Let Her Heart DEET Once More
rating: +106+x

The doctor was growing frustrated.

How long had it been since his last surgery? A month? A year? Ten years? A hundred? His fingers were itching to be able to perform again, to put to test his new theories. He could feel himself growing closer, ever closer to finally vanquishing that vile Pestilence that was apparently fervent on festering within the bodies of millions upon millions of innocents who were not deserving of such a fate. He just needed to stay determined, no matter the stress, no matter the hardship, no matter the—

"Oh-four-nine, this is Doctor Frederic Omage, can you hear me?"

The doctor jumped slightly as his pacing and internal monologuing was interrupted. He turned towards the speaker on the ceiling of his cell, which crackled to life after whatever length of time it had been silent. Maybe it had been a millennia? No, surely that is too long, be reasonable with your estimations, doctor, you're getting sloppy.

"Y-yes! Yes, I can hear you, doctor! Oh, the joys of hearing another voice in this wretched cell! Do you have news for me? Or perhaps another patient?" he said, barely able to contain his joy.

"In a sense," Doctor Omage said through the speaker, "You've been on good behavior for the last decade, so we've decided to give you a little gift. By our records, today is a very important day for us veterans of the Foundation; the anniversary of when we contained you. Happy Containment Day."

Never before had he yearned to hear the sounds he was hearing now; the buzzer of the first door opening, the hiss of it closing and then… there they were. Two guards, faces masked in attire he remarked was updated since their last visitation to his cell. Between them was a man with a shaved head and an orange jumpsuit. The doctor strode calmly over to the man in orange, hand extended, ready to help…

"Get back, oh-four-nine, we will take fire if we have to," the guard on the left said, aiming his piece towards the doctor.

The doctor raised his hands in surrender, "Excuse me, I was under the impression that I was to work on a patient? I can…" the doctor inhaled deeply, "…I can smell the Pestilence on the man in orange. I can help you, I will."

The speaker crackled and once again and Doctor Omage's voice came through, "D-73747, please set the patient down on the floor."

In a unique lack of perception, the doctor had not even noticed that the man in the orange jumpsuit was holding a small metal box in his hands. The man bent down and did as instructed, setting the box gently on the floor of the chamber. Nonetheless, once the box was on the ground at the doctor's feet, the man and his guards left the chamber, the doors hissing close. The doctor was alone.

He turned towards the speaker, confused and upset, "You said that I would be allowed a patient! It was a gift for me! And you just let a man absolutely oozing with Pestilence leave my quarters! What is the meaning of this cruel joke, Doctor Omage?"

Doctor Omage sighed, "I said that you would have a patient in a sense. It's not a human subject, we're not letting you anywhere close to those," Doctor Omage paused, "However, we do want to test a theory we have about a particular subject. Oh-four-nine, if you could open the box in front of you, please?"

Disgruntled but not disheartened, the doctor leaned down and picked up his gift. The box was shear and smooth on all sides save for a small round button which he pressed, intuiting that it was its opening mechanism. With a hiss and a rush of cold air, the box opened. With the lid and the vapor out of the way, the doctor saw his gift.

"A mosquito? A decade with no means to practice my work, and you think that a mosquito will be a suitable subject?" the doctor said, his voice raised.

"That is SCP-3774-2432. It perished before we could interview it about its time outside of the Foundation, and a few weeks ago I had suggested the idea to a number of doctors of attempting to revive it using your… cure," Doctor Omage explained, "Its brain is mostly cybernetics, but without a healthy organic body, it can't function. You can make its body work again, correct?"

The doctor was furious. They insult his practices by having him perform surgery on an insect? How disgusting, how humiliating! In all his days of cooperating with fellow men of science and medicine, how could they possibly assume he would be fine with such a horrendously embarrassing idea? What could he possibly learn from a mosquito?…

What could he possibly learn from a mosquito?

He had never truly performed on an insect, as he rarely deviated beyond mammals for his work. It's unlikely that he could learn much, but… it was not impossible for him to learn anything. Should he want to stay among the doctors' good graces, refusing the gift would likely not get him any advantage, beyond perhaps a sense of pride that he was able to have some sense of power within the walls of his cell. Was it truly worth being petty for his pride and potentially sabotage his own efforts due to the… uniqueness of a patient?

The doctor exhaled once and regained his composition, "I have… I have not had a patient this unorthodox, but in the pursuit of medicine, I will try. I give you no promises."

"Wonderful. I assume you have the tools you need, so I will leave you to your work," Doctor Omage said.

The speaker was once again silent, and the doctor was alone once more. At least, save for his new patient. He sighed, and prepared himself for what was going to be likely his strangest surgery yet.

Leslie's last memory before her death was the embrace of the man she loved. He was a sweet man, a kind man, a funny man, and just moments before, he had become the father of her children. She knew that if this was the way she was going to die, at least she was able to die in his company. It was bittersweet, but… she knew it was her time.

Which is why the moment her cybernetic brain was able to reboot, she was confused and scared and distraught about what exactly was happening. It was a miracle that she was able to retain her memories, let alone her sentience, but the combination of proper storage of her body, her natural implants and the doctor's work made that miracle happen.

Leslie's legs and wings twitched as she began to move her body again for the first time in ages, and as the cameras in her eyes began to work once more, she began to scream. She yelled, terrified of what was going on, worried if this was some sort of strange hell, desperate to be back to her Merle again.

"Hm," the doctor said, looking down at the wriggling mosquito in front of him, "This was… unexpected."

Leslie turned her head towards the doctor, emulating a gasp as she saw his figure, "Are you death? Is this where I go when I die? Oh god, oh god, what's happening to me? Where am I?"

The doctor put a hand on his chin, puzzling over what to do about his patient. He didn't know if this was a new symptom of his cure or if this was unique to the subject, but… he had to learn, nonetheless. Any information is good information.

"I am not death, dear patient. Quite the opposite, actually! I have cured you from the Pestilence that had wrought your body, and now you are healthy and full of vigor!" the doctor explained, "Your name is SCP-3774-2432, from what I remember? Quite a large number, I'm simply known as SCP-049 by the doctors of this facility."

Leslie stopped wriggling, regained her footing and managed to stand up properly, "That's not my name anymore. It's Leslie. Like Leslie Caron, the actress. And what do you mean this facility?" Leslie paused, "I'm not back at the Foundation, am I?"

The doctor tilted his head at Leslie in confusion, "I do not know who Leslie Caron is. Should I?"

Leslie flew up to the doctor's eye level. Although shaky, she remembered how to fly again fairly quickly, almost like a person would remember how to ride a bike after dying and being reanimated after an extended period of time.

"That doesn't matter. If we're in the Foundation, I need to get out of here. My children are out there! Or worse, they're being kept here for some kind of twisted study!" Leslie exclaimed, "Do you know some way out of here? Some place that I could go to to try to find information on where my children are?"

The doctor laughed to himself, the eyes in his mask crinkling, "Do you truly think the doctors here would be so cruel? I'm sure your children are safe, in fact, I am certain of it!"

"How do you know?!" Leslie snapped back, "I was made by the Foundation for espionage so they could locate and abduct people without them even realizing they're being tracked. If they wanted to take my children, if they wanted to take Merle, they could, and they would…. oh god… did…"

Leslie flew back down to the table, turning away from the doctor, not wanting to look at anyone. Had her relationship with Merle… sweet, kind, funny, innocent Merle… gotten him captured? There was a silence between them for several seconds before the doctor coughed into his hand.

"I do not know who Merle is, and I do not know where he or your children are now. I may have a less than favorable disposition towards some of the doctors here due to their insistence that my work is a detriment to society, however they are not… cruel. Misguided, perhaps, at times, but never purposefully malicious," the doctor said, "I would help you escape if I could, but considering the information you seem to be looking for, compliance with the doctors here would be the best logical step."

Leslie did not respond.

"Tell me, Leslie, you are a mosquito, yes? And you were created by the Foundation for… espionage?" the doctor asked.

"Yes," Leslie replied simply.

"I was told you had cybernetic implants in your body that allowed you to function at a higher level than that of a typical mosquito," the doctor said, "Does that include cameras? Can the Foundation see what you see?"

"Y-yes," Leslie said again, "Why does this matter?"

"Was this… Merle fellow the man you were supposed to track down? The person that you were instructed to locate and allow the Foundation to capture them?" the doctor asked.

"No. It was a false ID, but…" Leslie emulated another sigh, "But I couldn't go away from him. I first met him when he was at home, and… he looked so sad. He had a picture of him and his parents on his night stand, he had no siblings. He looked lonely and I thought… sure, this might not be my mission, but I figured I had a bit of time to… make a friend."

"And the Foundation could see that you decided to go against your mission protocol to do this?" the doctor said leaning forward towards Leslie, "Considering that you yourself said they could see what you see."

"They did," Leslie said, "But that doesn't—"

The doctor interrupted Leslie, "You broke protocol to go cavorting with another man completely unrelated to your task at hand. They watched you do this, and instead of stopping you or exterminating you, they allowed it to continue. Why?"

Leslie was once again silent.

"Leslie?" the doctor asked.

"I don't know. Curiosity?" Leslie finally responded.

"Is Merle the man you had your children with?" the doctor asked.

"Yes, he's… he's a lovely man. He loved movies. And children. He gave me my name," Leslie said, emulating a light chuckle, "He wasn't a fan of when I tried to cook for him, though. Never really worked out right."

"I too, am a doctor, like those at this facility, and I know that if there is a possibility to gain some incredible knowledge from something, I will let it happen. Unless these doctors have seen hybrids of human being and mosquitoes before, which in all of my years of practicing medicine I personally have not seen, they would keep your children alive," the doctor reassured, "The only way to find out, my girl, is to cooperate."

Leslie turned back towards the doctor, her wings twitching slightly. She could tell that he was an absolute genius; he was quick-witted, logical, reasonable, and yet he still managed to find a way to be reassuring in a time of crisis. She knew that the man in front of her was not death at all, but rather just someone who genuinely truly wanted to help the world.

"Thank you, doctor," Leslie said, "That… that really helps. Oh, and… thank you for the whole… bringing me to life thing?"

Leslie emulated another light chuckle, to which the doctor responded with one of his own, "Think nothing of it. It was my pleasure to operate on you, to come ever closer to my cure. It is good to have a patient who truly appreciates my work."

Before Leslie could say anything in return, the speaker once again crackled, "Oh-four-nine, are you finished with your operation on SCP-3774-2432?"

The doctor looked up, looked back down to Leslie, then back up to the speaker, "Yes, Doctor Omage! Your gift was greatly appreciated! She was a unique case, but I believe she is fully cured!"

"Excellent, good work, oh-four-nine," Doctor Omage said, "We'll be retrieving her shortly."

Once again, the buzzing and hissing of various security doors opening and closing could be heard, and the two guards once again walked in, this time no third subject to accompany them.

"SCP-3774-2432, if you can hear or understand us, please go with the two guards so you may be escorted to an interview," Doctor Omage explained.

"Yes, don't worry, I can hear you!" Leslie said, cheerily as she flew up off of the table.

Leslie began to fly towards the guards, who were appeared confused at the talking mosquito before them. Leslie slowed her flight, hesitant to really go along with the guards, but as she turned back to look at the doctor for guidance, he simply motioned for her to go with them.

So she did.

With a few more hisses, buzzes and slamming doors, the doctor was once again alone, and this time truly alone.

"Doctor Omage?" the doctor said out loud.

"Yes, oh-four-nine?" he heard in reply, "Was there something you wanted to say?"

"Yes… who is Leslie Caron?"


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Don't forget to check out Gabriel Jade's entry as well!

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