User avatar 1461505655 Mark Skrzyniarz

5 minutes

The Hexiad Plague

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The Hexiad Plague

Chapter 1

by User avatar 1461505655 Mark Skrzyniarz 5 minutes

Indeed, in the deepest of our hearts, every human being knows of God,

and so lies the first and deepest of all human desires: to be alike to

gods, to be alike to Him. We all seek to, in one way or another, to

emulate Him, in His wisdom, or, more commonly, His power. Mankind has

rarely been satisfied with just the power afforded by his hands and

feet, so tongues are used to sway others to one`s mode of thought, and

tools have been forged to grant men more power than he could otherwise

wield on his own. Then, to further exploit nature, man developed the art

of natural philosophy, later, science.


Man observed and experimented with nature, learning more and adding

knowledge as men tried harder to satisfy that

deepest desire. But, no matter what inventions of necessity or ambition,

from discovering fire, to splitting the atom, they were never satisfied by their work,

which often horrified them. But that never stopped the advance of “progress”.

One piece of knowledge that scientific pursuits discovered provided the second key

contribution to what the world has become. It was the discovery, in the

1950s, of the substance scientists know as deoxyribonucleic acid. It is

better known to the world by its acronym, DNA. From this revelation, the entire field of biology was changed

forever. Numerous benefits came to be, from better detection and

countering of diseases to genetic manipulation of food crops to ensure

greater numbers and survival. Science then delved into

murkier territories, from human cloning to embryonic stem cell research.

Although science has cloned animals and researched stem cells, this

kind of experimentation on human beings is a grave violation of human dignity. This is but one of

many transgressions that shows how much man has fallen, as he finds

more and more ways to deny the humanity of his fellow man, so as to

achieve his own ends. People can take comfort in that we can only

dream of worse in our nightmares.



That is, until someone gives them life.



His name was Jacob Stantrick. Conspiracy theories abound as

to the his origins, from the son of Satan or the Antichrist to an extraterrestrial. The truth is far less glamorous in reality, and thus all the stranger for it. He looked like an average person, not too tall, not very handsome,

and regular physique. Also, despite the fact that he was clearly

preternaturally intelligent, he led a rather normal, unremarkable

childhood. He lived with a loving family in a peaceful and clean

suburban community and surrounded himself with friends in and out of

school. He loved games, the beach, ice cream, girls, amusement parks and

all of the other usual boyish activities, places just as much as the

next one over. The only thing that made him stand out from the crowd was

his straight A`s. Thus, it was no surprise that he was made his class`s

valedictorian at high school graduation and was accepted into

prestigious Yale University, graduating summa cum laude. He was the very

poster boy of the American Dream.



His family was wiped out by

disease on a trip to Africa. He alone survived. And then nothing, as if

the Earth had swallowed him whole.



The world turned on without a

care, no one caring in the slightest about his fate, and what he did in

this time, we only learned after the fact, from his journals and notes

that were released to the public by the government investigation team.

At first, he had the fate of his family at the forefront of his mind, as

he researched and experimented with DNA, seeking to decipher it so as

to end the scourge of the plagues. He continued his self-image of a

knight in shining armor, battling the devils and dragons that are

bacteria and viruses for some time, as he concocted various chemical and

biological means of slaying his monsters, gathering more and more

information with each passing day. He always felt that his arch nemeses

were ready to be slain, if only he found the right weapon.



However,

his knight was soon infected, as he began to shed plate for burgeoning

scales, and took off his helmet for sprouting horns. He had exercised

his dominion over the creatures of the earth by using rats and pigs to

experiment with by testing varying diseases with treatments he had

devised. Then, he began to take the God-given gifts of one animal, and

transplanting them in others, so that they would be faster, stronger,

and more immune to disease. But his observations soon fueled his

benevolent, scientific fascination with DNA into an ever-twisting and

darkening obsession, as he began piecing together modern descendants of

the Greek Chimera. He bestowed upon a horse flightless wings, burdened a

naked mole rat with gaudy peacock feathers, and created other

victimized creatures that walked out of a drugged man`s hallucinations,

or, in this case, a madman`s fantasy. By the time he had begun

experimentation on human fetuses, his knight was beyond salvage, his

sword and shield long discarded, his battle with dragons and devils

abandoned. Now, written in black and white, was a man who had become

Frankenstein. And he had a new goal set, to create his own race of

intelligent beings, to raise up his own humanity, so that he would be

forever worshipped by them to the end of time.


Here, his journal entries ended, but none needed them to discern what came

next. In a fevered pitch, he found subjects, gathered them from

someplace, the adult homeless to test tube babies,

and played God with their lives and bodies as he sought to exploit them

for whatever results he could gather from them.

It was during this time that he forged and crafted innumerable shapes

and forms for his twisted satisfaction, but the world really only cared

about the six. Six baseline threads of the language of life that escaped

into the wide world.



Few know where it manifested first, we weren`t told how long

it had roamed and somehow remained hidden. The important thing is that,

on June 12, 2022, Fate played a cruel trick on Adam Blood, choosing

him to be the ambassador of the Brave New World. He`d just exited the

subway and walked into Times Square, there to meet up with a

friend. At precisely six seconds after the second

minute of seven o` clock, as the Sun woke the Earth to a new day, he

doubled over in pain and collapsed on the ground. With all the world

watching with biological and electronic eyes, his became violet slits,

ears made triangular crowned him, blond hair fell out for solid grey

fur, the tail-end received one, tipped with a scythe, nails became

claws, human replaced by monstrous cat, and, most haunting, cries of

pain reached a crescendo of a literally glass-shattering shriek. There

was nothing left of the human body associated with the man Adam Blood,

but his mind and soul remained. But, too many failed to see the

agonizing man within, and saw only the horrifying monster without.



The

First Hex was far from being the last, as each victim that followed

emptied out their soul to the heavens, knowing, in their hearts, that a

key piece of their humanity had been stolen from them, never to be

returned. Their cries would echo day and night everywhere they were

heard and pierce all those who heard more surely than any sword or

bullet, as they despairingly hailed the arrival of the Hexiad Plague in

the body and soul of another human being. It had no consideration for

physical conditions of gender, age, state of health, or race; there was

no bother shown as to a person`s status, wealth, and nationality; and it

couldn`t care less about religion, agnosticism, or atheism, with no

discernment as to whether the victim was good, evil, or in-between. If

you were a human being, that was enough, in its metaphorical eyes.



It

would be weeks before the cause and culprit were discovered, months

before an end to its relentless advance finally crafted from the

knowledge of He Who Would Be God, and months before it finally subsided.

But, the deed was done, the damage dealt, and an estimated 4.623

billion persons had been Hexed when the final report was made on

December 21, 2022. The world, which was making greater headway than ever

to forge one humanity, had been newly split in seven ways and three

sides.



Ever since the first temptation became the first sin, what

men fail to realize is that when you try to be like God without looking

at Him, you Fall, just as Adam and Eve had done; when turn your back on

God, you turn towards the Serpent. In those days, as humanity`s fate

became cloudier than ever, many turned toward God - far, far too many

turned away, towards the hissing, inhuman Serpent.

  • #madscientist
  • #transformation
  • #science fiction
  • #plague
  • #virus

© Mark Skrzyniarz, 2017. All rights reserved.

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Mark Skrzyniarz

@Xavier Rall
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Note 1: read the original, complete version on DeviantArt under the username Ravai. Note 2: This is an original work. I own everything you see here, from plot to characters.

Comments

Default avatar
Alkyone @Alkyone
This is a really cool premise and you have an interesting way of introducing the story, the pattern of your writing reminds me of poetry or a verbal storyteller. You seem to get tripped up by maintaining that atmosphere sometimes though, and you waver between the grandiose language you're aiming for and a more natural mundane tone so I think your prologue could definitely be more refined. I love your descriptions but I noticed you occasionally have the urge to explain your metaphors which just, kinda, makes them awkward so just have a little more faith in yourself there dude. I'm gonna go stalk the rest of your work now :)