P R O L O G U E

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"Good vital signs. Christian, get off her now."

The young man slowly dismounted the table and glared maliciously at the scientists and doctors standing outside the glass confinement he was in. The effects of the drug they'd given him hadn't worn off yet, even as he forced himself to pull his pants back up. He stared down at the girl laying on that cold, steel table. Her pale forehead was beaded with sweat and she was breathing in short, shallow gasps. His gaze ran down the length of her lean swimmer's body and then back up to her huge sea-green eyes, which were glassy and looked like diluted jade.

"Please," she whispered. "Please, no...what..."

The young man swallowed uneasily. His heart was hammering wildly in his chest as those pleading eyes stared into his, in a mixture of terror, bewilderment and shock. What had he just done...? He felt numb, now. Those eyes...

"Christian," murmured a voice right behind him. Turning sharply, the young man came face to face with one of the doctors, a mustached, tanned man in his forties.

"You made me rape her," Christian said, his voice barely above a stunned whisper.

"Technically, yes," the doctor said rather bluntly. "Couldn't really say it was a mutual pairing now, could we, my dear?" He directed his attention to the heavily breathing girl. She refused to look at him; her huge eyes remained glued on Christian. "The shot we gave you increased your hormones and your sperm count multiply and strengthen," the doctor indifferently continued, to the young man. "That injection is to ensure that the sperms successfully get to her ovary, penetrate the egg quickly, and immediately set the cells to dividing. We will test her in half an hour to see if she has conceived."

Christian blinked. His golden eyes glared at the doctor, intensely, so that the older man felt forced to turn his own gaze down. "Why?" Christian asked. "Why so soon, Dr. Bode? And why with an innocent girl like her? At least she's normal." His voice turned bitter.

The doctor placed a firm hand on the boy's shoulder. "All people must face reality someday, Christian, and not be so innocent anymore. She is not as normal as you might think. She might be one of the Star People. This girl has apparant ESP, clarvoiyance, and had memories of her past- lives when she was two years old. She is very strong physically; she is a beautiful dancer and an unbeatable swimmer. She's a very healthy young woman. Don't worry about how young she is; the pregnancy will go well as long as she doesn't do anything stupid." He raised his eyebrows meaningfully at the girl. "You--"

The doctor was cut off by Christian's piercing stare. "I'll be back in a bit to test her," he mumbled, trying not to look in the boy's eyes, and quickly turned and left the confinement that Christian had lived in for his entire life.

The boy, running his hand uneasily through his hair, gazed down again at the girl. She was staring at his eyes. Could she see through them into that sacred fortress that was his mind, and reach into his understandings? Those pale jade eyes?

"What is your name?" he asked her, suddenly, as she looked away and realized that her underwear was still on the floor, after the injection made Christian uncontrollable.

"Helen Woodwyss," she mumbled, her voice very quiet as she slid off the table and slowly pulled her underwear on, then her denim shorts. She looked up at him, her emotions roiling blankly across her face. "Who are you?"

"Christian Morgan," the young man replied hesitantly. "Actually I'm A-03558, but one of the doctors, Christine Morgan, technically adopted me, because she pitied me. She is the one that didn't want this to happen. And neither did I."

"Looks like you had no choice," the girl remarked, staring at him with a strange sharpness. "How old are you?" she asked lowly. "You've been here since birth?"

"I'm eighteen years old," Christian replied, watching her warily as she slowly began walking around him, in a circle. "Born on August the fifteenth, 1968. You're younger than me, I know. You're fifteen."

The girl froze. "How did you know that...?"

"I'm not sure you want to know," he replied darkly. "Even I don't know."

"But I think I do," she realized. "I have ESP and all that, too. What is this place and why did they--"

A petite, dark-haired woman entered just then, glancing rather sadly at Christian before turning to the girl. "I'm Dr. Morgan," she said with a prominent British accent. "I'm going to test you and see if you've conceived, Miss Woodwyss. Come, right this way." She started to guide Helen to the glass doors, then looked back at the boy. "The other girl is waiting for insemination, Chris. They have to administer another injection to you, since the first has worn off. I'm so sorry, but I can do nothing. I can't quit this job, Chris. For one, I need the money, and second, they will kill me before they let me go." She sighed and closed the doors behind her, locking Christian back in his world. Helen looked at him, and their eyes locked for what seemed like hours. His in hatred and confusion in what he'd been forced to do, and hers in mixed, tumultous feelings and fear.