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.
— — —
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.”
Process of Elimination
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!”
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.”
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.
- Selective Memory (anthonyricher.wordpress.com)