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Rated: E · Chapter · Sci-fi · #1963482
Chapter 3 of my first manuscript, "Legendary Creatures: The Gryphon".

Chapter 3

Dr. Hempshine walked into the office for the day hoping to continue the progress him and Achilles had made the day before. He didn't expect to hear his two associates yelling and a huge commotion going on at Achilles cell. Achilles was roaring and squawking so ferociously that it almost felt that Yorik's ears would bleed from the sound.

He ran to the cell as fast as his stubby, little legs would carry him. "What exactly is going on here?!" he yelled at the two men.

"I don't know, sir. We came in to the office and he was like this when we got here," Dr. Gerome said. "He won't calm down and we've not tried to do anything except to ease his rage."

"Achilles?" Yorik said calmly. "Achilles, I'm here. It's ok." He put his hand to Achilles face as gently as he could. With that gesture Achilles finally stopped his rampage and dropped his back end to the floor, as if completely exhausted by the whole event. "My poor Achilles. It was just a bad dream. It's all alright." Achilles hummed with appreciation of the doctor's caring words. "Dr. Gerome, Dr. Herald, would you please leave us alone for a little bit? It'll calm the whole situation down if it's just him and I." With that the two men walked back to the lab.

Yorik looked at Achilles for a moment, examining the creature in his entirety to make sure he hadn't hurt himself in the commotion. After a few minutes the doctor was satisfied that Achilles was more than ok. He patted him on the head and said, "All better now?"

Achilles nodded in agreement and brushed his head against Dr. Hempshine's arm to encourage him to pet him more. Yorik acknowledged by stroking the top of Achilles's head.

"Now that we're all settled, let's go out and do some exercises for the day. I would like to see how well you do with flying, hm?" he said with a great sincerity in his voice. They both walked out to the courtyard that they had rested in the day before. The sun was shining brightly with the sky being as clear as it could be. "Now open your wings and show me what you can do," Yorik said. With that the gryphon opened has gigantic wings. The span of his wings were so great that the took up half the enormous yard that he was standing it. With no effort at all, as far as the doctor saw, Achilles lifted himself into the air. He took off with great speed, faster that Dr. Hempshine thought was possible. After a couple of laps around in the sky, Achilles came to hover just above the doctor with ease. "Excellent, Achilles, just excellent. Now would you please come down."

Achilles floated to the ground with no more than a slight breeze from his wings brushing against Yorik. The gryphon padded his way up to the doctor and brushed his arm for another warming pat on the head. Again the doctor did as prompted and stroked Achilles head. "We should go check your vitals to make sure you didn't overexert yourself. Let's head into the lab, my friend."

With that, they both headed to the lab room where they had done the blood work the day before. "Dr. Gerome, will you please take a moment to check Achilles vital signs for me?" Yorik asked. The doctor did as asked and wrote every vital onto a chart and handed it to Yorik. "Everything looks excellent. Better than I expected actually. You are in peak physical health, Achilles. I think it's time we move to stage 2 of your training." Achilles looked at Dr. Hempshine puzzlingly. What was he being trained for? Was there a hidden agenda that he didn't know about that the doctor was preparing him for? All these things raced through his mind.

"Come," Yorik said, standing by the door. "I want to show you something very interesting." Achilles did as asked and followed the doctor down the corridor to a huge open room full of paintings and cave drawings. "I wanted to show you the history of your kind," he said. "As you can see your heritage dates back to even caveman days. I was surprised to find these cave drawings of your species. No one has discovered anything like this in history, as far as I've seen." Achilles looked at all these different pictures wondering what it all meant. Could his heritage be so vast? Was he the last of his kind? So many questions rolled through his mind. If these pictures were a history of his species, how could there not have been more found already?

Out of nowhere a huge bang came from behind him. Both Achilles and the doctor whipped around to see what the commotion was. To both their surprise a young lab assistant had knock over a table. "I'm so sorry, Dr. Hempshine. I was coming in to clean the paintings but didn't realize anyone was in here. He's the most beautiful creature I've ever seen," she said in awe.

"It's quite alright, Hilary. Come and let me introduce you. Hilary, this is Achilles. Achilles, this is one of our lab assistants, Hillary," Yorik gestured towards the girl as he said her name so that Achilles would associate the name with the person. Achilles walked up to her and nuzzled her with his beak to greet her. She giggled and petted under his chin. "As you can see he is very gentle," Hempshine said.

"He's amazing," said Hilary. "You are a very majestic creature, Achilles. You should be very proud of your great heritage." Achilles stood tall looking at all of the paintings and drawings and truly soaked it all in. He did have a great heritage and even if he didn't know where he came from he knew where he was now. He was among the humans now and they were his family. He would make them proud of him. "Well, doctor, I'll leave you two to have bonding time. I'll see you later, Achilles," Hilary waved as she left the room.

"As you can see, you have a whole variety of people looking after you and that care about you," Yorik said encouragingly. He caressed the top of Achilles head. "As Hilary said, you are an amazing creature." Achilles purred with enjoyment from the gentle touch from the doctor. Achilles was starting to realize more and more that Dr. Hempshine was much like a father to him since he didn't know his own father or remember him for that matter. "Well it's getting rather late. We have to take some more blood to check again for any problems or infections. Come with me to the lab," Yorik motioned towards the open door out of the room with all the paintings. Achilles walked out of the doorway, ducking down to get through as he was much taller than the doorway itself.

They walked into the lab to find Dr. Gerome working on a computer. "Ah, Dr. Gerome, I'm glad you're in here. I need to get another blood sample. Would you be so kind as to do the honors for me?" Hempshine asked.

"With pleasure, doctor," Gerome answered. He grabbed the syringe and put his hand out to Achilles. "Can I have your claw, Achilles?" Achilles obliged and put his enormous claw into Dr. Gerome's hand. Dr. Gerome found a vein in Achilles' claw and inserted the needle. The vial attached to the needle filled quickly and Gerome removed the needle and put a square of gauze over the wound. After only holding it a few seconds, he removed it and it was healed.

"Excellent! Thank you, doctor," Yorik said gratefully. "Come, Achilles, you should rest." Yorik motioned towards the door of the lab. Achilles followed the request without delay. They both walked down the hall side-by-side to the door of the gryphon's cell. "In you go, my boy. Have a good night's rest and I will see you first thing in the morning." Yorik wrapped his arms around Achilles' neck and squeezed with great emotion. Achilles put one claw around the doctor to hug him back.

Dr. Hempshine locked the door behind Achilles after he had laid down for the night. He walked back to the lab and looked at Dr. Gerome. "Gerome, what are the results of both blood draws?" he asked.

"As far as I see there is no sign of infection or rejection of the DNA. He's fully integrated the DNA sequencing without any negative outcome," Gerome answered.

"Amazing," Hempshine exclaimed. He looked over the report that Dr. Gerome had provided for him. As Gerome had said, Achilles showed no sign of infection or rejection. "Then Phase 1 has gone according to plan. The DNA sequencing was the hard part. His memory erasure seems to be holding but he had some kind of dream last night. Are his memories trying to surface in his subconscious, I wonder?" Dr. Hempshine was puzzled by this part of his experiment. If the memory erasure doesn't hold, could Achilles have full recollection of his true identity? Would he lash out if that were to happen? So many factors Yorik had to consider and compensate for once they arose.

"I'm going to head home to my family for the night. Let's not have another episode tomorrow morning," Yorik barked.

"Understood. Have a good night, Dr. Hempshine," Gerome responded.

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