Monday, July 20, 2015

Microstory 106: Colton Underwood

Though exceptional, anomalies were generally indistinguishable from regular humans. There was this thing where they all had green eyes, but that was certainly not a useful character specification. There were a few, however, who exhibited extremely noticeable physical mutations. These were, as far as we can tell, the result of gene splicing experiments; mixing human DNA with that of some kind of animal. Their motives were lost to history, and hard to estimate seeing as that none of the presumed animals would be deeply helpful when trying to enhance a human’s abilities. One might think that giving a human gills so that they could breathe underwater, or even traits of a flea so that they could jump farther, would be the best use of such technology. Perhaps they did try such experiments, but the subjects perished, or their descendants never evolved later on. One descendant who did manage to survive evolution was named Colton Underwood. He was born extremely small; barely weighing in at two pounds. The doctors believed that he would not survive the night, but he grew stronger and healthier as his mother fed him. In fact, he did not leave his mother’s bosom even for a second for nearly a month. His appearance was very different. He did not develop opposable thumbs, and he sported an epidermal membrane that spread from his shoulders to his hips and outward along his limbs. These were referred to as his gliders, and superficially resembled wings. They allowed him to potentially glide through the air for miles, depending on the height of his origin. The government stepped in almost immediately. They provided his family with a mountainous and heavily forested small island of their own, so that he could feel free, but still technically be trapped. The hospital staff signed nondisclosure agreements, and the family lived in the peace of a simple life for many years. They were unavoidably cut off from the world, and they all accepted this, seeing no other solution. It occurred to no one to have his gliders surgically removed so that he could assimilate into society. Eventually, this island became a home for other people with inexplicable mutations. A high-ranking officer in the military was all but the only thing standing between the mutants and anyone who intended to study the subjects for any sort of gain, be it benevolent or not. It wasn’t until Bellevue made contact with the government that the mutants suddenly had a choice in their lives; a group to truly belong to. They were finally given the opportunity to leave their snowglobe, and show themselves to the world.

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