My name is D’Storlin, but my friends call me Dusty. At least, that’s what I’d have them call me.
If I had any friends, that is.
I got sent here, to the Archer Academy at Oberon; it was a condition of my probation. I gotta attend classes and this one especially, Group Therapy. It feels weird talking about it all. My parents are so ashamed. And I admit I am, too. Everybody calls this the Freak School, the place where parents send their hybrid kids, like me, when they can’t handle them any longer.
It all started when we were in Biology class. I kept to myself. All the other kids were human, all the way human, or at least they hid it well if they were something else. But it was Lab and I had to have a partner. They put me with John something or other, this guy who was, like, captain of the football team and all of that other junk. And he hated me from the very beginning, and I hated him, so, well, I guess we were kinda even.
And then we got down to dissecting stuff. It was okay when we dissected the earthworm and the frog. We actually worked together and we were almost getting along. But then we got to this baby crocodile. And like all the others, it was preserved in formaldehyde, and it totally reeked. Well, I look at it, and all I can think is – this was someone’s little one.
I see the egg tooth, you know, the one you use to get outta the shell? I don’t remember coming out of the shell, of course, but I remember seeing my little sister – she and I weren’t in the same clutch. I remember seeing her struggle and struggle but she finally made it and my parents and my clutch brothers and sisters, we all cheered. And then we had hamburgers, I remember. Funny, the things you remember.
And this preserved baby croc, she also, I am sure, carefully and painstakingly crunched out of her shell, and then took the pieces in her mouth or her claws like I remember my sister did, and tossed the pieces to the side and walked out on her own, free and clear. It’s your first taste of independence, and there’s just nothing like it. It’s incredible. But for this little croc, it was straight into however they killed her for a lab experiment. Maybe it was gas of some sort. How horrible, like the Nazis a good five hundred years ago on Earth.
And I gotta say, I was a little ashamed of my Dad’s side then, the human side of things, and I felt more for Mom’s side, the Xindi Reptilian bit. And then it got worse, ‘cause John, he was so nasty. He grabbed the baby croc, even though she was already sliced open, and waved her around and said she was my Prom date. And they were all laughing, like it was some big joke, but I know they’re dissecting cats this week so maybe it’s not so much of a joke any more. But I’m not there to see them dissecting cats.
It’s because of how angry I got. I swiped my claws at John’s face. It was all over in a few seconds, and he was bleeding. They said at my hearing that John will be able to see with a prosthetic. I didn’t mean to permanently hurt him. I just got so mad! That baby croc was somebody’s little one. She was dead, yes, but she didn’t deserve to be desecrated like that.
So here I am a freak among the freaks. I hate myself and what I have done. I wouldn’t blame John if never forgave me.