Billy's story began exactly twelve years ago. He was not born in the traditional, accepted human sense; Billy had been grown, nurtured, modified, selected and conditioned from the day the chief scientist had fertilised the donated egg. Billy had spent his gestation in a rigidly controlled experimental tank designed to replicate the womb but with the added feature that every single stage of Billy's development could be controlled and enhanced.
After being extricated from the tank Billy grew up slightly faster than had been thought even with his enhanced metabolism and genetic structure. By the age of eight Billy looked and sounded like a someone twice his age. The scientists were delighted - after years of research on animals they had finally perfected the technique of creating a 'perfect' human. So here was Billy (named after the sitting president of the chemical company who had funded most of the research) a perfect human, grown apart from a womb and now living in secret in a remote research facility.
Physically and mentally he was far advanced than his actual age, but his creators saw this as a huge advantage - they could create fully grown humans in less than nine years. Their thoughts turned to profit and the possibility of growing soldiers for the highest bidder. The top research team also secretly decided to grow more specimens but with limited brain function; these would be sold for organ donation.
Billy was oblivious to all this. He was kept entertained by education and access to the internet. His creators did not dilute the outside world, rather they used its horrors to keep him happy where he was.
Despite their efforts, Billy was not perfect. Mentally he was under stimulated by the lack of a peer group and due to his exposure to the internet and all it offered he had developed a certain detachment to suffering and he had no concept of morals. Whilst he knew right from wrong in a basic sense he was allowed to do pretty much what he wanted without consequence and this had also altered his view of human interaction.
When he looked in the mirror he saw a man much the same as the other men in the facility. But inside he had a harder stronger skeleton that made his bones very resistant to damage and his enhanced metabolism made him very resistant to pain and gave him extra reserves of energy.
The downside of this was that he was much heavier than a normal person and he was constantly hungry. The weight of his bones meant he couldn't run far without becoming incapacitated by breathlessness and no amount of conditioning by the scientists or tinkering by the nutritionists could resolve these issues.
So Billy spent his time exercising, reading, watching the world and part of him started to wonder if it wasn't time he was moving on from the lab. He knew the lab layout by heart and had explored every inch of the facility except the main bio lab where he knew more specimens were being grown. He had no concept of sex as this had been modified during his gestation. He was just as comfortable showering with the female staff as the men and paid no attention to the biological differences other than to note that they played a part in human reproduction.
Becoming increasingly bored with life in the facility he began to ask the team questions about their life on the outside and learnt that most lived in the small rather run down town a few miles away under false names. Some of the more senior staff lived in the facility in individual accommodation pods. But Billy was not satisfied by their answers. He wanted to drive a car, live in a house and see the sky for real rather than through the brief glimpses he got through the windows on the only floor of the lab above ground. But his biggest fascination was with clouds; he loved them and studied them, admired their free forming shapes and their ability to move with the wind or just stay still. They offered refreshing rain, freezing snow, shelter from the sun and dizzyling complex skyscapes where multi-layered cloud formations stacked up so high it hurt his eyes to look. He knew all there was to know about clouds but what he really wanted and what he secretly started working towards was to get outside and experience the view for himself without thick bullet proof plastic in the way. And so Billy began to plan.