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Captive Wings (youngsters:science fiction, 5832 words)
Author: LorenAdded: Jan 24 2008Views/Reads: 9878/1718Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Veronica knows she isn't supposed to go near her father's portfolio. But she has to know who she is...

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

really inside. 

Veronica swallowed, gathering courage to speak. When she was finally
ready, she looked at her sister. “Whitney...I looked at Father's 
portfolio last night.” 

Her sister's eyes widened in terror. “You did what?! Did Father catch

“No, I don't think so. I put it away and started running up the stairs
when he came out of the basement.” 

Whitney exhaled quietly, and seemingly fell into relief. 

Veronica pointed to the wooden shed many yards away. “I saw a picture of
the shed in Father's portfolio,” she said. 

“The shed?” her sister asked, becoming a little shaken. Neither of the
two knew the contents of the shed. They ha always been strictly 
forbidden to go anywhere near it. 

“Do you know what else I saw?” Veronica went on. Both sister's now
conversed with stirred feelings. “I saw a picture of mice, with ears on 
their backs.” 

“...Ears?” Whitney asked, wondering if she'd heard her sister properly. 


“You mean the kind we have?” 

Veronica nodded. 

Whitney stared off with insecurity, then faced her sister again. “What
else did you see?” she asked. 

“Just some papers with words on them, the cards he writes on. I think
there were other pictures, but I didn't have enough time to look at 

“Don't do it again, okay?” Whitney pleaded. 

Veronica's eyes looked down. After a moments of silence, she bit her
tongue, then nodded. “Okay.” 

They looked back on the birds, flying away into the distance. They tried
to put the portfolio behind them, be it wasn't easy. There was some 
compulsion, even, to think more about it, and this is what frightened 
them the most. They must forget the portfolio. They should never have 
discovered anything about it in the first place. 

Whitney tried to rush to another topic. “What do you think is past all
this grass?” she asked, looking out onto the plains. 

The flat vegetation spread as far as the eye could see and then seemed
to flow into obscurity and drear in the distance under stormy clouds, 
where it almost looked like it was going to snow. 

“I don't know,” Veronica replied. 

They discussed what was beyond the plains often. Lennard had told them
there was nothing beyond them. The twins were forbidden to try and 
escape the plains. If they should, they would risk something terrible 
happen to them. 

“What other kind of people do you think are out there?” Whitney asked. 

Veronica beamed. “I'd like to see them. What do you think they look
like?” Then she returned to a thought they had also discussed before. 
“Don't you ever wonder why Father doesn't have wings?” 

In the past they had regarded the fact that Lennard didn't have any
wings as a normal thing, but now, with age, their eyes did not see the 
same Lennard. Then they were little, nothing ever needed to make sense. 
Fact was fact and there was no need to worry about it, but now the 
twins' questions cast a shadow over their home. 

Whitney replied after a moment of sitting and thinking, “He also
just...looks different from us doesn't he?” 

“Veronica replied, “He does, a little.” 

Veronica faced the sun again. “He's a lot taller and heavier than we
are. I feel his footsteps and they shake the floor. Neither of ours do 

Veronica turned away and looked down again. There was another long pause
between them. 

“Whitney! Veronica!” Lennard  called. The twins turned to see him
standing on the ramp to the front door. “Come in! Get your breakfast!” 
he uttered hardly, with a subtle impatience. 

The twins glanced at one another and obeyed him. 


The following night was dark, cold and moonless. Veronica knelt on the
dining room floor, watching the flames roar in the fireplace. She 
stared like a dying fairy, her eyes bleak. 

Lennard came up the stairs from the pitch dark basement. He carried his
portfolio in his left hand. “I sent you to bed, Veronica,” he 
reprimanded. He threw his portfolio onto the piano just outside the 
dining room. He glanced at his watch. “Its after ten.” 

Veronica was almost afraid to look at him. She'd known him for as long
as she could remember. Now she found herself wondering who he was. 

“Father,” she said nervously, hardly moving, “when will we fly?” 

Lennard gazed at her taciturnly. He took off his glasses and threw them
on top of his portfolio. “Your wings are clipped,” he said. 

Veronica bowed her head slowly, hiding her frustration. That was always
his first answer. “But when will we fly?” she asked. 

“Veronica, we've been through this, hundreds of times. Now go to bed,”
re replied emotionlessly. 

For a moment, Vernoica was afraid to turn around, as if to turn around
in bed after a nightmare for fear of what might be there behind her 
back. Lennard was silent during that moment, but Veronica knew he was 
standing behind her, watching and waiting. When she could, she turned 
hesistantly and met Lennards stressed eyes. Nervousness evenomed her 
tired muscles. “I want to know why we really can't fly,” she said, 
almost expecting herself to regret it, and she braced for what might be 
Lennard's answer. 

Lennard sat on the piano bench. “It's not time.” 

Veronica's patience gave out, after so many years of hearing the same
replies over and over. She rose to her feet and disregarded 
consequence. “How much longer. How much longer is it going to be! 
You're always telling us 'not yet' and that our wings are clipped. When 
will we fly!” she exclaimed. 

Lennard shot up and pointed a violent finger. “You will fly when the
time comes. If you stay inside the plains and do as I say, I will give 
you the halo!” 

Lennard always talked about the halo. Veronica only knew that it would
be able to make her and Whitney fly. But he never talked about what it 

“Then why do I feel like I was always supposed to fly! Like I was always
meant to!” Veronica retorted. 

Lennard grabbed onto Veronica's shoulder and began leading her to the
stairs. Aggressively, he pushed her onto the steps. “Go to bed, 
Veronica. You're tired,” he said, blocking the way back. 

A hurt and weary Veronica scrammed up the stairs to her room. Lennard
turned to his portfolio. 

Whitney was waiting on the mattress on the floor when Veronica entered.
She watched as he sister came in and laid down next to her, afraid and 

“Veronica,” Whitney whispered shakily, “What are you doing? We can't
think about our feelings!” Some terrible air lurked like a secretive 
menace within the darkness in the twin's room. 

“I'm thinking about what we're really doing here!” Veronica breathed.
She bowed her head in confusion and terror. 

They consoled one another back to sleep, shedding tears of dismay. They
did not sleep in a room that night, but in the heart of an abyss of 
discouragement, separated from time and deprived of faith. 


Darkness immersed the world. Nothing could be seen anywhere. The wind
agitated the drafty windows and drove the weak walls to groaning. 

Veronica awoke, anxiety providing all her body's energetic needs. She
lay still for a long while, her eyes filled with the pitch darkness 
everywhere in the room, the house, and outside in the world, listening 
to the wind and the eerie walls. 

A shaky force was calling her from downstairs, like a silent voice. She
lay still, moving her eyes about and listening to the eeriness 
possessing the house. Her mind listened to the silent beckoning 
downstairs and for about an hour, she let the force tickle her with its 
ominous air. In that while she wondered what she ought to do as she lay 
on the mattress, no blanket covering her from the intimidation. 

After mere lying, listening and feeling, she slowly rose from the
mattress, alert and shaky. She breathed slowly and shallowly and gazed 
in the darkness for a moment as she sat up. She hesitated to go any 
further, and wondered if she should really risk what she was about to 

She wondered if she should risk convincing Whitney to go this time. She
turned in the direction of the other side of the mattress and for 
another while she stood quite still and hesitated. Then she stretched 
her arm out into the darkness until her fingers touched her sister's 
soft hair. For a moment she hesitated to speak. 

“Whitney,” she finally breathed, not expecting her to wake up. She
nudged and whispered the name of her sister once again, but Whitney lay 
as if she were a corpse in the dark. 

Alone then, Veronica decided. 

She turned her head in the direction of the door, remembering she had
left it opened. For another long while she sat and waited for herself 
to get up and proceed. She wasn't even sure she would even go on, and 
for a brief moment she ever considered just going back to sleep. After 
that while passed, she decided to go, and after a minute, she moved her 
feet onto the floor, leaned forward, rose and stood up quietly in the 
darkness. She breathed silently, and stepped carefully onward. 

The ominous force made her feel rather stiff as she walked. A sour
feeling pulsed in her legs and wings. She trembled nervously. 

She walked carefully out of her room and turned to the staircase. 

Temptations tried to drive her back inside. I don't have to do this, she
thought. She could have abandoned the risk she was about to make, but 
she wanted her desires satisfied. 

Don't look at the portfolio, Lennard had said, it is dangerous. 

She stopped at the stair—the old, creaky steps would be menaces to her
cause. She turned to the handrail, lifted her watery leg and lightly 
hopped up, silently flapping her great wings to boost her until she 
stood on the rail. She quickly leaned forward, stepped off the felt her 
pumping wings breaking her fall. Her feet gracefully met the floor and 
she crouched quietly. She then let out a slow, silent exhale of relief. 

Far from her room and nervous, she rose up on her legs. Smoldering
embers glowed in the fireplace like a pair of watchful eyes, barely 
lighting the kitchen. She quietly felt her way to the piano for the 

A familiar terror ran up her arm when she felt it in the darkness. 

She weakened as she clutched it tightly in her hands. The fire stared at
her as if she were guilty. 

She knew of a lamp in the basement. She tread into the kitchen and felt
for the door to the basement. Her fingers were soon touching the cold 
metal of the knob. For a moment her hand could not move. 

She looked over at the door to Lennard's room. It stood in the wall,
shut and silent. 

She bowed her head weakly, suffering under a burning temptation to put
the portfolio back and hurry up to bed. How humiliating it would be if 
Lennard should come out and find her. The temptation ran through her 
arms and legs and wings. She felt the energy to hurry and carry out the 
temptation, but her concerns would not be satisfied and Lennard would 
never answer them. 

Ever so carefully, she turned the knob. Her insides sank as she slid the
door to the basement opened. 

It was pitch dark inside. 

She stretched out her leg and felt for the steps leading down into the
basement. Her foot met the cold, smooth stone. Step after step carried 
her deeper into the dark basement. She could hardly even see her way 
back, but by now she was driven forward more than ever. To go back to 
her room now felt even more difficult. 

She stepped down until she felt the flat cement floor under her feet. 

She hurried forward to the other side of the basement where the lamp
stood. She reached out her hand as she hurried and felt for the desk 
lamp. She touched its cold metal, felt for the switch, and made a 
little light in the darkness. 

The basement lit and crept with shadows. 

She looked back and saw the door leading out into the kitchen. She was
afraid she would hear Lennard's door open, but it did not. She 
nervously turned to the portfolio again, a rough idea of what it 
contained haunting her mind. 

The words, Files: Homo Penna Project, were printed across the cover. 

A bitter sensation swelled within her as she opened the portfolio. A
page filthy with words was a familiar content, but quite useless to 
her, being hardly able to read. She nervously flipped through different 
pages, though she was continuously driven to keep looking back at the 
door, just to make sure she wasn't about to get caught. 

Two familiar pictures appeared as she put aside th worded sheets of
paper. The picture of the shed, sitting darkly on the grass. The other 
of the hideous mice with ears growing on their backs, which grabbed her 
with its horrible scene. 

Turning the page she ventured into unknown regions of the portfolio. 

She found another picture that puzzled her. A picture of a wing...just
like her own...lying in a tray of what looked like water. Why didn't 
the wing have an owner? 

She hungrily turned to the other pictures labeled Ultra-sonic imaging:
Specimen-A “Whitney” and Specimen-B “Veronica.” They puzzled her even 
more. She thought she saw some sort of creature, and its wide, dark 
eyes and unbalanced proportions almost frightened her. She put them 

The last picture, labeled Project Staff, won her preoccupation. She
found so many people standing together, people who were wingless just 
like Lennard. She even searched for Lennard amongst the people, but she 
didn't find him... 

She looked up from the portfolio and stared at the wall, thinking about
all those people. Why were they all... 

Then it came to her, like a revelation. A vile feeling coursed through
her whole body, almost throwing her off her feet. Lennard wasn't the 
one who was different. 

The entire universe shifted and churned from behind the walls of the
basement. Reality alternated. Veronica now understood who she was, and 
her sister. 

Was this the danger Lennard had spoken to her about. He didn't want her
to know who she was? 

So many years of faith, faith spoiled with a sudden blow of discovery.
She gazed around the shadowed basement, trembling in dismay, her heart 
broken and her mind lost in darkness. She fixed herself on the hideous 
concept that Lennard would forbid her to know something so important 
about who she and Whitney were! 

She turned back to the portfolio. Then she wondered how long she had
been down here. She could somehow feel morning within her sense of 

She then decided for certain that she had seen enough and that she had
used all the time she could spare down here. She closed the portfolio, 
took it in her hands, and with anxiety souring her feet and legs she 
hurried back up into the kitchen. 

A feeling of emancipation was urging her to use her wings and fly away
from the house, but she could not fly. 

She dropped the powerful portfolio on the piano, finished with it being
in her possession. She turned back to the basement door and carefully 
shut it. She approached the stairs to her room and hurred up, as if 
Lennard was chasing her. 

She quietly closed the door to her room, turned and flopped on the
mattress next to her sister. 

She breathed the peace in the air, hardly believing she had succeeded.
Relieved, she rested in the darkness, listening to the sound of soft 
raindrops on the window. 


Silvery sunlight glowed heavenly from behind the clouds above that
morning. Whitney awoke to find it illuminating her room. Veronica was 
out of bed. 

Whitney rose from the mattress and stretched her arms and wings,
beautiful in the morning light. She turned to the window, just to see 
if she could find her sister. 


Veronica turned around at the sound of the door opening behind her back.
Her sister emerged, relaxed and alive. Whitney ran up, jumped a simple 
four feet over the rail and sailed down next to her sister. The grass 
was a little wet and the soil quite moist. 

Veronica eyed her sister, but she would never look at her the same way
again, nor herself. Whitney looked concerned suddenly and asked, 
“Veronica? What's wrong?” 

Veronica looked down at her sister's feet, then turned away, lost and a
little frightened of what Whitney might think of her if she admitted 
she did not trust Lennard anymore. “I...” Veronica began to say, and 
bit her tongue, looking back into Whitney's eyes. 

“What?” Whitney asked. “Are you sick?” 

“No! No...It's just that...” and Veronica paused, took a deep breath of
anxiety, but then decided she didn't have to tell. Not yet. 

“Veronica, what is it?” Whitney asked, puzzled. 

Veronica slowly looked away, not knowing what else she could say.
Nothing else would come to her mind. 

“Why are you acting so peculiar?” Whitney inquired. “

Veronica, waiting to hear the accursed question from her most loved
sister, turned away. 

Whitney was looking at her with suspense in her eyes. “Did you look at
the portfolio?” 

Veronica winced, then boldly admitted, “Yes.” 


Veronica looked toward the house. “Just let us get a little farther from
the house. You must know what I saw this time,” she asked. 

Whitney's eyes shifted nervously. She suddenly seemed afraid too. After
a moment of hesitating to speak, however, she nodded graciously. 

The twins ran off from the house, leaping and gliding, covering ten to
twenty feet swiftly with every bound. 

They stopped and held onto each other's arms anxiously. “This time...”
Veronica began. 

“No! I don't want to hear it!” Whitney yelled. 

“Quiet! Please listen! You have to listen. It's serious this time.”
Veronica insisted. 

Whitney breathed quickly. “The portfolio is dangerous!” 

Veronica thought over a reply, and then said, “If its so dangerous, that
why does Lennard look at it himself?” 

“Maybe because he can-” Whitney began. But just as she did so, she
seemed to freeze up for a moment, as if her mind hatched a realization 
of Veronica's point. Veronica felt her sister's arms shivering. 

Whitney took a deep breath, “What did you see?” she asked. 

“Some pictures didn't make sense, but I found one that really scared me
this time. I saw a picture of one of my own wings lying in a metal 

Whitney gasped at the horror. Both sisters now trembled. Veronica became
weak in telling her story. 

“I also found one with other people,” Veronica said. 

Whitney calmed down a little, breathing easily, though much of the
anxiety remained. “Other people? What did they look like?” she asked. 

Veronica swallowed and said, “They were all like Lennard.” 

Whitney stopped breathing. A deafening silence rang throughout all the
spaciousness of the plains. “People...don't have wings?” she said. She 
looked off, stunned and afraid. Suddenly what did Lennard's plan mean? 

Life had become a devastating nightmare. 

Something moved Veronica that moment. She had to go to the shed. She had
to know about the Halo... 

Hesitant to make an attempt she just stood where where was, holding hand
with her sister. If Lennard caught her... 

No. Lennard was not worth obeying. 

Veronica tightened her muscles. Energy accumulated in her wings and her
legs became light. Then, taking in a deep breath, she let go of her 
sister and took off toward the shed, the one most abominable thing for 
them to see. 

“Veronica!” Whitney called out. 

Veronica hurried on, feeling that Lennard would emerge out from the
house any moment. 

“Veronica!” Whitney cried, pursing her sister. 

Veronica leaped a great ten feet high over the wired fence that
encircled the shed, covering over thirty feet. 

“Veronica stop!” Whitney called. 

Veronica ran up to the shed door, turned around and waited for her
sister to catch up. 

“What are you doing?” Whitney said running up to her sister. 

“I have to see what Father's hiding in here,” Veronica replied. She
reached for the shed door, but Whitney grabbed her arm. 

“Let's not,” Whitney begged with frightened eyes. 

Veronica gently took hold of Whitney's hand. “I won't go in without

“I don't want to go in. Let's get out of here please!” 

Veronica looked down. “What about what Father's already kept from us?”
she asked. 

For a moment Whitney looked like she couldn't make up her mind. Finally
she looked up. “I still don't want to go!” 

Veronica gritted her teeth with concern and said weakly.

Whitney looked into her sisters eyes. There was a tense pause. 

“Please Whitney,” Veronica begged. 

Whitney looked up graciously after a moment of hesitating. “All right,
let's go in,” said, trembling. 

For the first time in her life, Veronica touched the door to the shed.
Courageously she pulled it open and beheld its dark interior. It 
reminded the sisters of the basement. A staircase led down into the 
ground. Below, two white shelves leaned against the walls, filled with 
glass jars and tubes. A long box sat atop one the shelves. 

Bravely, the twins entered. The anxiety seemed to clear somehow. They
stared at the shelves, slowly descending the staircase in fantastic 

Veronica looked at the box sitting atop one of the shelves. There was
something written on the lid. Hardly able to read, she pondered on the 
four mysterious letters flowing ominously on the lid of the box. 

Then her heart jumped with incredible wonder. Blissful excitement
flowing through her whole being. 

“Whitney look!” Veronica exclaimed. “The Halo!” 

Whitney grabbed onto her sister's arm, trembling in the awesome

“Let's see it!” Whitney exclaimed. 

The sisters hurried to the floor and stepped up to the box. 

“Girls!” Lennard's voice exclaimed a distance from the shed. Never had
it been more enraged. 

Terror boomed in the twin's hearts. They were caught. They would not get
away with their disobedience. 

Veronica turned back to her sister. “Hurry!” she said. 

They brought down the box, set it on the floor, knelt and opened it. 

In the box was a dusty syringe, and glass vile filled with a dark
liquid. On the another side of the box was a pair of rusty surgical 

Lennard hurried in through the doorway. He came down the stairs and
stepped up to his captives. 

Whitney and Veronica both looked up at the frozen Lennard. He only
stared coldly. He looked beaten somehow. 

Finally, he took off his glasses and sighed. He folded his arms.
“...This will not happen ever again,” he said deeply. He knelt down, 
closed the box and set it back on the shelf. He turned toward the 
stairs, but on his way out he stopped and gazed at the twins. “You may 
never fly,” he said with his eyes. 


Whitney lied quietly on the living room floor. Veronica, kneeling by the
window, stared at the dreary outside world. She had forgotten the time 
of day. A deadening force held the twins in its grasp. 

Whitney pondered on the day. Veronica's terrible claims of what she had
seen in the portfolio repeated themselves in her mind, tearing and 
jabbing at her sensitive heart. 

Suddenly, she heard the front door close. She looked up and found a
silent, empty living room. Veronica was gone. 

The house died. Something had killed it. 

She approached the window and found Veronica running away from the
house. Whitney hurried to the front door. 


“Veronica! Veronica!” Whitney called. 

A cold breeze brushed through the twins' faces as they glided farther
and farther from the house, once after the other. The clouds above were 
low and thick. It looked like it was going to snow. It was quiet and 
some great peace flowed in the air. 

Whitney called out to her sister again. 

Finally Veronica turned toward her sister and waited for her. 

“Where are you going?” Whitney asked, catching up to her. 

“I'm leaving,” Veronica replied. 

Whitney panted in the cold wind. Her heart broke. Was Veronica really
doing this? 

“But...Lennard's our father.” 

“Not anymore,” Veronica said, tears coming down her eyes. 

Whitney's tears came faster. “Why are you doing this?” she asked

Veronica bowed her head strongly. “Because I want to fly.” 

“But Veronica!” Whitney exclaimed. 

Veronica's eyes came up. “I always knew somehow that there was a plan
for us. I think its a wonderful thing, for people to be given wings, 
but I don't like what Lennard's doing with us. Something about him just 
isn't right.” 

Whitney cried terribly. Veronica embraced her sister tightly in the cold
breeze and under the clouds flowing above. 

“Whitney, I want you to come with me,” Veronica asked. 

Whitney looked up at her sister. “But...I don't want to leave.
Lennard...he gives us what we need.” 

“Not for me,” Veronica said. “Whitney...when I first opened the
portfolio and saw the pictures...I wondered if...if...” 

“...If what?” 

Veronica bowed her head again, wiped her eyes and said, “If we can trust
Lennard. What if Lennard is wrong about when we will fly? What if we 
don't fly if we stay with him? What if there is something better for us 
out there?” 

Whitney looked out beyond the plains, then back at the house, then back
at Veronica. “I don't want to leave. It's so hard!” 

Veronica shakily took her sister's arms. “I know. It's hard for me too.
But I can't stay. Not after all I've seen.” 

They embraced each other again, consoling one another. Veronica thought
and said, “I know there is a plan for us, Whitney, and I was to know 
what it really is. I want to go and find out, and when we do find out 
what it I, then we will fly.” 

Whitney dried her tears at the good news. They shook and trembled in the
cold and in the peace and relief in their hearts. The world turned 
beautiful again. 

Whitney sniffed one last time and looked up at her sister. “Let's go...”

They let go of each other and ran off together, bounding and gliding on
and on across the hill's below, toward the tall green mountains that 
came into view. 

They were not afraid anymore. They just ran free, leaping as high as
they could, frightening themselves at the heights they reached, trying 
to reach the clouds above, smiling to one another as they ran and 
sailed. It only they could defeat the ground and be on with the air. 

It began to snow. 

The twins sailed on, hieing themselves beyond the join the



An article presented in the New York Times regarding the discovery of
two winged girls appearing just outside Davenport, Iowa... 

Fourteen years ago, a secret science project was undertaken in an
underground medical laboratory. The project, infamously known as the 
Homo Penna Project, experimented with human genetics in sought to 
produce humans with wings, and ultimately the ability to fly. Two years 
into their experiments, the project staff boldly presented their 
findings the public. 

Needless to say, their project was condemned by doctors, human rights
activists, and the Church. Whilst the courts sought a way to deal with 
the matter at hand, the project staff carried out their experiments on 
two prenatal twins, codenamed Whitney and Veronica. 

Only weeks after birth, Whitney and Veronica disappeared. It was later
discovered that a character named Lennard J. Morrow, entered the 
underground medical labs posed as one of the scientists, and escaped 
with the twins. Also missing from the labs was a box containing medical 
equipment and a concoction developed by the project staff called Halo. 
All files and records have been lost to this mysterious substance, but 
the staff of the Homo Penna project claimed it served as a resort to 
amputate the twin's wings, but only safely once they had come of age. 
Halo could deaden the twin's wings if injected, afterward the wings 
could be painlessly removed. Morrow's reasons for disappearing with the 
infants remain largely unknown, but it was believed—as he was defined 
by the courts to be a idealogical humanist and extreme 
anthropocentrist—that he likely intended to operate on the twins 
himself, and bring them as close to 'purely' human as possible. 

Two weeks after the disappearance of the twins, the project staff was
prosecuted and convicted for crimes against humanity. 

Lennard Morrow and the twins' whereabouts have long remained a mystery.
But one week ago, two winged girls were seen approaching Davenport, 
Iowa, calling themselves Veronica and Whitney. After reluctantly 
accepting to a medical examination, the twins were found to be in good 
health and, indeed, genuinely winged. The doctor confirmed that there 
was no doubt that two two young women were the subjects of the Homo 
Penna Project. 

Their full story has yet to be told, but for the time being, the twins
have been given a specialized home where they are treated and cared for 
by a single case manager named Stacy Calvin, an expert on the case and 
studies of the Homo Penna project. Veronica and Whitney say they are 
glad to have their manager and they consider her a close friend. Dr. 
Calvin tells that she is also pleased to work with them, and finds the 
twins to be “ full of harmony and courage.” 

Obviously, one of the biggest concerns scientists and most all people in
general have about Whitney and Veronica is just how human are they? The 
twins are short of stature and their anatomy has been reconstructed for 
the ability of flight. Because they have wings, many doctors candidly 
claim that their brains have been shaped by their having wings: they 
long for open space and they long to glide together as far as their 
hearts desire. Despite factors such as these, they seem to have 
retained a great deal, if not all, of their homo sapien intellect and 
nature. They speak language perfectly, are capable of a limited amount 
of arithmetic, and can even read to a limited extent—Lennard, they 
claimed, never schooled them, but Dr. Calvin is mentoring and schooling 
them, as she says their learning curve is very identical to that of 
neuro-typical. “Of course they're human!” she admits. “I can't imagine 
why so many people out there would doubt or question that. They may not 
be the same kind of homo sapien we are, if that's what some of the 
doctors want to think, but they are human! Humans with wings.” 

A select few doctors think it would be best that the twins wings ought
to indeed be amputated for the benefit of social acceptance and to free 
them of the tantalization to stay in the air: the twin's ability to fly 
has a great deal of imperfections. Most other physicians who have 
examined them disagree, including doctor Calvin. She says Whitney and 
Veronica don't want to change, and that they feel so accepted already. 
Contrarily, the twins are asking their doctors to find a way to make 
them fly “...just like the birds.” Many of the doctors claim that would 
be an honor, not because it would fulfill the goals of the infamous 
Homo Penna Project, but because it would be “healing” the needs to two 
very unique individuals. “We don't approve of the Homo Penna Project 
for their experiments,” says Doctor Jeremy Gad. “They're in this world 
now. And they're two very wonderful people with such beautiful souls.” 

Whitney and Veronica don't care about how other people try to figure
them out. “We're people,” they say simply. 

These issues may persevere for some time now, but one thing is
definitely for certain: we're looking forward to living, accepting, and 
admiring our homo penna friends.


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