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Designer Born pages 20-36

Written by happiest_in_shadows :: [Monday, 25 August 2014 01:55] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 10 September 2014 13:24]

Mary, "Hello Doctor Warren."

Warren gave Mary a smile before looking towards Hondon. "Did you finish your talk without me?"

"Just about. Why don't you take it from here. We were just about to go over our findings. Well your findings."

Warren gave his head a quick nod. He had been reluctant whenever Hondon had first approached him but after a short conversation Micheal had managed to win him over. "Mary you've been making great progress with the changes to your diet and Elise is doing wonderful as well. However, they're some changes I would like to make to better suit Elise special needs."

Now Mary felt alarmed. "Needs? But Elise isn't suppose to have anything wrong with her."

Hondon, "It's not a case of there being anything wrong with her."

Adam, "She doesn't need you to speak for her Doctor Hondon." Adam had the impression that Mary trusted Hondon and he wasn't quite ready to run him off. However, the unplanned visit and the talk about working behind the scenes didn't nurture trust either. He wasn't ready to run the man out but he wasn't going to have him speaking for Warren whenever Mary had come to see her doctor. On some level Adam was worried about how close of a relationship Warren had with Hondon. What was he getting from this deal?

It took Warren a moment to find his voice. Adam was being a bit more aggressive then he had expected despite Hondon's warning. "Mary your daughter is doing wonderfully however she could be doing even better. That's one of the remarkable things about Elise. While doing wonderfully is good she has the potential to be doing so much better."

"How? She's developing fine after all."

"Well put simply Elise's body chemistry isn't the same as you would find in humans that had not been treated as her. She can make better use of certain nutrients and minerals then a human can so she makes more use of them whenever they're available. Now we've detected certain byproducts in your body and from what we've gathered from Elise she's actually manufacturing some of these materials within her from others nutrients. It would be much easier on her if we simply provided them directly."

"I see but wouldn't that just mean changing how I eat?"

"Unfortunately that isn't the case. These aren't the types of things you find in a grocery store."

Adam, "I see. Doctor Hondon you seemed eager to speak before and this seems like something you would understand. If these minerals are so unusual why is my granddaughter making use of them?"

"Our physiology doesn't allow us to make use of them. Her's does. She doesn't need them but she would further beneit from them."

Adam gave a nod after a moment. "Thank you. That actually makes a lot of sense. So she doesn't need these items but would benefit from them. Now what would they do to my daughter? After all. By your own admission these are things we can't exactly process."

***********************************************************************************

"Ouch!" As Mary called out she nearly doubled over in pain. A slight stinging radiated out from her stomach as if she'd just been punched in it. Her right hand reached out and she steadied herself against one of the chairs of her room as she waited for the pain to die down. Her mind was already going to what the possible sources of that pain could be. She managed to keep herself from crying out as the pain spiked again. Fortunately the second spike was far less severe then the first.

"Mary are you alright?" Currently Vanessa was busy in the kitchen preparing dinner. It had been three weeks since Mary and Adam had gone to visit Doctor Warren and Mary had received even further changes to her diet. She was doing even better now. Vanessa had even been quite surprised with the improvements in her daughter including how much better she was doing with her exercises.

"I'm fine. Yeah I'm good it just felt like someone punched me in the stomach." A sigh escaped Mary as she stood up and placed a hand on her stomach.

"Do you think it's Elise kicking?"

"I hope not!" Mary gave a slight chuckle as she proceeded into the hallway and made her way towards the kitchen. If that was indeed her daughter kicking within the womb she didn't know if she would survive the pregnancy. "If that is you Elise be careful. No kicking mommy's insides out." Despite the fading pain Mary gave a chuckle as she picked up what most would have mistaken for a cracker. It actually tasted a great deal like a cracker. It wasn't the type of thing that a human would normally eat. It's purpose normally wasn't nutritional but it did serve a purpose in experimentation and medical examinations.

"I'm sure Elise wouldn't intentionally hurt her mommy." As she spoke Vanessa placed a hand upon her daughter's stomach. "Oh! I think I felt her kick just then." Vanessa was glad to see her daughter smiling before she removed her hand and returned to the stove. "Brenda says that she'll be glad to have you at the bank. She's really happy that you're doing better. I just wish that I could have got you a position at the main branch office."

"Don't worry about it mom. Working at the Oasis means I only have to walk forty feet to get to a nice place to eat. I might even do some shopping before or after work. They're some advantages to working in a super store."

"But you're working the night shift!"

"Mom it's alright really. I'm just glad that Brenda was able to help me out and thankful to you for vouching for me. Working the night shift just means I get to spend my time with Elise during the day and then I can trust her to her loving grandparents in the evening. Do not spoil my child while I am away!" As she spoke Mary put more force into her final words then she truly meant and pointed her right index finger at her mother. She was a bit surprised to find Vanessa already pointing back at her.

"Don't you point that finger at me young lady. I'll spoil my grandchild if I want." While Mary settled for pointing Vanessa took it a step further with finger wagging. "That is true though. Well so long as we get you to a day shift before she starts school."

"Mom that's years away."

"I know but I can't help but worry. How many of those funny crackers are you suppose to eat anyway?" Before Vanessa hadn't thought too much about the yogurt and other foods Genun was providing her daughter. With the amount of strange food increasing she was beginning to think more and more about it and even worry. The crackers were shaped normally enough but they were solid white. When Vanessa had been told that only Mary should eat them she had been very concerned.

"Warren said that I could have then whenever the mood hit me. I should not force myself to eat them but if I want some feel free to have them." Mary knew that it wasn't truly Warren who had given that advice. It had came from Hondon. Since she had began eating them though she had felt a good bit better. She had also been recovering nicely and it was a lot easier to due her exercises despite Elise growing in her womb. As far as Mary could tell she was doing fine. "Mom there are some people coming to speak with me in two days right?"

Vanessa took a moment to just look at her daughter. "Yes. They're from the Straton network I believe. Are you sure you're up for another interview already?"

"I'm sure mom. I feel fine."

***********************************************************************************

"Yes. Yes. Yes!" Hondon had to give voice to his excitement as he looked over the data. He had been monitoring Mary and Elise's condition as carefully as he could. The results were more then satisfying. Even if his higher ups were to learn about his involvement he was certain the results would change any negative responses. He didn't even wait for Nancy to ask what was going on. He knew she had been observing him for some time. "Nancy come over here and look at these results."

Nancy tried to hide her excitement as she walked towards Hondon. She knew that whenever he behaved like that it meant something good. The last time she had seen him respond that strongly he had been seven months behind schedule and two times over budget when he finally got his results. The directors had considered the additional investment well worth it. Elise had even benefited from that project. "Okay Hondon what has you so excited?"

"It's Elise. She's actually nurturing her mother." As he spoke Hondon moved the screen so that Nancy could actually see it. "You see this? This is actually a very powerful stimulant and performance enhancer. I noticed it in trace amounts within Mary's body before. Well since introducing the crackers to her diet it has gone from trace amounts to quite significant. Not only that but the data I've been able to collect leads me to believe that the introduction isn't at random or constant. It seems to occur whenever Mary is physically stimulated and afterwords or in other words when she gets the most benefit."

What Hondon was saying sure sounded good. However, Nancy knew better then to make assumptions. "Exactly what does it stimulate and enhance? Performance is a rather vague term." Nancy wanted to know if Elise was drugging her mother. If this was some temporary gain that would result in long term side affects she did not consider that a good thing. She doubted any mother would appreciate being poisoned by their child.

Hondon continued to grin. He knew that Nancy wouldn't recognize the chemical formula. “It stimulates muscle and bone development while enhancing strength, stamina and reaction time. The only draw back is that it requires the user to take in a great amount of nutrition which can lead to some negative side affects if they're not actually training during the time of use. The military used it for a while along with injection systems to insure that the soldiers received the right dosage.”

“I see. Why did the military stop?”

For a moment Hondon said nothing but then gave a slight chuckle. “You are a very observant woman! Your mind immediately goes to the negative of what I just said and brings it out for everyone to see. The reason they stopped is because it's very expensive and the results weren't worth the cost. It was believed it would let them prepare their troops faster with fewer failures due to physical issues and it did but not enough to justify the cost.” These were terms that Hondon knew Nancy would understand. Even if something worked well that didn't mean it was worth the price. She had used this line of thinking to destroy and save projects in the past. She had saved more of his then destroyed them.

“I.” For a moment Nancy said nothing but then gave a sigh. “Micheal I don't believe we should be telling people that a unborn daughter introduced military grade stimulants into her mother. No matter how beneficial it is to the mother that's simply not the type of thing that sells well at all. So whenever you're talking to anyone else don't talk like that. Talk in terms of medicine and nurturing for goodness sakes.” Nancy knew that Micheal was smart and she respected him for it but at times his wording was just wrong.

For a moment Hondon said nothing but rubbed his nose. He always felt strange whenever someone called him out on a mistake and he had to agree with them.  It made his nose itch.“You make a very good point. Well that's why you keep me locked in a lab.”

“If I had the authority I would! Next time you want to take a little side trip I'm going to see if I can have a bodyguard sent along with you.”

“One trained in several foreign languages?”

“I'm afraid that's the only way to keep you from saying the wrong thing. Okay this is good news though. I want you to write me up a proposal using the right words and then bring it to me. At which point I'm going to correct your errors.”

“Hey now you said for me to use the right words.”

“That's what I said but you won't do it because you can't.” Nancy couldn't help but laugh when all Hondon could do was grin. He knew the truth just as well as she did. His way of thinking was just too different from most to avoid such mistakes. She wouldn't have said her thinking was any more correct but she had more practice choosing her words and putting on a comforting smile. “Really Hondon unless they have the authority to order you to show them your report don't do it. The report is for me.”

“You make it sound like you out rank me.”

“Don't I in this situation?”

“I believe your area of authority does cover this yes. Just remember that when it comes to safety and the use of lab materials I hold rank.”

Now it was Nancy's turn to chuckle. “I know. Whenever I step foot into the lab your rank exceeds mine.” Nancy and Hondon's authority was somewhat fluid. In the lab he held rank over her. She couldn't tell him not to perform a procedure or to do so because he knew more about the project then she did. Whenever it came to the release of information or managing contracts though she held rank. This was needed as she had caught him more then once writing things down outside of the lab that he wasn't allowed to write and would have to chase him into his office. It was frustrating whenever you had to manage someone that would wake up at three in the morning with a brilliant idea that couldn't wait until they were in a secure area to write it down.

***********************************************************************************

Vanessa could barely believe what she was seeing or hearing. Currently her daughter was setting in her room with a small camera crew being interviewed. Week thirty in her pregnancy and it was clear to anyone that looked at her belly she was very large for a  single birth though it would hardly seemed unusual for twins or triplets. Yet her daughter seemed to having no trouble with the additional burden and was perfectly fine.

Derstin, “So there have been no complications with your pregnancy? Our sources tell us that you have been making a great many visits to the hospital.”

“To the doctor not the hospital and no. Things have actually been going very well though according to my parents I've been eating a bit more then expected. I'm told that's nothing unusual considering how Elise is growing.” As she spoke  Mary gently rubbed her belly. Part of her wondered what these sources were exactly. She couldn't help but suspect that some of her neighbors had spoken to the media about her condition. The thought upset her to an extent but she knew many of her neighbors had trouble minding their own business.

“What have you learned during these visits to the doctor?” Even as he asked Mary about her pregnancy Derstin was wondering about her as well. He'd interviewed her before and knew she didn't have the muscle tone in her arms or legs that she was currently showing. How much of that eating was due to Elise growing and how much of it was due to Mary's own development? He would get around to that.

“I wish I could say it's all been good news. Doctor Warren has been monitoring my health very carefully. This is all a bit uncharged but we know that Elise is going to be a C-section. She's just grown too large for anything else and I'll be honest I'm not looking forward to that part. Other then that though I'm doing great.”

“I have to agree. Mary I'm sure that our viewers will notice there have been some changes in you sense our last visit. Would you mind explaining?”

“Well as you know I was still struggling a bit with addiction even after I came out of the Genun facility. Thinking of Elise and making sure she gets what she needs has kept me away from those now and I'm finally completely clean. Oh! I also have a position lined up at the Oasis. Really a lot of good things have been happening to me.”

“So I've heard but what about your body. Correct me if I'm wrong but your arms seem to have grown a bit since I last visited you.” Derstin made sure to keep his voice upbeat and energetic. He didn't want to seem like he was prying into Mary's life but rather was curious about the changes in her. Soon he would need to move onto the questions that might upset her. For now he was just hoping to create an opening for that.

Mary bit down on her lower lip for a moment and raised her arm while turning her head and looking at her flexed bicep. Her arm had grown to roughly three times it's circumference of just a few weeks past so it was only natural that others would notice it. She sure had. She had gone from having a rather average build to having an athletes body. “Yeah I've been bulking up a bit and it's taken some getting used to. Mom threatened to tan my hide if I tightened one more jar so that she couldn't open it.” Mary gave an amused giggle and could see her mother chuckling as well. Vanessa gave her daughter a rather large grin despite the cameras in the room.

“Now would these changes have anything to do with Elise?” It was fairly clear that he was getting into the touchier subjects. Likely Genun had something to do with that. Perhaps they had asked her to down play the changes in her body?”

“Yeah Elise has apparently been nurturing me so that I can better nurture her. Sort of like making sure your garden is well fertilized and keeping the weeds out. Mister Hondon theorizes that Elise found my body unsuitable and took steps to better it. I swear she hasn't even been born yet and she's helping me to be a better person. I'm going to have to hit the gym once this is over with so I don't turn all flabby again. Well that or buy some weights at least.”

“I see and this doesn't worry you?”

Mary continued to smile though her hand stopped moving and just wrested on her stomach for a moment. “No. I was informed of all the possible risk before I went through with the procedure. I'm just so happy that my baby is doing alright. Why would I be upset that she's made me healthier then I've ever been?”

“So these changes aren't undesirable?”

“I guess they may be for some. If you want to look like a delicate little flower this might make it tougher.”

“I see. So did Hondon actually explain to you what's going on? You said it was like fertilizing a garden but is that truly accurate?”

“Well I don't think Elise is doing the equivalent of putting crap into my veins.” Mary couldn't help but chuckle as she noted a rather surprised expression on Derstin's face. Apparently he didn't expect that. “Some of Elise's estrogen was introduced into my system and it's had a rather profound affect. Given everything else they told me about her I'm not too surprised that her estrogen would be of higher quality then mine as well.”

“I see so this is the equivalent of Elise's estrogen?”

“That's what I was told. It has had other affects as well. My muscles and tummy aren't the only things that are larger now after all.” As she spoke Mary pulled down on her shirt drawing it tight against her chest revealing that her breasts size had increased as well. My chest measurement increased by twelve centimeters and that isn't only because the muscles more developed now.

“I see. So you have no concern that your daughter may be taking over your body perhaps even drugging you?”

It had been Adam's intention to stay out of this. Upon hearing Derstin though he immediately begin to stand up. He'd been staying out of the room and the crew didn't see him approaching from behind. As he neared the door though he noted his wife looking strait at him and stopped for a moment. The look she gave him. He didn't believe she wanted him to leave but she wasn't ready for him to come into the room. Let their daughter handle this he supposed.

“She's my daughter not some parasite! Elise has not only done me no harm but she's done me more good then any other newborn I'd be willing to wager.”

“Are you sure that she's your newborn though? How much of Elise is really your daughter?”

“She's my daughter! Even if her genetics were change and improved upon I'm the one that's bringing her into this world and I love her as my child.” Mary was actually surprised by the anger she heard in her own voice. Indeed she felt like standing up and knocking Derstin on his rear. Given the changes that had happened to her body she believed she was quite capable of doing so. For the moment she was able to keep herself seated if not calm. “If you're just going to insult me then it'd be best if you left.”

“Please Mary I meant no offense. As you said yourself Elise has done things for you that a human child simply doesn't do. Aren't you.”

“You can leave now.”

“Miss Willabe.”

“Get your tail out of that seat and out of this house before I kick it out.” How could he ask her such questions? Elise had less of her genetic material then a natural birth would but some of it was still based on her. Even if a DNA test couldn't identify Elise as her daughter she still was. She would be the one raising her, protecting her and nurturing her. She was the one giving birth to her. Even the original ovum had come from her. Elise was her daughter.

***********************************************************************************

~ Next Day April 5th 2020

Adam wished that he had a head set for the television. He'd been watching the news and was far from happy with what he saw. Some people had taken it upon themselves to put together some protest calling for everything from Mary's deportation from the country to having Elise aborted. Part of him wanted to get in his car drive down to the nearest protest and see how many of them he could run down before he was stopped or killed himself. After what had happened the previous day this wasn't what his daughter needed.  He was feeling gratitude towards Genun though and Nancy in particular. During a press conference she had made Mary out to be a loving mother filled with righteous anger defending her daughter while turning Derstin into a lowly troll that was seeking to anger her. The lady had a silver tongue and could cut viciously with it whenever she wanted to it seemed. As he was thinking on the subject his phone ringing got his attention. Fearful that it might be someone hoping to yell a bit at his daughter he was quick to answer it. “Willabe residents Adam Willabe speaking.”

“Mister Willabe hello! It's Nancy from Genun. I was calling to touch base and see how things are going there.”

“Oh! Ah well. Things are going good. Not great but good. I imagine you want to speak with Mary.”

“Not unless there is a reason to. Does she need to speak to me?”

“I don't know. She's a bit shaken up. That whole interview has her wondering if she killed her own daughter.”

“I believed that had been resolved earlier. She does realize that if she had not acted Elise would not have survive. With her damaged genetic code her body could not properly form the organs needed to survive. Well I'm certain you realize all of this. If you believe it would help I would like to speak to her.”

Adam was grateful for what Nancy had done on the interview but as he listened to her he found himself thinking again. “Nancy. What is your view on Elise? Is she Mary's daughter and why?”

“Mister Willabe if you had adopted Mary when she as an infant would she be less your daughter?”

“Of course not.”

“I agree but they are some that disagree. These are the ones that would look at a child who they'd raised and loved for five years then upon a blood test decide to abandon the child as it doesn't share certain bits of genetic information with them.  The answer to your question depends on who you ask and how much they value nature or nurture. If you want my personal view Elise and Mary are indeed child and mother. Genun just happened to serve as the father who provided very dominant traits.”

“What about the biological father?”

“He stopped being the father whenever he failed to take responsibility for the child. Besides Mary asked us to be certain to scrub his genetic legacy. At least that is my personal view. The legal department does have some concerns that they have prepared for in the event he should try to claim rights to Elise.”

“Prepared for what?”

“There is a lot of noise in Azon right now. How would it look if the biological father was to claim that we had killed his daughter and left some quasi human thing in her place?”

“So you're prepared to handle that like you did the interview?”

“You saw that? How did I do?”

Adam actually recoiled in his seat a bit upon hearing the earnest curiosity in Nancy's voice. Where before she'd been confident and certain now she sounded like a young girl asking her grandfather for his approval. He wanted to say great before he even knew what he was answering. “You did very well. I'm thankful that you showed my daughter in such a positive light.”

“Thank you very much. Mary deserves to be given a fair chance as will Elise and I have every intention of insuring they both have one. I have some listening that I'm going to forward to Mary that I believe will help resolve whatever lingering feelings she has. It focuses on the parents of adoptive children as well as children who are the results of affairs. It brings up many interesting points as to what it means to be parent and child as well as questions that I believe will help.”

“I'll make sure she gets it.” Adam wasn't going to mention that he was going to be listening as well.

***********************************************************************************

April 12th 2020

Mary had a large smile on her face as she looked at the clock. Currently the smell of frying bacon and eggs filled her nose. Her parents would be waking up in roughly five minutes and she wanted to have breakfast ready for them. Due to her advanced condition she wouldn't be going into work. Technically she was suppose to still be asleep and relaxing but she wasn't an invalid. Thanks to the influence Elise had on her body she was feeling better then she had before she became pregnant. How was she going to do when Elise was born and her super charged estrogen was no longer working within her system? The thought actually worried Mary a little and that made her laugh.

For a moment she turned away from the food and looked up at the sky. The sun was beginning to show itself above the trees. How long had it been since she was awake to great the sun? “Good morning to you I hope you're going to shine bright today.” As the sun lit the various yards and roads she could see Mary found herself looking at a rough outline in another yard. She hadn't noticed the sign the previous day which likely meant it had been put up during the previous day.

“No artificial people.”

The meaning of the words didn't register with Mary at first. As she thought about them and noted a drawing of a woman with a hand reaching out of her stomach the implication became clear. Anger flooded into Mary as she grabbed the curtain and pulled it shut then turned down the stove. Her first notion was to walk right over there and take the sign down but instead she grabbed her phone and quickly dialed her neighbors number. After a few rings a rather sleepy voice came over the end. “High Gerald this is Mary. I'm not sure if you noticed but someone left a sign in your yard.”

“What? Oh damn it! I'm so sorry about that Mary.”

Despite the situation Mary was made to smile. She could hear Gerald rustling around in bed and imagined he was getting his pants on. “It's no problem. Do you know something about it?”

“Yeah. Listen well. Some people called a few days ago asking if they could put it up. I told them no. I guess they decided to anyway. I'll have it down in a moment.”

“Thanks.” Mary felt herself smiling suddenly feeling much better about herself. She had been worried Gerald had been involved. “Would you like to come over and get a plate of eggs for you and Trisha? I've already got breakfast ready and I'm making a lot.”

“Already?”

“I have a lot of excess energy these days.”

“Trisha's still asleep but.”

“No I'm not. Who are you talking to?”

“Mary someone put a sign in our yard. Ouch!”

“Then go take it down already and stop talking.”

For a moment Mary could hear a slight ruffling and she assumed Trisha was doing something.

“Hey Mary. I'll be over in just a moment. What's this about a sign though.”

“Apparently some people don't like that I'm giving birth to an augmented child.”

“You haven't been getting any of the calls?”

“No.”

“That's probably your father's doing. Well that or Genun maybe even a little of both.”

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Vanessa had been rather surprised to hear about the sign in the morning as well as seeing Gerald and Trisha in their dining room eating breakfast. What was really surprising was that Mary had prepared it and there was plenty for five. Apparently her daughter was cooking with her stomach instead of her head. Given that Genun was helping with the grocery bill to insure Elise and Mary were well fed she didn't worry about it. She did notice her daughter eating some of her nutrient crackers. “Can you believe she eats those things?”

Mary, “What? They're not that bad and bacon makes anything taste good.”

Gerald, “Hear, hear.”

Trisha rolled her eyes for a moment. “Thank you for having us over for breakfast by the way. It saved me from needing to cook.”

“You're quite welcome. So you've been getting a lot of calls?”

Gerald, “We've never had to use the block button this much before. Let's not talk about this kind of stuff though. You know not everyone is upset over what you did Mary. I would have done the same thing. Well I guess Trisha would have done the same thing in your shoes. I would have encouraged her. You're doing the best you can for your child.

“Thanks Gerald.”

Trisha couldn't help but giggle as she looked at her husband. “Of course he's on your side. You fed him bacon. He is right though. You must be so worried though. I understand having your child's genetic information repaired but with all these enhancements. Aren't you a little worried?”

“Yeah but I've had a lot of time to get over it. I mean it's benefited me to. I just want my daughter to be healthy and happy. So her being exceptionally healthy is even better. But yeah I'm scared. I mean what are things going to be like when she's growing up? What if it turns out that she needs some kind of special food that only Genun can supply her?” Before she could get into her fears for her daughter's brain and how that might influence her thoughts Mary felt Adam's hand on hers.

Adam, “All you can do for her now is love her and raise her to the best of your ability and we're going to be there to help you all the way. Try not to worry about what you can't change. It'll just make you old early.”

For a moment Mary said nothing. She knew she'd heard those words before but it was nice hearing them again especially as the day approached. “How bad is it really? I've been a little scared to watch the news just to see how people were responding.”

Trisha glanced over at Gerald and wasn't surprised to see he was already looking at her. She then looked at Adam before clearing her throat. “You know how these things go Mary. You've seen the videos from when they first began using genetic manipulations to cure inherited sicknesses. All those people screaming that a human being is how nature intends them to be and they shouldn't be changed. Others were scared that such treatments would be reserved for the privileged and well. I got curious and took a look at some of Genun's packages and they're not cheap. We also have laws against enhancing a human rather then curing a sickness. They're still debating over whether poor vision is a sickness and how good you can make someone's eyes.”

As Mary listened she understood why Trisha was trying to dance around the issue. She'd seen recordings of those protest in her history class. “I guess Elisa's package was very expensive.”

“They don't have her package. Whatever they did to your child it isn't on the market yet and I can hardly imagine what it must have cost.”

“Do you want to know why they chose Elise to be augmented?”

“Why?”

“Because when they examined her medical data she should have already been dead. They were impressed that she had developed as far as she had and that made her more appealing. My little girl was already a survivor before any of this happened.” Mary gave a chuckle and as she took a bite of her food. “I knew that things were going to be ugly. I worry about what the future is going to hold for her. I know that Genun wants her raised here. I think they want the publicity and I'm sure they want her to succeed in one of the most hostile situations possible. I have thought about just leaving though.”

“What do you think they'd do?”

Mary felt a little weight settling on her shoulder. She hadn't thought about the hooks Genun had gotten into her or Elise too much. They were typically so nice. The audio files that Nancy had sent her about adoptive children and children born from different parents had helped put a lot of her worries to wrest but she was cooperating with them. What would they do if she didn't cooperate. “I'm worried that they wouldn't be so generous.”

“So you either stay here and face the slings and arrows or do without their help?”

“Yep!” Mary gave a slight chuckle despite the situation. “That's my price to pay though. If I hadn't made a mess of things Elise wouldn't have to go through this. So they have signs and they're walking around in front of the court house and the like are they?”

“Some are but it isn't so bad. Life first is on your side.”

“I know!” Mary couldn't help but grin. “They sent me a bunch of diapers and other things. I thanked them for their support but I had to decline some of their support. Genun doesn't want me receiving too much help. They believe it wouldn't suit the image they're going for if people could say Elise only survived because of all the aid I'd been given.”

For a moment Gerald set up in his seat feeling rather concerned. “Isn't that going too far though? They're putting Elise in danger just because they don't want to look bad?”

“Don't worry about that. They're paying for all my medical bills especially the ones that include Elise. They've been encouraging me to go in for regular examinations so they can keep track of her progress.”

“Oh! I get you. So they don't want the help to be too public. Hey is that what those funny look crackers are for?”

“Yeah. They have compounds in them that Elise needed. She would have gotten them anyway from my eating but well it was proving rather draining on me.”

A slight gasp escaped Trisha as she looked at Mary. “So there is something wrong with her?”

“It's more like my body wasn't strong enough. Elise has very demanding nutrient needs after all. I just eat some of these crackers each day though and her special needs are met. They were really worried whenever I began to lose weight.”

“I can imagine. Well don't worry we won't tell anyone about this.”

Gerald gave a nod before looking at the clock. “Ah crap. Trisha I need to head home and get ready for work. Adam am I going to see you there?”

“Yeah we need to do the leveling at column eleven and then put nine in.”

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April 24th 2020

Warren felt his mouth going dry as he looked at the monitor. Currently the form of a yet to be born child could be seen on it. What made his heart speed up and his mouth run dry was how clear the image was. Ultrasounds relied on the difference in object densities to form an image. This image was impossibly clear though because the child growing with Mary was unbelievably dense. “Wow. I mean wow. That's a really good image.”

If Warren had a red sign flashing above his head it would have only been slightly more clear then his voice was. Reaching out Adam placed a hand on his daughter's shoulder. “What is wrong with my granddaughter.”

“Nothing! It's just. Mary I believe I mentioned to you before that Elise had an unusually dense muscle structure. Well it's become even denser. Have you been monitoring your weight?”

When was the last time she'd weighed herself? She could remember seeing she was two kilograms heavier then her recommended weight shortly after recovering from her sudden weight loss. After that she'd lost interest in watching her weight as her body continued to fill out. It wasn't as if she or Elise were getting lighter while putting on mass like that. “I believe I stopped after my muscles began to really tone up.”

“The nurse should have okay. Here it is and.” Warren felt his heart rate speeding up. Mary currently weighed one hundred fourteen kilograms. At her height of one hundred seventy five centimeters tall that was a bit heavy even considering the muscle mass that she had put on. “Mary I estimate that Elise may already weigh as much as ten kilograms. Even for twins that's heavy and while she is larger then any single child I've ever seen she shouldn't be that heavy. With these readings though and your weight her muscle and bone density must be well impossibly high.”

Before she could speak Adam gave his daughter's shoulder a slight squeeze. “So what are you saying? Is she very healthy or is she in danger?”

“I'm.” What was he saying? All the indicators was that Elise was beyond healthy but human muscle shouldn't be that dense. From what he could tell Warren wasn't even certain that he would call Elise human. Sure she had the shape of a human but when he considered her unique nutrient needs, her muscle density and her influence on Mary's body that just wasn't something a human fetus did. For a moment his mind drifted back to his talks with Micheal and especially Nancy. “I believe that the changes in Mary's body may have been done so that she could safely carry Elise to term. She is too healthy for your average person to handle comfortably.”

In response to this Adam gave his daughter a gentle pat on the shoulder and looked down into her eyes. “You're going to have your hands full.”

“Huh?”

“I remember chasing you around the house trying to keep you safe. If Elise is anywhere near as adventurous as you then she's going to run you raged.” Adam gave a slight chuckle before looking back to Warren. “Okay she's healthy but isn't this going to cause some problems? Like with swimming.”

“Ah yes. Her buoyancy won't be quite that of your average human. She's going to have to rely more on powered movement rather then floating if she wants to do any swimming.”

“Do you think the regular kiddy floaters will work for her or did we need to look into a special make?”

“You probably want to look into something more supportive.” Even as he was speaking Warren was planning on contacting Genun. The more he saw of Elise the more he wondered what he was going to help deliver into the world. Just how much of her was human? “Okay let's talk about dates for the operation.”

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“I assure you that young Elise was designed with the same structure as the human body. She has the same number and structure of the bones with a small amount of smoothing and refinement in some cases. You know little flaws that nature hasn't seen fit to remove yet. She has a few extra tendons in her hands as well as nerves to allow for better articulation of her fingers while her toes were modified to allow better traction. Some of her organs have been shifted slightly and their purposes expanded upon. As I recall we covered this already.”

As Warren listened to Nancy he was surprised by how casually she was talking about this. These weren't just small changes. “We did but. Do you know how high her muscle density is? When you were talking about little changes. This goes beyond that.”

“Mister Warren they were small changes made throughout her body to every cell contained therein. Why none of these changes are very substantial by themselves the influence to the tissue, organs, systems and the complete being is far more significant as you should have realized. It shouldn't be surprising that the total results are rather profound and perhaps even unexpected in some areas. From the last report I received from Micheal all of changes, even the unexpected ones, have proven quite beneficial.” Nancy couldn't help but be a bit annoyed. She just needed Warren to send Micheal status reports and requested data on Elise. Why did he have to frustrate her by asking questions that need not concern him?

“I've been telling my patient that she's going to be given birth to a human. What am I.”

“She is giving birth to a human. Elise has a few parts in her body that aren't naturally found in a human. As do many people have undergone hip replacement, spinal fusion or require a synaptic inhibitor to be installed. Warren you seem concerned. Are you really so upset that Elise has been gifted with unusually strong muscles?”

“It's just that. Okay I knew that Elise was going to have some natural advantages due to her augmentation but I'm beginning to wonder if they exceed what I imagined.”

I sure hope so flashed through Nancy's mind. The greater the success Elise turned out to be the greater Genun's success. “Isn't it natural to give a child as many advantages as possible?”

“I'm not saying that they shouldn't but there is a limit you know. From what I'm looking at I don't believe she even qualifies as a human. Even on the genetic level. I'm no longer certain I'm helping with a human and not a new species.”

“Warren I'm surprised. Elise is every bit the human you or I am. She's simply been improved upon a bit. We've spent several centuries improving upon our technology to change our world. Isn't it time we began to seriously improve upon ourselves?” Nancy wanted to keep Genun somewhat distance from Mary so no one could claim Elise required special treatment. As she listened to Warren and heard the concern in his voice though she was beginning to wonder if it would be better to ask someone more devoted to the project to go help.

***********************************************************************************

May 1st 2020

As Mary looked at herself in the mirror she couldn't help but grin. “Good grief Elise you're really making mommy's tummy big. I wonder how long it's going to take me to deflate. You're my big girl aren't you.”

Vanessa grinned at her daughter as she replaced the covers in the crib. No one had been using them but she felt like cleaning them fearing that dust had settled. “It won't be long now. How are you feeling?”

Rather then answer right away Mary walked over to her seat and set down next to the crib opposite of her mother. “Nervous. Excited. A lot of things really. I was watching the news today and they were talking about the people trying to get me or Elise deported. It's not as bad as I thought it was. Just a few people with really big mouths. I expected worse to be honest. Mom how do you think this is going to work out? I mean. What if Elise isn't allowed to participate in sports or play against the other children because she's too good?”

There was no doubt in Vanessa's mind that could happen. She actually had a far more significant fear. What if they decided that the other children weren't safe around Elise and she shouldn't be allowed to go to school? Depending on how strong she was it's possible she could be considered a living weapon. “If that does happen we'll just have to home school her.”

“Would you believe Nancy mentioned that to me? She wanted us to know that if Elise was prevented from attending public school Genun would be happy to help with a private school.”

“Private? What about home schooling?”

To this Mary shook her head. “They don't want that. They want Elise to be where everyone can see her. They want everyone to see how much better a child that underwent their treatments is then one that hasn't. Elise is their show piece you know.”

Vanessa bit down on her lower lip for a moment. She had noticed a change in Mary's tone. After a moment of silence she gave a slight sigh. “Well that isn't right of them putting a child on display like that. They sound like some of those pageant mothers that put their child on display. Don't worry though if we have to home school her ourselves we will. They can't make you do anything she is your child after all.”

“They can withdraw their support.”

“We don't need.” Vanessa went silent as she looked at her daughter. After a moment of quiet she gave a sigh. “We can make due without them.”

“Let's not burn any bridges yet. They are some really good private schools you know and besides. She's going to have to learn to deal with people eventually.”

***********************************************************************************

May 14h 2020

Was this really the day? It almost felt like it wasn't real as Mary set in the back seat of her parents car lightly rubbing her stomach. Currently they were on their way to the hospital to have Elise born into the world. They had been silent for the most part. After speaking to Warren a few weeks past they had settled on a date of birth rather then waiting Now she wondered if that was the right idea as she looked at the hospital. She half expected to see a mob of people with protest signs waiting for her but instead she saw a few cars and while all the lights were on in the building it still looked sleepy. A few trees in the parking lot rustled lightly when the wind blew. “Wow this doesn't feel real. I was expecting angry people with signs. Were you expecting angry people with signs?”

“I was thinking I might have to run a few people down.” As Adam pulled into the parking lot he was surprised. How had this happened? He wasn't going to worry about it too much but consider it a blessing. As he climbed out of the car he began to run around to Mary's side but found she'd already climbed out of the vehicle on her own. For a moment he considered taunting Vanessa about how Mary was able to get herself out but figured that might backfire. He still took his daughter's hand and began to lead her towards the hospital. “Now don't you worry we're going to be with you the entire time.”

“Dad. No matter what you'll love Elise right?”

“Of course we will!” It wasn't Adam that answered but rather Vanessa. She had beat her husband to it. “Why do you ask that?”

“I was just thinking a bit.” By now they had reached the door and Adam let Mary and Vanessa proceed ahead of him as he held the door open for them both. The receptionist desk was right ahead. Mary was a bit surprised whenever she saw Micheal standing there in a medic's outfit. “Doctor Micheal what are you doing here?”

“Acting as an observer.” Micheal grinned as he took a step towards the family and took Mary's hand for a moment. “I wanted to be here. In truth I wanted to perform the procedure to be the second person to touch Elise in this world but I'm afraid that won't be happening.”

“Isn't the doctor the first?”

“I count her touching your insides.”

“Ah! I see. Well perhaps you can be the fifth.”

“Fifth!”

“I'm afraid that if you're not the delivering doctor you're going to have to come after my mother and father.”

Micheal gave a rather annoyed sigh in response to this. “Fine! I don't even get a spot on the podium. Come now let me show you to your room were they'll make the final preparations. Mister and Miss Willabe they'll also get you prepared as well. I assume you'll want to be in the delivery room.”

Adam wasn't actually surprised to see Micheal there. From his few encounters with him he knew that he had a great deal of interest in Elise. Still he felt some satisfaction that he would be holding Elise before him. Elise was his granddaughter after all. “That would be appreciated.”

***********************************************************************************

Mary took in a deep breath as she looked at the mirror. Warren had only moments ago cut her lower abdomen and uterus open. Despite not being able to feel the pain she felt positively sick as she watched herself being opened and had to fight the urge to close her eyes. She wanted to see Elise whenever she was born. The feeling of something cold on her forehead was welcome as one of the nurses took a moment to place a cloth there. A small curtain prevented her from seeing exactly what was happening and for that she was grateful as Warren reached into her.

Adam, “Don't worry honey we're right here.” He didn't know how much help such words were. It's not like Adam knew anything about surgery. Though as he watched his little girl being cut open he knew a few cuts he'd make on the doctor if she wasn't alright. His attention was rather focused on the doctor as he remembered talking about how large Elise was and how heavy she would be. He hadn't thought much of it but he hoped that her greater size wouldn't cause any further complications. “Hey Micheal did you know Elise would be this large?”

“It was a necessary design trade off.” As Micheal watched Warren work he wanted to push him to the side. His cuts were too slow and lacked the precision that he'd like to see. They weren't bad cuts but Micheal hated to see one of his patience receiving less them optimal care. He would talk to Nancy about providing additional medical care to Mary after this to correct any scars if any remained. Perhaps he was being too judgmental though. After all even the rate at which they drained the amniotic fluid seemed annoyingly slow to him. He really wanted to knock Warren out of the way as he watched his shoulder's tense as he began to lift Elise from within Mary. How he hated to see someone else handle his work first.

Warren had cut the opening wider then normal to compensate for Elise's size. As he lifted her from the womb though he was quite surprised by the weight. While it may have been the moment he estimated Elise's weight to be somewhere around fifteen kilograms. His surprise only grew as he lifted her from the womb a jet of fluid erupted from the girl's mouth which then opened and seemed to take in a breath before several ragged coughs escaped her rather then crying. Her eyes opened and then with a strength he'd never seen in a newborn her head raised towards him and shifted as if she was looking around the room.

Micheal couldn't help but smile. A newborn lacked the strength to lift their own head at birth. Elise was already not only supporting her own head but was looking around the room. As her head turned towards him he couldn't resist waving. “Doctor I believe you should close that incision up.”

It felt like a snake had bit Warren as he handed Elise to one of the nurses suddenly being reminded of Mary. Oddly he heard two foot steps towards him but they clearly weren't from the same people. His attention was focused on Mary now despite his feelings towards Elise.

Adam wasn't certain what he was going to do but that Micheal had felt the need to remind Warren to close up his daughter hadn't left him happy. That Micheal had seemed to be moving forward to address the problem actually helped to comfort him though Warren was now working. “I guess you're going to be the sixth to hold her instead of the fifth.”

“Yes I forgot about the nurse. Blast.”

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