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The Ultimatum.

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Mister Bicher was a man who had never felt at home among humans. He yearned for what the other animals had, and their secrets. Specifically, he chased flight with wings, pursuing something fantastic and unheard of.

Some days Bicher would walk home from his menial job, going home just for menial chores, even making menial purchases at the store. At one point he looked to the doves resting in the tree, fenced outside his apartment complex.

“Doves,” he addressed, “will you tell me the secrets of your wings?”

Only one cocked its head, with glassy, beady eyes, and bothered.

“No,” said the dove, and he thought nothing of it except rudeness.

It was when he came upon a classified ad that piqued his interest that he jumped to his feet, leaving for the address and finding a very oddly looking man, walking as if he were young, but looking as if he was ancient.

“Your advertisement,” spoke Bicher calmly, addressing the paper. It offered extreme surgeries like no other, with payment as compensation.

“It is for the great justice of science,” said the scientist. “You can trust me.”

Bicher was sold by his forked tongue, even after it was revealed the scientist had nothing to show for his basis. The surgery was quick and painless, though of course he was heavily anaesthetized. It must have been days when he finally awoke, stirring with grand wings, and expanses of sewn skin between the fingerlike tendrils that were now attached to his shoulders.

“This is superb,” Bicher told the scientist. Though hardly like bird wings, they had a similar frame, and were reminiscent more so of bats’.

“In twenty-four days,” the scientist responded, “you must return, because you have signed your body away for the great justice of science.”

Bicher was ecstatic and thought nothing of it. “Certainly, I’ll come back to be your guinea pig.”

It was nearly four weeks he had, and the first he spent adjusting to flying, feeling gangly and incapable. His clothes would not fit properly, and he had to quit his job, as well as stay shirtless unless he would bother wearing something custom fit. That was too expensive for a bum, even a bum with wings.

“Doves,” he addressed the same group outside of his apartment. “I know the secrets of your wings.” In his grandeur, he outstretched his new prizes, triumphantly posing.

“No,” said the same dove, and it flapped a little. “I have yet to see you fly.”

The next two weeks were spent learning how to fly properly. In the middle of that span, Bicher looked up to the dove, again.

“Doves,” he addressed. “will you tell me the secrets of flight?”

“No,” said the dove, and he thought nothing of it except rudeness.

The scientist had fixed this problem for him before, and so he requested his help, again. The scientist helped him, understanding the function and physics of the wings he had gifted Bicher with.

“This is superb,” Bicher told the scientist. Though hardly graceful in his flight, he could take off on thermals and ride winds, maybe more alike to a seagull.

“In ten days,” the scientist responded, “you must return, because you have signed your body away for the great justice of science.”

Once again, Bicher was ecstatic.

He now flew to the doves, and spoke to them as he soared.

“Doves,” he addressed. “I know all of your secrets.”

“No,” said the dove and Bicher thought nothing of it, and flew away, laughing.

He soared through clouds and safely past airplanes, outstretching his arms and doing many barrel rolls in the sky. However, he enjoyed his time until the last day, when he realized all he was about to give up. In a strange series of thoughts, he decided he had not given up much, and he flew to return to the scientist.

When he had arrived back at the lab, Bicher was hesitant. “What kind of sacrifices will you force on me?”

“None, because you have signed a contract,” the scientist said, strapping Bicher down. “First, the removal of your wings.”

To this, Bicher called out and cried, but the scientist already had him as he needed him, and the wings were off.

“Why did you do that? Was that necessary?” Bicher wailed.

“Well,” started the scientist. “You will not be using them, any longer.”

At the end of the 24 days Bicher was dismembered for the great justice of science.





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