“They’ve done everything from genetic engineering to disease research, and from stem cell projects to artificial intelligence, which is where I stand now.”
June 12, 2029
Entrance to People Park, Los Angeles, California
Four days. It had been four days since the trial. Four days since Judge Thomas apologized. Four days since Eustace Radley was brought to justice. Atticus Galic sat on a bench just outside of the entrance to People Park watching people walk by. One man walking his dog, a Shiba Inu, waved hello. Atticus waved back with no words to the man, so he and his dog walked into the park. Having no intent on going into the park himself, Atticus sat there reading a note that he had found taped to his PO box. The note looked as if it had been hastily written.
Atticus (a.k.a. Experiment 0EA-8271),
This is urgent: I need you to meet me on the corner of Finch Lane and Ewell Avenue. I'll tell you more should you choose to meet me.
Capt. Orion Deverell
Atticus turned the note over in his hand, and read it a few more times. Why was this on my PO box? Atticus thought to himself, Who's Orion Deverell? Atticus stood up, stretched his arms, and turned left in the direction of Ewell Avenue.
June 12, 2029
Corner of Finch Lane and Ewell Avenue, Los Angeles, California
Atticus stopped in front of The Knothole, a small corner café. “Can I help you?” asked a female cashier.
“N-no…um, no thanks. I'm sure I'll figure it out,” Atticus muttered catching a glimpse of the menu, “Actually, I think a chicken panini, no onions, and a glass of lemonade would be nice right about now.”
“Ok,” said the cashier, happily tapping the order into the computer, “That'll be $7.58.” Atticus pulled out his wallet and paid the correct amount. The cashier handed him a card with a number on it. “Your sandwich will be out shortly.” Atticus took the card and a newspaper off a nearby table. As Atticus went to sit down, a slender, but well-built woman walked into the café. “Hi, Captain, how are you?” asked the cashier. Atticus pretended to read the newspaper as he listened.
“I'm good, Tracey. How about you?” replied the captain.
“Well..., y'know, this, that, and the others!” Tracey replied. The two women chuckled.
“Bah,” laughed the captain waving her hand in the air, “Shit happens.”
“Oh well. Anyway, what can I get you, Orion?” asked Tracey.
“The usual please” answered Captain Orion. Tracey proceeded to take Orion´s order, and hand her a number card. When he put two and two together, Atticus realized that Orion was the person who left him the note. She sat down at a table across from Atticus' “I wonder if he's coming,” Orion thought aloud. Atticus stood up, walked over to where Orion was sitting and sat down across from her. Noticing Atticus sitting at her table, Orion jumped with surprise. She took a deep breath to compose herself. “Hello there,” Orion said tentatively.
Atticus turned his head in the direction of Orion, but not making eye contact. “You really know how to get an experiment's attention, Captain Orion Deverell.” Orion was taken aback when she heard her full name.
“How do you know my name?… And my rank?” asked Orion. Atticus handed her the note. “Oh,” said Orion, “Can you prove that you are… well… you know?” Atticus responded by turning his back toward Orion. He lifted the right sleeve of his shirt, showing her a number that was tattooed on his shoulder.
“Is this proof enough?” Atticus asked Orion as she compared the number on the note to the one on his shoulder.
“Uh… ” Orion hesitated.
“Okay, perhaps this will give you the information you are looking for,” he said as he pulled out his bionic eye prosthetic.
“It´s enough for me,” answered Orion disgustedly. Just then a waiter came with their food. Atticus´ chicken panini, and a small piece of chocolate cake for Orion. Atticus took a bite of his panini.
“Yuck! I thought I ordered no onions,” said Atticus between gagging fits. Orion laughed at this.
“Maybe you should be clearer on what you want,” laughed Orion.
“That’s exactly what I said, ‘no onions’,” stated Atticus exasperatedly, “Moving on, what was so important that you had to tell me?”
“Oh… that, well,” Orion hesitated, “uh… About The Lab…, you know--”
“Nebula Laboratories…” Atticus interrupted.
“Yeah, that’s the place. So The Lab, well ownership of The Lab has been passed around, and,” Orion paused, “...I-it was recently passed to me--”
“Wait. Passed around? What do you mean?” asked Atticus.
“I mean that when Radley got sentenced he lost ownership of The Lab. ownership would have been passed to his assistant, Tracey, but she was laid off the same day as… the murder,” said Orion, “As I was saying before ownership was recently passed to me.”
“Okay. What does this have to do with me?” questioned Atticus.
“I don't want The Lab, so I wanted to meet with you to see if you wanted ownership,” stated Orion sincerely.
“Me? What would I do with Nebula Laboratories? Do you even know the extent of what they did to us?” Atticus asked glaring at Orion.
“I won't ask,” said Orion, “The Lab?”
“As for that, I will take ownership on the condition that I also get ownership of the files contained within it,” Atticus stated as he waited for Orion to respond.
“Deal,” chimed Orion as she and Atticus shook hands, “I'll get you the paperwork by tomorrow. Say, what are you going to do with The Lab anyway?” Atticus thought about this for a moment.
“I will use it to tell our story, to tell people that Hell has many different meanings. I’m going to make it a museum, and tell people that this not the right path for corrective genetics.” asserted Atticus.
December 28, 2029
Nebula Memorial Museum, Los Angeles, California
The humble group applauded as Dr. Atticus Galic, experiment, geneticist, and owner and curator, of the Nebula Memorial Museum, cut the ribbon to the front door. What was left of the experiments, former scientists, security guards, lab technicians, and assistants walked through the grand glass doors to experience the stories of what Group E, Group A, and Group C were put through to further the research of genetics, artificial intelligence, and cloning.
Author Notes: “They’ve done everything from genetic engineering to disease research, and from stem cell projects to artificial intelligence, which is where I stand now.”
This is the final part of "To Speak of Galic's Grace."