On the Wings of Liberty
Jon Ailmore Private School 9:30 am
The two lumps on his back were growing bigger by the minute. Gordon cursed himself. The final evolution stages were not supposed to begin for another two weeks, during the school holidays. Now it was obvious the drugs that he had concocted to slow down the process were not working. In three or four hours Gordon Silverbolt would not be human.
NorTech Genetics Centre 9:30 am
The two men stood by each other, silently watching, waiting. One was a tall, weary looking doctor and the other was a short, fat looking secret service agent. They both looked so different, yet shared so much in common. For 14 years they had been watching their creation growing stronger, preparing to bloom. Now, the single most glorious moment of both men's careers had arrived.
Jon Ailmore Private School 9:30am
Laura was really beginning to worry about her friend. Silverbolt loved commerce; he was probably the most enthusiastic member in the class when it came to business. However, today he sat at his table, all of his attention fixed on the pen in front of him. Laura remembered only ever seeing Silverbolt like this only once before, and that was when she first met him. Back then, Gordon Silverbolt spoke to nobody, jumped whenever he heard his name, and hid when somebody ever tried to get into a conversation with him. Over the two years Laura had known the boy she had managed to make him relax more in front of other people. She had been pleased to see how he had grown more confident, and their friendship had grown to an everlasting bond. Laura did not know why she had befriended the quiet boy, but she was glad that she did. Gordon Silverbolt was one of the sweetest people that she had ever met.
There was only one thing that Silverbolt kept away from Laura; he never spoke of his past. Laura was sure that he was being plagued by demons from his childhood. Though Silverbolt always managed to look happy, Laura knew when he was having a hard time. However, it was rare to see him in this kind of state. She tried to gain Silverbolt's attention from across the room, but it seemed that he would not look up from the pencil he held with a death grip that was growing tighter and tighter every moment. Finally, the bells went for the lunch break and the class was being dismissed. Laura looked over to see Silverbolt pack up quickly and fun out of the class. Asking the girl sitting next to her to pack up her bag, Laura Bronstein rushed out to talk to her friend.
NorTech Genetics Centre 10:00am
Cartwright nervously drummed his knuckles over the table as Olfield spoke hurriedly over the phone. The excitement in the man's eyes burned like a bright light and was growing brighter and brighter every moment. His small, squinty eyes quickly darted back to Cartwright.
"That was the team down at Letag. The response beacon is recording high levels of Genetic Mutation Factor and the level is going up every minute. This is it."
"Are you sure that he doesn't know about the implant?"
"Absolutely, he thought that he got away from us 9 years ago, and we've been tracking every movement that he's made."
"Good, when are your men ready to pick him up?"
"The team will be ready to leave in half an hour. This is it Cartwright, this is what we've been waiting for."
Olfield turned and left the doctor's office before another word was spoken. Cartwright sat silently for what seemed like an eternity, although when he looked up later only five minutes had passed. He continued to think of what would happen. Project Silverbolt had been the only moving force that Cartwright had had for the last twenty years. He had given everything up for this project, his money, his time, even his wife and kids. So when the medical team at Nortech made a breakthrough with restructuring human D.N.A with that of animals he had been overjoyed. When the institute had adopted an orphan baby with both arms missing, he knew that the experiment would work. Finally, when they managed to grow back the child's arms with the genes of a Golden Eagle, he was ecstatic. After that, he spent the following 8 years not only studying the child's behavior, but also nurturing the child as his own. Had he known earlier of the effects that it would have on the child he may of canceled the project. Now it was too late. It had gone to far, and the Silverbolt Project would be reaching the most important stage it ever faced.
Jon Ailmore Private School 10:10am
The lumps on his back were pushing painfully up against the back of his shirt now. Silverbolt lifted his hand up to his hair and then back down to his eyelevel. His hair was falling out in rather large clumps now, that was to be expected. He also knew that the abdominal pain he was feeling was a result of his muscle doubling twice its original mass. He gave himself an hour before the process would be finished and he would have to leave forever. He would never have the chance to tell Laura how good a friend she was to him, how much he would miss her, how he would always be looking over her. Silverbolt gave a smile at how literal what he just said was. The toilet booth was narrow and the smell from the toilet was vile. Silverbolt began to fall into a trance as new and amazing thoughts began to rush into his head. Thoughts of hunting, fighting and flying began to invade his mind. The eagle was beginning to make a large impact to his senses. Smell and sight increased so sharply that Silverbolt fell to the ground. Then he felt something cold inside his body. It was located right in the middle of his back, right between the two growing lumps. The fools put the locator right in the middle of my back, how stupid can you possibly be. Silverbolt began to panic, if there was a locator, they would know about Laura. Silverbolt knew he would have to stay nearby for longer than he wanted to. As he continued to wince with pain he did not immediately notice Laura standing over him.
"Oh my God." Were the only words that could escape her mouth.
New Cambridge Rd, 84km away from Jon Ailmore Private School 11:30am
"Don't worry Dr Cartwright, the team will only stun him, after he returns to the institute, he's yours. I'm sure the president will love to gain a report from you as soon as he can."
The words that came from Olfields lips were only blurred groans to Cartwright. He began to wonder long it would take for Silverbolt to overpower the four fully equipped Secret Service teams that accompanied him and Olfield to the school. The principal of John Ailmore School had been told that the boy was infected with a highly infectious disease and needed to be ready for movement by the teams immediately. The old teacher had taken the bait quite easily. However, Cartwright knew of the girl, Laura Bronstein, Silverbolt's closest friend, could be a problem. He did not want anyone to be injured in this exercise; unfortunately he knew it was rather a large possibility. By now Silverbolt would have found the locator and would be trying to find a place to hide, escape or fend his territory. Cartwright sat back, closed his eyes and waited.
"I'm coming son." He whispered.
Jon Ailmore Private School 1:50pm
"Gordon, you've got to let me get someone to help you." Laura pleaded.
"No one can help me, if they find me, they'll take me away."
Laura sat watching her friend, feeling totally helpless. His head was now totally bald, the two lumps on his back had grown as large as two pineapples, and his body was now as hard as steel. Laura had followed her friend up to the roof of the Gregorian building, the tallest stadium they had in the school. She had taken Silverbolt's shirt off to release the strain on his back. Still, he continued to writhe in pain.
As 20 minutes had passed rather a large amount of noise had risen from the lower playing fields. Laura lifted her head over the railing for a moment to see what the fuss was about. Three large, dark, armoured trucks had moved onto the fields. What looked like soldiers began pouring out of the back holding compartments.
"Gordon, do you know anything about those commandos down on the field?" Laura asked, the fear rising in her voice.
"It's them, I have to get out of here." Silverbolt began to get up, only to fall straight back to the ground in pain. Laura now began to panic.
"Silverbolt, you have to get out of here. Now!" It was too late.
The roof was instantly flooded with the corps, all weapons raised at Silverbolt.
"Do not touch him yet," a voice shouted from behind.
Laura turned around to see a tall, weary looking man in a suit. A rather short, plump man in secret service gear accompanied him.
"It is too dangerous to move him yet, we must wait for the transformation to finish before we can move him from here."
Cartwright looked at all the men that surrounded the trembling body on the ground. He pushed two of the corps to the side to take a better look. There, crouching with a shiny head and two large swellings on his back was the boy who Cartwright had brought up as a son, the only family he had after leaving his original family. Slowly the boy lifted his head to look into Cartwright's eyes. For a moment Cartwright thought he heard the word Dad.
Laura did not know why the tall man took out the pistol from his pocket and began to shoot the commando's around them. It was a foolish move; he had only knocked down four out of thirty soldiers before bullets tore through his arm. As soon as he was down all of the soldiers began to surround him. The short man made sure that the tall man was looking at him.
"I knew that you were only human Cartwright. I knew that you treated the boy like your son; I was briefed. You finally broke down under the pressure. It doesn't worry me, hell, we were handing your 'sonny boy' over to the government anyway."
Laura watched as the man named Cartwright attempted to lunge at his tormentor, only to be pushed back by the huge pack of commandos. The short man laughed.
"Don't bother doctor, it isn't worth the hassle now. You see, you have nothing and I have…"
As all the heads followed Olfield's hand to the pile of dead corps, a shock went through everyone. Silverbolt had disappeared. A cry of relief from Cartwright and Laura soon followed. Before anyone could make a move, the wind began.
Silverbolt had never felt freer in his life. He watched in plain amazement as his wings pumped up and down, blowing an amazing gust of wind across the rooftop. The men who had come to take him away, the animals that had cursed him with years of pain and frustration, were now hurtling of the rooftop like leaves in a winter breeze. As the last person flew off the rooftop Silverbolt dived down through the air like a bullet. Quickly he scooped Dr Cartwright and Laura Bronstein in his arms, just feet before the two people he cared most about hit the ground.
Cartwright had never seen anything like it. In the air hovered Silverbolt, his shiny head replaced with a crop of Golden feathers. The two lumps on his back were now huge white wings, pumping out hurricane force winds with ease. Cartwright's amazement turned to shock as he realized that he was being blown of the edge, revenge for what he had done to that child. Just before he blacked out, he cried out he was sorry, more sorry then he had ever been in his entire life. And when he woke up, he was lying on the rooftop again beside the young girl his boy had befriended, their hands clasped together around a golden feather. The girl moaned, then slowly turned the tall, wiry doctor.
"You have some explaining to do," the girl said, smiling.
The doctor grinned. He did have quite a bit of explaining to do. All that worried him now was that his son was free, flying on the wings of Liberty.