That evening, Devon sat in the living room of his wife's father. Blake Karras had offered dinner to the entire family, grilling up an all-American meal of hot dogs and hamburgers. The meal ended perfectly with a serving of apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Devon patted his toned stomach, he had eaten more than he should have.
He flashed a look at his father-in-law. Blake was telling some story about his girls when they were small. Devon made a show of looking at his watch, but no one took the hint. He supposed he was in for at least another hour of this.
As was his habit at any family gathering, he gathered up the dirty dessert plates. He couldn't stand to see the dishes sitting around. Carrying them in the kitchen, he rinsed them and set them in the dishwasher.
Over the clacking of the plates, he heard Sonora as she came into the kitchen bringing some more dishes.
"Hey, Uncle Devon, I thought you could use some help."
"Ah, dear. Yes, I could."
For a few minutes, they worked in silence, until a spray of water hit a plate the wrong way and bounced back at Sonora, causing them to laugh.
"So, how are you feeling this evening, Sunny?" Devon asked as he carefully watched her. "Any better?"
Sonora focused on the dish she was washing as she spoke. "Yes, much. I was just over dramatic earlier. What's done is done. I have to move on now and quit dwelling in the past."
"Very wise, Sunny. Moving on is usually the best course of action. You have a lot to keep you busy."
After a quick glance up at her uncle, Sonora scrubbed the plate harder. "Yeah, I sure do. Believe it or not, I got my job back. I was sure after I walked out, they'd fire me. But he said I was too good a worker to let go and wants me to pick up as many shifts as I can. He even put up this big sign up at the restaurant that says, "Touch a Server, You get Served... by the Cops."
"Good for him! Always knew I liked that man, and he makes the best brisket in the county. I'm glad he sticking up for our little girl."
Sonora giggled. "I'm not so little anymore, Uncle Devon."
"Yeah, well, you always will be to us." Dishwasher filled, Devon started to wash the pans. "Why don't you go on it and listen to your grandpa's stories. I can finish up in here."
"You sure?" Sonora asked. When Devon nodded, she said, "Okay" and went back to her seat on the couch.
That girl is hiding something. Devon's heart thumped as he worried about what she was covering up. But to think that she had somehow found out about Atlantians and now acted like everything was normal was just too incredible. Still, what if... No, it's probably just what Claire thinks, she met some boy she has a crush on.
Done with the dishes, he went back into the living room and sat on the arm of the dark brown puffy chair his wife, Claire, was sitting in. He hated puffy chairs, but it seemed like every man over fifty felt like they had to have one.
Devon put an arm around his wife and pulled her close to him. She tried to draw away, as she always did. He ignored it and pulled a bit harder, as he always did. She'd started this shortly after their marriage. It was just her way. She was an independent woman so sometimes he had to use a firm hand. Devon smiled down at his wife, other than her little quirks, they'd always had an excellent marriage.
"Are you ready to go, my dear?" he whispered close to her ear. Claire nodded. He loved how thoughtful she was, always anxious to make him happy. "I have to go into the lab for a bit tonight."
They said their goodbyes to the family, and after he dropped Claire off at home, Devon went to his lab. His secret one.
A new specimen had been brought in today. Devon had made a long list of experiments he wanted to perform this week. He was too excited to wait until tomorrow to start. Besides, this was practical. If he began something tonight, it could be done by morning. He would have a headstart.
Devon whistled a peppy tune as he walked through the double glass doors from the hallway into the all-white lab. He instantly smelled the animals that were housed here. It wasn't necessarily a bad smell. He and his assistants made sure everything was as spotless as it could be. But still, the odor was there mixed in the stronger scents of fresh hay and wood shavings.
He flipped the light switch on. All the lights instantly came on but one. It blinked twice, then lingered somewhere between light and nothing for a moment before powering up. Devon made a mental note to get that taken care of.
Some of the small animals scurried around their pens when he peered at them, trying to seek shelter. But he always made sure there was no shelter, no sanctuary for any specimen in this room. No sense in making it harder for himself when he needed to use them.
Devon had brought the cattle prod this time. He banged it against the metal table on his left as he walked by the other cages on his right. He wanted it to know he was coming.
Earlier, when he had passed it, it had reached out and grabbed his leg. The audacity of the thing. As if I would have let him out, no matter how much begging he did.
Devon touched the cattle prod to it. Not because it had done anything this time, but in punishment for the last time. In his opinion, the beating had not been enough. You had to teach them.
Look at it. Muscles jumping with the shock of the current, the thing moaned. Not loudly. It had caused enough trouble that it was permanently semi-sedated. Not all the way. That was my order. The drugs seemed to be causing chaos with the testing as it was. And besides, I want him to know what is going on. Who's in charge.
This thing. This abomination deserved that and so much more. Devon put the cattle prod to the wires on the cage causing electrical current to course through it from any point that its body touched the metal. He found the noises that it made interesting. After a few minutes, he removed it.
Devon crouched down to the cage to get a closer look. So much like a human and yet not like them at all. It was so large, it barely fit in the barred enclosure. It didn't matter. It wouldn't be a living specimen much longer.
When its eyes opened, they were glazed from pain and drugs. Devon smiled when he still saw some defiance in them. They never gave up the fight, never knew when they were conquered. But Devon did.
Not one to be silent in a moment of triumph, he said, "There is only one good thing about your people. It is the good you can do for humankind. I will take you apart piece by piece. I will bleed anything beneficial from you and yours and use it to help me and mine. If it's the last thing I do. And I'll take the greatest pleasure in doing it."
The Atlantian's eyes rolled back as he passed out.
Devon stood and whistling started to prepare for the testing.
A/N: Thanks for reading Sea Bound! Let me know how you liked it with a comment or by pressing the star. :)
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Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
#159 on Scifi Hot List. A Golden Pen, Pen and Ink, and Rose Award Winner. In this sci-fi fantasy, Sonora yearns for more than life has given her until the day a shadow becomes a guide to a world she could never have imagined. A new world that offers...