Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Clear-Caged Beast

Zacharael roars. He smashes his fists hard against the plasteel cage he’s locked in, but to no available – the walls don’t even shake, let alone crack. He paces side to side along the front four-foot wall, trying not to look at the Humans on the other side, the scientists just waiting to have a crack at discovering his secrets. The other three walls, as transparent as the first, provide sights of nothing but machinery, tools, and cameras. So many cameras.

Another inhuman roar, and Zacharael collapses onto the floor, falling into a tight sitting position as if trying to contain his rage. He’s short, shorter than most the Humans in the room, but wide. His body is all muscle, bulging out of the loose fitting white surgical robe he woke up in. He has no genitals, no marks on his skin, no impurities or imperfections – his whole body is smooth, tempered. The only noticable marks are self-inflicted, five valves, two on his chest, one on each arm, and one on his back.

As the unseen gas slowly pumps its way into his cell, he yawns, revealing his pure white teeth, all fused together to create not a row of smaller teeth, but a single tooth across his whole jaw. His eyes begin to droop, then close completely, opening in shock only a few more times until he is out cold.

The single doctor in the room approaches the cell. He stops for a moment, stoops to look at the unusual backpack that the creature came in with – akin to a huge vial of liquid, now empty, with five tubes trailing off, severred from the brutal struggle to bring the creature here. With a dozen men working on the remains of the liquid, people are hopeful for a cure, or at least a defence against, the dreaded Jackal virus. The dozen or so men in this room are more interested in its creator, Zacharael, the creature confined within this cage.

“What genetic analysis we’ve managed to get done reveals a simularity between the virus and the creator.” The doctor now stands. “It seems he modified his own genetic material to create the virus. Weaponised his own genes, although the analysis shows he was already pretty weaponised himself. The creature has gone entirely into a violent, animalistic state, as if an imbed defence mechanism to protect whatever secrets it holds…” The doctor shakes his head, frowns at the implications of his words.

“You’re saying..” interrupts one of the scientists, nervous. “..that this creature is artificial? Himself, created?”

“I’m saying..” frowns the doctor, “..that whatever unleashed this beast on the world, did so with the express purpose that he would assist in destroying it.” He taps the plasteel of the cell. A few of the fresher scientists jump, but the gas’ effects have already long taken course, and the creature is fast asleep. “He is a violent creature, that’s already established. From our discussion with the ‘fugitives’ who brought him in, his focus was solely on the virus, and how he could release it into Drex. It wasn’t something he discovered, it was simply something that he knew, something he was created capable of creating. He is a creature they called an ‘Arch-Angel’, something they’re apparantly hunting. And when a group like that hunts for something, you know its going to be trouble!”

“So its body is artificial then? What materials were used to create it? How did they bond together, how did they create the mind, the soul, the intelligence? And best of all – who created it?”

“Our analysis was only surface structure and rough genetic outlines. We need samples. Thus, the gas. So far it appears almost mechanical in its composition, but still living. We suspect Hyperalloy, or an extremely reformed version of such.” The doctor removes his glasses, cleans them with a deep breath, masking his worried sigh in the process.

“Hyperalloy? Please. Even the Exohumans have forgotten its use! No, it must be something else. Besides, no scientist in Drex has been able to create artificial life since NOAH, and even those tales are highly suspect! An already living creature who has undergone extensive nano-augmented genetic shifts. Altered DNA. That has to be the cause.”

Already, guards had begun to approach the cell, preparing to remove the creature and begin the required operations. They seemed almost fearless, confident in the doctor’s hypotheses about the gas, and began the sequence to unlock the cell.

“Please!” The doctor smashes his hand against the desk, refocussing everyones attention on him. “A living creature couldn’t survive such a procedure. The genetic structure is artificial, I tell you, and weaponised at that. It is so focussed on destruction, even to the point of self-destruction, that no living creature would willingly do that to themselves, assuming they could even survive!”

The door of the cell slides open, and the guards step back to allow room to get the grav-stretcher in. Too late, they release their mistake.

Zacharael was fast, far faster than his size should have allowed. One of the guards was ripped in half before anybody even realized what was happening. As guns were being drawn, already a second and a third had fallen. His fingers were like talons, razor sharp, and his raw strength allowed him to lift a guard up and tear him in half with a gentle ease. His jaw had split in the middle, dividing that perfect single fused-tooth in half, and opened wide enough to engulf a Human head whole; it snapped back shut, hard, and the scientists saw that the now-dual fused teeth acted much like a axeblade, cleaving through flesh and muscle with ease.

The doctor was already away. Smart, and experienced, enough to realize when to leave a dangerous situation, he had fled for the door, and engaged a manual lockdown on the room. Alarms were blaring, distractingly loud, and the rooms light were a mix of red and white flashes. The scientist he was arguing with slammed hard against the security-locked door, and was begging mindlessly for help.

The creature exited its cell and entered the room. A few of the guards were opening fire with both stun-guns and real weapons, but it seemed to have no effect. Zacharael batted them aside, carving through anything in his way. Huge gas-release systems on the roof were already releasing plumes of smoke into the air, highly potent paralyzing gas, enough to kill a human ten times over. The creature was already showing the effects. It slammed against the nearest wall, as if trying to break through, but the reinforced room was far too secure to allow the specimen to escape.

The doctor watched in rapturous awe as Zacharael lifted the scientist over its head, and began feasting voraciously, before collapsing in a bloody heap on the floor. The room was a mess. The doctor was equal parts horrified and proud – proud that he had the chance to see this engineered weapon unleashed against both unsuspecting and suspecting prey. Horrified in the joy he was taking in this experience..

Meanwhile, unseen, silent, Masquerade watches everything unfold. Every camera is an eye, every microphone, an ear. He is nowhere and everywhere at once, unconcerned with the lives of the Humans down there. Concerned only with the Ark-Angel. Concerned only with Zacharael.

No comments:

Post a Comment