My new form is… awe inspiring. All of those experiments that I performed on myself after safety tests with my "students". The fruit of that labor produced a vast improvement over the human form. Perfection, though, has not been reached. More experiments. More trials. More improvements.
It takes a couple of days for the extra appendages to finally finishing growing and molting. Then the new version of me, the improved version, takes shape. The wings are large enough to carry me, and the interaction of the bird DNA and the reptilian DNA interact producing wings more akin to the legendary dragons than to some mundane terrestrial fauna. How delightfully appropriate.
The changes from the acceleration of my genetic alteration continue to grow in strength and, based on my calculations, will continue for some time. I find that my hardened, armor-like skin and carapace affords even greater resilience to damage. Some testing was necessary to determine the base line, something Aaron seemed absolutely terrified to do. I remember his first few shots with the pistol missed altogether as he closed his eyes to do so. I implied that he was becoming less useful, which would make him expendable. This renewed his strength to properly fire the weapon at me. Inspired him with confidence apparently. When it came to a second test with the pistol, Aaron did not hesitate. I picked up the flattened bullet from the floor where it fell after striking me. I do admit a certain degree of giddiness.
My compatriots are clearly a cut above the lower species of homo sapiens. I particularly find Tiz's ability to manipulate technology intriguing. Technology bending to the will of a living creature? How is this possible? Perhaps she would be open to some general observation and minimally invasive testing to see the root of that ability. Well, even I, with my general inability to read people, can sense the general horror that my comrades have for my experiments, I guess feeling that I would violate their consent. Not that I would in any event. They are a means to an end. My honorable and enlightened goal of human evolution meshes well with their, ah, more hedonistic egocentrism. At least for now.
Of the lot, Tiz seems reasonably trustworthy, as long as our end goals do not clash with one another. I suppose I could say that of all my companions, but something about her seems less self serving. Perhaps it's because she works so diligently for the group overall, as evidenced by the recent mission to acquire cash from those criminal casinos. Kincaid is hard to read, though seems ruled by his passions, for all the good and bad that comes with that type of orientation. "Shadow Goddess", talk about ego run amok, has some interesting powers. I sense a live and let live point of view from her, with a somewhat dark, perhaps even sinister, agenda which remains to be seen. She appears to enjoy being in charge of the servants the others refer to as "mooks". The Mooks are no better than service dogs as far as I am concerned. Useful pets, I suppose.
Smokey saved me from falling five hundred feet to the ground after Kincaid threw me at someone attempting to foil us. While surprising, Kincaid's action made sense. After all, it's not like I could not survive a simple drop to the ground. And certainly as armored as I am, hitting an opponent poses no real danger of harm. But Smokey's action surprises me. There's more of an agenda there than may be apparent. Why expend the energy to "save me" from the fall? Is it a manipulation to engender some trust? Is it to ensure that I reciprocate? Time will tell I suppose.
And what of Fury and her plans? There seems to be a great deal of ownership of items and concern for the well being of our equipment. Though, not so much worry for the rest of us.
My final musing is this: Are my companions and I a "team" or just a collection of individuals all focused on our individual agendas? We've proven we can work together, but what happens when our goals are not in alignment?
I guess we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, swooping and flying around the large open space of the central chamber of the base proves to be quite invigorating. I cannot help to cackle as I do so to the startled surprise of the Mooks. I dive toward them, pulling away at the last minute. There is something pleasant in seeing them scatter at my approach. Kind of like flies scattering when you swat at them. Given the difference in their human-kind in comparison to me, the analogy is quite appropriate.