective. Defective Orphans didn’t stay in the Academy. The Academy was meant for functional tools, not busted ones. These children were made to be used and once they were used up they ended up like all broken things: discarded.
It was the last thing he wanted.
This wasn’t her fault.
The glass felt cool and smooth against his fingers, inviting him to rest his forehead on its surface. He longed to scream, but that was something he couldn’t do here. Harmon may not have cared about his own life but Susana deserved better than this…and so did his son.
He gritted his teeth and prayed to a being he wasn’t sure existed. Even if it did it had forsaken him long ago. Harmon was sure of this when an all too familiar voice entered his eardrum.
“Told ya,” the voice laughed. There was a fierce rumble in the voice as the chuckle radiated through the air. Harmon didn’t wasn’t to look up, to look into those mocking eyes. Try as he might however the man had a way about him, a way to make you do things you never intended.
Harmon finally surrendered to the voice’s will and gazed up at the man. Dapper as usual the man wore an impeccable black suit. He wasn’t handsome but he was far from a troll as well. His dark brown hair started to show its wear as strands of grey showed. The man was in shape for being in his fifties. Unsettling about him were his dark brown eyes, so dark they resembled onyx gems.
He leaned on the glass, oblivious to the chaos taking place behind him. His jaw worked hard as he chewed on a huge wad of gum. Each repulsive smack echoed in Harmon’s ears, vibrating in his skull until it settled behind his eyes.
“Exactly what did you tell me Stone?” Harmon groaned as he pressed his back against the glass and shutting his eyes.
The one known as Stone chuckled dryly. “To be tougher on her. To break her and mold her from the remains. That’s the way you get control of them.”
“Break her? The same way you break Veronica?”
Stone laughed again as though this were the funniest thing ever uttered. “If it comes to that.”
Bile tickled Harmon’s throat. Just being in the presence of this monster in human skin as he cackled about the atrocities he committed made him want to wretch. Yet there was nowhere for him to go. The doctors and brainiacs were still working on Susana. He refused to leave her alone with them. He was also confined to the Academy. Constantly under surveillance of hundreds of cameras and sensors monitored by Jones. Not to forget Stone would follow him wherever he went like a lost pup, going on about his techniques and practices.
Harmon tried to keep the wriggling feeling in his gut down. As he struggled to hold down his last meal he fantasized bashing Stone’s face into the bulletproof glass. Beating that smug face until there was nothing left but a crimson pulp in his hands. To keep pounding away until he felt all the bone in the man’s skull liquefy, and there was a death rattle dancing in the air like wind chimes. In his fantasy he saw the horrified faces cast on the doctors as they halted their progress.
He didn’t care.
People like Stone and Jones didn’t belong in this world. They belonged with the filth and maggots scurrying along the ground feeding on the refuse of yesterday. He’d love nothing more than to send them to their graves in bite-sized pieces. Instead all he could manage was to stand there and drink in their words, basking in the repugnant gleam of their sneers. Inside Harmon felt himself burning like his guts had been spilled and laid on smoldering coals. Stone punched Harmon in the shoulder playfully.
There were plenty other fathers here. Harmon failed to understand how he managed to garner so much of Stone’s attention. Hell, there were mothers here as well. Surely their company had to be better than his.
“Don’t get too down Harmon. If she loses the arm—“
“She’s not going to lose it.”
“If she does you’ll get another Orphan, and get it right this time.”
Harmon glared at the man beside him. Behind that cruel grin there was evidence to support the claim that he truly enjoyed getting under Harmon’s skin like a tick.
“Susana is not a toy. She’s not getting replaced.”
Stone snorted. “You say that like you have a choice. They’re weapons, a product. Sometimes even the most finely tuned gun jams, and in a firefight becomes useless. And we are constantly at war. So you move to the next weapon or die. Those are the only options.”
“How many have you broken?”
Again Stone showed his brilliant smile. “Six. Six defective Orphans. Veronica is my masterpiece. Perfect. But when her time comes I shall she’ll be trashed like the rest.”
Harmon knew this to be true. Orphans placed in Stone’s care were merely disposable playthings. Harmon always prided himself on the ability to read people, yet Stone remained ever elusive. He was an enigma wrapped in an indecipherable language.
A voice sang out over the speakers. “Harmon to the interrogation room. Harmon to the interrogation room.”
For the first time Harmon was glad to go to the interrogation room. Away from the vile being that was Stone.
Until next time, have a writeous day!