The Caged Bird Sings

Quinn Laurent ~~

I wait for my chauffeur in the wide marble tiled hallway. I stretch my wings and watch the cleaning staff gasp in awe. Rarely do I allow the help to glance at my impressive wingspan; ten feet four inches to be exact. Today, however I am feeling rebellious.

I glance out a large window that takes up the entire side of the three story mansion that houses Vestin Corp. I glance at my outdoor cage that expands for two acres. The wooded area at Vestin Corp, was simulated to resemble a rain forest. All of those plants were engineered to look exotic. The entirety of the wooded lot was made to suit my survival needs, or rather half of them, the avian half that is.

My wings are a bright blue, that melts into a purple. The tips of my feathers are the darkest, taking on an inky shade of blue. The trees and surroundings match in their vibrancy for the sake of most of the experiments. Yes, experiments. I, Quinn Laurent, Aka Q874, am nothing more than the science experiment of a deranged man. Professor Marquil Yetta.

My training started when I turned four years old. The lab coats dictated that I was ready for field work. I was young, but agile. I was ready to be the mouse running through their mazes. I learned how to think like an avian. I learned how to blend with nature, and conceal myself against larger birds.

Your probably wondering what kind of bird could be larger than a four year old with wings growing out of her spine. Naturally, not many species would come to mind. But nothing was natural at Vestin Corp.

I was only one of many test tube freaks, engineered to act as a weapon. There were others trained to kill me. I knew my enemies and sparring partners were far less natural than I was.They were brainwashed shells with no conscience. The only reason I still clung to my conscience was because of the experimentation. I was the only natural born Avian child of Vestin Corp.

The other children were not born, but created. The results were horrifying, some children even died in the name of science. I hated the lab coats, most of all Professor Yetta, I hated myself for not being able to save the other children. I knew better than to dwell on it. I couldn't wallow in sympathy for those childeren designed to put me through hell. I thought back to my first field exercise, when I was only four years old.

I was asked to play a game of hide and seek. I hid between vibrant plants that matched the hue of my feathers. I sat very still for hours, then without any warning a boy lunged for me. He couldn't have been much older than I was, five or six at the most. He was too strong for a child. I could tell by the lack of control that he had over his wings, that they had been sewn into his flesh recently. The child had carnivorous looking fangs. He lashed out at me under the command of one of the lab coats. His hands went around my small neck, before I could fly away. That's when I realized that my DNA, had been altered at my last Drs. Appointment. Instinctively claws, shot out of my fingernails where there had never before been any. I dug the flesh out of the boy's hand, drawing blood. His eyes widened as he registered pain. He wouldn't scream, he knew better.

Run away, give up, I willed with my mind. He stared at me, and loosened his grip around my thought. I knew he had heard me, that I had somehow whispered into his mind. .

Go, if you hurt me too bad, they will kill you, I pleaded.

The boy, now covered in blood, dirt and tears, relinquished his hold on me. He appeared confused and disoriented. He turned his back on me and ran as far as he could. I could hear his cry echo in the distance as he collided with the electric barrier.

For the past thirteen years, I learned that these creatures I sparred with were no longer human. They had long since crossed that point. They were monsters. At least that's what I told myself when I pierced them with my sharp claws and watched the life bleed out of their eyes. Vestin Corp, was a kill or be killed kind of world.

On my seventeenth birthday, I completed my field work and homeschooling., excelling in both my physcial training and academics. I had surpassed Professor Yetta's expectations. He patted me on the head and told me how proud he was.


I was stronger than all of the other bird children. I was the finished Prototype. I had survived my field training. I was the sole survivor. I was to be handed over to the government's personal use, in exchange Vestin Corp would be getting a hefty grant.

I acted the part of the obedient little science experiment when my chauffeur dragged me from the hall and outside towards the cab. I had been nervous, hesitant to do what I had to do next. Once I had a breath of real air and a touch of real my doubts diminished. I knew I couldn't be a caged bird any longer. Being someone's personal killing machine, was definitely out of the question.

Today I was in luck. The lab coats had just pumped me up with another shot of Boost to impress the Governor of NY. The Boost contained properties that gave me inhuman strength and speed.

I turned towards the lab coat assisting me into the cab. I put forth all of my anger and determination that had been piling for the past seventeen years, into the punch. Professor Yetta's secretary Bridget's nose cracked under my fist and she slipped on the sidewalk, in front of the mansion. One of her designer heels snapped under her weight.

I smiled at my destruction and took off into the air. I had no clue where I was going, but nothing would allow her to look back at this hell.

*****

Now I'm flying faster than I ever have in my entire life. I'm not sure what lengths Vestin Corp would go through to, to catch me. I don't think too much about it in my haste. My adrenaline is my fuel. I fly miles, I'm not sure how many- the boost makes it hard to calculate mileage against my normal velocity.

I tear through cities, villages, forests, so high up in the air that I can easily appear to be a bird. I curse myself for having such flamboyant wings. I begin to slow down, hovering above a forest. I need energy, sugar, fruits to sustain my flight.

I collide with a hard object. At first I think I've hit a tree. The impact sends me on my back. A girl hovers over me. She looks close in age. My eyes open when I realize she has wings too. Their a soft earthy brown color. I blink twice. I'm an avian human, I'm rare. There are few others like me in the world. It is more likely that I overexerted myself and I am hallucinating. I swat my hands through the air and wait for the mirage to disappear.

"Who are you?" The mirage asks, her wings spread out magnificently behind her. 

“Your not real, their not real,” I reply defensively.

The girl looks offended, for some reason she looks down at her chest. There is an awkward moment's pause. While I process what is happening. I come back to an turn my attention to the girl. I can't help but laugh. “I mean your wings Einstein”

She inhales sharply, “You can see them?"

I prop myself on my elbows. I have been beaten to the point that I have hallucinated. Never has it lasted this long, never have my hallucinations answered me.

I cover my mouth.

She covers hers as well, once she takes in the sight of my wings.

Slowly it's dawning on the both of us. We may not be as rare, and as special as we have been made out to believe.

My hand is trembling as I extend it towards her. "Quinn Laurent," I say in awe.

"Adelle Rounder," she replies as she pulls me to my feet.

The End

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