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.
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.
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.
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
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.
© Mark Skrzyniarz, 2018. All rights reserved.