Ringing began. In an abyss. A single point, nothingness. A perfect vacuity of existence. An immense distance between light and dark. A treacherous void, inhospitable, but there, defying. It is exact, perhaps perfect. It is existing, this…nothing.
And as if the first moment of birth, young, uneasy eyes open, ingesting this new reality. All axes ready. Movement is hindered, but thought remains intact. The gears of life turn, each cog and spring turn into action and energy, and the engine to consciousness erupts. The roaring burden of life is fed into the mechanism, and light is made.
Illuminating an alien veracity, a world? It is unclear, above and below remains a blinding light. The humming has been replaced with an overwhelming whooshing of…movement?
The next boundary has been compromised. The pain threshold, established and tested. A reaction follows. A cry, shrill and foreign. An unexpected fluid-like rumble enters from the throat, and a memory is born.
Motor functions are at full capacity. The weight of life is dulled by rapid gunfire, and the harsh presence of smoke, from the houses, tanks and corpses that burn tirelessly. The body is sore and weary. Dirt is caked on the face, and held in the hands is a rifle. An unnatural glow from the gun sight’s energy reflects off of the mask. The head lifts up, slowly, unsure, unstable. The horizon is choppy, ragged and withered, the merciless onslaught of war has plagued this land. Because of such horrors, the sky has become a mutated red and black. Black, the smoke from the miles and miles of land that burns. Red, the haunting reflection off of the thick smoke, reminiscent of the buildings that topple and the empires that disintegrate. The mind carefully begins ticking. Predetermined actions fall into order, and the default step is taken.
The distant exterior sounds are populated with the static blitz of automatic weaponry, the shrill whistle of the incoming mortar, and the subsequent blast, muffled by the uncompromising smoke that pours from the wounds of the earth. The result is more advanced. A living machine, over-conditioned to the point of hive-mind status. An invisible hand, ever so eloquently working the marionettes to its own deceitful advantage. Pawns in a game.
The head rises slowly, the almost synthetic heartbeat begins to pound as the iron sight ascends. One hundred yards away, a man stands in a small bunker. His comrade mans a high powered machine gun, and the enemies fire down a small hill, towards allies. In his possession, another rifle. The red dot on the laser portion of the scope appears on the enemies chest. A left eye squints softly, without a hint of hesitation the blue eyes as cold as the metal in his hands. The trigger finger squeezes, and a single pop erupts from the barrel. About a half a second of delay passes before the enemies chest explodes in a cloud of red mist. As the blood hits the wall behind him, the enemy slides, twitching, lifeless. The gunner does not realize that his friend has been killed, due to the roaring sound of the weapon.
The murderous hand rises to pull back the bolt, and a heavy golden shell projects out. It lands on the rough cement with a harmonic ring, and after it bounces a few times, it comes to a stop.
The sight is reset, and the barrel slowly turns, like a menacing creature turns to stalk its next victim. The gunner, partially hidden behind his gun, continues to shoot. A small breath of air relieves the tension in the chest, where the stock may be safely placed for the next shot. The laser is designated once again, but this time, the only reliable, open area is the head. The epicenter. A breath is drawn in, to allocate accuracy. The trigger finger squeezes, and a single pop erupts from the barrel. About a half a second delay passes before the enemies head dissipates, and the automatic posthumous reaction follows, a violent seizure of muscle spasms, before his doomed corpse disappears behind the wall.
The murderous hand rises to pull back the bolt, and a heavy golden shell projects out. It lands on the rough cement with a harmonic ring, and after it bounces a few times, it comes to a stop.

Accelerated birth, compiled memories infused and conditioned, these humans know nothing but what is injected via hypodermic needle. Their only motivation, the memories of years past, the transgressions, the horrors, the atrocities that mankind has brought upon itself. A plague of war has swept across our planet, and the only real law is survival. The earth has spun itself into a synthetic island of toxic garbage and mire. The past is littered with acts of an irresponsible mankind. The advent of advanced genetics and Ironplant has slingshot the human race into an highly developed civilized state that is able to reproduce organically and artificially. “Drones” are harvested to do manual labor, almost totally eliminating the need for “ditch-diggers” or “laymen”. Instead, almost every authentic human being occupies a job as a office worker, doing the mental work that drones are too slow to do. The tolerance for physical labor in the human race has been severely altered, and the real humans have been experiencing a genetic diffusion. Slowly, strong humans have begun to disappear, people who are proficient in muscle development and objective activity are becoming in a sense, extinct. They have been replaced with powerful drones. Semi brainless hive-workers who are only responsive to The Call. The Call, an omniscient being, an orphan voice, unknown to most organic humans, has almost total control over these drones. The call directs each one in what appears to be personal communication, but in reality, the call is all encompassing to these laborers. Each one receives a message, telling them what to do next. This blind following varies depending on the Determined Work Value they undergo during their artificial birth. This DWV determines what the worker will do after its 2 month maturity.
Drones are placed into three categories. Military Drones, Labor Drones, and Civilian Drones. Military Drones are mostly used for ‘dirty combat’. The side of war that involves killing and being killed. Organic humans take the helm of tactics and technological advancements. Labor Drones are primarily placed in physical jobs at the home-front. This includes factory work, construction labor and any other at home work. Civilian Drones are usually restricted to domestic affairs, becoming more or less butlers, waitresses, and other at home personal assistants. Most of the civilian drones are owned by the higher class citizens, people who can afford two or three drones to bustle about their mansion, cooking, cleaning, and tending to whatever homely duties they may be asked to. The Civilian Drones are detached from the hive mind and the new voice of command is designated to the owner. The drones are essentially slaves and are conditioned to follow every order. In extreme cases, female drones are purchased for lonely males as a sort of live-in prostitute, thus virtually eliminating the trouble with STD’s, normally contracted by street women through multiple partners.
Then came the day. The day that everything changed. It was only two weeks before the day it started, and the day it ended. Two weeks of hell.

“You laugh now.” The scientist said jokingly, his assistant face-down in a microscope. “But these things will change the future for the human race.”
Their laboratory was sickeningly white, and the overwhelming stench of cleaning products consumed the air. Each breath contained the taste of various lemon-scented cleaners and evaporated disinfectants. These scientists had discovered something recently. A small injection of super-enzymes to the pituitary at ninety hours after decantation wildly accelerated muscle mass growth, so effective that at three weeks after decantation, the body was almost as large as an average organic human, meaning that the final two month product would be an enormous variant of the human being. Alongside this startling discovery, came the brain’s hastened development. This meant, in theory, that the drone would be able to maintain an average human’s knowledge capacity and still remain under control of The Call. This unprecedented advancement in Human Harvesting would drastically alter the way the future is perceived. One of these MegaDrones would be able to achieve the work that twenty average drones would accomplish. War would be different as well. Having a sixteen foot tall human meant less damage done to the body after a gunshot wound or two. This also meant that larger weaponry became portable at a moment’s notice. No longer would large, bulky, electric monstrosities litter the battlefield, slow and clumsy. A MegaDrone would simply hear The Call, and a second later the weapon would be in the air, carried quickly and efficiently to a new, safe location.
“I know that, but let’s face it. This is beyond experimental. You’re getting your hopes up for something that is so primitive, it’s highly unreliable.” The assistant retorted, slowing his words as he adjusted the focus of the microscope.
“Even if it is primitive, the preliminary tests are very hopeful. You saw how big the rats grew. In three days, we had giant rats in cages. Good thing we had the boas nearby.” He chuckled, shuffling a pile of papers at his desk, and laying them to the side. Amongst the papers, graphs, charts, genetic readouts and results from the control and experimental groups. The government looked upon this branch of science as its smart, successful money maker. Almost as if a parent picked its favorite child, unfair, but existent, nonetheless.
“I just don’t want you to get your hopes up yet. We’re on day seven of a yearlong study. This has been the shortest amount of time you’ve gone without being excited for something. I’m not saying it’s bad, but let’s face it, it’s too early to throw a party.” The assistant continued. His pessimism did not sit well with the lead researcher. At this point, the scientist had made his way to the side of the room opposite the assistant. Along the wall, a panel of switches and dials, cords and cables, each one delivering information to another machine. The assistant stood up from the microscope and grabbed the small lens he was inspecting and placed it in a Petri dish and sealed the lid.
“The Myxococcus Xanthus shows signs of advanced growth when exposed to the enzyme. Reproduction rate is slightly heightened as well, probably a nonfactor, but put it down anyway.” The assistant read off.
“How about interaction with other bacteria?” The head researcher asked, not turning away from his machine.
“Interestingly enough, it’s become more aggressive. Not by a lot, but it’s tendency to act in a violent manner is more frequent. Again, probably an issue with the catalyst. The control side may not reflect this trait.” The assistant answered softly, now looking at a clipboard with various statistics, recorded over the last seven days. He sat the clipboard on the desk as the scientist flipped a switch, and a machine embedded in the wall ejected a small drawer like container. The scientist placed ten small vials of a dark, tarry substance into the trays. He then pressed a button on the interface, and the drawer retracted. After the drawer disappeared, a series of clicks and whizzing came from the machine, and then it stopped. A second passed before it began to whir softly.
“Think we’ve hit the nail on the head with this one?” The scientist asked lowly. He looked over his shoulder to the assistant, who placed the pen he was writing with down and turned to look at the researcher. He chortled softly to himself.
“I just think that this endeavor is a little too good to be true. Everything has fallen into place too nicely. We haven’t hit any significant snags in this project yet. We haven’t really earned these results.” He said, his voice full of doubt. “I’ve never really encountered a study that has gone so…willingly. It seems like it wants to work out.”
“And that’s bad to you?” The researcher asked, his interest peaked. He turned around to face the assistant, who had taken off his glasses and sat them on the table. He wiped small sweat beads from his low sitting cheekbones onto his sleeve.
“Bad? No…it’s ominous, to say the least. We haven’t been able to work with something that is so predictable in a good way. It does everything we want it to do, it seems to function with the intent of being our desired result. It’s unsettling. By this time we’ve been back to the drawing board twice.” The assistant answered crossing his arms and leaning against the table. He shrugged and made the ‘I don’t know’ face. The scientist nodded and returned to his papers.
“Awfully cynical. Trust issues?” The scientist asked simply with a smirk, knowing that a nerve had been nicked.
“What? No…No I just expect the worst. No way to be disappointed then, eh?” He replied as he laughed off the obvious attempt to pry into personal issues. He knew how he operated. Time spent not facing a microscope or performing experiments was used to find out information about his colleagues. Most of these colleagues were unaware of his prying, but a few picked up on it.
Day fifty arrived quickly to the bio-engineers. The tests continued to behave as preferred. There seemed to be no hitches in the pace of the course, which meant within a year, the MegaDrones would be expected to hit the war field and the construction sites. Had things gone according to plan.

“What happened? Why…why are we out here?” he puffed, doubled over with his hands on this thighs. The team leader was also doubled over, but raised his body and placed his hands onto his head, his face scowling.
“Something went wrong with the accelerator. It malfunctioned I…He broke free of the restraints. He’s in a protected area though, he can’t get out…but I just don’t…” He said quickly between each breath. He looked down at the ground for a moment before taking on one large gasp of air and releasing it, returning his breathing back to normal.
“The accelerator? How did it malfunction?” The worker responded.
“It fired up way too fast. It literally injected him with pure energy and stimulants. In less than a minute his body expanded to that of a normal human, but stopped. He still is incredibly hostile. The machine exploded, But I had already left the containment area.” he said with very blatant hints of worry.
“You think he’ll be contained?” The worker asked, looking at the assistant who was sucking multiple hits from his inhaler. He looked at the worker and shook his head without hesitation. Just as he finished shaking his head, the sound of gunfire erupted from around the 26th floor of the building. People were frightened at the abrupt explosion of static gunfire raging above them. A window on the side of the building blew out and a guard tumbled out with the shards of glass. This happened about three more times until, without notice, a line of five windows on the floor exploded outwards, a single body coming from the center window. The body flew over the heads of the researchers and landed deep in the garden with a slam.
The scientists rushed to the spot where the body hand landed. In its place, a small crater like divot, dust in the air, and flattened bushes. The person had disappeared.
“He’s gone…” The assistant said slowly. Suddenly, a clicking noise came from the bushes near them. A man appeared from thin air. He had large black plates along his arms, legs, and two large spikes coming from under his shoulder blades. They made a 90 degree arc upwards, each about a 4 feet long. All over his left arm were large, sharp black spikes, each about a foot long. Instead of feet, his legs formed into a sort of bird-like foot, and instead of toes, the limb ended in a small flat block, slightly wider than his calf. He was sitting like a bird.
He raised both of his wicked arms until he formed a T shape, his palms facing outwards and his stance wide, extending his avian legs to their fullest, bringing him to a monstrous eight feet in height. The air grew dense, and high pitched ringing emanated the forest. His fingered extended like sickles, and a large curved plate of unknown black material slid up from his collarbones and covered his face except for two slits where his beady, iris-less eyes could barely be seen. The sharp, metal like material grew all over his body like dangerous armor, extending to cover every square inch of his torso. His forearms were covered un bulky material, with even more spikes growing out of the sides. At this point, thick, straight, obsidian hair grew from the top of his bald head, and stopped growing when his transformation was complete.
There he stood, the essence of creation, huge blades for fingers, each at least two feet long. His shoulders now bore similar spikes as his forearms. The material seemed natural; organic even. It grew so quickly steadily. It seemed impossible. This is not what the scientist had intended.
The worker raised his hands up slowly, easing himself towards the monstrosity.
“Easy man, relax, everything’s going to be okay.” The worker spoke gently, yet still shivering with hysteria. He was barely holding himself together. The man made behemoth looked at the puny man in front of him. He took his left hand and swung it in a wide arc, grabbing the man where he stood. The man’s arms were trapped in the giant’s fist, making him unable to move. The monster raised the man off of his feet, and too his other bladed hand and drove his palm straight onto the top of his head. Fragments of skull and spinal cord exploded from the beasts hand, and a geyser of blood exploded in every direction. The other scientist were soaked in their former colleagues life force. The beast dropped the remains of the worker, a crumpled mess of bone and flesh, with a pulverized, chunky paste for a head and spine.
The Beast stared down the scientist and the assistant, but from between two trees, a shoulder mounted rocket exploded into the side of the beast, throwing him into a tree. He quickly and gracefully got back onto his feet, and used his powerful legs to launch himself into the air, up above the canopy of the trees and back down, out of sight of the scientists. Moments later, a volley of explosions and gunshots rang out, each one silenced with a sharp, anguished shriek of pain.
Only was an hour later, and multiple special forces teams were dispatched to the surrounding area. A few calls came into the local enforcer station reporting vehicular damage and various thumps and crashes. A squadron of sixty men in total were launched from the station to track down what was now codenamed “Erebus”. The orders simply required target incapacitation or elimination, deadly force suggested. The scientist and the assistant were assisted to an onsite medical team who examined any wounds they might of sustained, while the forensic team removed the dead from the site.
“What happened up there?” A lead investigator questioned a frightened scientist. He sat on the edge of an ambulance as a medic tended to a small cut on his head. A large group of guards secured a wide perimeter and patrolled tirelessly in a parade.
“I couldn’t tell you…” The scientist mumbled, distraught at the last hours happenings.
“What do you mean…something private? I can tell the medic to leave for a few moments if you want…” The investigator said, leaning on the back edge of the ambulance. The doctor shook his head slowly and scoffed.
“No, I mean…I don’t know what went on. It all happened in a flash. The accelerator screwed up and then that…thing came out.” He spoke softly leaning his head back. The investigator held a small folding device. He recorded the scientists statement word for word, carefully keeping track of each word he said.
“Basically that’s it.” He said flatly. “There’s no complicated thing here. In my opinion this was just an accident…a grand mistake.” He said somberly, looking out into the garden. The sun was now high in the azure sky, beating down relentlessly on the earth. Only a few miles away, this “Grand Mistake” so effortlessly hurdled cars and buildings, running from the origin.

He made his way to a dark, secluded alley on the edge of the city, hidden in a small nook where he curled in the dark, the place where he was most comfortable. He was primal, so animal like and simple. His existence was the physical manifestation of instinct. He had no self awareness, no emotion or intelligence beyond that of a wolf, or a snake, or a bird. All that he thought of was his next meal. But he did not hunger for meat, not for foliage. Something else.
He was drawn to flames, heat…anything that burned or combusted. It was like consumable energy, it sustained him. The sun, the unreachable. Every second he spent in direct sunlight offered a sort of hum…the hum of energy, being absorbed…This was not solar, but something else. His memory clicked on, and he recalled the explosion. Before it happened, he was so different. He was pink and small, slower and shorter. In every sense, he was weaker. Now, his eyesight had gained incredible sharpness, his hearing could detect a leaf hitting the ground 100 yards away. All senses heightened, he was more dangerous than ever. If only his primitive mind could understand his capability.
He sat in his dark corner, watching the shadows from the buildings grow on the other structures, the light slowly dimming as hours passed. His armor was weightless, it seemed to have no ill effects on his movement, if anything it enhanced his mobility. It seemed super resilient to gunfire, and no amount of blunt force could crack the hardened shell his body was covered in. It was deep black, but shiny, almost a chrome. It seemed to grow and mutate, constantly changing. His simple thoughts and curiosity were stopped in their tracks upon hearing the chaotic sounds military movement. The rumblings of jeeps and running feet. Combat boots and mobile artillery populated the streets as he worked up the courage to peek from the corner. Search parties, helicopters, the whole nine yards were deployed to hunt him down. Out of nowhere, he mumbled lowly…his first vocalization. He simply grunted…he went back to his corner and hid for the rest of the night, quietly murmuring.
Back at the lab, both scientists and repairmen were cleaning up the 26th floor mess that had ensued due to Erebus’s escape. Almost everything had been destroyed on the floor. Shards of wooden tables, fragments of glass and debris lay strewn on the ground. There were smoldering scorch marks were all over what remained of the walls. Since the machine was actually three floors below where the firefight commenced, the scientists questioned over how Erebus managed to get up three stories so quickly. Very quickly they realized that he had not taken the stairs, nor the elevator. Instead he was fired out of the accelerator and through three floors. He had been launched up through each ceiling and landed in a small office development area, upon which the alarms were raised. He didn’t move for a minute or so, which gave various military people time to mobilize and close in on Erebus. Upon their arrival, a gunfight ensued. An explosive device was used, and it shot him out of the window into the garden.
What the scientists questioned now is the strange anomaly that engulfed his body. He left the accelerator looking like a normal human being, but his last sightings described him as a black mass of spikes and top heavy with bird like legs and high ground travel speed. The time between Erebus’s landing and everybody losing sight of him to his re-discovery by the scientists was a short time. A mere ten to fifteen seconds. In that time, such an intense and abnormal transformation had taken place that it almost defied belief. This was a never before seen side effect of droning.


Visceral Creations

Kent, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

So what you read on the front page of most of my websites is the introduction to this story, Erebus. Yet another unfinished piece to add to the pile. This story revolved around a guy who at first is called “Erebus”. Due to the circumstances of his birth, he his being hunted by all branches of the military as he is a highly dangerous and expensive experiment with humanity that has escaped and wreaks havoc on a large city. The story takes place over a two week period as Erebus learns to be human, even with his incredibly lethal powers granted through his “Grand accident”. Built as a weapon for a military purpose forty years in the future, he represents the cutting edge of technology. Upon his escape, he is nothing but “a pure manifestation of instinct. A gigantic, scared, powerful infant”. But genetically altered to be a soldier of superior strength, his capacity to learn and comprehend far exceeds that of any genius mind existing today. He is capable of drawing energy from heat, be it fire, sunlight or electricity, he capable of absorbing it through his newly acquired powers. In his quest to discover the reason behind his transformation, as well has his fugitive status and shady birthing, he discovers an intricate web of deceit and lies spanning through many levels of government control. With this knowledge, he begins to assemble a group of people who have also been wronged by these authorities and assumes command and leads the charge to take revenge on those who have wronged him.

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