Archive for the ‘Natural Selection’ Category

For those who have been around here for a bit, you know what ‘Natural Selection’ is (the rest of you should look at the list over there, and catch up). I have mentioned that I wanted to do another one, but slightly different. While I have been trying not to put too much thought into it while I”m presently working on finishing a novel, I did try doing at least one story for it that I was going to try to put together for a mag submission. But, I never really got anywhere with it. I started it, but then just completely lost the direction to get it where I wanted it to go. What I have I think is at least somewhat interesting, but not what it’s supposed to be at all. It doesn’t tie in right with the universe I created so far for ‘Natural Selection.’ Although the character concept I have in this will probably be what I’m keeping, except for a slight timeline change, everything else would most likely get changed. And yes, I started writing this back during last year’s seemingly unending ‘Snowmageddon.’

Fallen Snow

English: Fallen leaves in snow.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another snowfall—at least “snow” is what we called it. I’m of the last generation who would remember when snow reflected memories of child play and laughter—but now the word “snow” was simply what we called it hoping we didn’t think of what it really was. Hoping that memories of the sweet smell of frozen rain would replace the bitter stench so thick that you had no choice but to taste it—and always know what it really was.

The ashes of the fallen lay thick in gathered piles.

The snow came less frequent than it used to, but that only meant there were fewer of us left.

They have been hunting us throughout this world since I was a child. I remember when they first came—the ground was covered with real snow then, from a real snow fall the night before. I was excited to see it, as any child would have been—no school, snowmen and snow forts fully armed with snowballs to build—but I barely left my front door when the ground shook casting the loose snow through the air. The sky opened up as if a gaping hole was being torn open, and the whole of what was the sky became filled with a mass so large that it appeared to have no edges.

I had no idea what I was seeing; I had no idea how I was supposed to react to it. I stared in wonder, like one the many science fiction novels I’ve read just came to life before me. Everyone was outside, staring upward, as uncertain as I was—my mother was there holding my little sister, but I barely registered their presence as I was enthralled by the mass that just replaced the sky.

I don’t know how long after its arrival it was ‘til it made its first move, for when it was first seen, time didn’t seem to move in a normal fluctuation anymore, but eventually, its mass began to slide apart miles across, and revealed a cavern as dark as its own mass. And from the darkness of that cavern they dropped down like a disturbed swarm from a hornet’s nest.

We ran as those who didn’t run fast enough became scorched bones and ash. Eventually we gathered and mass a means to fight back, but the strategies constantly failed against their forces only to eventually evolve only in learning to hide as they tore this whole world apart. Fear became the normal state of being.

After they cut through the masses of us, rumors started that they were capturing some of us. No one knew why, but many had their own ideas, from past stories of creatures from the beyond collecting us to experiment on. The stories were always seen as only stories, until now when so much of them were already beginning to look so true.

The years went by, and the fighting slowed, but mostly because there we so few of us now that it was easier for them to take their time, and simply pluck out the stragglers for sport.

And so the snow falls. I survived it all long enough to reach an age where my grandparents used to predict the weather through the pain in their bones—my pain is constant and sharp.

The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger (Photo credit: The mofoJT)

So, ‘Natural Selection’ is done, and all that remains of it is the past posts that you can read and re-read ‘til your foot gets stuck from kicking yourself in the ass for not pushing for me to continue the project. But don’t fear, as a bonus for you, I shall provide you here with the DVD Extras. These are bits that I wrote in ‘Elimination’ that ended up getting changed for one reason or another, some of the bits got recycled, in what you got, while the rest was simply left in the scrap file (I’m sure I had to of mentioned this before, and if I haven’t, I am now: never delete large amounts of writing no matter how bad you think it is, always put it in a scrap file. There will always be bits in it that you’ll find useful that you would have lost otherwise—plus, it gives you something to put on your website to appeal to the fans—I’m going to have those some day)

This is the original version of how it started just after Bahb hit the button. I tried writing Father with a cliché Southern-draw, so trying to figure out his dialog was always interesting, making this speech fun to write, but in the end, it was just too much “blah, blah, blah” with nothing happening and was killing the pace. So, I pushed back the zombies (the fight with them was going to start in this story, but then decided it was more dramatic to end it with them coming), I put Bahb’s guards back because I couldn’t figure out any way to get him a weapon that wouldn’t just leave him hiding behind the aliens for most of the story (even though most of his efforts of fighting were useless, I needed to keep the concept of him not backing down—since that’s the direction that kept getting chosen, so I wanted to keep that reflected as such):

What is that—Oh-dear-god—“

There was a slight pause, and a popping sound that came from the other PA speakers, and Fathers voice came over all of them at once, “Attention, my children, this is your father. It would seem that Hell has opened its floodgates and we are in the direct path of its fury. You are the greatest of a whole new species of mankind—now is the time that you must prove yourselves! Now is the time you must fight for the survival of this species! Defend our children, defend our families—“

A load groaning sound came across the speakers, followed by the sounds of multiple gunshots, and them the speakers suddenly cut out.

The room was flooded with a red strobe and a blaring alarm, and the capsules containing Soo and the other alien began to drain of their fluid.

They’re waking up now…” the unknown voice announced in Bahb’s mind.

The glass chambers started rising up in sync and the two grotesque creatures slumped over and dropped to the flood with a wet slosh, and with tentacles splayed about randomly. They lay limp and seemly lifeless in pools of excess liquid. Just as Bahb began to work up the courage to try to check them for signs of life, the being he knew as Soo began to move a tentacle, and then another, and then started to push herself upright. Shortly after, the other began to do the same.

Bahb went over to Soo and crouched to her level, “Are you ok?”

Soo looked at Bahb with a slit eye at the end of a long stalk, and directed the other towards her companion. Bahb looked between them, and notice they had their stares locked on each other.

“Am I missin’ something?” Bahb asked.

They’re talking… I can hear them…” The voice stated, “Would you like to hear them too?

“That would be—“ A piercing pain shot through Bahb’s mind, with him clasping his head with his arms, barely managing to stay on his feet. He suddenly heard the sound of thousands of voices, frantic and screaming. Slowly the voices began to calm, and filter down to fewer and fewer, until Bahb heard a conversation between only two.

…they tried to hide him from us… the experiment is ordered to be brought to an end… all results so far must be cleansed…

Everything?

We are to retrieve the evidence of their violation… otherwise, everything must be subjected to elimination…

And so it must be… no one can escape the Selection!

“What the hell is the damned ‘Selection’?” Bahb blurted out, “Everybody that has anything to do with this damn crazy cult keeps going on about ‘there’s no escaping the Selection’ or some crap—what the hell—“

A sudden sound like a surprised gasp sounded through Bahb’s mind from the two creatures. The one that was Soo suddenly began to melt into an abstract of itself, a multi-colored blob, phasing into a shade of skin, and sprouting arms and legs, and becoming the woman that Bahb had come to recognize as Soo—also naked again.

Soo examined Bahb with her infinitely dark eyes, “Bahb, were you able to hear us just now?”

“Um… yes…” Bahb answered with uncertainty.

With Bahb’s single word, he was alerted to the metallic sound of an unsheathing blade behind him. He turned and saw a man with long black hair, darkly tanned skinned, and narrowed black eyes, standing with his right armed formed into a long blade directed at Bahb’s temple.

Bahb narrowed his eyes to match that of the alien, “Is there a problem?”

Who is this? He is not one of them…” Bahb heard in his mind.

He was useful in getting in here… he may continue to be…” Soo’s mind responded, and then out loud to Bahb, “Bahb, how were you capable of hearing us communicating before?”

“Present tense—I still can,” Bahb responded, “And I really don’t know the how of it. There’s another voice that I’ve been hearing since I got here, aside from Scarlet’s and yers. I assumed it was me losing my mind, but then the crazy started becoming a bit more functional that is probably normal for crazy.”

The other entity I detected earlier,” Soo announced in her mind.

Is it the evidence?” The other asked.

“If you and yer naked friend here are just gonna stand here mind zapping each other, I’m gonna go back to finding Scarlet now,” Bahb interjected.

Bahb walked to the doorway leading to the outer lab, while grabbing a couple of lab coats and tossing them in the direction of the aliens, “If you don’t mind, you two are make it feel drafty in here.”

Bahb went to the main door. He glanced out the window noticing that his two guards seemed to no longer be anywhere in sight, “They must have been pulled away by whatever that commotion over the PA was…

“Commotion?” Soo asked walking up behind him.

“Damn’it, is that thing still on—am I gonna be permanently incapable of a private thought?” Bahb said and continue, “When Father was speaking earlier, something was responded to with gunfire.”

Kyriakos’Dionysodoros’Eli’Mongkut’Jorje,” Soo’s mind blurted out.

Gesundheit…” Bahb responded, “Ok, that joke is weirder when it’s in my head. You mean that Jorje guy from the cemetery? What about ‘im?”

“Jorje guy?” The other alien responded out loud for the first time.

“They should have been here at least a month ago…” Soo said, “The hibernation must have weakened the signal… I am not sure what they were doing between time… no matter, the elimination has begun, and we must complete the mission now…”

Soo’s counter part crossed his bladed limb through the door and it fell to fragments before him.

“Not to sound like I’m criticizing the quality of yer handy work, there, but it was actually locked from the inside—where we presently are,” Bahb pointed out, “You happen to have a name?”

“Irfan’Ramachandra’Arjuna’Tafadzwa’Gaun” The alien responded while walking over the destroyed door and into the corridor.

“Ok…. Gaun… what’s the plan? If you two are gonna start escaping, that’s fine, but I still gotta find Scarlet before I go anywhere—with or without the either of you,” Bahb paused, “But, I’m not gonna lie, I’d rather have at least one of you incase I come up against another Evo along the way.”

“I believe the ‘Evos’ will be indisposed,” Soo responded, “However, I will accompany you, while… Gaun… continues our mission.”

Why are—“ Gaun started in his mind.

Silence! Follow my command!” Soo responded with Gaun simply giving a subservient nod and began making his way down the corridor at an unreal pace.

And this is the alternate final fight between Bahb and Soo. Originally, Bahb actually got Father’s pistol-cannon, because I just completely loved the idea behind that gun, but after re-reading what I wrote, I declared that the fact that I just juiced Bahb up like a Super-Evo wasn’t really being sold the way it needed to be. So, I took away the gun, pointed out the healing, the reflexes, the strength, and just hand-to-hand stuff:

Bahb gripped the pistol-cannon and became one with it, turning on his heels; he aimed at the charging Soo, and fired an explosion of thunder, sending its giant bolt through her chest, and being followed by another being sent through her right shoulder, completely removing her bladed limb. He then went to his feet and moving toward her, fired again, and again.

When he reached her, and stood over her switching body, it was phased between her human and original state in a fit of chaotic confusion. Bahb crouched down, and threw his fist through the grotesque thing that was Soo’s face until he felt soil behind it.

Part 1:

Selective Breeding

Bundled

Bundled (Photo credit: Bart Heird)

Father was awoken by a screeching scream, “Violation!” No other words, but a sensation of searing in the back of his mind, like a blazing path leading from him to the cause of the disruption.

He sat-up in his bed with the burning in his mind, while still dazed between wake and dream. The sensation bared the essence of his daughter, Kk’rin, and something else… something—“Oh, god, Kk’rin… what have you done now?”

He threw back the bed sheets, and walked quickly to the intercom, commanding that a carriage and retrieval party be assembled. Then he opened his wardrobe and began readying himself as best he could.

— — —

Kk’vin’s sister’s screams could be heard almost a full mile before the carriage carrying her even reached the compound’s gate.

“You can’t do this! You can’t keep me here!”

Kk’vin stood above the wall watching as it approached, and gave a slight wave to the men below to open the gate and allow the wagon through.

“Father, are you listening? I’ll get out at the first chance I get, you can’t keep me here!”

Kk’vin just shook his head as he listened to her pleas with even more energy than last time they brought her back. If it was anyone else, Father would have simply used his gaze and kept her from even opening her mouth, but with her, he just let her go as if punishing himself for some personal sin.

Kk’vin began climbing down the wall as the gate closed. He walked passed the farming zone where a group of children laughed as they played a game chasing each other through the corn field. He took in the sights of his family in the Church of the Evolution hard at work, allowing the compound to flow seamlessly. Father was only gone a short while retrieving Kk’rin, but Kk’vin hoped that the time of him being in charge would make his Father proud.

Kk’rin’s screams died out as a couple of his brethren carried her into the medical complex. Father wasn’t very clear about the conditions that spurred the urgency to retrieve her this time, so he had at least hoped that the stop at the complex was just an overly precautious Father giving his daughter a routine check-up.

Kk’vin approached the wagon and Father just now began to get out. The look on his face was filled with concern, and regret.

“You didn’t allow her words to get to you, did you, Father?” Kk’vin asked.

Father looked up at him with eyes that looked ancient and tired, “No, my son. Your sister has a right powerful set of lungs in her, and a tongue sharp enough to stab straight through her Father’s tender heart with precision, however…” he paused in a pained search for words, “I fear that she may have done something I simply do not know how to fix.”

— — —

Father left his son by the wagon to finish whatever chores he had left, and walked towards the sterilized room where his daughter was being prepared for her induction. The message glowing in his mind had shifted, “Elimination!” with the blazing path glowing like a sun.

What am I supposed to do now? He asked himself as he stared through the observation window at his struggling daughter.

He opened the door to the sterile smell and Kk’rin’s screams that were silenced as he forced his power upon her, an act he always regretted doing to any of his children.

Men in pure white that almost blended with the walls came in, and he nodded to them to begin. They went straight to work as Kk’rin groaned incoherently.

“You can’t… you can’t do this…” she managed to get out as the building pain in her gave her surges passed his hold over her.

My child, he thought as he looked away from the source of his own pain, I wish there was another choice.

“Please!” her scream echoed in his mind.

— — —

Kk’vin sat outside, anxiously waiting for any news of his sister as the door to the sterilized room finally opened up. One of his brethren came out dressed in pure white, randomly blotched with red, carrying what looked like a bundle of blankets. Kk’vin would have concluded that he was simply disposing of a pile of soiled linen, if the bundle didn’t suddenly begin to scream with a screeching wail.

As he started to creep a peek into the bundle, Father came out of the room.

“Kk’vin,” he said with such a commanding tone, that Kk’vin couldn’t help but bring himself to attention, “I need you to find this man, and cleanse him of his sins against the Church of the Evolution,” as Father spoke, his mind projected an image into Kk’vin’s head—A gunslinger, by the name of Bahb.

“Yes, Father”

— — —

Kk’rin lay on a cot attached to the wall of a cell she had been in many times before as her version of a “time-out.” They were still examining, poking, and prodding and every other kind of test they could think of, on her neonate son in a complex just a building over. She could feel every sensation running through the child’s mild in wonder of all the new sights so clearly, they almost felt like her own. It was an odd feeling of displacement—a growing consciousness for nine months inside of you, blind to anything beyond you, but now a building over and seeing everything.

She forced her mind away from her child for the moment, and focused on the mind of Father, “Now that you have me here, what do you plan to do to keep me this time?”

She found him in the lab with the creature. He watched as the tentacled thing hibernated in its tube. She could hear single words being transmitted, “Violation,” “Elimination,” and “Retrieval!”

Her mind was suddenly struck with the destruction of her son’s screaming, and then images started flashing. The images made little sense, but the last image she saw was that of Bahb dieing, and a black haired woman she never saw before.

She quickly sought out the mind of Bahb, and, though it was much further away, she was able to find it almost instantly, as it was a mind she looked for many times before and knew it well. So far, he was alive and well, riding into a town towards a saloon—but the sensation of another well known mind wasn’t far behind him—Kk’vin. His purpose wasn’t difficult to determine, as his mind was flooded with determination to find his target and make his Father proud.

She immediately got to her feet and examined the cell. She escaped many times before, but it only gave Father more things to redesign after and make more complicated for her.

“Complicated… but never impossible.”

Part 2:

Process of Elimination

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead (Photo credit: andres musta)

Kk’vin watched as the tube filled and the odd liquid surrounded the other creature. Father looked over at Kk’vin and he awaited his disappointment. He failed his mission to dispose of Bahb as he was told, and lead him to their home.

“Something is not quite right…”

“Yes, I know Father,” Kk’vin began to plead, “I’m sorry, I’ve failed you—“

“Failed me?” Father interrupted, “You mean the Bahb fella not being dead? Don’t you worry yourself about that, my boy, you went up against the scorn of your sister to get to him, and you would have definitely been a much better man than I if you had succeeded through that. Besides, after examining the child, I have some interesting ideas that could make Bahb worth having around.”

“What do you mean, Father?”

“It’s gonna take me a bit of preparation to work out the kinks, but based on what happened with his and Kk’rin’s child, injecting Bahb with a pure form of our enhanced blood may make him quite powerful.

Kk’vin looked at him Father and wondered if his scientific curiosity was getting the better of his sanity, “Father—as interesting as that would be—why would we want to do that? Wouldn’t that just make him a threat to us?”

“My boy, I believe that is a risk we would have to take, for I have a feeling that this one,” Father gestured towards the newly hibernating creature, “may have set a trap for of that something completely insane may be the only option left.

“I need you to go out with your best men, and back track their path here. I need to know exactly what’s coming for us.”

“Yes, Father” Kk’vin acknowledged and began making his way outside the complex.

He gathered five of his brethren, and they prepped and mounted their horses. They directed towards the gate, and started heading towards the west where the Church of the Evolution’s attackers came from. It wasn’t too difficult for Kk’vin to pickup on their trail, with the burning of psychic energy from both of them there was the think odor of a thunderstorm deep in his own mind.

They followed the trail for almost a full day before Kk’vin’s horse suddenly reared up without warning and tossed him to the ground hard, slamming him to his back with a thud that made him gasps for breath. He stood with a fist angrily directed for the horse, “What in the hell is yer problem, ya damn beast—“

He stopped himself short, as he saw, all around him and his companions, thousands, upon thousands of bodies. Some were rather fresh, while others were at many different stages of decay to the point of barely holding together.

They seemed to go back further than his keen eyes could see. Some just lay in the open trails, while some were propped up by rocks and vegetation as if they were puppets that just dropped from having their strings cut.

Leaving their horses, they continued to follow the path of corpses to trace where they came from, and the bodies simply continued seemly forever.

Eventually they came to an area surround with an iron fence, with only the destroyed headstones scattered about to inform them that it was a cemetery—at least, it was prior to its residence vacating their resting places.

“Setup camp,” He commanded to one of his men, “I want to know what the intention was here before we go on.”

Almost a month passed of Kk’vin sending reports back from the Death Camp to Father back at the compound, which mostly informed him that an ocean of dead bodies isn’t as excite as one might initially think.

Kk’vin had just finished writing yet another uneventful report and was about to send a rider with it, when a sudden surge of an unfamiliar sensation struck his mind. He braced his head in his hands as if to hold his skull together, and out of the corner of his eyes, he saw movement—movement that he knew should not have existed.

The bodies that surround him, that have surround him for weeks that he grew accustomed to as piles of rocks, and just as mobile, suddenly started rising. First, it was slow and sluggish, like a man getting out of bed after a long sleep, but they slowly increased from staggering shambles, to a pace of determined destination.

“Stop them!” Kk’vin ordered to his men who already had pistol-blades drawn only in wait for the order.

Heated bolts flew through heads, and blades slashed through limbs and necks. Their efforts brought every target made to an end, but there were more targets than bolts between any of them.

As Kk’vin had one by the neck and stabbing his blade though its skulls with a squeeze of his trigger for good measure, he heard the screams of one of his men as one of the corpse had lunged on top of him and began to devour his face until it looked like bloodied hamburger. Kk’vin directed his weapon and blasted the abomination until it stopped moving.

“We need to get back to the compound! We need to warn them!” Kk’vin yelled at anyone still living and capable of following his orders.

He began a sprint eastward, slashing and firing continuously at targets as he went.

Blazing a trail of re-dead bodies through a field of still determined bodies, with the rest of his party lost to join the piles, Kk’vin was able to reach the compound gate. Sounds of battle came from the other side, and he had feared that he was some how too late. He grabbed his pistol-blade by the hilts and stabbed them into the wall, using them to pull his way upward. As he reached the top, he saw the entire Church in the thralls of battle against one of the creatures, and mostly losing.

Passed the mass of battle, Kk’vin saw a form dressed in his usual black splayed out in the middle of the compound—Father… no.

His need to grieve for his Father was immediately interrupted by the sound of screeching, like a thousand newborns scream at once in his mind. He looked towards Kk’rin’s dorm where her and her child were being kept, and the other alien stood in the doorway, holding the familiar bundle.

Kk’vin launched himself from the gate, and charged towards the creature, “Stop!” He shot a bolt through her shoulder hoping it’d be enough to lose her grip, “You can’t take him from us!”

The creature simply gave an arrogant smile and leapt passed him and the blazing battle.

Kk’vin reached the doorway, Bahb lay writhing in pain from the screams he didn’t know how to control, and Kk’rin lay with her limb and skull sliced in half in perfect section, “Kk’rin! No!”

Part 3:

Selective Memory

The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger (Photo credit: Drewdlecam)

Silhouetted all around Gaun coming towards the compound seemed to be thousands of staggering corpses. Bahb’s eyes grew, as he remembered the odd moment with Soo in the cemetery.

They came at the gate in a full charge, with Bahb having no idea what else to do; he jumped back down and took position to prepare for the oncoming battle.

What am I supposed to do now? Father’s pistol-cannon is still over there—should I get that? What about the blood, I don’t have Kk’vin’s anymore, but what if I used Scarlet’s, or any of these other dead Evos? Why do I have this odd sensation that I should be steampunk? What am I supposed to do?

This question simply continued to echo in Bahb’s mind as the gate creaked and cracked, and eventually collapsed beneath the horde of the dead. The remaining living Evos screamed, and fought, as Bahb saw a dead claw come across his face.

— — —

I awoke in my bed in a cold sweat. I got up from my bed and walked out to the living area. Uncle Gaun was there plucking at a data pad.

Uncle Gaun looked up at me, “You had that dream again?”

I nodded, “Same one mostly, I see through my father’s mind, but he keeps making these weird choices, and eventually, he just can’t make a choice at all anymore, and it kills him.”

“Interesting,” is all my Uncle said, which is as much elaboration as I normally got from him, “Your training is in about 30 minutes, you should prepare.”

“Yes, Uncle.”

I went out the front door and took in the view of the clear golden sky, over the valley of red desert, and made my way to the training facility to train for leadership of the invasion force.

Voting

Voting (Photo credit: League of Women Voters of California)

You may notice that I’m almost a full week behind on my weekly posts. Part of this was being busy with a lot of things; the other part was that I was trying to decide what I want to do with the continuation of ‘Natural Selection.’ As it is, I have 2 votes (I’m not counting the one person who voted for ‘other’ on title with no suggestion, or giving a vote on the theme—that in itself irritated me enough to lead to my present state of thinking on this whole thing). This project is intended to be fun for both my blog readers, and myself. If I’m not getting any votes from those reading, then I’m only to assume this indicates that you are not interested, and therefore, no fun from you is being had. And, in turn, this means I am also not having as much fun, especially if I start to feel like I’m practically begging and spamming for votes—that part is in no way fun for me.

So, I am declaring some rules for ‘Natural Selection’:

  • There will be a minimum of 5 votes on all polls given at the end of a section. Any fewer than 5 votes and the story will not move forward.
  • A poll will run for no longer than 4 weeks, if the goal of 5 votes has not been met, the project will be over (I’m not going to keep rechecking the poll months+ after).

These rules apply immediately—meaning, the poll has now been running since June 11, 2013… today’s June 22, it’s now 11 days old; there are only 17 days left before I declare this project dead (that’s July 9). If the readers that really want to see what happens next want this project to continue, then you may want to get to work on getting some votes in. I promote most of my posts on my FB, Twitter, etc at least once after posting, but for the polls, I have been pushing a bit more to try to get votes—I will no longer be doing that; they will now be given the same one time promo as everything else—the rest is up to you.

If it happens that this project is killed off, then that is simply the way it must be. I will be disappointed, but I have plenty of other things that I have to do to take up my time, so it will be a minor loss.

I will still put out the alternative POV story for the anniversary no matter how this turns out.

Selective Memory

Selective Memory (Photo credit: TranceMist)

When we last left Bahb in ‘Natural Selection: Elimination,’  he had just escaped imprisonment in the compound for the Church of the Evolution, released two shape-shifting telepathic aliens, and dove into a battle against the entire crazy cult.

A battle against the head of the Church, Father, was brought to an end by Bahb’s bolt, and Bahb’s Evo lover, Scarlet, was sliced in half by the shape-shifter, Soo’s unveiling of their deception—which gave further reveal of their true target, the new-born son of Bahb and Scarlet—believed to be even stronger than the typical Evo.

The Evo, Kk’vin, put aside their differences and sacrificed his life to give his power to Bahb, to grant him the temporary strength of a Super-Evo.

A final battle between Bahb and Soo unleashed, ending in Bahb’s victory, only to have the other alien, Gaun, escape after absorbing the essence of Father, and taking Bahb’s son just as Bahb’s evo-charge faded away.

With most of the Church of the Evolution slaughtered, and Gaun walking into the setting sun, a herd of alien-charged zombies are staggering towards the compound, killing everything in their path.

How will it continue? You must now choose the path… … …

What should Bahb’s son be named?

I seriously have no ideas for this one, so just post your ideas in comment and I’ll make another poll for this one some other time. Try to keep it within the name scheme I’m using so far—Kk’rin, Kk’vin, Bahb, Soo, Gaun, Jorje, etc. (it’s more fun).

And I was going to have you vote on whether or not I should keep POV changing as an option, but I’ve decided to just drop it myself, since all the times I’ve tried putting POV changing up, it got knocked down anyway. So, I’ll just accept that you’re all jerks, and I’m stuck in Bahb forever…

Ok, my brain is tired, so I’m going to cover my weekly post as my break, though, due to said cerebral fatigue, I’m going to keep the topic to the less thought out. I apologize in advance.

As mentioned, we are nearing the anniversary of the blog, and as such, the anniversary of ‘Natural Selection’—it was technically born on FB about a month earlier, but I’ll consider that the gestation period—it was born here, July 31, 2012. So the subject matter will be what to do about the continuation of ‘Natural Selection.’ I am really open to any ideas right now.

As it is, I still have the background story that I mentioned I wanted to do for it on the burner, but have done pretty much nothing with it (but it won’t really affect the way things continue anyway, it will just add depth and personal amusement—it will be taking on POVs of all the other characters I wanted to play with but voters wouldn’t let me, and since all those characters are now dead… well, it clearly won’t affect things). That will be done at some point, if I have to bum rush it out, I will (that seems to be in proper tradition of the rest of the story anyway), but I would really like to get it spewed by the anniversary date.

Now, what to do to continue the story—as mentioned, I’m very open to ideas. Should I continue pretty much the way it has so far, should I establish rules for me and/or voters?

Incase you’re new here, and you for some reason haven’t checked already, to bring yourself up to speed, please read ‘Natural Selection’ and see what I’m babbling about.

Another thing that’s been bugging me since near the end of the first one, should I do something different with title? ‘Natural Selection’ was a title that I came up with a couple parts in because it was simply a great play on words that worked for everything… story, concept, etc. But… the story is slightly shifted, most of the Church of the Evolution has been killed, though the Selection is still a thing. The final part got a subtitle of “Elimination’ a slight word play, that was actually one of the titles I was also considering, but decided it fit better there.

So, those are the questions. What if anything should be changed about ‘Natural Selection’ for the second volume?

Final Battle

Final Battle (Photo credit: DILA810)

Bahb walked over to the console. His fingertips brushed over the glass shield over the release button in contemplation.

“Now, Bahb—can I call you Bahb?” Father’s voice came through the PA speaker, “I feel as though we may not have gotten off on quite the right foot. Just walk on over and unlatch that door for me, and we can perhaps try starting over—have ourselves a nice little sit down and a chat about everything. We’re both civilized gentlemen, aren’t we now?”

Bahb’s fingers did a subtle dance over the glass, as he spoke into the air, “You had me hunted down—you dragged me into whatever this is. And then you took Scarlet—you hurt her.”

“Who—oh, yes, Kk’rin. She was using other names, wasn’t she? Well, I promise you, ‘Scarlet’ is just fine, she’s simply being detained at the moment—you see, she can be quite the handful when she’s emotional—“

Bahb, where are you?” Scarlet’s words rang with a searing spike through Bahb’s mind.

“You lying piece of—“ Bahb flipped the panel up and slammed his fist down on the big red button marked “Capsule Release.”

“No!” Father’s voice broke through the PA with feedback, “What have you done, you fool?”

The room was flooded with a red strobe and a blaring alarm, and the capsules containing Soo and the other alien began to drain of their fluid.

They’re waking up now…” the unknown voice announced in Bahb’s mind.

The glass chambers started rising up in sync and the two grotesque creatures slumped over and dropped to the floor with a wet slosh, and with tentacles splayed about randomly. They lay limp and seemly lifeless in pools of excess liquid. Just as Bahb began to work up the courage to try to check them for signs of life, the being he knew as Soo began to move a tentacle, and then another, and then started to push herself upright. Shortly after, the other began to do the same.

Bahb went over to Soo and crouched to her level, “Are you ok?”

The creature that was Soo suddenly began to melt into an abstract of itself, a multi-colored blob, phasing into a shade of skin, sprouting arms and legs, and becoming the woman that Bahb had come to recognize as Soo—also naked again.

Soo examined Bahb with her infinitely dark eyes that widened at the metallic sound of an unsheathing blade behind him. He turned and saw a man with long black hair, darkly tanned skin, and narrowed black eyes, standing with his right armed formed into a long blade directed at Bahb’s temple.

Stop!” Bahb heard Soo’s reverberated voice command in his mind, “He isn’t one of them.

As you command,” The reverberated voice of what Bahb assumed was the other creature responded along with the lowering of his blade, “What are our orders?

Retrieval and elimination… the experiment has been ended due to a potentially dangerous violation of parameters…

Soo’s counter part simply gave a subservient nod in response.

Are you going to save us now?” the still unknown voice asked in Bahb’s mind. Bahb looked at the two and noticed they didn’t react to the voice, “They never hear me…

That doesn’t help assure my state of sanity much…” Bahb responded, which got a silent glance from Soo. Bahb looked between the two aliens, “If you and yer naked friend here are just gonna stand here mind zapping each other, I’m gonna go back to finding Scarlet now.”

Bahb walked to the doorway leading to the outer lab, while grabbing a couple of lab coats and tossing them in the direction of the aliens, “And if you don’t mind, you two are making it feel drafty in here.”

The two draped the coats around themselves and followed Bahb to the main lab. As soon as they came into view of the large window by the door, Bahb’s two guards quickly un-holstered a set of pistol-blades. Wish I saw those earlier, would have been a lot more useful than a paper-blade.

Soo and the other moved in front of Bahb with a fluid motion that resembled large serpents with limbs forming into long thin blades. With terrified expressions Bahb had never before seen on the face of any Evo, the blades sliced through the door and window-wall like they were air, skewering into the heads of the guards. Not one got a single shot off from even a reflexed reaction before the lights left their eyes. The two retrieved their blades and the guards dropped to the corridor floor like giant puppets with their strings severed.

Soo’s counter part crossed his bladed limbs through the door and it fell to fragments before him.

“Not to sound like I’m criticizing the quality of yer handy work, there, but it was actually locked from the inside—where we presently are,” Bahb pointed out, “You happen to have a name?”

“Irfan’Ramachandra’Arjuna’Tafadzwa’Gaun” The alien responded while walking over the destroyed door and into the corridor.

“Ok…. Gaun… what’s the plan? If you two are gonna start escaping, that’s fine, but I still gotta find Scarlet before I go anywhere,” Bahb stated while retrieving his guards’ holster-belts and pistol-blades, and strapping them to himself.

Bahb! Where are you!” Scarlet’s voice suddenly screamed through his mind with its same refrain, but with an added jolt that sent a writhing pain that brought Bahb instantly to his knees, only to hear his own screaming like a distant thunder.

Soo approached Bahb and placed her fingertips to his temples and the pain seeped away like a tide, “You are still tethered. Why would their Father not have—“ Soo stopped in mid-sentence as if her line of question also drew her to an answer, “We will come with you to find… Scarlet.”

Why are—“ Gaun started in his mind.

Silence! Follow my command!” Soo snapped with Gaun simply giving a subservient nod.

Bahb looked at the two with suspicion, but seeing that he seemed to still need Soo to keep his head from exploding, he simply shrugged and gave in. So he began following the tether in his mind towards its source just like he did not so long ago, but this time the feeling was somehow different, Bahb assumed it was just because of how much closer he was.

They made their way down corridors, and a flight of stairs and coming across Evos along the way that were effortlessly dispatched by a Bahb’s escorts, with lightning fast movements of blades to vital organs, and clean across necks littering the hallways with rolling heads. Bahb got a few shots of his own off with his pistol-blades, only to just barely graze a few by almost pure luck against their heightened reflexes.

After following the tether through the maze of a construct that seemed to be a prison, a laboratory, and a dormitory all in one, they found an exit. They stood outside the building and Bahb took a moment to gain his bearings. Several yards ahead, he could see the gate had been reconstructed after Soo’s handy work.

The tether seemed to direct towards another building that looked like a smaller version of the one they just left. Bahb directed a fist armed with a pistol-blade towards the destination and began to relay to his companions the heading, but was stopped short as a herd of Evos came at them with pistol-blades of their own. Bahb opened fire with both hands, as Soo and Gaun did their dances of bladed destruction against the unending wall of Evos.

Bodies piled, and blood pooled to form rivers of death. Bahb was already losing track of how many times he reloaded; still only barely grazing anyone with each shot he hopelessly let out.

Bahb was spun and knocked to the ground hard, with a burning bite through his left shoulder that was shortly followed by another through his right calf. Soo turned in response to his pained yells, and placed her hands on him, sending shooting pain through the rest of his being, and instantly repairing his injuries as if the limbs never knew damage in their existence.

Stay here and keep them back… I am going with him…” Soo commanded to Gaun.

As you command…” Gaun responded, never breaking his rhythm of destruction.

Bahb made his way to his feet and started towards the building the tether lead towards.

“Stop! Damn you, boy, stop!” Bahb heard the voice of Father commanded over the commotion of his “children’s” dieing screams.

Bahb instantly turned and pointed the barrel of a pistol-blade between Father’s eyes, “Let’s bring this to a stop, then!” Bahb squeezed a bolt that grazed Father’s temple with a wet line of red marking its trail.

Father brought up a hand and gazed at Bahb with extreme focus, and Bahb could feel a tinge of pain creeping through his nerves and muscle, only a slight tickle of before.

“If that’s the only trick in yer book, yer gonna be out of luck. I’m a bit more prepared this time,” Bahb said as he let out another round.

“I will take care of him,” Soo said before launching herself at Father, with bladed limbs cocked back and directed.

563623_4669777535383_2128099952_nFather responded pulling a weapon from a back holster Bahb had never seen before. It had a barrel not much different than that of his pistol-blade, but below it, instead of the blade, another barrel was mounted with a much larger caliber than the top. Father squeezed off a round that announced itself with exploding thunder, sending a missile of a bolt through the chest of a surprised Soo.

Soo let out a screeching cry that sounded like nothing of this world, as thick, dark ooze seeped from the gaping hole tunneled through her.

Bahb started firing off series after series of bolts towards Father in a furry, “You bastard! What have you done?”

Father dodged each round with a finesse that Bahb had only seen rivaled by that of Kk’vin. He fired a round from the smaller of his pistol’s two chambers, quickly followed by another, and struck with a direct hit down the barrels of Bahb’s own pistol-blades, bringing Bahb’s charge to a hault.

Soo’s was putting herself back to her feet at her wound began repairing itself like black threads being quickly drawn across by an army of unseen spiders. Father turned with his pistol-cannon taking aim towards her and Bahb drew the two other pistol-blades he had strapped to him. Bahb sent the bolts to a course, with one at Father’s head, the other at his chest. Father reacted to the sound of Bahb’s thunder, but only just too late, as the round to his head only blew-off his brimmed black hat, but the other made home where his heart lived.

Father let out a gasp, as his feet staggered and danced for control below him. He fell to his knees as he continued to struggle against his failing body. Bahb knew from his experience with Kk’vin that despite Father’s injury that would have been mortal to anyone else, he would recover, so Bahb sent another bolt between his eyes, snapping his head back, and knocking him hard to the ground, splayed like a frail broken thing with a lake of blood forming beneath.

“No!” the echoing cry came from the building where the tether lead.

Bahb took an adrenaline induced sprint in the direction of the plea. With Gaun still holding back the horde, he covered the ground between with nothing standing in his way. He made it to a door that seemed to practically throb as his tether drew him to it.

“Scarlet! I’m here!” Bahb said as he quickly shot at the lock, jolting the door to ajar.

Entering, Bahb saw simply an empty cell that appeared to be almost like his own, accept with better view, “Scar—“

A heavy jolt came down across Bahb’s back, knocking him instantly to the ground, forcing the wind out of him, and sending stars across his vision. Through the ringing in his head, Bahb heard a familiar gasp, “Oh’my—Bahb!” Scarlet send in surprise as she dropped the torn off sink she made into her weapon, “I am so sorry—are you ok? What the hell are you doing here?”

“What am I… what the hell do you mean what am I doing here? You put a damned beacon in my brain telling me to come or face my exploding grey-matter!”

Scarlet looked at Bahb with a puzzled look that started to concern him, and flood him with more confusion than he could give voice to.

Without warning, Scarlet grasped her hands around Bahb’s head, “Bahb, look in my eyes.”

Bahb did as she requested, and her eyes did their strange dance through the full spectrum of colors. His head swirled as her eyes strobed, but despite the sensation of dizziness that strongly requested throwing up, he remained conscious this time.

“No…” Scarlet said with a concerned gasp as she lowered her hands, “I’m so sorry, Bahb… it was my fault… I… I just didn’t know.”

Bahb stared at her searching for words, and desperately searching for understanding, “Scarlet, you really need to elaborate a bit. What the hell’d you do?”

“I didn’t put anything new in your mind, Bahb, I only turned on a connection that was already there. I didn’t know, Bahb… you’re the first. No one could have known, that’s what made you so dangerous… that’s why—“ Her word broke off as a shadow was cast over them from the doorway, “You!” She yelled, as she suddenly picked up Bahb’s pistol-blade from the ground and fired off several rounds.

Bahb took up his other pistol-blade and turned, expecting to see Kk’vin’s behemoth frame, only to have his barrel staring down Soo’s tattered body. Before Bahb could get a word of explanation out, Soo immediately extended a bladed limb through the barrel of Scarlet’s pistol-blade, continuing to slice through her hand, and on through her shoulder, bring the blade up and back, slicing Scarlet’s skull in a diagonal half.

Bahb stared at what remained of Scarlet’s body as it dropped. His mind raced ‘til it was numb, searching for explanation, trying to convince him that what he was seeing wasn’t real.

He looked back at Soo with a face filled with a furry he had never seen from her usual cold expressionless demeanor, “Where is it?” She asked with a growling yell that didn’t even resemble human, “Tell me—“

As Bahb was about to command his gripped pistol-blade to send a bolt to Soo’s head, a scream of pain shot through his mind, like the sound of a thousand newborns crying at once, echoing, and screeching, shattering his mind like glass.

“Thank you, Bahb,” Soo said, “You made this a lot easier for me.”

Through barely slit eyes, Bahb saw Soo leap from the doorway to a room off to the side. A moment later, she leaped back carrying what looked like a bundle of blankets in her arms.

“Stop!” Bahb heard the roar of Kk’vin from outside, and a hole exploded through Soo’s left shoulder, “You can’t take him from us!”

Soo leaped out from the doorway and the light pour through and bathed over Bahb liked fire as the screaming continued. The fire lowered to a light searing as Kk’vin’s giant frame blotted out the sun, and Bahb could hear Kk’vin’s screams only barely over his own mind, “Kk’rin! No!”

Kk’vin paced the short distance like a caged beast a couple times muttering to himself, inaudibly against the destruction and tearing of Bahb’s mind. Bahb tried to get out words, any words at all, but nothing could form, nothing could be commanded to his limps beyond mindless groans.

He saw Kk’vin kneel down in front of him with his pistol-blade in hand. As he brought up the blade, Bahb thought—he hoped—Kk’vin was taking his vengeance on him and taking the chance to end his life—end the screaming. But as Bahb waited for the sensation of life being drawn out of him by Kk’vin’s blade, he saw him crouch down lower, his hot breath inches from Bahb’s ear, “Father told me that you are somehow special,” Kk’vin began, “I don’t know how much of this you can understand right now—assuming yer small mind ever could—but our blood, is a hybrid of theirs. We were created to be the new species, separate from you… we were their weapons—their defense against enemies they convinced us we had. Kk’rin… Scarlet… she was special too, she and I… we were Father’s true children. When she met you, things went wrong… she broke the rules.

“Our blood with yers, it created something powerful—something that made them fear their weapons—their tools. Bahb… it’s yer child—yer son.”

The words rang through his mind and through all the screaming and the pain, understanding seeped through. But what more can I do—I’m dieing.

Kk’vin continued, “I’m not strong enough to beat them, Bahb… but… I can make you strong enough. My blood… it’s not as pure enough to make it permanent, but it will make you like us—better than us—strong enough to beat them. You have to beat them, Bahb.”

Bahb wasn’t sure what Kk’vin was trying to say, until he saw him sit back up and drape his blade down the entirety of his arm, and then to the other, flowing blood from him like a stream directing its flow into Bahb’s groaning mouth. And with a final thrust, Kk’vin brought the blade across his neck, turning his body into a fountain, drenching Bahb as his body fell on him like a fallen mountain.

The weight of Kk’vin’s limp body crushed Bahb beneath, but as the thick, salty fluid made its way through him, he could feel Kk’vin becoming lighter. The screaming began to seep away like dieing embers. Bahb could feel power coursing through him, charging him until his muscles ripped with eagerness.

He threw Kk’vin off of him as if the mountain became a pebble. With a final enraged glance at Scarlet’s remains, Bahb took up his and Kk’vin’s pistol-blades to hand, and charge through the door, scanning the compound, seeking his prey. Gaun was in the center of everything still battling Evos, and off, standing by the gate, waiting as if she now possessed all the time in the world, was Soo, embracing the bundle that contained his son—the last essence of Scarlet.

Bahb charged toward her, stray bullets from the Gaun and Evo battle whistling past him, with him giving them only a flinching dodge with reflexes that seemed almost possessed. His heart thumped in his ears as he took aim towards Soo, firing both barrels to her chest and head, just as he assaulted Father not long ago. She just barely slithered out of the path before the bolts made home behind her. She placed his child to the ground and charged towards him.

“I’m coming for you, you bitch!” Bahb roared as he continued his charge, firing with precisioned sight, every round striking home in some portion of Soo’s body—all fazing her, but none stopping her.

She thrust her blade arms at Bahb. He ducked and dodged her left, only to be struck down by her right, slicing a gash down his back from his neck to his tailbone, going deeper as it went. The pain burned, but his body healed and repaired with a thick, pink scar before he even had time to react.

As he began to push himself back up, he saw Father’s body laying lifeless a few feet away, still intently gripping his pistol-cannon. Bahb leapt and shoulder-rolled the distance, grabbing hold by the barrel, and prying it from Father’s hand.

Father moaned, and Bahb jumped, almost sending a bolt through him before he just barely stopped himself, “…so arrogant… I failed them… I failed my children… I was so arrogant…”

“It will be ok, I’ll stop them,” Bahb said as reassuring as he could to a man he was certain was still racing towards death, guided by his hand.

“You… you… stop them… all… they’re coming… you have to… stop them…” Father got out before the lights finally left his eyes, and the hand gripping the hilt of his pistol-cannon opened and fell limp.

Before Bahb could gain a steady grip on the pistol-cannon, Soo sent a blade across Bahb’s wrist, severing his hand from it. Bahb yelled, more in alarm than pain, as the amputated limb barely had a chance to be exposed to air before it was already creating a new, fresh skinned hand. Bahb flexed his new fingers that were now better than ever.

He turned just in time to catch another of Soo’s blades aimed for his head. He dodged, and moved in, taking her by the neck. He squeezed his fingers around as she fought and flailed, screaming her displeasure.

Soo sent a blade through his gut. He could feel it all the way through, as it nicked intestines, pieced his stomach, and attempted to sever his spine on its way out through his back and making an exit slicing through his side. But his body continued to heal as quickly as the injuries formed.

Through Soo’s death-thralls, Bahb threw her down to the ground hard enough to leave an impression of her body indented beneath. Cocking back a tightly clenched fist and holding her with the other, he threw his fist through Soo’s face, and didn’t stop its charge until he felt the grit of dirt.

Her body started phasing between her human form and its original in a fit of chaotic confusion until it finally fell motionless. Bahb didn’t release his grip and he stared into the grotesque abstract in front of him, he wasn’t certain of her demise until the creature’s body suddenly began shriveling up into a dry, empty husk.

No!” Gaun screamed through his mind.

Oh, yeah… and yer next” Bahb responded as he set target on his new prey.

There were only a dozen or so Evos left as far as Bahb could see, and those remaining didn’t look like they were in much better shape than their fallen comrades—but they didn’t take them hits without serving up a significant amount to their enemy. Gaun was looking only slightly better than Soo presently did, but he was still stand and charge straight at Bahb.

Bahb stood his ground and waited for his prey to come to him. But Gaun didn’t come for him. Instead he broke off, and made his way towards Father.

Before the question could form in Bahb’s mind, Gaun was already answering as he seemed to adsorb the very existence of Father into his own, instantly repairing all the damage he had received. He continued taking in Father until even his very appearance became that of Father’s, and all that remained of the original body had become a pile of dust.

Despite Bahb’s continued expectations, Gaun still didn’t come at him; instead he leapt towards the gate, and picked up the bundle that contained his son. Bahb ran at him, but as he did, he could feel the surge in his body begin to fade away.

“Put down the child and face me!” Bahb commanded.

Gaun jumped to the top of the gate, and looked down at Bahb, “My mission of retrieval is completed… they can handle the elimination…” he said before jumping out and away.

Bahb jumped half-way up the gate and clawed his way to the rest. As he gazed over he saw Gaun walking back the way he had once come with Soo towards a giant setting sun. Silhouetted all around Gaun coming towards the compound seemed to be thousands of staggering corpses. Bahb’s eyes grew, as he remembered the odd moment with Soo in the cemetery.

Bahb heard Gaun in his mind, “Run or fight, no one can ever escape the Selection…