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Tweeling Hoop (Twin Hope)

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It was a quiet morning in the district. Wikus knew he was breaking the rules by going so early (no humans were allowed to enter the gated community before 9am), but it was important that he spoke to Christopher as soon as possible. It couldn't wait even one more second.

He waited until the guards drove by before sneaking through the hole in the fence. It was covered mostly by bushes, so no one else knew it was there but him. He hid in the bushes until the second pair of guards passed before running through the refurbished neighborhood, full of functional houses and cleared of trash, having already memorized his way to Christopher's house. He got some weird looks on his way, possibly due to his being the only human in the area, but he paid the stares no mind.

When he arrived at the house, positioned in the center of a cul-de-sac, he checked his surroundings before approaching and knocking on the door. It was a few moments before the door was cracked and he heard the familiar clicks.

[Wikus?] Christopher clicked, opening the door more. [What are you doing here?] He asked, cocking his head. Wikus gave the area another glance.

"I can explain. Please may I come in?" He asked. Christopher hesitated but let him in nonetheless. Wikus removed the large one-sleeved coat that he wore around the city - it was so no one would stare at his mutated hand and arm - and put it over the back of a chair in the dining room.

[What is this about?] Christopher asked. Wikus turned to face him, his human hand idly tracing the back of his prawn one.

"... I need your help." He finally said, looking tired. Christopher blinked at him before sitting down at the table. Wikus joined him wordlessly.

[With what?] He asked, getting a bad feeling. The last time he had helped Wikus, it was when he had been running from the government after his accident.

Wikus had been working as a science tech at a local MNU laboratory when the Kaiju had first reached South Africa. After the third attack, which had destroyed part of Cape Town, he had been transferred to the South African Research Unit for Kaiju Science (SARUKS for short), located on the coast near Cape Town itself. There, he had accidentally been exposed to Kaiju blue (a toxic waste left over after a Kaiju dies). It had caused the mutation of his left hand, eventually spreading to his arm, shoulder, and to his left eye, turning it gold.

The eye didn't bother people as much as his arm did, reminding them of the alien population that lived just outside Johannesburg, so Wikus took an old coat he had and altered it to his liking. He cut the right sleeve off but left the left one, using the left-over fabric to extend the sleeve into a glove that covered his whole arm. It was still obvious that his arm wasn't normal, after all the glove was shaped to cover his mutated hand, but due to the fact that it wasn't explicitly visible, no one cared half as much.

He wore the coat when he was out in public and sometimes around the Jaeger launch facility (unimaginatively called The Cape), but he kept it off when he was in the lab or in his quarters. His scientific co-workers had grown used to his arm, some of them were even interested in learning about it.

Of course, that curiosity was what had ultimately led to his fleeing Cape Town and returning to Joburg. In order to help fight the mounting invasion of the Kaiju blue, which had begun to make its way into the water supply, poisoning and killing thousands, the scientists had wanted to understand why Wikus hadn't died. They wanted to know if it was possible to fight the infection.

Wikus had fled the facility and caught any mode of transportation he could out of the city, hiding out in Joburg and, after being spotted by a soldier, in District 9, the alien-only shanty town-turned-suburb.

He had luckily met Christopher and his son Oliver instead of the more unruly residents, and after much distrust between the two adults - Oliver was also fascinated by Wikus and his arm - they had slowly gotten used to each other. Wikus had even been allowed to stay in the house with them until they found him his own. The Prawns living in the district hardly paid him any attention, mostly because they didn't know what to think of him, the strange looking human with a Poleepkwa extremity.

Finding his own home had turned out to be unnecessary when a neutral party came to visit him, having heard that he was living in the district. Christopher had gone with him to the meeting in case someone tried something, but it went smoothly. The scientist was one of Wikus' friends and he was sent to offer Wikus his job back. No experiments, no tests. Wikus would be a scientist again. Reluctantly he agreed and returned to Cape Town.

That had been 2 years ago. Needless to say, Christopher was surprised to see Wikus at all. He hadn't expected him to come back, much less to District 9 itself.

"I find myself in a precarious situation and... you're the only one I feel I can trust."

Christopher looked surprised. That was certainly not something he had expected to ever hear.

[Define 'precarious'] Christopher said carefully, making sure his clicks translated correctly. He knew what precarious meant, but he didn't know what Wikus meant by it. Wikus raked a hand through his hair, messing it up.

"You know I've been working as a scientist down in Cape Town, and that Marshall Smit is my father-in-law. When I returned to The Cape after the accident, he continued to refuse to let me see Tania, just like he had been doing when it originally happened. He told me that she wouldn't want to see me like this. He keeps her away from me, making sure we can never meet."

Christopher listened quietly.

"A few days ago, he approached me with an offer. He would be willing to let me see Tania again if I did something for him."

Wikus stopped, shaking his head, forcing Christopher to prompt him further with a gentle curious chirp. Wikus heaved a heavy sigh.

"He said if I agreed to join the Jaeger program, I could see Tania again."

Christopher cocked his head in shock.

[The Jaeger Program?] Christopher asked, pronouncing Jaeger like 'YAH-ger'. (It was a difficult word for the aliens due to their non-human mouths, but he was working on it.)

[But you're a scientist. Are you even qualified?]

Wikus snorted, catching the hint of sarcasm.

"Yes. I underwent training. That's what I've been doing for the past year. I would have been ready for deployment this week except for one problem. I'm not drift compatible with anyone. They can't find anyone who can form a strong enough bond with me. The only person I can think of is Tania, but she's not qualified and even if she was, Smit would never let her pilot a Jaeger."

The bad feeling that Christopher had was growing but he kept quiet.

"After a while, they were ready to give up and so was I..." He looked at the alien, a familiar fire in his eyes. "But then I thought of someone that might be able to drift with me."

Christopher was already shaking his head before Wikus finished his sentence.

"It's perfect don't you see?" Wikus insisted even as Christopher stood to pace the dining area, his clawed feet making noises on the tile floor.

"That's why I'm here. I thought I couldn't possibly be compatible with anyone else but Tania, but you and I have a deep bond as well, one that might be strong enough to drift."

[Yes, except you're forgetting one thing.] Christopher said, turning back to the human. [I am Poleepkwa, not human. Inter-species piloting has never been attempted before. It hasn't even been looked into. It couldn't work.]

Wikus stood as well, reminding Christopher of how he had met Wikus the first time. Wide pleading eyes, hands outstretched, so very fragile looking.

"Please, Christopher. Do you understand what I'm saying? They're keeping my wife, my angel, away from me, just because I was... injured on the job." He spat the word. Christopher had no doubt that the phrasing came from Marshall Smit.

"This is my one and only chance to get her back."

Christopher looked away, staring out the window at the rest of the neighborhood. Humans were starting to be seen on the street. With the invasion of the Kaiju, human-Prawn relations had gotten better. The Poleepkwa were helping develop new technology for the Jaegers which made them friendly in the eye of the public.

"Christopher, please." Wikus pleaded, drawing the alien's attention once more. Wikus' heterochromatic eyes bored into him.

"At least come to Cape Town with me. I have someone I can get in contact with who can help figure out if you and I can pilot a Jaeger together."

Christopher sighed before nodding.