She was still hugging herself in the coffinlike gurney, naked. The overhead lights blinded her, as they always do, one after the other as she was pushed down the hall.
"Check her again."
"She doesn't need oxygen, she's been on a tube for weeks."
"Good, good, all her signs are good, except she's kinda agitated."
"Keep watching them. Shit, did I hit your foot?"
"I'm all right..."
"Would somebody go prep the exam room?"
"All this stuff was supposed to be ready, y'know."
"Yeah, I know."
Despite her shape being genetically programmed, no one knew what size clothing she wore. Someone found a blanket for her in the meantime.
When the IV needle was put into the vein of her left arm, she cried out and tried to pull away. The medics held her as she struggled, until someone thought to explain it to her. She didn't understand, but believed them. The needle was taped in place. When they inserted another in her right, she silently watched it go under her skin. The medics drew out a draught of creamy pink blood. She observed, unblinking and mouth agape.
"The human genome is encoded with the ability to learn and comprehend and indeed construct language. Externally, in society, we develop and learn the front end for this lingual ability, the various languages spoken by man. English, German, Chinese, Swahili, what have you. Of course, no one is born with the ability to speak a particular language, just the capacity for language in general. So, getting back to your question, what we have done with all mu-series expressions is encode rudimentary knowledge of one of these external languages. For now only English, though there's no reason why multiple languages couldn't be written in. Untested in a practical sense, since until now none of the expressions have come through gestation, and examination of other samples has been inconclusive.
"She has grammatical construction. She does not have all the words that you or I would have, and even fewer of the meanings of the words she has. She is an extremely bright six-year-old, essentially. One who's led a sheltered life.
"Which reminds me. I would appreciate it if those of you who refer to her as 'Kaspar Hauser' please refrain from doing so. I don't find it particularly amusing. She is at an extremely impressionable stage in her development and is already quite bewildered by her every experience. Her technicians call her Lavender after her sample code, and that is what we will be calling her. Have I made myself clear? Fine... let's move on."
"I'm going to show you some pictures, and I want you to tell me what the pictures are of. Do you understand?"
[Preprogrammed symbol recognition 100%; speculative systems on unprogrammed symbols show positive response. Application to educational transtator commences 2/16. Pr. reg/ofd.]
"Motor skills are fair to poor. We expected this, and they're improving along, er, predictions. Muscular strength coming along nicely. We just need to have her be more active. Oh, and..."
"What's funny, Dr. Harp?"
"She didn't like the haircut we gave her."
"We can't very well bring in a stylist, now can we?"
"Ahem. Yes. I'll see if one of the interns might take a crack at it, next time it comes round."
"Is there anything else?"
"No, I've finished."
"Thank you, Dr. Harp. Dr. Sung?"