© Beloved Doll
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Gerald looks over the screen that displays the stats of his new creation. The equipment attached to the Ultimate Life Form are measuring many different stats of him. The heart rate is just fine. But those brain waves are surging. The lines measuring the brain waves move in erratic ways, ranging from low numbers to high numbers with no pattern or known reason. Why is it so wild? What would cause it to act in such a manner?
Gerald rubs his chin in thought. Black Doom said that this Ultimate Life Form would have immense power. Power usually uses energy. Energy, among everything else about the body, is controlled by the brain. Perhaps there is too much power for the creature to handle on it`s own at this early stage? Gerald lifts his head a little. That must be it. He will need to devise some way to get that power under control so that the specimen could handle it`s own power. It should be something that could be removed later on when it has a firm grip on controlling itself on it`s own.
Gerald turns to the side and looks among all the materials that have been left in the room. What could he use to bring this power under control without being too much of a restraint?
Maria just can`t wait to see her new friend again. Right after breakfast, she hurries down the hall to go back to one of her grandfather`s lab rooms with a book in her hand.
Half way there she has to stop. When she does, the book falls from her hand and hits the floor. She puts a hand on the wall for support and her other hand lays over her chest as she heaves heavily. Her illness is dominant today. She will have to take it easy on herself. After catching her breath, Maria straightens herself up. She continues down the hall at a much slower pace after she retrieves her book from the floor.
She doesn`t understand how she got this disease or why she has it, but she definitely wishes she didn`t have it. As the days progress, she notices it getting worse and inhibiting her more. Luckily, though, she has good days where it seems to lessen it`s power over her. Her sweet nature prevents her from wanting to blame anyone for having this disease or forming a dislike to anyone because of it. Maria just doesn`t see it as anyone`s fault. Illness happens to every human being. It is something that just happens.
Maria`s face brightens up as she sees the door to her destination. As she approaches it, the door automatically slides open and allows her entry. She greets her grandfather cheerfully as she enters the room. The door slides shut behind her by itself.
Gerald turns around in his chair as he hears Maria entering the room,"You`re up quite early, Maria."
Maria giggles a little and sets her book on the empty spot on Gerald`s desk as she explains that she was too excited to sleep for very long. This makes Gerald smile. Even though she doesn`t know what the Ultimate Life Form`s real reasons for being created, she is still happy for his existence.
She turns her head to the direction of the prominent capsule. After looking to the seemingly teen aged boy inside, Maria`s smile drops and she looks back to her grandfather,"Why don`t you let him out?"
He answers her as-a-matter-of-factly,"Because he is not ready yet. I need to stabilize a couple of things first, then he can come out."
"Then stabilize him, grandfather. I want him to come out and play."
Gerald chuckles,"Soon, my dear, soon."
As Maria looks back to the capsule, Gerald can sense her disappointment. He is confident that the Ultimate Life Form will be ready for release on Maria`s birthday but she seems eager to want to interact with him now. Gerald looks to the stats on his screen to take another look at them. Taking interest in how the stats have changed when Maria entered the room, Gerald begins to smile,"He may not be ready yet but..."
He turns his head to look to Maria, who is curiously looking back to him. Gerald continues,"Project Shadow is awake today."
A big smile makes it`s way onto Maria`s face at hearing this. Even if her new friend can`t roam freely yet, they may still be able to interact with one another. Maria picks up her book she had left on Gerald`s desk and hugs it to herself. She turns around to the direction of the capsule and walks towards it. She looks up to the being floating in the liquid he is surrounded with. Golden coloured rings now wrap around both of his wrists and ankles. Maria doesn`t question them, she is more interested in meeting her new potential friend. She stops in front of the tube and looks to the floating form for a few moments before she speaks,"Hi, Shadow."
What seems like a lifeless body now begins to show signs of life. The closed eyes slowly open halfway to reveal a set of deep red irises. They come in direct contact with Maria`s blue eyes. As Shadow opens his eyes, he begins to feel excited about being able to do such a thing for the first time. Now he could see what the owner of this calming voice looks like. Through the glass and the liquid contained with him, the Ultimate Life Form can see Maria. Upon seeing her, he is immediately drawn to her. The sweet voice he has been hearing looks to be very fitting for her as her appearance is just as soft and beautiful as how she sounds. Now he begins to desire to escape his captive state and step out into the outside world to be with this angel he sees before him.
Maria raises her shoulders a little as she sees the Ultimate Life Form is indeed awake. She continues to give him her sweet smile,"My name is Maria. Would you like to be friends with me, Shadow?"
Gerald quickly steps up beside Maria and explains to her that though Project Shadow can hear her, he can`t respond to her until he is released. Maria thinks it over for a moment and then turns to look up at her grandfather. He, in turn, looks back down to her knowing that she has something to say to him. Then a smile returns to Maria`s face,"May I teach him, grandfather?"
Gerald is a little confused by her question,"Teach him? Teach him what?"
"Well, you just created him, right? He`s not going to know how to read or know table manners."
A hand rises up to Gerald`s mouth as he chuckles. True, someone would have to teach these things to Project Shadow. Since Maria is willing to be the one to do it, why not let her? He will allow Maria to be Project Shadow`s teacher and explains that his high intelligence will allow him to learn quickly. The smile on Maria`s face widens a bit more at this and she turns back to looking at Project Shadow, who seems to be looking back at her with curiosity.
Gerald smiles as Maria turns back to Shadow. He steps away from her and Project Shadow, returning to his desk. He will continue with his work with the computers but he keeps an ear out to listen to Maria talking to Project Shadow. She is taking to him so well so quickly and seems totally interested in him. Surely something special will happen with them more than what Gerald had originally thought there would be. Project Shadow is meant to cure her disease, help in the unlocking the secrets to immortality, save humanity from a terrible threat, and to take care of Maria, like a guardian. Gerald pauses his work and looks over to Project Shadow. Wonder how his mentality will be like when he is released?
Maria takes a step up closer to the capsule and holds her book up to the glass of the tube to show it to Project Shadow. Her voice speaks sweetly as ever as she explains to him,"This is a book, Shadow. Once you know how to read, you will learn all sorts of things from them."
Maria lowers herself to sit down on the floor in front of the capsule. She folds her legs together in a lady-like fashion and stretches her dress out to smooth out any wrinkles so they won`t make her hurt from sitting on them. Shadow lowers himself down in the tank slowly as Maria is lowering herself down to the floor. This allows him to be at eye-level with her. His eyes remain locked onto Maria with full interest and curiosity. His knees bend, allowing him to squat down into a sitting position.
Maria opens the book and flips through a few pages. It appears that this is a picture book. The book runs through the alphabet and features an animal with each letter. Though Maria`s intelligence is far above such childish material, she loves the pictures that are in the book. The artist that made the images made them look near-realistic yet more cute than the real thing. She finds the page that she is looking for and smiles at her victory of finding it. Maria holds the book wide open with both of her delicate hands. She leans forward and presses the book against the tube glass to show the pages to Shadow.
Shadow leans forward to get up close to the object he is being shown. His hands place themselves on the "floor" of the capsule to allow him balance as he leans forward. The way he is examining the image before him makes him resemble a curious animal. Maria peeks around the side of the book to watch Shadow looking at the picture. She smiles and explains the picture to him,"This is a picture of a hedgehog! It`s one of my favourite animals. They roll up in a ball, it`s so cute when they do that."
Maria brings the book back to herself and flips through a few more pages of the book. When she pulls the book away, Shadow leans back into normal sitting position and watches her search through the book. She continues on with this for quite some time. She finds a picture of an animal in the book that she likes and she shows it to Shadow while explaining to him what it is and a little bit about each animal.
Sometime later, Gerald hears Maria beginning to have a bit of a coughing fit. He becomes concerned of Maria`s health and looks away form his computer to look at her. Then Gerald rises up from his chair and walks over to Maria,"You should go back to bed and rest, Maria."
Maria looks up at her grandfather from her seated position on the floor in front of Shadow`s capsule. She gives her grandfather pleading eyes,"But I don`t want to yet..."
Gerald nods to Maria,"Say good bye to Project Shadow. You will see him again."
Maria pouts a little more before she turns back to Shadow. Both she and Shadow rise up to standing on their feet. Then Maria puts one of her delicate hands flat onto the glass of the tube,"I`m sorry, Shadow...Grandfather is sending me to bed so I have to leave now."
Shadow slowly raises his hand and lifts it to where her hand is from the other side of the glass. Maria becomes a little captivated by Shadow`s action. A gentle smile creeps on her face as she raises her other hand to mirror her other hand to touching the side of the glass. Shadow`s remaining hand does the same and it places itself where Maria`s lone hand is. It is a little saddening that all that separates them right now is the glass of the tube. But Maria is happy that today Shadow was awake and he was able to interact with her. Maria`s smile widens a little, in which her smile makes her seem slightly more mature,"He really is an intelligent one, isn`t he, grandfather?"
This scene doesn`t go unnoticed by Gerald. He can`t help but smile at Shadow mirroring Maria`s moves. He his hands move to grasping one another behind his back as he answers Maria,"Yes, Project Shadow is very intelligent."
Maria leans her face a little closer to the capsule. Her eyes make direct contact with Shadow`s, not turning away for a moment. Neither does his. She softly speaks to him,"Bye, Shadow..."
She removes her hands from the glass and picks up her book from the floor. She turns around and begins walking away from Shadow and his capsule. Shadow leaves his hands in their positions on his side of the glass. His red eyes watch her as Gerald walks her out of the room. As he does so, Gerald reminds Maria to go straight to bed and to get some rest for the rest of the day.