In the Light

The rules were simple: stay underground no matter the circumstance. For generations, that principle was taught to the residents of the compound, and things generally went well for the Earth-dwellers – until Samuel Hollis decided it was his mission to send centuries of preparation and evolution to a bellowing inferno.


“I warned you, Sam,” said Dr. Serena Willis, burning with anger. Her cherry lips snarled with rage. “I fucking warned you to leave this alone, and what did you do?” She huffed. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I loved you Sam. Now look where we are.”

Sam was too occupied with the pain he had to endure to care for his ex-girlfriend’s lecture. With each heartbeat, a scarlet liquid crept up his body, covering its territory with beautiful crystal shards. The gems shot up with an instantaneous pop – it sounded as if his body were the host of a microscopic war.

The doctor sent her hand across Sam’s face. “Look at me, Sam. LOOK AT ME!” The woman began giggling hysterically, having to take a seat to keep from losing her balance. Serena cupped her face in her hands. “And you know what makes this more complicated? I’m fucking pregnant.”

“What?” Sam inquired, wincing between crystalized eruptions.

“It’s not like it really matters.” She rubbed her flat stomach. “As soon as this monster is born, it’s being sent to Phoenix Corp.”

Phoenix Corp., the very organization responsible for the dismantling of society as it was once known, was in charge of manufacturing the Elite, a specialized human being better suited for a technology-ruled world. Although it was rarely mentioned, news that Phoenix Corp. was accepting infant donations for its studies leaked years ago.

Sam squirmed and fought against his restraints. “No! You can’t,” he roared.

“Oh, but I can. Wouldn’t you want your child able to grow and succeed just as well as its peers? I figured if there was one thing you gathered from peeking out into the Overrealm, it would be that the human race as it was once known is lost. And for good reason.”

“Don’t forget that you’re human, too, Serena. The woman that fell in love with me would never have fallen for the lies of the Emperor.” He reiterated: “The ratio of humans to Elites is still large enough that we could take it back. Serena, there’s still hope!”

Serena cackled and shoved a pen into Sam’s shoulder. The force sent a tingling sensation through his body, but he felt no pain.

Suddenly, she focused in on Sam, her mouth breathing hot steam into his ear. “I’ll let you in on a secret: the red crystal is a method used to punish Elites; it has no effect whatsoever on a human, as it’s attracted only to the soft electrical pulse emitted from an elite core.
“So tell me again how you’re any different than the others you so despise.”

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