Creature of Unknown Origin


My eyes widened at what Spencer was asking. He was willing to weigh the risks just to get

a message to my parents so I could at least let them know what happened to me and that I was


Howie spun back around, presumably to restudy the notes and equipment Dr. Richards had

so hastily abandoned. He shifted papers, spare parts, and wires as he bent over the makeshift

control center again. He got up and circled around the machine that dominated the center of the

cramped room, sometimes muttering to himself, or sometimes tweaking something he saw that we

couldn’t. He did this a few more times, while the three of us stood quietly and watched him work.

It was all we could do; all I could do as he worked through a puzzle I couldn’t even begin to


“Give me a few days, okay? I want to look this over a little better before we do anything,

if we do anything,” Howie said as he came to face us again at the front of the table, which served

as the lab’s control center.

“You okay with that, Av?” Spencer turned to me, studying my face intently.

Before I could say a word, Howie’s open laptop started chirping.

“Huh.” Howie read the message that had popped up and looked over his shoulder at

Spencer. “Guess what the cat just dragged in?”

“Please say Dr. Richards.” Spencer pleaded as he closed his eyes.

“Ding, ding, ding!” Howie started excitedly. “We have our grand prize winner!”

“Settle down, would you?” Delia chided them both, break ing up their celebratory high-

fives and secret handshake. “Where is she?”

“A gas station in northern Vermont, near the border. It’s about an eleven -hour drive from


“Perfect. Work your magic, make sure she doesn’t—”

“I know what to do,” Howie huffed, typing furiously on his keyboard. Seconds later,

Spencer’s phone beeped .

“I’m coming with you!” Delia piped up, pushing herself away from the wall she leaned

against. Even I saw the way her lips twitched into a grimace as she tried to hide.

“Oh, hell no! I love you, Delia, I really do, but I’m thinking we need Dr. Richards alive

and you don’t exactly have a great track record of letting people live,” Spencer argued. “Besides,

you’re still healing.”

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