Chapter 2:

I woke up to a steady beeping sound. My vision was a little blurry and I had a pounding headache. “Lie still son, try not to move too much” a voice said to me. I didn’t recognize his voice at first, it sounded like the person was talking into a cup, but it sounded a little like Mr. Mayer. “Nurse, he’s waking up, can you call his father in” I heard the voice shout out again.

I shifted in the bed and rubbed my eyes. My ears were ringing a little and it felt like there was a bright light in my face. It took a moment for me to focus but when I did I saw that I was in a hospital room. I looked around and saw that I was the only bed in the room. The wall leading out of the room was a frosted glass and I could see a man standing on the other side. From the silhouette it looked like a soldier. “What happened” I said looking around for whoever was talking a moment ago, my focus was going in and out. One minute I could see clearly the next everything was blurry again. As I tried to regain my focus I could see that on the right hand side of the bed was indeed Mr. Mayer, standing there with his hands clasped, looking down at me like I was in trouble for something. “You gave us quite a scare, thats what happened” he said to me. “How did I get here, what happened to me” I said, still looking around the room trying to get my bearings and continuing to focus my vision.

The last thing I remember was…”Do not say anything further please, If you continue down this path of thought I will be forced to shut down your vocal abilities”. It was the voice in my head that I heard in the field. “Please do not panic, everything will be fine and I will explain. But first we need to make sure that these humans do not explore you any further than they already have” the voice in my head said.

I started to panic, my body was starting to get warm and I heard the beeping pick up and noticed a monitor on the left side of my bed and followed the wire to a clip on my finger. It was registering my pulse. I grabbed the clip and pulled it off. Mr. Mayer looked at me, “What was the last thing you remember son” he said, very calmly. “At that moment my father walked in and stood at the door. “Thank God” he said then rushed to the side of my bed and gave me a big hug. “I was worried son, you have no idea how worried I was”. he said to me as he held me close to him. He had not hugged me like this since before my mother died, it felt good, it felt real good and I didn’t want to let go.

He finally released the bear like hug he had me in and looked me over, touching my head and face like he was examining me to see if I had any pieces missing. “Dad, what happened. I was walking to Aunt Rita’s in the west field then the last thing I remember was hearing an explosion, then I was here. I don’t understand what happened” I said, knowing if I gave away too much the voice in my head would stop me from talking.

“I’m not sure son, the important thing is you are alive. I was so worried that I had lost you too. I’m so sorry, I never..” he cut himself off and just sat there looking at me for a moment.

“Thomas” my dad used Mr. Meyers first name which caught me off guard because my dad has never used Mr. Meyers first name. “Could you give my son and I a few minutes alone” he said. Mr. Meyer nodded then stepped out of the room and shut the door.

“Son, I want you to listen to me closely. I don’t know what is going on but something weird is happening. They are very interested in the explosion and they are even more interested in you! They have been keeping you sedated and have examined you extensively for the last three days” he said, looking around the room like he was waiting for someone to jump out of the shadows.

“Three days, I have been out of it for three days” I said surprised.

“Yes son, they wouldn’t allow me or your Aunt to see you, the only reason I know about the tests is because your Aunt Rita has a good friend that is a nurse here. She reached out to her to see if she could find anything out and she gave her all the details. We don’t know to what extent you were being tested but from what the nurse told Rita, they brought in their own equipment and took over this whole end of the building. There are 30 rooms on this end of the building and you are the only one here. Son, what happened” you could see the fear in my dad’s face. He was trying so hard to hide it but I could see it. It was the same fear that he had on his face the weeks leading up to my mothers death. It was the same fear that was on his face every time he told me that my mother was going to be alright.

“Dad, I need you to find out more, I want to know what happened to me. At the moment all I remember was an explosion when I was walking to Rita’s. After that I woke up here. Someone out there has to know something about what happened”, I said to my dad, holding his hand tight so that he knew I was serious. He looked around the room for a moment then gave me another hug. I am so glad you’re alright son, I don’t think I could have…” He stopped and stood up, then gave me a nod and opened the door “get some rest now son, I’m glad you’re better” he said with the door open so everyone could hear.

As he stepped out I waited a few moments for the voice in my head to speak up. “Human” he finally said.

“My name is Michael” I said, looking around the room waiting to see if a ghostly head was going to start floating in front of me. Like you see in those cheesy horror movies or mystery dramas.

“My designation is AX081013, we have work to do” the voice said.

“Wait a minute, I am not calling you that. We need an alias for you, something easier to remember and quicker to use, how about, Adam” I said, waiting for a response. “Fine, new designation set, I will now answer to Adam” he said. “What are you anyway” I said, I felt funny talking to myself. I knew I was the only one who could hear Adam. “I am a Series 7 Nanoparticle Parasitical Tactical Unit.” Adam said in a very matter of fact tone. Like I should have known what he was. .

“Parasitical!” I shouted out, then realizing that someone could be outside the door listening.

“What the hell do you mean Parasitical!” I whispered.

“By design I infiltrate a host organism and bond with it on a nanomolecular level. This allows me to make modifications to your DNA structure to better handle the stresses that you are going to encounter during the many transformations that you may initiate. I also have the ability to alter your physical characteristics to better prepare you for combat, increasing your hearing, vision, healing abilities, stamina and muscle density, and cognitive abilities.” Adam said. In the corner of my right eye I noticed a small dot appear. I decided to ignore it for now.

“Did you just say combat”, I said. Already looking around the room for a way out. “I am not a soldier, I don’t want to fight any war”. I was trying to find something to wear so I could escape this room but all I could do at the moment was look around. I tried to move but I couldn’t move anything below my neck.

“I have shut down your motor skills so that I can prepare you for what is to come. I have already altered your DNA and most of your physical abilities. I only have to finish a few more of the tactical interfaces and then you will be ready for your training program”. Adam said in his emotionless tone. His tone was starting to wear on me. He had the bedside manor of a rock.

“You need to let me go, I need to get out of here. They must be looking for you, that’s why they are doing all of these test. Let me go or I will tell them you are in my body”. I didn’t hear anything from Adam and I still couldn’t move. I decided that I needed to make my point so I started to yell for the nurse when I realized that I was not making any noise. I could feel that my mouth was open and air was coming out but there was no sound.

“It would be unwise to tell your MIlitary of my presence. They do not possess the technology to locate me in your body, much less remove me. Chances are they would kill you in the process of just trying to locate me”. Adam made a point that I had not considered. If this thing was advanced enough to bond with my body it was probably advanced enough that it could not be found. Which means I am stuck with this thing, this thought did not make me happy.

I sat there for a moment and decided that I needed to learn as much as I could. So far I had heard the Adam in my head. Like I had a halo of speakers floating around me. The sound didn’t come from any one direction but from every direction at once. I figured that if it could talk to me through my head I must be able to talk to it through my head.

I closed my eyes and focused on what I wanted to say.

“Hello, are you there Adam?” I said using only my mind to communicate to him “Yes, I am here. I am impressed that you learned that we could communicate to each other in this way so quickly. Other life forms have taken months to figure this out.” Adam said, he actually sounded pleased. .

“Well I’m a quick learner. Look, I’m sorry but I think you chose the wrong host. I’m not a fighter. I mean all the stuff you are doing to me sounds really cool and all, I mean what kid doesn’t want to be a superhero, but I’m just not that kind of person.” I said again using only my mind..

Modifications are complete“You are now ready for training. Please hold still while I download all relevant material”. Adam said.

I sat there for a moment trying to decide what my next move was. I really didn’t want to fight in any war and I was not the type of person that just went out and saved little kittens from trees. I still had my eyes closed thinking about ways to convince this thing to get out of me when I noticed a bright light. Then in an instant I was hit with sound, lights and Images of all kinds. At first I couldn’t comprehend anything, it was all just garble that was making my head hurt. Then after a moment the pain subsided and I was starting to understand. The images and sounds were people talking to me. Not just one person, thousands of people all at once from alien worlds strung throughout the universe. Some of them looked just like earth, some were a little more exotic. The thing inside me was downloading all of the data from every planet that it has ever been to into my brain. I could see tactics from generals, fighting styles from alien creatures that resemble humans, apes and even a few that looked like giant insects. I had star charts, computer information, practical and theoretical physics from hundreds of worlds and all of the information I needed to make the technology that was currently trapped inside me work.

“This is cool!” I said, I had my eyes open and was getting used to the flow of data now. I could still see the images and hear all of the people talking but I was also able to look around my room. .

“It is imperative that you are absorbing all of this information. It will become invaluable to you in the near future” Adam said.

“About that” I said. “I’m still not keen on being your fighting machine but I’m curious. What is this war you keep mentioning?’. I was actually curious. If something was coming to destroy us I at least wanted to know what I was going to face. That way I knew exactly what I needed to run from when it got here.

“Close your eyes” the voice said, “and pay close attention.” Adam stopped the download and started a single video that I could see playing out in my head.

“Over 4000 years ago a race of beings known as the Krist set upon a path of genetic perfection. They rallied all of their scientist and spent several decades testing and perfecting a syurm that would give the people of their planet the ability to transcend the limitations of their physical knowledge and open their minds up to what they called the knowledge of the cosmos in hopes of becoming gods among the universe.” I was seeing images of a tall race with an almost human like appearance. Their mouths and noses were a little smaller and their eyes slightly bigger but in all they looked like seven foot tall versions of humans.”In their history archives this period is called the dark times, because as a race of scientist they killed so many of their own people testing the various forms of the syurm. But they believed that the rewards would far outweighed the sins.” I was now being shown gruesome images of people sick and dying, as the syrum developed more it started to cause horrible and sometimes violent mutations in their people. There were several images of the mutations getting free and being hunted down. I couldn’t believe that anyone could do these things to their own race. “They thought that once their minds were open, they would spontaneously evolve into these super beings of immense knowledge and power.” Adam paused and I saw more images of the scientist, they were all starting to look old, withered and some even a little beaten in spirit.

Adam continued “Once the Krist perfected the suryam they distributed it to their people, each and every person on their planet was ‘vaccinated’. They did not telling them what it was only that it would make them better in every way. The people followed blindly, believing in their leaders and scientist.” The images shifted to large lines of people, women and children alike getting injections, one after another. “At first nothing happened. It seemed like the surym was a failure and the scientist were beginning to be questioned by their leaders, but then slowly the transformations took place. The Krist started to become ill, one by one villages fell and the inhabitants seemed to be on the verge of death. However, death never came. Instead they slowly began to turn into these violet beings filled with hate and rage, destroying everything they saw.” The images showed these people mutating into a large powerful beast. They still maintained their height but instead of the human appearances they started to take on a more beast like form. Teeth pushing out from their gums with sharp points. Claws stretching from their fingers and their bodies building in mass as their muscles swole to give them more of a werewolf like appearance, the only thing they were missing was a heavy coat of fur and the dog faced features. Adam continued “Those that did not transform hid in fear, but the newly evolved Krist had developed new senses and could find the unchanged by mear smell, none were fast enough and all were enslaved.” The images shifted to thousands of people chained at their necks being shuffled along to large facilities. “Even with their hate and rage they maintained some of their knowledge and intelligence. They had already harnessed the power of their planets core many generations ago, but now wanted to use it to move the planet itself, like a giant starship. After several years and the deaths of countless slaves they finally finished what they called the world engine. A massive and powerful engine that allowed them to travel to other solar systems and conquer other planets. The planet itself had started to become more and more of a starship and less of a planet. The Krist managed to mine all of the resources they had, converting rock into metals and minerals and water into fuels. They moved from solar system to solar system, conquering planets and enslaving their populations, then ravaging the planet for all of it’s resources and leaving behind a lifeless husk. After a while they started to come up against more powerful systems that had banded together to stop the Krist. That’s when they decided they needed to decimate a few smaller planets and fill their slave pins so that they could put them all to work to build a device they call the ‘solar destroyer’. A powerful gun that can harness the power of their ships core and use it destroy the sun of a solar system. Once the device was built they found one of the systems that had banded together and destroyed their sun, as a warning to any other systems that may feel the need to fight. One hundred and seventy trillion people on four planets were destroyed that day. Now the Krist are powering through the universe enslaving planets and reaping their resources then destroying the solar system.” Adam stopped. I took the opportunity to ask a question as the images that had been playing faded from my vision.

“Are you an escaped slave? Is that why you are trying to stop them”. I asked.

“No, I was created by a race of beings known as the Iist. They are an ancient and highly evolved race that watches the universe and records its actions. They believe that everything in the universe is connected and that we are all on the path to perfection. From time to time they will give a planet or civilization a nudge, if they see that it has potential, but they try to not interfere with any civilization to much. They fear that if they become too much of a presence in a civilizations upbringing, they may be mistaken as gods and then the somewhat natural order of their development may be tainted. Through one of their viewing sessions they saw this death and destruction from the Krist as it cast a black shadow and a wake of blood across the stars. They decided that they needed to do something to stop the devastation. They brought together the brightest minds from the 5 original races, the Gran, the Hule, the Maktan and the Xxin, and together they created me. The most advanced weapon of war there is.” Adam said. He almost sounded proud of his existence. “However, my creation came at a price. The 5 races were at odds on my creation from the beginning. Even though they agreed that the Krist needed to be stopped, they all did not agree on the method of their destruction. Once I was fully activated, there was discussion about not allowing me to be launched and placing me in a temporal storage facility until a decision could be made. That’s when one of the leaders of the Iist, a being named Zyntal, took me from the science facility and launched me on my programmed route.” Adam said. For a brief moment I could see the images of Zyntal running down a long glass hall with Adam in his sphere shape. He reached what looked like a balcony and then waved his hands over Adam and watched him fly into the sky, for a brief moment I saw a flash of light hit Zyntal’s back as he fell to his knees still looking up at the sky.

I finally opened my eyes and tried to purge my mind of the Krist but I couldn’t. I could see them like they were standing right in front of me. Their large frames covered in the skin of the beings that they had conquered and killed. The scars across their faces and the blood that was dried and crusted on their flesh. It reminded me of Goblins or Trolls in some of the cheesy science fiction or fantasy movies my dad likes to watch on friday nights.

“Adam, did Zyntal die to send you on your mission” I asked.

“It appears so, he felt that the mission was too important and that if he needed to sacrifice himself to insure that I succeeded then that was a worthy price to pay.” Adam said.

“While I was educating you on why this mission is important, I continued to load your training program in the background. You should be able to recall everything you will need in order to succeed” Adam said, his horrible bedside manner had returned.

“So now what, I can’t exactly walk out of here you know. There is a soldier standing right outside. If I leave it will look suspicious.” I sat there for a moment thinking of what I needed to do. Then I remembered a scene from one of those action movie. The guy was programmed as a kid by Russian Scientist to be the ultimate spy, but they wiped his memory so that they could activate him later in life. I figured this was a similar situation and I should take a queue from hollywood.

“Adam, here is what were going to do”. I laid out all of the details of my plan. How we were going to get out and everything. I felt like I was planning a great prison escape or something. After Thirty Minutes of us planning and finally agreeing on a tactic I was ready to put it in motion.

Just then the door opened and in walked my dad, Mr. Meyer and the General. “Son, they are going to let you go, they didn’t find anything wrong with you” my dad said. The General looked over at him a little annoyed. Like my dad had stole his thunder. “That’s right my boy, you are free, clean bill of health. It looks like you managed to escape whatever that was without a scratch. You are one lucky young man” the General said. His tone sounded like he was actually happy but looking at his eyes, you could tell he was not believing what he was selling. “We want you to go home and get some rest for the next couple of days. I’m sending out Billy Tidwell to help your dad during that time. Were taking it off of his community service that he owes the town for all the destruction he has caused” Mr. Mayer said. Billy Tidwell was the towns screwup. Just out of highschool like me and he has already managed to get arrested three times, and set fire to one of the feed stores on the edge of town when he got drunk on moonshine and crashed his truck into it. Now he is on town arrest and has to serve several thousand hours of community service. He has already tried to escape the town twice but the Sheriff is a friend of his dads and knows all of his tricks. Plus, Billy’s not real bright and hasn’t figured out yet that they know exactly where he is at thanks to the ankle bracelet that he is forced to wear. I think all that moonshine drinking has rotted his brain too much.

“That’s great, thank you for letting me go home. I will take it easy, I promise” I said to them with a smile. “All that planning and they were going to let you go any way” I could hear Adam say.

The next two hours was nothing but paperwork. Release forms, papers saying that I wouldn’t go to the news and that all of this was considered National Security and I would be tried for treason if I told anyone anything that happened. That raised a lot of red flags with both me and my dad. If there’s nothing wrong with me then why all the secrecy. The Mayor said he would need to make a statement to the press, just to keep suspicions low. He advised the General that the official statement would be that I was in a field when a chunk of space debris from a downed satellite exploded above me. The concussion knocked me out but I am fine and recovering well. The General agreed and the Mayor walked out of the room. “I want to get out of this circus as fast as I can” my dad said. Looking at the papers and signing them as quickly as he could.

I looked around and saw the General standing in the corner watching everything we were doing. “Scanning” Adam chimed up. I had almost forgotten he was there. I saw a series of lines start to flow over the General and watched as I was able to look at various levels of him. Muscle, nerves, Organs and Bones all became visible for a moment in my vision. “We will need to keep an eye on him Adam, I don’t think he is done with us” I said, using my thoughts to communicate to Adam. “Agreed, once we are out of this facility I will start a routine motion sweep until we are safely back to your dwelling. It may give you a slight headache and a ringing in your ears, but it will subside in time” Adam said.

Adam wasn’t kidding, On the way home he started his scanning to make sure we were not fixing to head into a trap. It was very hard to concentrate on my dad’s ramblings through the ringing in my ears. He also wasn’t kidding about the headache. It felt like I had placed my head in a vice and was slowly squeezing it on all sides.

“Are you listening to me son”, my dad said. “Sorry dad, I guess being locked up in that hospital room for three days made me a little light sensitive, my head is killing me and I’m having a hard time concentrating. I promise I’m not trying to be rude”, I knew this would not upset him. My mom used to go through this same thing in the beginning. I just hope he didn’t think that what happened to her was starting to happen to me.

“Should I take you back?” he said. “NO!” I blurted out, surprising him and making him jerk a little. “Sorry, no. I don’t want to go back there. I just need to rest like the Doc said. I’ll be better in a day or two, I promise.” for the first time in a long time I saw him smile. He placed his hand on the back of my head and gently squeezed. For a moment it almost looked like he was going to cry. “I know you’ll be just fine son” he finally said, then turned his concentration back to driving. The rest of the ride home was quiet, with the exception of the ringing in my ears.