Written for Sunday Scribblings - dangerous
"Call me Hashimoto," he said to the photo. He rethought that line, cleared his throat and said instead, "I was named after Hashimoto the Scientist famous for creating the Metamorphosis Virus. It is such a weighty name, I know. Although I am sure that I have lived up to the expectations of the name, I prefer that you call me Hashi, as my friends do." Then he passed a manicured finger across the photo, imagining that he could feel the warmth of Honor's cheek beneath it.
Supreme Scientist, Professor Hashimoto McKinley turned away from the mirror in which he'd been preening to face his driver and personal valet. "How was that, Airun? Do you think she'll like me? Will she be impressed?"
Airun affected the long practiced glazed over affect that his chemical restraints were meant to induce and nodded. "She will love you sir, except..." Airun's voice cracked and faltered.
"Yes, yes, what is it?" Professor McKinley leaned forward.
"Well, sir, you don't really have friends though, do you?"
Professor McKinley's eyes narrowed, his lips pressed into a thin pale line. For several seconds, he said nothing, and Airun, knowing his master's temper and propensity for what he liked to call "swift justice and hard lessons" willed his rampaging heart to steady and his breaths to slow.
Professor McKinley laughed. "I suppose you are correct, Airun. I can't exactly call my subordinates friends, now can I?"
Airun said nothing.
Professor McKinley turned to face the mirror again. "Only this one," he held the photo up so that he could see her image next to his, "is not like the others. She is special, and she will be my equal."
Airun nodded. "Yes, sir."
"Hard to believe, isn't it? That a girl from End Row, of all places, could be my equal." He kissed the photo and tucked it into the breast pocket of his red silk pajamas. "I know that she is only eighteen, not much better than a street kid. But she is miraculous. Have you seen the footage of her shifting? The way she outwitted that oaf Lulu? Poetry in motion, she was."
"As you have said many times, sir." Too many to count, thought Airun.
Professor McKinley rose from the vanity seat and came to stand in front of Airun. He held a tiny flash light in his right hand and held it up to Airun's eyes. He looked in one, then the other, a smile growing on his narrow lips. "Tut, tut, tut. You're not under as deeply as I like. Looks like we'll have to increase your daily dosage. Can't have you trying to escape, can we?"
"No, sir." Airun didn't know what else to say. Professor McKinley caught on every time, thwarting his chances of beating the drugs. He wanted to return home to Midling territory, but if Professor McKinley caught on every time he found a way to beat the drugs, he'd never be strong enough to go.
"Next week, we'll start giving your daily medications intravenously. That way," he said as he sat on the edge of his bed and slipped out of black leather slippers, "we can be sure that you are getting every bit of it."
McKinley swung his legs up into the bed and pulled the satin sheets up to his waist. He removed the photo from his pocket and trained the flash light on the face of his obsession. "Turn off the lights as you go, Airun."
As Airun closed the door, he could hear Professor McKinley say, "With your strength and beauty and my genius, we'll have the most amazing children."