**** "Creation" ****

An original short story written by V.Henry (RPGamera, Kaiyo_Akagi, Ronnie_Bell)

Thanks go to:

- Saki Wright, Xellos_Rogue, and Mrs. Sharon LaDage for proofreading my story. - Mrs. Sharon LaDage once more for supporting this story as much as you have. - Tolkien, Sagan, Benét and Poe for inspiring me to write to the best of my ability.

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The room suddenly lit up as soon as I opened the doors, illuminating and breathing life into it. I was slightly startled by the surroundings. I hadn't thought that the inquiry room would be so...well furnished. Then again, maybe the setting was a trap of its own, intended to fool you into relaxing for long enough to be scared out of you wits when the Committee dropped the bomb.

I gave one last sigh, straightened out my business suit, clutched my briefcase and walked in, attempting to look somewhat confident in my business. Two of my other colleagues had been in this same room four days before me. One has already been sent to prison for life. The other had overdosed on pills and left a suicide note, opting to die by his own hand rather than the Committee's.

I don't blame him.

The freshly polished oak table gleamed with reflecting light and my image as I set the briefcase down and and took my seat. A rather comfortable chair this was, especially for an execution room. "Welcome Dr. Sabol. You are four minutes early.", one of the members commented.

"Yes, well I would rather be early for this appointment than late, sir."

"However, doctor, you should be aware that the early bird does not always catch the worm under these circumstances."

"I am fully aware, sir."

"Dr. Sabol, if you have no objections, I would like to begin the hearing early. Is this satisfactory?"

"Where are the other members of the Committee?"

"You are not allowed to ask questions. Let me clarify that from this point forward. For the record, I alone shall conduct your hearing this morning doctor. Shall we begin?" "Yes, sir."

The voice had decided to pause for a few moments, and whom it belonged to had most likely stopped to review my personal profile. I glanced around trying to find the direction of the voice. It was in front of me, but there was no visual confirmation anyone was there. The darkness was the voices face. I decided this was another trick designed to frighten me.

"Before I begin, Dr. Sabol, I believe I should remind you of why this hearing is necessary. The Axin Medical Association is interviewing all persons involved with Project G.A.R.O.M. five years ago. Those interviewed who have been proven guilty of crimes against the state are to be sentenced immediately after the hearing. You have written out your will, correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"Excellent. I shall proceed."

The voice paused briefly and began my execution.

"Full name: Aymi Lillith Sabol.

Surname: Dawnseer Date of birth: April 26th, 1996 B.T.

Marital Status: Divorced Children: One girl. Adopted, correct?"

"Yes."

"Ah. I see you have an excellent academic record. Enrolled in Luinloth University in 13 A.T.. Graduated with an Axin National Standard Professional Healthcare Nursing Degree in 17 A.T. Recipient of the Cross Award in 22 A.T. In 23 A.T. you met Dr. Vincent Sabol at the Axin Annual Medical Summit. Married in 25 A.T. 25 A.T. was the year that Dr. Sabol proposed Project G.A.R.O.M., was it not?"

"Yes."

"What happened that year, Dr. Sabol? Any...interesting events that you would care to elaborate on?"

I wanted to jump out of my seat in protest. I was absolutely CERTAIN the Committee knew what happened that year. The voice had intended for me to bring about my destruction by my own testimony. Although internally, I had to commend him. He was a smart bastard...

"Is this a mandatory question, sir?"

"May I remind you again, doctor, you are not allowed to ask questions! You answer anything that I ask of you. You should know that by now. And I should again remind you that lying to this Committee is punishable by death."

The voice had abandoned the semi-friendly tone it once held and became barbaric and demanding demon.

"I am aware of that, sir."

"Good. Now then, doctor, what occurred in 25 A.T.?"

"25 A.T...that was a very long year for the both of us. I had just transferred over to Vin...I mean Dr. Sabol's department at Pira Medical Centre. He had used a lot of vacation time from work to write papers and research the topics in Project G.A.R.O.M. Some days he would lock himself in the study and never even take a break to eat or sleep." "Did this trouble you?"

"Of course it did. Naturally, I was concerned for him as any wife is for her husband."

"Concerned enough to lend Dr. Sabol a "helping hand" and assist him with the research?"

...a smart bastard...but not smarter than I...

"No. I never assisted Dr. Sabol with his research on Project G.A.R.O.M."

"How long did it take for the doctor to complete his work?"

"Five months, I suppose. I am sure you know he published his paper and presented the proposal in October of 25 A.T.?"

"Any good scientist in this day and age knows that, Dr. Sabol. And though I may not be a scientist outside of this Committee, I have done my homework."

For a brief five seconds of the meeting, I actually came to an understanding with the voice. I smiled a little bit. The inquiry continued:

"Now, prior to the day Project G.A.R.O.M. was announced, did Dr. Sabol ever show you his report?"

"Yes, he did. I helped him write his presentation speech, so I had to be familiar with the actual report."

"So, you did not help Dr. Sabol with research or any other work with the exception of helping him write his presentation speech?"

"Oh, I aided Dr. Sabol quite a bit, sir. Most of my work was conducted in the lab."

"Were there any omissions made from the original text when the report was distributed?"

"No."

"Well, Dr. Sabol," the voice said in a rather snide tone, "You say you are very familiar with the speech and the purpose of Project G.A.R.O.M. What was the purpose of the project and why did Dr. Sabol propose it?"

The question was a rather pointless one in my opinion. Half the personnel in the medical profession at least knew what the purpose of Project G.A.R.O.M. was.

"The purpose of Project G.A.R.O.M. was to synthetically evolve mankind. After Terran was destroyed in 2000 B.T., traveling heat changed our climate and increased radiation levels. This caused the Carcinoma Outbreak in 2 A.T. where two-thirds of the populus died of a strange skin disease. To prevent another outbreak like this, Dr. Sabol proposed Project G.A.R.O.M. or the Project for the Genesis and Renewal of Mankind. Through is theory of cell manipulation he hoped to alter genes in the blood to resist higher radiation levels."

"You memorize text very well, doctor."

Yes, I did memorize text very well. Every word of what I had just spoken was pure bull.

"Now, Dr. Sabol, I come to the heart of this inquiry. YOUR work pertaining to Project G.A.R.O.M. You were not involved in the first stage, correct?"

"No. At the time I was working in the surgical division of Pira Medical Centre. Dr. Sabol and I had divorceed in 27 A.T., and I had transferred out of bioengineering."

"You were still aware of what the first stage involved though?"

"Yes. But not at the concurrent time it was being researched."

"When did you become an official member of the team working on Project G.A.R.O.M.?"

"The start of 28 A.T. Dr. Sabol asked me to join his team beginning with work on the second stage."

"The second stage, eh? Tell me, doctor, what was the difference between the two?"

"Doing your homework, you should be familiar with this as well, sir. To generate new cells with modifications, Dr. Sabol believed that one could alter cells as they were being formed. Thus, the only synthetic means that we have of duplication is cloning. In the first stage, Dr. Sabol cloned tissues of the liver."

I grew sick of taking so long about material I felt was unimportant, so I simply stopped there and opened up my briefcase to straighten it up. It was more interesting than the endless repeating.

"And the second doctor?"

"The second moved on to cloning full organisms. More specifically, refugee Terrans."

"Why refugee Terrans, doctor?"

"They are very similar in external appearance and internal anatomy to us, and the Axin Medical Association wouldn't dream of testing on Axins so early into research."

"That was not what I meant. Why did Dr. Sabol move directle from cloning organs to intelligent life?"

"I am unable to answer that question."

"Are you," the voice snickered, "or are you simply refusing to answer?"

"I can not answer. I did not know what Dr. Sabol's judgement of moving to intelligent life was. You should ask him that yourself. Then again, that might be difficult considering he died during the second stage."

"Nice save, good doctor. What part of the work were you involved in during the second stage?" "I took direct care of the object along with Dr. Sabol."

"I see. I understand from the testimony of your colleagues that there were serious complications during the second stage. What were they?"

"During the cloning of the Terran's bones, the machine malfunctioned and the subject was created without stem cells. As you know, stem cells are the basic cells that make blood. Quite bluntly, the subject was created in tact, but with no blood in her body."

"I guess one would consider that serious. And how did you and Dr. Sabol handle this unfortunate turn of events?" "We hardly knew how to at the time. All we could do was transfuse Terran blood into the subject. Luckilly, blood transfusion worked for about three months. For unknown reasons the subject's-"

"Pardon me, Dr. Sabol, but who was this subject?"

"A young girl about fourteen years old. Dr. Sabol named her Mina."

"Please, continue."

"Well, for unknown reasons, the blood transfused into Mina started to die, and her body had adapted to the rarest blood type of Terrans : AB-. From the remaining donor pool, out of 150 potential candidates, only two had Mina's blood type. She was almost dead, and I reccomended that Dr. Sabol allow Mina to die and start the second stage over."

"How did he react?"

How did he react? I thought he was very cool and calm concerning my suggestion.

"To be honest, Dr. Sabol slapped me and called me a stupid wench."

"I see. But why did you reccomend letting Mina die? She was an important medical study that meant a lot to the future of the Axins."

"With all due respect, sir, I did not see Mina as a medical study. Maybe Dr. Sabol and the rest of the medical community did, but not I. I saw Mina as a person. Maybe not a person born and raised as an Axin, but a person who could think and feel pain. It wasn't fair for her to be given no choices and treated like an animal. She-"

"However, doctor, you must remember that the Axin Medical Association classified Terrans as animals a year before Project G.A.R.O.M. began. She had no choices about what was done to her because of that."

What an analytical, stupid little man this is!, I thought, He has absolutely no value of the meaning of life!

"That is true, sir, however I stand firm in my belief that Mina was a person."

"As you wish, Dr. Sabol. So, in the end, what did Dr. Sabol decide?"

"He decided to use the other available donor and luckily received their blood in time."

"Ah, and did Mina survive?"

"No. Dr. Sabol never completed the transfusion, and neither did I."

"Odd. Why not?"

"After drawing blood from the donor, Dr. Sabol slipped on the floor and accidentally stuck himself with the needle. The blood was infected with a Terran disease which immediately began to attack Dr. Sabol's body. He died within a few hours of infection." "What was this disease, doctor?"

"Varicella. The Terrans referred to it as "chickenpox". It is harmless to them but lethal to Axins."

"Hmm, and you did not transfuse the remaining blood from the donor because you risked infection by using the tainted needle?"

"No. The subject risked infection."

"So, your idealistic beliefs in animal rights interfered with finishing Project G.A.R.O.M.? I believe interfering with govermental affairs is-"

"I did no such thing. And if I had done otherwise and used the needle, you would be charging me with medical malpractice, wouldn't you?"

"I will repeat this for the last time. YOU MAY NOT ASK QUESTIONS! Only-" "My statement was purely rhetorical, sir. I was proving a point. For the last three months, you have been questioning all persons involved with Project G.A.R.O.M So far, out of eighty people questioned, only two have not been charged with crimes against the state. With all due respect, sir, I have been getting the impression that you are on a witch-hunt."

"Call it what you will, Dr. Sabol, but it is not a witch-hunt. It is a search for what the real purpose of Project G.A.R.O.M. was. This committee believes that Dr. Sabol had his own goals to accomplish in the project rather than those documented in his report." "Then you are indeed on a witch-hunt. Dr. Sabol was a good man who wanted nothing more than to serve mankind through his work."

"I disagree. If he was such a great man, what gave him the authority to hit his own wife?"

"He was a great man who served his race and people. I can't say he was a great man in the eyes of his family and friends. There is a definate difference between the two."

"I see. Now, for my last question, doctor. After the unfortunate death of Dr. Sabol, what happened to you concering Project G.A.R.O.M., and what did you do after it was cancelled?"

"Very little. After a new chairperson was named I quit the project and enrolled in medical school. I graduated last year and am currently serving my internship at Pira Medical Centre in the Surgical Ward. I also adopted a daughter last year, and we've been getting along very well."

"I'm glad to hear that. And I'm also glad to announce that I have finished my analysis of you, Dr. Sabol, and have reached a decision."

My heart went still in my chest and I could hardly breathe. The anticipation and fear of the moment was too great. I had no idea what decision he had reached. Bravely, I swallowed my fear and listened very closely.

"Dr. Sabol, I must be very frank. I believe that everything you have just said to me is a wonderfully written tale that you memorized before you came here. But that insecurity is probably due the the fact that you knew Dr. Sabol so well, and I believe that he was a master con artist. However, my instincts can not judge a human life. I can't find any flaws in your testimony to suggest that you have lied, and all that you do know is nothing worth criminal punishment. Therefore, Dr. Sabol, you are cleared of all charges. You may leave." "Thank you, sir."

I sighed heavily and my heart started up again. I was still free, thank our Gods. I had grown very uncomfortable in the illusionary room, so I quickly packed up my briefcase and left. The Gods had stopped the guillotine, and I felt very lucky indeed.

* * *

I dropped my briefcase on the ground as if the weight of Axia had been lifted off my shoulders. It was good to return home to your husband and daughter after a trying day. I smiled with satisfaction and plopped down in the recliner.

"Hello, dear," Vincent smiled as he came down from the study, "Did the Committee believe our story?"

"To the last letter."

"Excellent. I guess they won't be bothering us for a while, eh?"

"I suppose not. You know, dear, that was quite a work of fiction about Mina."

"Hmph. People who want answers to questions will believe anything they want to. They heard what they wanted to hear: that I was doing something in Project G.A.R.O.M. for my own purposes."

"But you were, dear."

Vincent smiled. "Yes, but it was for the good of us." He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.

"Is Mina upstairs?"

"On the phone...as usual. You should go up and see her."

"Yes. She'll be quite amused at what happened today."

"You know, Aymi, Mina told me something very interesting when she got home from school yesterday."

"Oh? What?"

"She said a new girl transferred into her homeroom that looks EXACTLY like her. What a fluke, eh?"

"Yes. I would have never thought Mina would ever see who we cloned her from. It's funny how the world works."

~fin~