The sound of quick steps splashing
through thick, mucky puddles caught the ears of grey silhouettes moaning
agonizingly, at dusk. They jerked painfully towards the footsteps increasing in
speed and with animalistic growls they tried to communicate with what they knew
was a person from “the world”. The world of which they wish they could return;
but their jagged movements and inability to stand thwarted these futile
thoughts; their distorted faces and contaminated existence prevented them from
nonetheless, they stirred like the starving animals that they were perceived as
by humans, for fragments of humanity was lost when the Third Flash hit.
the bodies in the once great city of Azeroth vacillated erratically, the footsteps
stopped. Axus scanned the denaturalized landscape in search of one figure in
particular. She furrowed her brows; squinting violet eyes at the general area
where the young slum girl usually had lain. Where could she be? She thought
perplexingly. She knew that the girl could barely move a few centimeters
without howling in pain, so the idea of her trying shift somewhere else was out
of the question. After looking around the general area of the wasteland, Axus
reluctantly continued toward the warehouse while trying her hardest to ignore
the shrieks and deathbed moans that penetrated her non-gas tight suit. After all, the suit was designed to
lockout contamination. Yet presently, Axus began to wonder if the suits should
also be sound proof; she wondered if the tightness in her heart was a
contamination of their wails.
reached the oxidized steel doors of the warehouse, and stood above a circular
pod that dropped her below once it recognized her Vitanumber. Sliding down the
shoot for about 3 seconds, she landed in the Abeochamber- the area that
neutralized any toxins that settled on the outside of her suit. She released a
great sigh as she removed her facemask and as the near suffocating body suit
dropped to the floor and revealed her petite frame. Glancing momentarily at her
reflection, she quickly threw on some loose slacks and a blouse. Suddenly, a
low whistle caught her ear, and the sound grew closer and closer to her. She
realized that it was Videi coming down the shoot- Yukan had damn near lived in
the warehouse recently, so it couldn’t be him.
her hunch, Videi landed gracefully with his knees slightly bent, and flashed a
goofy grin at Axus.
Axus,” he greeted in his usual cheery tone, “I- oh, you don’t look so well
today, are you lacking supplements?” His deep blue eyes flashed with worry for
a moment as he inquired her present state.
thank you for the concern, but I’m quite alright Videi- greetings to you as
well- it’s just that…” Axus habitually swept choppy brown locks away from her
face and inhaled as she continued, “I can’t seem to find Elvira…I haven’t a
clue of where she could have gone! Hell, she can’t turn on her rib-exposed belly
without releasing the most horrifying shrill!” It hadn’t occurred to her that
she was practically shouting at him, but her worry overcame her. Internally,
Videi shrugged in annoyance. He didn’t know what the hell was the point about
caring for a slum girl! She was bound by death! Her fate was sealed along with
the crash of the Third Flash! As much as he loved her, he didn’t agree with her
infatuation with that creature. But that mattered not, because she loved Yukan.
After dressing himself, and
shooting her an even more worried look he replied, “I don’t know what to tell
ya Ax, but honestly, we have more important things to tend to right now.” She
would have been taken back by the seemingly heartless remark, but she knew
Videi, and she knew that he was right.
“You’re absolutely right Videi,”
she said weakly, “We must speak with Yukan! It’s been an entire month and he’s
been down here doing God knows what!” After scanning their Vitanumbers, giant
doors slid open, leading the researchers into the main branch of Likon. The
dimly lit, dome-like lab consisted of thousands of machinery, constantly
creating an unintentional mockery of the human heartbeats, with the buzzing and
beeping of monitors. Videi sat at his computer and brought up a projection of
the present state of the universe. He made a sharp intake of breath before relaying
what he saw.
“Axus” he whispered as she
cautiously turned in his direction. She could feel her face growing pale just
at the possibilities of what he could say. Seconds later he finally spoke,
“we’ve got less than 100 light years until the Fouth Flash.”
A hushed silence swept threw the room and Axus felt
paralyzed in it. She wanted nothing more than to try to better the conditions
on Earth, which is why she joined Likon a few years ago. Videi felt her strong
distress in that second, and suddenly felt that same wave of sorrow crash over
him- but for a more sinister reason. He wanted to comfort Axus, but for some
reason, a different word choice crawled out from his mouth.
we are Likon. We are dozens of underground, slum dwelling researchers who share
one common trait: we are hell bent on preventing this destruction yet again. We
are here to try to ensure protection to the best of our abilities, and that’s
all. No matter what it takes, we must protect our race. Take Yukan for example.
Yeah the guy has lived here for a month, but he is head researcher. We better be happy that he does most of the
work for us!” His chuckles were cut short by the low creak of a much older door
opening slowly. A deep, baritone voice emerged from the darkness.
that I can be of help to you Videe” started the deep voice, “Worry not Axus, hope
is found yet again.” Axus stared in amazement at Yukan. His uncanny ability to
function normally as a time like this was astounding. It was one of the many
reasons that she loved him. The splashes of grey in his hair lit up when light
was shone upon it only reinforced the obvious attraction that Axus had for him.
She approached him warmly and tried to catch her professional mask before it
We’ve been worried sick about you! For an entire month, the lead researcher at
Likon disappears! More importantly, whatever you have been doing, you haven’t
bothered to even cue Videi and I in on it! We’re your partners, and we have
been so for four years now! Yukan please! No Secrets!” her words seemed to have
merely scrapped the exterior of Yukan. He had very deterministic ways.
Nonetheless, he smiled while placing a calloused hand on her slender shoulder.
couse my dear Axus, no more secrets,”
same weak smile appeared on her face at the moment. She felt…strange. It was
like the pit of her stomach was boiling and the heat traveled to her heart.
Something was off. She shoved it off for the moment as the 3 proceeded through
the lab casually, even laughing lightly at minor jokes being tossed around. Like
their jokes about the near crumbling ozone layer they helped repair by
recapturing the lost nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Or even their pretentious
attitudes towards the past usage of coal for energy. She noted how passionate
the two men became when it came to this subject. They bashed and badmouthed the
ancestors for not being more innovative, and remarked that solar energy should
have been the first energy alternative when humans could even process this idea.
According to Yukan, he would’ve changed the entire world if he had been born
during that time period.
Though, with all the lighthearted small talk being thrown
around the room that same feeling welled inside of her once more. As if a
parasite had been eating away at her innards…that’s how she felt; as if slowly
and steadily, they gnawed at her major organs making her feel hollow.
knew what it was; she knew why this hollow feeling was surfacing in her.
Throwing suspicious glances at her partners, Axus slowly paced around them as
she finally spoke.
is wrong,” Videi and Yukan immediately snapped their heads upwards and gaped at
her intensely. Habitually, she swept her shabby bangs away from her face.
Inhaling sharply, she continued, “Videi, you just said that we were less then
100 light years away from the Fourth Flash and now…you’re so calm. Yukan,
you’ve been hiding away from for one month, one month! We return, and you act
as if nothing has happened or even changed. And moments ago, you just
mysteriously said ‘hope is found yet again’. What exactly do you mean Yukan? I
just have a terrible feeling that something is horribly wrong!” Once more, she
found herself near shouting. Yukan and Videi exchanged confirming looks at one
another, signaling that it was time. This did not go unseen buy Axus, who was
now looking with bewilderment at the two men before her. Yukan approached Axus
sternly, sighing as he did so. He knew…he knew from the start that Yukan would
be against him completely. But you love me don’t you? I can see it in your
eye’s Axus; you will not oppose me.
with me. It is true; I promised that there would be no more secrets between us.
Come now, you want to see what I have been up to for the past month? I will show
you,” He grabbed her hand and led her to the outmost test room located in the
lesser used part of lab- Test Area C. The cylindrical pod scanned their
Vitanumbers allowing them entrance. Upon entering, simultaneously a dozen
lights bright lights flashed, one immediately following the other, guiding
their eyes to a massive hourglass-like machine with what appeared to be an
entity hovering inside of it. Walking in closer to the machine, Yukan began to
you know this machine before you. It is one of most powerful devices on Earth-
Model Dergon 90Y1- or better known as the Energy Harnesser,” they finally
reached the base of the machine, when Axus could now see tubes transferring the
black aura to a much smaller Energy Harnesser adjacent to it. She gasped
realizing what was in the smaller harnesser. It was the power of the Flash.
Yukan observed her gaze and continued on.
you know Axus, the Third Flash, much like the Second, and the Infamous First,
are accumulations of the photon particles being released from the sun. But as
we’ve witnesses first hand, these photon particles have wiped out vast
civilizations across the face of the earth, and the surrounding areas
experienced the backlash of the rays- resulting in their terrible deformities,
and the denaturalization of the terrain. I’ve studied the behavior of the
photon particles. And to cut to the chase- they can be counter acted-” He
paused when he heard sharp gasp.
true? You’ve found a way to counter act the particles? How,- oh! It must be
this energy that you are harnessing! What is it?!” She waited anxiously for an
answer- though she felt as like she answer you would receive, would be one that
she would oppose to her grave.
to your dismay Axus,” he caught Videi’s eyes once more, and went on, “the
energy that I have discovered that will counter the power of the photon rays…is
the power of human energy.”
eyes widen to the point where she felt it was possible for them to pop out of
the sockets. She didn’t understand...How could he harness human energy? It was
How could you! Humans! Why! We are here to protect our race! Not to take
innocent lives! I don’t undestand!” she cried furiously. Yukan’s eyes flared
red for a second- he had lost.
my dear. This is the only way. There must be sacrifices to be made if you want
to prevent the Fourth Flash. More importantly, the specimen that I used was
just a creature of the slums. Not a person, so worry not- although, I’m aware
that for foolish reasons, you still oppose me”
stopped breathing in that moment. Her heart ached, and her stomach felt as
though it was disintegrating inside of her. The taste of hatred swelled in her
She was bemused by the words that Yukan spoke. Then she lost
control. Thorwoing her arms in the air like she was mad, she began,
you too turned you back on humanity, Yukan! Yes they may be deformed, but they
are still humans! How dare you dehumanize them! -“ Yukan interjected before she
act as if you are the savior of the slum people, Axus. Don’t let conceit get
the best of you. You cannot save them. They are doomed for death. The young
creature whose energy I am harvesting will save us all, I just need at least of
all of the bodies from the slums, and then we can completely counteract the
Fourth Flash! Don’t you see!” he paced swiftly as he spoke, “THIS WILL SAVE
HUMANTIY!” He stopped once again, and saw her sobbing, “Poor Axus, you have too
much love to give. You give it to these slum people, when indeed; their
sacrifice will save us. In fact, you have no reason to love them any longer.
The one that you loved has made the greatest sacrifice of all.”
when she thought she couldn’t sob harder, she did so. She realized that the
black floating entity that was being harnessed was Elvira. She fell to floor.
She wondered, when had the world become so cruel? Yet to her dismay, you knew
that she could not save the people of the slums. She knew that even if they
could prevent the Fourth Flash, they would still suffer. But…even so, treating
them like animals to be proceeding was the most morally unjust thing that she
could contemplate. Yet, she saw for herself; the power countered photon rays. This
is what I joined Likon for, is it not? I wanted to save the world, and now I
can, she thought sickeningly.
two men just stared in pity at the woman before them. When you finally stood
up, she waked over to the machine and hugged it tightly.
so sorry Elriva,” she muttered, “I won’t allow your death to go in vain.”
upon the slums the three researchers gazed over the land, as it was now pitch
black. Axus stared blankly and realized that she would physically and mentally
be walking into the darkness. Yet, it was for the sake of the world right? She kept that thought in mind as the three
researchers began cultivating the "creatures" of the slums in the