Today was my final day in sole charge of 83. He was still knocked out from the injection, so I took the blowtorch and removed the rest of his thickened skin. It smelt like pork cooking, and I had to leave a few times to get my breath back and stop my head spinning. When I was done, 83's flesh was bloody and inflamed. I injected him, and recorded the relevant data. As I was finishing, Smith arrived to debrief me.
She looked at 83 and nodded. There was no satisfaction on her face. She looked at my data without comment, and asked if I had any questions. I told her that 83's brain damage was much less severe than had been assumed, and that I'd been communicating with him. Smith told me she knew, and that it was always at the back of her mind that 83 was a human being. I got angry, and asked why she and Miles had tricked me, and led me to believe 83 was brain damaged. She said Miles didn't know, and none of the scientists she'd had under her had known. She said that for their peace of mind, it was better that way. My anger disappeared; 83 needed his treatment to stay alive, and the facility needed the research. It was right to ease the burden on the researchers.
Smith called Miles and we transported the burned remains of 83's skin to a lab for analysis. I have tomorrow off, so I think I'll go to the lab and see what I can find out.