Many years ago, a war, spread like wildfire across our globe and several other nations we had become aligned with in the course of our intrepid indiscretions into interstellar borders. This war was more terrible than many of the great wars of our timeline, involving many of our peoples. It was decreed that the war had to stop, lest the war drive ours, and others, civilizations to extinction. Thus it came to pass that all races end all hostilities to others and end any experimentation driven by the war. Many, however, did not agree with this sanctimonious decision and instead continued many experiments into, now banned, artificial enhancements and genetic modification for the purposes of creating weaponry.
When this was banned many labs were destroyed, either to hide their purpose, or to hide the secrets they made in them. Some of those secrets knew of what those long forgotten scientists, engineers, and militarists achieved and continue to study their work, even though they couldn’t practise it.
However instead of this many chose to remain hidden from the worlds they inhabited, the peoples and the governments that would seek to unlock those secrets of their past, to use them for what they intended, electing instead to remain hidden, for better or worse.
‘Thirty years after the ban on artificial genetic enhancements’
The air hung heavy in the living room as the news sank in. Three people were sat around the living room, two on the sofa, and one in a chair turned to face them. The doctor sat on the sofa, next to a young women, who was weeping, had just arrived, in tangent with a peace officer, who was sat in the chair, to tell her of the news of her daughter, Abigail’s, death at the hands of a masked assailant, who had mugged her and ran but was currently being searched for actively by the peace officers.
Even though Abigail was adopted she’d grown very fond of the somewhat mature young girl of 9 who had stolen her heart, and as she wept for her loss she found that her plight was comforted by the fact she had gone on to better things.
‘Four Days Later’
It was dark, cramped and now getting real hard to breathe, she needed to get out, to run away and hide but the thick gossamer fabric on the lid and sides caused the sounds to be blocked so banging and screaming could do nothing for her plight.
Finally, after about an hour, she lay still and placed her hand against the roof of her containment and willed it to be no barrier for her, like she had practised at the facility before it had closed, and slowly as she pushed out of her container she could hear the cry of “What the F***” from the driver and the sound of people moving, drawing weapons.
Seconds later she picked herself up from the sidewalk, reattached her hand, it had come off in the crash and the resultant scuffle with the convoy guards and proceeded to walk away from the scene as sirens of peace officers sounded far off in the city as dawn started to pervade the streets, bathing them in a ruddy, orange glow, likened to the colour of the blood that ceased to flow from her cuts as she regenerated her form.
She had always known, and been told, many a-time she was different, special, and had often not realised what they meant, but now however she knew what they had done to her and she was going to find them and show them what it was like to be her. “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. Ohh, they weren’t going to know what hit them. Slowly a smile crossed her face as she vanished into the growing daylight gathered from the surrounding solar tunnels of the city.
Within minutes of occurring the news reporters had gotten hold of footage of the freak accident and had literally plastered every screen across the city with it. Some of the footage showed Abigail leaving the scene and within moments peace officers were calling for anyone with information about her or her whereabouts as she was the only suspect witnessed leaving that wasn’t in a body bag, or a morgue, already. No one came forward with information but her adopted mother who reported her prior death to the peace officers at which point the case was removed from the hands of the peace force and transferred to a government task force, who silenced the news reel and the plea for information.
Slowly people forgot what had happened. They forgot the massive media blackout city wide. They forgot the mysterious child and the alarming incident. They simply forgot what they needed, desperately, to remember.
‘One Month Later’
The alley, strewn with rubbish, filled with the permeating stench and the foul liquid that the walls were slick with, hung quiet, no sounds at all, not the ruckus noise of the nearby drunks, nor the sounds of passing vehicles on the road at the end. It hung so quiet that when the drunken veteran/military scientist stumbled into the alley it sounded like the first strike of lightning before a summer storm, splitting the silence like a blade.
That, she decided, was an apt, almost accurate analogy. She walked up to him and offered him a hand up, which he took knowing that he’d never make it up if he didn’t stand now. He spotted how young the girl looked. He’d say later that she had stood slightly shorter than him and looked to be twelve, maybe, even younger, but that she’d pulled him up like he was made of paper. She lent close to him and said as she pulled him up “beware, your past’s shadow has decided now to haunt you.” Then she left the alley, disappearing into mist that would have rivalled the Thames’ infamous, early morning, fog.
As he shuffled past the store at the end of the alley, after making his way out, the news in the store front window showed his, last remaining, colleague that had worked with him on their last gene altering experiment and the news that he had been found dead in his bed by peace officers, after an alarm was tripped. Even in his somewhat intoxicated state, the words the child had spoken to him reached his ears once more and he fled into the night, knowing he was only delaying Deaths’ cruel joke.