The first time he came to life, it was on March 24th, 2029 at 7:19 in the morning in St. Judith Mercy Hospital in Nevada. The second time it happened, it was on December 1st, 2046, 2:31 in the morning, in the laboratory of Dr. Tesla Megan Kunstler.
The first thing he did when he opened his eyes was gasp for air, re-built lungs straining to sync with the rapid pulsing of his new heart while his yellow eyes rolled frantically for anything familiar. He didnt find anything that he recognized save for the feeling of another humans hand atop his, Teslas smaller hand in his in a comforting, human gesture.
The second thing he did when his mental state had calmed and his heart rate had decreased was cry, closing his eyes and turning away from the surgeon so she wouldnt see the tears weaving into the stitches along the newly repaired flesh. He whined and keened; shifting and shuddering in his hospital restraints while sobs threatened the whole time to wrack his renovated body.
Tesla had to stay with him for hours, soothing him and re-assuring him of his re-gifted existence. He hadnt understood at first but then after some time of Teslas gentle coaxing, he began to comprehend, which frightened him into more pathetic suppuration. Tesla was patient, mercifully, charming her creation into the knowledge that he was alive again.
He wanted to see his parents. This was what Tesla had been dreading most of all- breaking the boy the news that he would never be able to see them again. Legally in the state of Nevada, Dakota Jordan Knevette, age 17, had died in the plane accident that killed 212 people and injured 54 others. When he was told as gently as possible that his parents thought he was dead, he cried again. It took some time for him to understand, but after a while, the knowledge that with his new life there would come a price began to sink in.
As time passed, his restless shifting and squirming in the hospital bed turned into the need to get up and move again. So, two weeks after being resuscitated after being dead for over three weeks, he was up and about with half as much energy as he had when he was human. However, the half doubled within a matter of days and he was as energetic as he had ever been, with the addition of a few more stimuli and more stamina than hed had in the past.
The boy adapted well to the life of, what he chose to not refer to himself as, a zombie. The fact that bodily hair was nonexistent, he would forever remain a rather staunched height of 56, and the fact that he would always walk with a slouch that made him appear even shorter than he really was didnt seem to impede him. He took life, in a matter of speaking, in stride- that is to say, a limp.
On September 4th, 2047, Dakota made a surprising leap and re-enrolled in school to finish his senior year. Tesla commended him for this, and was all-too happy to pose as his legal guardian. The school administration was not informed of- as Tesla put it- Dakotas handicap. The stitches around his neck were hidden from view with a bandanna, and the stitches on his face- as well as the different tones of flesh that separated pale freckled skin from the clear and unfreckled section- were blamed on a recent skin graft surgery.
Dakota met Andrew Dalmoore the summer after he was brought back to life. Andrew was blonde, taller than he was, with pale blue eyes and fair skin. He was brought into Tesla after suffering a major heart attack that left the organ heavily damaged and in need of immediate repair.
Heart surgery rendered Andrew bedridden for most of the summer, which was why Dakota and he started to speak. He stayed with Tesla during his recovery and lived in one of the patient rooms (as did Dakota, since his bedroom was a renovated patient room), and they stayed next door. Being of the same age group, they forged a tentative friendship through Tesla (which Dakota was grateful for), all the while Dakotas secret being heavily kept and tightly under wraps.
Lorelai Lonsdale was introduced into the trio in early August. She was Andrews ex-girlfriend and now best friend- the two had decided that they were better off as friends and simply decided to not date any more. They were still very close and it was uncommon to find one without the other nearby.
Lorelai had light-brown hair, was tall, and had long legs. She was coppery tan from constant sun exposure (which always made Dakota feel like he belonged on the other end of the spectrum, being the incredible pale color that he was) and always seemed to have a smile on.
Dakota felt accepted among them. It was a nice feeling, after an isolated winter, to become friends with people who werent Dr. Teslas regulars.
His sister, Kizzy, was one of them. The girl was very small with very long orange hair (the reason that he and she were passed off as siblings) and huge brown eyes. Frail, tiny, but with a big mouth that never seemed to silence. She was the product of a post-abortion resurrection- her mother was too young to bear children and had come to Tesla in need of an abortion. In secret, Tesla preserved the fetus in vitro until she had come full-term and was animated.
Excuses were a daily part of Dakotas life, it seemed. Despite the fact that he gained friends and got decent grades in school, he was the kind of person who never told the truth
except at home, where he lived with Dr. Tesla and her adopted daughter, Kizzy, where life was as normal as one could make it in a household containing a mad scientist, an 8-year-old aborted fetus, and a zombie.