Author’s Note: Poor Tynan.
He was in pain, but he didn’t understand that. He was only ever in pain when he ate something and then tried to stop himself from consuming everything. This was the pain that came from turning his hunger on himself, but he didn’t—he hadn’t done that. He hadn’t touched anything since the metal piece, and he knew that. He’d been so careful not to do anything like that, as much as Luna and Alvin had come close to touching him.
He lifted his head and looked at the walls, staring with dismay. No, not this. He didn’t—He’d just meant to go clarify things before he returned to Luna to see what she wanted, and he hadn’t gone far. He hadn’t told her he was going to be gone—what must she think?
That was worse than the beams directed at him, keeping him down on the floor. He’d broken his promise; he’d become a liar. He’d hurt Luna, and he’d sworn he’d never do that.
“This is one of them? He doesn’t look that dangerous.”
“Do not be fooled by their appearance. They are capable of mimicking any of us.”
“Technically, that is not true. I cannot copy any lifeform that is already existing. I merely approximate a facsimile that comes close in terms of species and general behavior. I have been humanoid for so long that I think of myself as having hands and feet, fingers and toes, and all the things that go with being human.”
“It’s talking. Increase the levels. It cannot be allowed to escape.”
He would have told them that it was unnecessary, he would have begged them to stop, but the pain became overwhelming, and all he could do was lie there. He did not remember being taken, but he must have been, since they had him here, rendered immobile and mute by their devices. Sometimes his memories disappeared into the hunger. That must have happened this time.
He looked at them, unable to hear over the humming and buzzing of the beams that were directed at him, but he did not care. They were discussing his death, and he knew that much already. He swallowed the pain, reminding himself that he could use pain just as well as he’d used curiosity. He did not enjoy it, and curiosity was a better way of counterbalancing his hunger, but he could endure pain as well. Let the hunger consume it and—there. He could move again.
“I am aware that you intend to kill me. While there is a possibility that you might arrange a farce of a trial to make it appear as though you were just and lenient, I know what the outcome of it will be. Before I die, I should like to get a message to someone. If you permit me to do that, you have my word that I will not make any attempt to leave this cell. You can turn down the level of your… torture device.”
“A message? What do you take us for? Fools? You have no one. You may well be the last of your kind, and that is something to rejoice over.”
He glared at them. They did no understand how cruel they were. They didn’t care if he had done anything. They judged him only on what they thought he was. Luna had not cared about his appearance or what he’d done. She’d befriended him anyway. She’d always encouraged him to be better than he was, to do more and learn more.
These people were ignorant and hateful.
He forced himself up off the floor. Let them increase the beams. He wanted them to know that nothing they did could stop him from saying what he had to say. He would find some way to get a message to Luna. He had to. He would apologize, and he would say goodbye.
He faced his captors, tempted to smile when they stepped back in fear. “My name is Tynan. I have always been the last of my kind because I am not the same as the others. I am not like what you have known. I am unique in every way.”
Luna would have been proud of him, he thought, but the others were so afraid that they increased the level of their devices until he could no longer counter them, and he was driven back to the floor.