When he’d woken in the ‘chamber’, it had been to the sound of high voltage electrodes, the whir and hum of machines, and the smell of ozone heavy in the air. But that wasn’t all of it. There was a smell of sulfur, and the stench of burnt meat, chemicals, and rusty iron. He had heard the sound of an air circulation system blowing, perhaps trying to clean the acrid and terrible odors, or maybe it was just to dehumidify and keep a constant temperature.
When he had opened his eyes, he saw the figure of a man in a lab coat, appearing in his mid-fifties, glasses, short blond hair, cropped close to his head, wearing a sober black suit and black tie with a white button down shirt underneath, and standing next to him had been.. It.
The ‘it’ was a shimmering semi-humanoid creature whose outside was a putrescent green jelly, semi solid and translucent, clinging to what looked like a skeleton made of ivory and gold. The gelatinous membrane was like the surface of swamp water, and it seemed to flow over the frame, like a slow moving river’s current, ever moving. ‘It’ moved with exaggerated motions, and when It’s mouth opened to speak, it sounded wet, like someone with fluid in their lungs or screaming underwater. Its voice kept bubbled up through its throat, and it was horrible. it had these burning eyes of orange flame that flickered and shone darkly with a maleficent intelligence.
The one dressed like a doctor turned to the ‘it’ and smiled, nodded, and crowed like he’d just won a medal, “He’s alive! My Creation! We did it, Xalaxalax!”
The ‘it’ replied in its wet sounding voice, “I delivered what I promised, Dr. Soren. You are now the proud owner of a demonic hybrid assassin. You now owe me the rest of the payment which was promised.”
The man in the labcoat turned and put his hands on his hips, and arched an eyebrow over the black horn-rimmed spectacles perched on his nose. “Now, our arrangement was you received your payment AFTER we know he is fully functional, and that won’t happen until we actually test his abilities. You must be patient for a short while longer, oh Xalaxalax.”
The demonic being grumbled something wet and vile, in a language other than English, and the Doctor knew that his ‘partner’ had more than likely just delivered a horrible insult or some other nasty curse in its mother tongue. But he didn’t care. But the demonic creature spluttered and hissed out something in English again, “Then make your test – send your assassin to destroy some life, and then I will take my tribute and return to my home. This… reality.. Is painful to mine skins.”
Doctor Soren smiled a purely cold smile, delighting in his own way at prolonging Xalaxalax’s discomfort, but kept that to himself, as he turned to the young hybrid creation, striding confidently up to the experiment module, placing a hand on his creation’s naked chest. He caressed the rune tattoos on the lean and pale flesh, as he unconsciously licked his lips, as if he were enjoying the ‘affection’ he was showing his creation. He realized what he was doing, cleared his throat, and began to check the vitals from his creature. His beautiful monster.
The form inside the module was that of a young 20 something male, with silvery hair that looked fine as spun wire. He was lean muscled, if not outright skinny, and the aforementioned tattoos were symbols of an odd and unusual nature. They covered his palms, his arms, all over his chest, back, buttocks and down his legs. His mouth was covered by a black leather and metal cover that came over his nose, like some assassin’s mask, and it had an attachment pin driven into his upper jaw. His ears were pierced with metal pins at various angles, through the lobes. He had the strangest eyelashes, like feathers, and his eyes, as they opened, looked red. Not just the irises, but the whites and everything were red. He wore a pair of black pants with straps and suspenders dangling from the belt that clung to his narrow hips, that gave him a virile appearance, like some 80’s punk band rock star. Or so the doctor thought.
The young man was shivering in the embrace of the metallic and glass experimentation pod. Wires and probes of various kinds festooned and connected to pieces of equipment that were set up around the pod, and various readouts measuring everything from blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and brain activity, just to name a few, were all on monitors around the station. Doctor Soren thought that, perhaps, if his creation could take instruction properly, he’d have himself a bedroom companion, as well.
The scientist let his eyes flit over the figure in front of him again, for a few moments, and there was a strange gurgling from behind him, coming from Xalaxalax. He realized it was a nasty, perverted chuckle. He hadn’t realized that the demon prince was actually able to read his thoughts. He cringed, blushed, and then forced himself to speak, in a rough, harsh voice, to the boy monster in the pod before him.
“I have an assignment for you, my pet. Rise from your pod, remove the probes from your skin, and then select a weapon from the table in the corner!” The doctor gestured to the side table at the corner in question, then turned back to the young creature’s gaze, and smiled, “I want you to then march into the prison cell down the hallway, and kill 2 of the creatures in the cell there. It is your choice as to who. Then you shall return to this pod and resume your station.“
Until that moment, despite consciousness, he hadn’t been able to form coherent thoughts, only register stimuli. He’d watched with some distant, unemotional awareness, the creature there – the Demon Lord – which he seemed to be able to sense energies from. He could see the waves of shadow and black negative energy that emanated from Xalaxalax. And he could see a tendril, like an energy tentacle that sprouted from Dr Soren’s head, as fine as a silken thread, that connected to the otherworldly being. There was one connecting to him, as well, but it radiated from his chest, and was a slightly larger filament. But he didn’t sense control. But the demonic creature was certainly fueling something with his power. Perhaps the filament was what was keeping him alive.
Now that he could think, with Soren’s command, he wondered if he should kill the demon lord? He didn’t even consider trying at this point, as he needed to know some things first. Like, who he was, what was this life. How did he know how to kill both the Demon Lord and the Human Scientist, as if it were some kind of equation, a computer spitting out a formulaic solution.
He levered himself upright in the pod, and slowly removed the wires and probes and tubes that covered his body, the monitors all slowly going to silent mode as the data ended with the disconnected leads.
Pushing himself with an acrobat’s grace out of the pod, he wandered barefoot over to the table, and took stock of the weapons there. He selected a katana, and a wicked, curved dagger. He found himself turning and walking down a corridor with a sure swagger in his step, and realized he had a jaunty spring in it.
As he went down the corridor, there was a guard at the end of the cell block. There were a total of 6 prison-type cells, and the doors were all concrete and steel walls and doors, with bullet proof glass, and murder holes built into the doors, which doubled as food tray slots. The cells were about 2 meters square, and only one cell had any occupants. There were 2 occupants, and both were former experiments of the Doctor’s ambitions. Neither were more than mindless zombies, as this point.
The assassin stopped in front of the cell, and tried the door; it was locked. He turned and walked up to the guard, who tensed up, and cringed, seeing the red-eyed assassin in front of him wielding the weapons. The silver maned hybrid just LOOKED at the guard, and concentrated on him, projecting the command, ‘open the door’.
The guard’s eyes glazed over with a red haze, and he robotically walked over to open the cell door. He gripped the door handle, and swung it back, backing away from the cell door, leaving a clear path for the young assassin monster before him.
Doctor Soren came down the hall, with his electronic pad, and was taking notes, as he nodded, smiling, and cooed, “Oh! Excellent.. Excellent.”
He watched as the young assassin went into the cell, and as he did, one of the zombie-creatures lurched out and into the hall. The assassin cut deep as the creature passes the door, taking the zombie with his first stroke in its mid-section. Guts spilled out, and it fell to the ground, moaning, in the hallway, while the red-eyed creation attacked the other zombie inside.
The silver haired assassin systematically dismembered and then executed the creature in the cell, and the stopped. For a moment he was lost in thought, as he contemplated who he was. His body was spattered now with blood and some other kind of substance that was in the veins of the failed experiment. It had been a mercy killing for certain. He could actually see the young man’s spirit released, in a stream of positive energy, that spiraled up and out of his body.
So he could even see souls! And then a thought came to him. Like a fade memory. He had been called Ro. That seemed to have been his name in the past. He stretched, and found that he really couldn’t move at the moment. Something was stopping him from moving. He heard the moaning sound coming from the hallway, and Doctor Soren was standing in the cell doorway, frowning. He’d been so happy at first, and now his creation was not fulfilling his orders. What had gone wrong? It was going so well up until now.
Xalaxalax shambled into the hall behind, and his presence sent a chill of the creeps down Soren’s spine. He turned to look up at the demonic being, and its eyes glittered with amusement. In that wet and rotten voice, it said, in a gurgling chuckle, “Something amiss, oh genius of creation? Your new toy monster not performing properly? Perhaps you should go in and examine him, and see if he’s injured himself, yes?”
Soren hissed and shook his head, but the suggestion made sense, so as he was stepping into the cell, he said back to the demon, “It must be something simple, it must be! He’s the perfect killing machine in every way! I mean, look what he did to these two ….”
As the scientist stepped into the cell, Ro felt something change in his ability to move, and he felt both an impulse, and a glee in what happened next. He had to kill the two occupants in the cell. One was dead before him. The other was out in the hall, but still alive, but wasn’t in the cell any longer. So it didn’t count. But now Soren was. And he wanted to kill him. The command to kill who he chose had been explicit with the other, to kill two in the cell.
Ro rammed his sword from below the scientist’s crotch, straight up, with a speed and force that defied what his body should have been able to do. It split the man in two from balls to sternum, and at the same moment, he rammed the wickedly curved dagger into his skull, the point coming out of the top of the man’s head.
Ro watched as the sliver of that strange energy filament snapped, as the scientist’s eyes registered a brief moment of surprise, shock, and a certain glee. His last thoughts were bubbling before Ro’s mind, and he heard, “He’s perfect! “ And Ro projected his thoughts back to the dying man, “I’m not a monster, asshole. But I am free of you now. You should have worded your orders much more carefully.”
And he watched the spirit of the scientist start to free itself from the ruined body it had inhabited. But Xalaxalax stretched his arm from outside the cell, and grabbed at the soul as it tried to depart, and his slimy, putrescent flesh gripped the writhing soul, and retracted his hand, and held it in his palm.
The Demon Prince did something that Ro felt in his heart, that was probably more to do with chaos creation rather than some gesture of good will, and it disconnected the filament that connected him to Ro. Ro suddenly felt all compulsion leave him, and free will surged into his frame. And a power that he hadn’t known he possessed.
“Use the power and knowledge, Ro, and go forth into this world, and do what you will. I know you possess a talent for murder. I suggest you … indulge. I leave you with this spirit dragon, as a companion, to help guide you with your powers,“ the creature said wetly.
Ro’s eyes glowed, and he felt a surge, as a silvery dragon appeared out of the air and coiled around his shoulder, bowing its head, “I’m am yours to command, my master,” it said. “I am Zartru, and I shall guide you.”
Ro gained knowledge in an instant about an ability and he used it to conjure a weapon, as the information came into his mind – a spirit chain that had bat-shaped blades attached to it. He coiled it about his arm, and glanced at the chortling Xalaxalax, and shook his head. “I’m .. not sure why you did this, or what your game is,” he thought, in a curious but firm mental voice, “But I’m not going to be your puppet, any more than I was Soren’s. I don’t want to be a monster. I just want to be free. “
The Demon Prince shrugged, and bowed, and then faded, without another word, as if Ro had won the argument, if there had been one. Ro felt the being had left the material plane, to return to the hellspawn of a place where he was from.
He said it again, to himself, and to the little dragon on his shoulder. “I’m not a monster. I’m not.”
Story by: Dehrynn Shepherd.
Hair- Tableau Vivant \\ Glenn (Collabor88)
Eyeshadow & Eye Piece- Zibska ~ Luise & Lashes (Enchantment)
*Bolson – Hanzo (Store)
Vines- E.V.E Rosina’s Undergrowth (Enchantment)