The trio walked the busy streets back to Johnny’s home.
“I remember Ramirez, from somewhere. I just can’t quite place where, though,” said Johnny.
“From what I know, he’s been a part of the Agency for years. Yes, there’s not a whole lot of the lot left over, but there’s a significant force that could make the world a living hell. If your visions are anything, they show just that.” Chico added.
Red agreed as he went tree to tree, adding, “The important thing is that we keep yer power use low to make ‘em believe yer still just some regular youngin’. That means no goin’ apeshit on folks.”
The three returned to Johnny’s home and resumed the day to be normal like any other. His parents were appreciative of his help around the home and admired his newfound high spirits.
The night would come, and with it, Johnny wanted to see if he could converse with Jerry again. As he tumbled into the dreaming world, images became distorted and abnormal. These faces and this setting…it was all unfamiliar to him and yet, it was very familiar.
“Where am I?” he asked aloud.
A man walked into the room where Johnny was housed. “Ah, B129-OP, you’re awake. Having sleep difficulties again are we?”
Johnny inspected the man’s face. “Mr. Ramirez?”
“Forgive me. I suppose I should give you a proper name instead of all this lab talk. Management orders, you know,” the man then laughed. “Pray tell me, child. What name would you desire?”
Johnny looked around his cell, seeing a younger version of himself rocking in the corner.
“Hmm, unresponsive I see. Very well, I can have your “parents” assign you a name in the coming days. Until then, we have a test to carry out…” Ramirez went to the computer console and entered a brief entry, then issued a few keyboard commands. A robotic arm in a nearby case retrieved several vials from the cryogenics vault labeled “Animal DNA.”
He fit the vials in an injector and then walked over to the young memory of Johnny. “This is going to hurt you more than it’s going to hurt me. I won’t feel a thing,” he said with a smirk.
One by one, the vials drained and entered the young boy’s bloodstream. Young Johnny cried out in pain and seized on the floor. Ramirez rolled the boy onto his side, then was sent flying across the cell. The boy pounded on the concrete floor, smashing it, causing it to crack and crumble.
Ramirez reached to his feet, grunting. “My, my, such fast results. That’s my boy!”
Young Johnny snapped his gaze up to the man, his eyes red with rage.
Ramirez sighed. “Ah, perhaps I may have miscalculated…no matter.”
The boy charged the man and was sent crashing to the ground in an induced coma. Ramirez placed the inducer back in his lab coat pocket.
“That should be enough to keep you out for a while. We need to let the DNA assimilation run its course.” Ramirez picked the boy up and looked him over. He took him to the bed in the cell and set him down and tucked him in.
He stood up, giving the boy a proud smile.
The lab doors opened and in entered a group of men and a woman with bright red hair.
“Ah, Dr. Ramirez, I trust you’re not bonding too much with your project? I want him in perfect condition for the upcoming test,” said the woman.
Ramirez rolled his eyes then turned his attention to the group. “Ah, Dr. Widow, what a pleasant surprise…” He then cleared his throat, “No, not bonding. I just injected the last batch of DNA. He packs quite the wallop and already has shown significant progress.”
The woman smirked, “You must be so proud of your creation.”
Ramirez struggled to keep composure behind the remark, “he is much more than some creation, Ms. Widow. He is the key to the future, a better world, a better tomorrow.”
The woman walked over and looked the boy over, “Hmm, yes, yes he is.” She turned her attention back to Ramirez. “I have news for you. Emmerich has decided to promote you, based on your new Omega Protocol exercise and wants additional subjects created. If this child has as much potential as you say, then there should be no problem having other units made.”
“They’re not meant to be mass produced, they’re more like a handcraft and must be done with extreme care. Not something that can be replicated by robotic means!” Dr. Ramirez raised his voice.
“Make it happen, or you will find yourself out of more than just a job. I suggest you make it happen or else,” said Dr. Widow. She turned her attention back to the boy, “we have such magnificent plans for you, child.”
“Good night, doctor, and remember…we’re watching,” said the woman as she exited the cell.
The good Doctor gritted his teeth as they motioned to leave the lab.
He wiped his glasses and talked to the unconscious young Johnny. “Seriously, the nerve of that woman. I bet she’s not even a real doctor…probably got her degree online or out of a cereal box.” He knelt down and gave a pat on the boy’s head before turning and leaving the lab himself.
Johnny sat on the edge of the bed and looked at the younger version of himself. He was confused, but the signs all pointed to the possibility.
“Jerry, I could really use your help in all this,” he said.
The lab disappeared, and darkness greeted him instead. Jerry’s voice spoke back to him. “You saw with your eyes, now question with your heart. Time will reveal things as they happen. I am always with you, my friend. Do not worry.”