The group of us stood around the mechanical atrocity with baited breath and blank expressions. The twisted roots of chords and wiring sprawled the room tight like some twisted bird’s nest. On the display board a vibrant array of flickering lights performed their usual rounds as we all waited in eager anticipation.

The performance ceased several seconds later, and a single message displayed on screen. Dr. Ammerman approached and her curious hazel eyes parted like the red sea as her focus fell upon the message. She turned back to face Marek; our project lead. His grey eyes returned her stare with a gaze of laser like intensity.

“Status?” Ammerman takes a deep breath and shudders.

“Genome sequencing complete, electrolysis fluctuation appears minimal, power levels stable…” She pauses and glances meekly back at him.

“I think it’ll work…” She spoke as if it were some deadly secret. Marek looked to the two glass testing canisters on the podium and the rest of us followed suit. Within the right, a single white mouse with beady red eyes curiously squeaked about. Within the left, was another mouse mortally wounded with an open gash on it’s side. Small squeaks of pain escaped it’s frantic mouth, and it’s chest pulsed wildly as speckles of blood stained it’s pearly-white fur.

Two diodes sat at opposite ends of each container, with poles facing one another at a 180-degree angle. Wires wrap the room like a spider’s web, with several haphazardly soldered connections and open circuits. OSHA would’ve had a field day with our setup, but beauty and proportionality were never top priority.

Marek pondered in silence for a moment, and anticipation draped over us like a thick tarp. With a sudden grunt, Marek gives the command.

“Begin.” Ammerman and another colleague spring into action, adjusting nobs and dials on the machine in accordance with specified parameters. The machine began to whir with electromagnetic energy, and groaned as the antennae began to glow. Ammerman grabbed the power switch and gave a suddenly much more confident look back to the rest of us. Her eyes wander to Marek, then locked with mine. I nodded back, and she turns to the switch.

“Firing…” Ammerman activates the machine, and the room is bathed in a blue iridescent hue as energy surged through the circuits. The testing chamber was consumed momentarily by a radiant ocean of azure. Within ten seconds it is over, and the room waits silently for the culmination of years of hard work.

There had been thousands of attempts, and thousands of failures. That time though, something felt different. Whether it was a simple blithe hunch, or the ever so slight smirk on Dr. Ammerman’s face, something was unique that time.

A commotion drew us back to the canister in between the two diodes: a squeaking sound. I stare in abstract disbelief, as the previously injured mouse begins to rummage around it’s cage, showing no signs of discomfort or the previous wound. The mouse on the right however, has been almost liquified, reduced to a small pile of fluffy slag like a moldy marshmallow that had just been microwaved.

A chorus of cheers then erupt from the group. All of them reveling in the majesty of what had just been accomplished. Marek however, does not join in the celebratory chorus.

Without a word he approaches the canister and kneels to its level. His eyes followed the mouse within as it squeaks and scurries about. After a few moments he chuckles and fetches something from his coat pocket. His arm pulls back wielding a small pocket knife.

He presses the blade to his hand and slides horizontally across the outside of his hand. The skin splits apart, and a deep crimson begins to drip voluptuously from the wound. He doesn’t so much as flinch. Ammerman gasps at the macabre display. Her eyes quiver as the blood trickles from Marek’s hand and falls to the pearly white linoleum below. She takes a small step towards him, but then hesitates.

Marek removes the canister, and grabs the small rodent, placing it into the canister on the right with it’s deceased counterpart. He places his wounded hand between the two diodes as the rest of us closely monitor his action. He looks back to Ammerman, expression devoid of any emotion.

“Begin.” Ammerman appears unsure of the command. Another voice; Dr. Fedor Oleksi chimes in.

“Sir the proper diagnostics have not yet been completed. We don’t know what…”

“Pull. The. Switch.” Marek interrupts with a stern yet collected voice. His eyes glisten with a malicious urgency.

In fear of further invoking his wrath, Ammerman complies with the order. The machine roars to life once again as the blood from Marek’s hand pools upon the pulpit below the diodes. Ammerman again grabs the switch and looks to me. A simple nod signals my approval, as even if I wanted to protest, I know there is no sense arguing with my older brother.

She pulls the switch and a stream of electricity blazes through Marek’s hand. The room is once again illuminated by a neon blue. Marek winces for a moment, but remains stoic as the process concludes. The machine powers down seconds later, and tufts of smoke drift from Marek’s hand. Smoke, but no blood. The previous wound has vanished. The only proof of it having ever existed being the pool of partially congealed blood on the testing podium. The previously healed mouse has been reduced to viscera just as it’s counterpart before it.

Marek withdraws his hand and raises it upwards into the faux lighting of the lab. He wiggles his fingers back and forth, and a small chuckle escapes his lips. The group; myself included, stare back in amazement as Marek turns to us, a wide almost devious grin on his haggard face.

“Now I am become life, the creator of worlds.” That moment should’ve been triumphant, celebratory for all of us at the impossibility that had been achieved. But the way Marek spoke was not one of just victory, it was one of conquest. One reminiscent of a medieval warlord bloviating to a fallen adversary who dared challenge his valor, just before thrusting the blade through his chest. Marek’s words: a blatant mockery of the illustrious J. Robert Oppenheimer, and a tabernacle solidifying his greatest achievement. Once again, there was no sense arguing with him.

My older brother Marek has always been an eccentric man. Dead set in his ways, and near impossible to convince otherwise. Anything and everything he does, he does wholeheartedly and without lamentation. Giving every ounce of energy he has to achieve that which he desires. It’s one of the reasons why he has become a wealthy man, but not the only one.

So, when he had first approached me, proclaiming that he wished to orchestrate a method capable of reversing the entire deluge of human ailments, I didn’t question him. Not on the intent anyways. I knew immediately he was serious. I pledged my funding to his group, curious to see what his plan was.

For over a decade we had nothing but failure. The initial machine relied on stimulant chemicals to try and expediate the body’s natural healing processes. That idea was scrapped fairly early on, in favor of an electrolysis generator capable of completely overriding the body’s own control of the cerebral cortex and manually initialize tissue rejuvenation. It restores the neural pathways and stimulates red and white blood cell production to rapidly reverse ailments of a host specimen. At least, that’s about as much as I understand about the process.

That was not enough though. We ran the experiment hundreds of times and achieved little else than searing the subject like a patty on the grill. Eventually though a breakthrough did come. We realized the only way to generate enough power was by a transfer of energy from one living organism to another. No amount of raw electrical input was enough, a sacrifice had to be made.

The occupants of the room file out of the lab one by one at the conclusion of the experiment. Many of them bearing concern but with nonetheless excited expressions. Several gossip with one another one the way out, but most remain silent. Ammerman was one of the last to leave and avoided looking at either my brother or I as she departed. Soon enough it is just Marek and I alone in the room.

“We’ve done it Leo.” He proclaims proudly. I turn to him and slowly he meets my gaze, a devious smile on his face.

“Death can no longer hold us. Injury no longer restrict us. We alone, have achieved the impossible.” I can’t help but chuckle at his brooding monologue and almost maniacal tone.

“That’s a bit presumptuous wouldn’t you say? We traded a quarter of a megawatt for a mouse and a scrape. Not exactly energy efficient.” Marek inspects his previously injured wrist, caressing it gently with his other hand.

“It never is in the beginning. This is just the first iteration. The process will be refined in the coming years as it always is, and our names will be forever solidified into the annals of history.” He turns entirely to face me, placing a firm hand on my shoulder.

“Can you picture it Leo? Our names straight to the top of the list of prestigious men of science. Newton, Tesla, Franklin, Einstein, none can compare with what we have achieved. Mankind, will no longer fear death.” He pauses and takes a moment to revel in his self-bestowed accolades.

“Safe to say the Nobel is ours for the next century.” He and I share a laugh.

“Well why stop there? I’m thinking big, maybe a giant golden statue by the Washington monument or something.” Marek laughs, a genuine and hearty laugh that I have not heard him utter in years.

“That would be nice. Not since Aspirin has the world seen something so profound. And when the world discovers what we have done, they will know true greatness.” My brother is a bit of a megalomaniac I know, but honestly, he’s at least partially justified. I know it can rub people the wrong way, and I get that, but after all, we have accomplished what he has said. His machine; which he has oh so humbly dubbed as ‘the Godsbane engine’ has given us dominion over injury and soon… death itself.

This lab, this project has all been orchestrated and funded solely by us. None in the mainstream world could be convinced to so much as entertain so outlandish an idea, but they’ll sure to be kicking themselves now.

“So, what now? What do you plan on doing with it?” Marek falls silent again. He gives me a look that I have not seen him. It’s hard for me to quantify what that expression conveys. A sorrowful look with a unique gleam in the eye. The type of look that says, ‘you and I both know the answer to that.’ The last time I remember seeing it was when our mother passed away.

“It’s for her…” He responds simply. For a second, I thought he was referring to Ammerman, who I know he fancies privately to some extent. I turn to respond, but an epiphany strikes before I can speak.

“Beatrice?” I ask. He doesn’t respond, only maintains the same look.

“That’s what all of this was for isn’t it? It’s why you were so insistent upon this project…”

“Not just this Leo, everything I have ever done. It’s all for her.” He stares back up at the machine, arms crossed and mind drifting from the moment.

“Marek… I… I don’t know if it’ll work that way.” I add sheepishly. I know that breaking through the stubborn mental wall around him is almost futile. You’d have better luck convincing a crocodile to go vegan. Still, I have to try.

“It was made to work that way, you know that better than anyone. What is fixing a simple genetic abnormality when compared to saving the fatally wounded? Adjustments can be made.” His glance turns almost contemptuous.

“It’s not just abnormality. We’re talking a lifetime of mal-developed biology. Not just her mind, her body… her hands and feet. She wouldn’t be able to handle the procedure.”

“Then it would be better to let her die would it?” Marek suddenly shouts back. I’ve seen him furious before, but rarely is his ire directed solely at me. I can tell by the frenzied look in his eye that he is desperate. I am as well of course, Beatrice is the most important thing in the world to me, but I have to be realistic. He steps closer.

“We are running out of time Leo. She has already far exceeded the average life span of someone with her condition. Her life has been nothing but torment, restricted by the cruel hands of fate. Would you be able to live with yourself if you knew there was something you could’ve done and didn’t?” I don’t answer his question, instead choosing to avert my gaze to the ground. Marek steps away and takes a deep breath.

“This is what we’ve always wanted. This is no longer just our investment; this is now our duty. To abandon now would be absolute treachery. She deserves everything we can give her.” I struggle to find a retort to his words. Partly because I know him to be correct on some level. From the initial onset of our project I suspected this was about her. The way Marek insisted upon utilizing cerebral cortex revitalization, and a use of the neural electroencephalogram betrayed his true motives.

This was always about her, and everything we did was to prepare us for it. What was I to do? Allow her to suffer and succumb to the sands of time when we hold the holy grail in the palms of our hands? Marek is right, it has to be done.

“There is no guarantee she will be able to handle the procedure.” Marek’s expression doesn’t waver an inch at the suggestion.

“There is no guarantee of anything. When has that ever stopped us?” It’s clear he has already rehearsed this exact moment, and I know nothing I say will dissuade him.

“It’s gonna take a lot of energy. Probably a few megawatts, not to mention donors equivalent to at least 5,000 grams of glutamate.” Marek shifts in his stance and eyes me.

“Better do 6 just to be sure.” He replies.

“That’s a lot of animals.” I reply. Marek nods, unheeded by the obstacle.

“You leave that to me. For now, tell the crew to prepare for the procedure. Call me if anything else should arise. I got some things to take care of.” Marek turns and begins to exit the lab. I stare up at the Godsbane and contemplate the task awaiting us.

“How do you plan on generating that much electricity?” I ask. Marek pauses as he reaches the door, and without turning he responds.

“A demonstration…”

Beatrice is Marek and I’s younger sister. A beautiful, happy girl of only 21 years old, with short curly brown hair and a smile which could turn the most bitter of hearts into saints. Mom always used to tell us, that you do not receive a gift without a curse. For Beatrice, I see no gift worth that of the curse she bears.

Her condition comes in the form of an insidious birth defect known to the medical world as lissencephaly. A spiteful neurologic disease characterized by the absence of convolutions in the cerebral cortex. It results in an underdeveloped brain, smaller than normal cranium, mental impairment and severe motor skill inhibition.

The person diagnosed with the disease will forever be unable to fend for themselves, becoming completely dependent upon those who care for them. They are locked in an infantile existence and cannot ever lead normal lives. And as I’m sure you can imagine, there is no cure. Beatrice does not walk, she does not talk, but her smile says everything you ever needed to hear.

The prospect of her being born the way she was never sat well with Marek. I know he’s been devastated by it, but I had no idea the extent of his disdain. We’ve always done our best to provide Beatrice with a modicum of comfort, but there’s only so much that can be done to abate the grand-mal seizures and perpetual sickness. Resentment of life is a standard ploy to distract from the possibility of malicious design from an apathetic creator. It’s one of the many reasons I no longer attend church.

The necessary adjustments have been made by the team. All the wires and circuits needed to be beefed up in order to handle the amplified amount of power which would flow through them. The exit diodes also needed readjustment, in order to allow space required to accommodate a human specimen. Now is our time to seize mother nature by the throat.

A plethora of businessmen and women, prestigious scientists and engineers, along with wealthy philanthropists and CEO’s file into the room to witness our presentation. Their expressions, dotted with a mix of uncertainty and doubt. I do not know what they have been told, but I know nothing can prepare them for what they are about to see.

After a half-hour of meager conversation and questions, Marek finally enters the room. Silence befalls the group as he strolls confidently to the front of the lab. He pauses and turns, his Godsbane engine looming behind him in all it’s blasphemous glory. He clears his throat and begins.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all to our humble laboratory. Before you, stands a revolutionary new type of machine. One which can reverse disease, heal injury and save people from the brink of death. I give you: The Godsbane Engine.” He pauses and gestures up to the mechanical leviathan behind him. It’s form; now appearing less like a machine, and more like an altar. He is met with a round of hesitant applause from the 50-odd guests in attendance.

“Today ladies and gentlemen, you will witness a miracle. An absolute marvel of technology, and the very first of it’s kind.” A hand suddenly sprouts upward from the audience. A balding white man, with glasses and a curious demeanor. Marek nods to him.

“This machine… it can reverse death?” He asks skeptically. Marek nods and the man seems to contemplate a moment.

“Is that wise to do? Morally speaking, how do you think the world will react if what you claim is true?” Marek pauses for a moment, before a knowing smile slithers across his face.

“It’s not a question of morality, it’s a question of reality. Science and medicine have always tampered with order. We have a duty to our fellow man to push the envelope, we always have. It is our burden to bear.” Marek stands confidently and no one else seems willing to question his resolve.

I look around the room, and suddenly come to the realization that Dr. Ammerman is not present. None of the crew is as a matter of fact, only Marek’s personal guards whom I do not recognize. Another hand then sprouts up from a woman with gilded hair and wrinkles beneath her eyes.

“How exactly does it work?” Marek smiles, as if that was the question he was waiting to hear.

“Easier to show than it is to tell.” Marek gestures to his men and they begin ushering people towards the seats.

“Now ladies and gentlemen if you would be so kind as to take your seats. We are about to begin.” The audience does as instructed and relocate into the crude metallic seats. They look almost like thrones, but bare-boned and rigid. Marek’s men then begin passing out some sort of helmet device to each of them.

“My assistants are supplying you with our state-of-the-art shielding apparatus. The arc-flash produced by the machine can be quite intense, and this device is to protect your eyes from the lighting. Please ensure your helmet is equipped, snug and comfortable with the protective lens placed across your eyes.” The audience begins doing as requested as Marek’s guards assist them. I saunter over to his side and whisper to him.

“You made no mention of these before.” Marek chuckles and replies in a hushed tone.

“Insurance purposes. To cover our ass from any lawsuits they may try to bring.” He gives me a pat on the back and turns back to the group as they finish their preparations. Marek raises both hands and begins again.

“Now ladies and gentlemen. The show is about to begin. Please welcome the star of our show. My beloved younger sister… Beatrice.” The door opens behind and those seated turn to glimpse the commotion. In strolls Dr. Ammerman, pushing Beatrice in her wheelchair. Beatrice smiles as she recognizes Marek, but Ammerman appears nervous. Marek approaches Beatrice and kneels to her level.

“Hi Bee.” A smile forms on his face and he kisses her forehead. Beatrice gives a small hoot of excitement and eagerly squirms about. Ammerman steps away and appears confused by the sight of the audience in their bizarre helmets. She turns to me.

“Insurance.” I state, echoing Marek’s explanation. Ammerman appears no less confused and glances around the room.

“Where are the animals?” She asks. I forgot all about that aspect, and I have no answer to give. Before I can respond Marek begins to speak once again.

“I’d like to introduce you all to my dear sister: Beatrice. She was born with a disease known as lissencephaly. A cruel diagnosis which has left her incapable of living a full life. That changes today. With the Godsbane engine – she will be free from her shackles.” Marek nods to Ammerman, but she remains frozen. Marek’s gaze quickly turns sour, and Ammerman – fearing repercussions, approaches and pushes Beatrice and her wheelchair to the designated spot. Right between the two output diodes, in the crux of the Godsbane.

Beatrice’s expression appears somewhat nervous as she is placed within the designated spot. I walk over to her, give her a kiss on the forehead and try reassuring her.

“It’s okay Bee, we’re gonna make things better.” Beatrice smiles up at me, and Marek readies the machine for the procedure. Ammerman shuffles quietly behind the machine and stands at the switch. Her eyes appear to tremble as she scans the room. Marek approaches Beatrice and gently caresses her hand. He whispers something to her, but I didn’t hear what he said.

Marek then turns from her and meets my gaze with an almost diabolic grin. I feel a cold chill descend my spine as I see his expression, but Marek will not be swayed. He turns to Ammerman.

“Begin.” Ammerman hesitates.

“Sir… where are the…”

“It has all been taken care of Dr. Ammerman. There is no need to worry.”

“But… what about…”

“Begin the procedure.” His look turns to an immediate scowl, as if the scorn of a thousand men rests behind his eyes. Ammerman recoils, and with a sigh she begins the startup process.

The generators begin to whir with electrical impulse, a noise that grows steadily louder. Overhead the armature begins to rotate faster and faster, as sparks of neon blue begin to ignite and lash out. The whirring becomes so loud that Marek is forced to shout over the commotion.

“The first step requires building enough power for a suitable transfusion. Once the core is stable, and power levels are primed the next step begins.” The audience appears slightly unnerved by the site, and the ferocious machine continues to roar overhead.

Marek then throws another switch, and a series of mechanic straps emerge from the seats. They jut across the laps of the audience members and restrain them down in their seats. Fear crosses their faces and several begin to audibly protest. Marek raises his hand to quell the mounting uncertainty.

“All part of the plan ladies and gentlemen, there is no need to worry. This is a precaution for your safety.” Overhead a series of tube-like structures descend from the rafters and latch themselves to the helmets of the audience members. Beatrice begins to cry as the cacophony of the machine reaches hurricane proportions.

“Marek what are you…” I question.

“Do not fucking get in the way Leo.” He suddenly shouts in a hushed tone back at me. His eyes now burning holes through me as the restrained audience begins to visibly panic.

“What is this? This wasn’t part of the plan.” Marek’s expression turns to outright anger, as the years of seething resentment can no longer be contained within him.

“This was always the plan.” He turns from me once more and raises both arms.

“You see ladies and gentlemen; raw electrical input is not enough. It is only part of the equation. To make the transfer successful, you need a small dose… of life.” Marek then throws the final switch, causing a new noise to fill the lab. The sounds of horrendous screams.

I watch horrified as the men and women strapped to the seats flail and writhe around as the tubes begin to glow brightly above them.

“Marek stop!” Ammerman begs, but Marek isn’t listening. A new diabolic grin forms on his face, and I see the sheer madness swirl in his eyes. Ammerman moves to impede him, when Marek forcefully seizes her by the throat. He hurls her backwards, causing her to stumble and bash her head on a nearby desk. She falls to the ground unconscious.

“What the fuck are you doing?” I rush towards Ammerman, when Marek seizes me. I feel his fist strike my ribs, and as I haunch over in pain his knee rises to slam into my face. I feel my nose burst like a balloon as a spatter of blood erupts from my nose. I feel my consciousness fading when Marek seizes me by the collar.

“Apologies brother, but I cannot allow anyone to intervene, not even you.” Behind me I hear the continued sounds of gurgled screams from the audience.

“This… is wrong…” I manage to stutter out. Marek laughs and shakes his head.

“No… Beatrice is wrong. I will make her whole.” Marek then releases me and I fall back. My fading vision falls upon the audience. Their bodies and faces have begun to melt away, like candles in an oven. Their agonized screams and gurgles continue as one by one they fall silent.

Outside a group of their bodyguards attempt to pry the door open, but to no avail. The room begins to grow vibrantly as the neon blue grows to consume everything. It grows so bright that I can no longer see my hand in front of my face.

“Beatrice! I release you from your chains!” Marek shouts; his voice overcoming all the rest of the chaotic symphony before the room erupts with a massive concussion of raw energy. I can feel the breath knocked from my chest, and the room tremble as the wave strikes me. I gasp, as I try to regain my rhythm, blinded by the light.

The neon blue slowly fades; leaving a pile of partially-liquified corpses in it’s wake. All the audience members have since fallen silent. Their slack-jawed expressions partially skeletonized as melted flesh drips from their bones.

Marek stands back up on the other end of the room, his head now sporting a gaping wound. His eyes then grow enormous, and I turn to see what holds his attention.

Beatrice sits in her wheelchair, smoke bristling off her like the vapor on a lake in a cold winter’s day. Something about her has changed. Her skin has turned a ghostly white, as if it were carved from the most immaculate marble. Her head suddenly appears the size of a normal person’s, and her arms and legs no longer bear the signs of muscular atrophy. She appears whole, as we had always hoped.

Her blue jumpsuit she wore has been tattered and no longer seems to properly fit. Around her sprouts an almost angelic aura of shimmering light. The air distorts around her, like heat waves on a hot summer’s day.

Then Beatrice does something I never would have thought I’d see in a million years. My little sister – who all her life has suffered from her ailment and has never taken a single step, rises from her wheelchair of her own accord. I stare, mouth gaping and eyes anchored open as she strolls out from the Godsbane. Marek rises, his expression matching my own bewilderment.

“Beatrice…” He says almost in a whisper, and tears well in his eyes. Her head then turns in his direction, her eyes still shut. She stands at least an entire foot taller than him. Her body is lanky, and narrow, and seems to emanate an immense power beyond any I’ve ever witnessed.

He strolls over to her, his hand gently reaching out. On the main lab door, the sounds of men attempting to break in emerges, but Marek pays them no mind.

“Welcome home… sister.” Marek’s hand reaches for her cheek. Her eyes then spring open, revealing two blue orbs that glisten like stars. Marek pauses and retracts his hand. Beatrice then reaches her hand towards him, and the security team manages to breach the door.

“Stop right there!” One of the four men in suits commands. Beatrice slowly turns to them, her glowing eyes falling upon the group. The men hold their pistols with trembling grips, and the one who shouted the command appears to shutter.

“Doctor we need you to sta… stand down.” He commands, but his voice wavers. Marek pays him no mind whatsoever, as his gaze is transfixed upon Beatrice. Beatrice raises a hand to Marek and caresses his cheek gently. Marek gasps and suddenly appears uncertain. Within moments his body begins to fade, like blood diluting in a bucket of water. One moment he’s there, the next he’s gone.

One of the guards suddenly pulls the trigger and a deafening blast erupts as the bullet screams out of the barrel. It strikes Beatrice in the chest, and my heart freezes. Blood begins to drip from the wound, but Beatrice doesn’t even seem to register the impact. I expect her to collapse, as the shot should’ve been fatal, but she continues to stand.

Beatrice then turns her head back to the men. Her mouth then slowly dangles open, stretching impossibly wide for any normal human. But she isn’t a normal human anymore. Dozens of small tufts of blue light emerge from within her throat and begin to gently flutter outward.

“What the hell are you?” One man asks. As if on cue, the balls of light suddenly jettison towards them at a torrid rate. The balls strike the men one after another and they begin to scream. They writhe about as their eyes, mouths, nostrils and ears begin to emit the same blue light. They fall to the floor soon after, silent and unresponsive.

I blink, and suddenly Beatrice has appeared only two feet from me. Her iridescent eyes staring down expressionless upon me. I gasp and raise my arms as if hoping in some futile attempt to protect myself.

“Beatrice… I’m so sorry…” She kneels down to me, her hand reaching out and touching my shoulder. Her touch burns like napalm and freezes like dry ice at the same time. Hot and cold, dead and alive. I squirm as the uncomfortable sensation ingrains into my shoulder. I look back up to her, tears drifting from my eyes.

“Thank you… Leo…” Her voice, like smooth silk upon the rusted chassis of my heart. Her tone is one which infuses a pit of despair within me, but also hope. A feeling I could never truly describe properly.

I shutter at the sight of her, as if I am looking upon a living, breathing miracle. Not one of the powers of God, but one born of science and machines. A living goddess, transcendent beyond the human form.

She turns away from me, eyeing the morbid scene around us. The Godsbane has since fallen silent, and Ammerman begins to stir. She then gasps and her eyes tremble as she beholds Beatrice in all her heretical glory.

Beatrice only gives her a quick glance, before slowly strolling towards the door of the lab. I watch her go, able to move, but without the willpower to follow. I watch her vanish beyond the mangled doors of the lab, unable to follow her out.

I get my personal things together, and get out of there as soon as I was able. The devastation of our audience took on an entirely new perspective as I leave, and I gag as the smell of viscera strikes my nostrils. The severity of what we had done hits me then. I can never atone for what I’ve done.

Police seized our lab soon after, but the news made no mention of the event. By the time they arrived, I – and whoever else valued their freedom were long gone. I have no idea what they truly know, but I doubt it is the whole story. No one would believe it anyways.

They have of course tried to find me, but they haven’t. I am a world away from that place now, new name and identity. I thought Marek was dead after that, but I got a phone call from him not too long ago. He’s out there somewhere, serving his new goddess. I haven’t actually seen him, or Ammerman since, but I have seen her.

I dream about her almost every night. It’s all fuzzy, but I know it’s her… our little princess, molded into something else. I see her creating, see her suffering and see her crying. I don’t know why she shows me the things she does, but I know what she’s doing.

She’s building something, a world to call her own beyond that of our own. She’s not human anymore, not really. Perhaps vaguely in appearance, but her mind and power has gone far beyond that that of any other.

She’s out there, using the power we bestowed upon her, and there is no stopping her now. A being of tragedy and love, of chaos and empathy. The nightmare princess; a goddess in her own right.

She keeps taking people, and I cannot stop her. I’m sorry for what I have done, but I can honestly say, I wouldn’t have it any other way. She deserves to be free, and now she’s freer than anyone else has ever been before.

All hail Beatrice; the Nightmare Princess. And now the real work begins.

 

a goddess