THE REBOOT BEGINS
Hello, all. It's been eight years now since I finished Genetic Tampering. I was 17 years old and a Junior in High School when I wrote this, but the idea had actually originated even earlier. I have incomplete drafts of this story dating back to when I was 13. I probably have over a dozen different incomplete drafts that I've written over the years. Some had the Genetic Tampering focus, others were focused purely on the Triad's evil machinations.
Then, in 2006, I wrote the story so many of you have read (and, according to the reviews, still continue to read, which blows my mind). This draft remains the only version I ever completed, and I do view it as the culmination of years of plotline experimentation, incorporating the best of so many different ideas.
However, it did have its flaws. Gaping plot holes, uneven character development, and an ending that I never truly loved. And so it has sat, gathering metaphorical dust in the annals of the internet.
Now, I am here to say that I INTEND TO REWRITE THIS STORY. It will be a definitive final (yeah, I say that now) draft that I may ultimately decide to publish. For those fans of the original, I will acknowledge that the new version will be different. I did major restructuring of the cast and their journeys to try and bring more life to their stories. Ultimately, the story will follow a similar path to the original, however I think you'll all find the ending much more satisfying.
So go find GENETIC TAMPERING 2014, soon to be live on this site, and favorite it to follow all the great updates on the way.
So, without further ado, here is a little taste of what's to come:
Genetic Tampering 2014
Written By: The Ascended Ancient
"Sixty Seconds." The words rang in Burt's ears. The moment was almost here. Standing in yet another hotel room, another plaster box with artfully painted designs up and down the walls, he bided his time. He'd come to accept that life was about waiting. Waiting for the signal, waiting for a mission, waiting in his cell, waiting in the clinic, waiting on his father's tests…
He still had memories of a different time. Young Burt Williams was a precocious child. Messy blonde hair, green eyes, and scrawny, this kid would get into crazy hijinks all the time with his friends. At the end of the day, though, he turned around and went home to his mother. She was all he had for as long as he could remember, and he was all she had as well. And then it happened. He could never forget that moment as long as he lived. Even now, if he closed his eyes, he could feel the searing heat on his flesh, and hear his mom's screams echoing in his ear…
Days later, Burt would awake in a hospital room. The world was a blur, the drugs the doctors had given the young teenager were strong. His mind was in such a fog that for a moment he thought everything had been a dream, that the horrible images in his mind were all a lie. The doctor swiftly stripped that delusion away, and Burt was left in that cold, bright hospital room all alone, curled up on the bed, sobs racking his body. All alone, until he came.
Burt awoke in the middle of the night to find a doctor standing over him. The bright fluorescent lights had been turned back on, and the young boy stared up at the newcomer's face. Even before he spoke, Burt knew there was something funny about him. About the way his gray hair fell loosely over his ears, and about those bright emerald eyes that stared into his equally green ones through large, rectangular glasses.
"Who are you?" Burt whispered, still weak from the drugs.
"I'm so sorry," were the first words out of his mouth. "What happened to your mother… it was a real tragedy." Images floated in front of Burt's eyes; he squeezed them shut, trying desperately to push the thoughts out of his mind.
"Who are you?" he croaked out again. The stranger ignored the question, reaching out to run a hand through the few wisps of hair that Burt had left.
"I always knew you would be special." Now the stranger was whispering, as if he were in awe of the boy on the hospital bed before him. "Of all my children… Your mother, she was a special woman. I knew she was worth the personal touch, that she would give me a perfect son. And now she has." His smile ran from ear to ear by the time he was done speaking, while a chill ran down Burt's spine.
"W-What are you t-talking about?" Burt asked as he struggled to push himself up into a sitting position. "Who are you?" This time there was more force behind the question as the young man tried to marshal his strength.
"I'm your father…"
Burt was jolted back into reality by the crackle of his radio. The order had come in, it was time to go. Grabbing his gear, he left the hotel behind. Walking along the road, he could see the others moving as well. Like black garbed ninjas, the team was barely visible on this moon-less night. Turning his attention back ahead of him, he spotted a deep ditch off to the side of the road. Crouching down in it, he pulled his infrared binoculars out of his pack. Staring down the road, he could just make out the convoy in the distance. It would still be at least ten minutes before they were in position.
"Remember the plan," Quincy's voice crackled over Burt's earpiece. "After Torch does his thing, we'll need to move fast to secure the package. Understood?" A chorus of rogers came over the channel. "Torch," the commander continued, "You ready?"
"Roger," Burt replied, watching the convoy like a hawk through the binoculars. As they got closer, the light from their headlights slowly began to overpower the infrared sensor, so he turned it off. Three more minutes… two… one…
Burt stared at the lead car. After all these years it was no longer just a tingle in the back of his neck, or a strange feeling in his gut. Practice makes perfect, they say, and with all his practice he could actually see the energy being given off by the combustion of the lead police cruiser's engine. He concentrated, and the energy expanded and exploded, blowing the hood off of the engine and causing the vehicle to flip from the force of it, all the while bright orange flames engulfed it.
Before the rest of the convoy could react, Burt repeated the process, reaching out with his mind and blowing the engines of the next two squad cars, plus two more in the rear of the convoy. All that was left now was their prize: the large armored van at the center of the train of vehicles. The contents of this vehicle were too valuable to destroy, but that wasn't the only trick Burt had up his sleeve. Neutralizing combustion had always been a much more difficult process than triggering it, but again, practice makes perfect. It took him moments to extinguish the van's engine, without which it rapidly decelerated and lost control before flipping onto its side.
"Bravo Squad, move!" Quincy ordered. Burt watched as the five-man team, clad in black body armor, raced to the scene. Weaving around the burning piles of wreckage that had once been police cruisers, they found the officers in the van's cab trying to climb to safety. Burt heard the soft pop-pop of bullets leaving suppressed rifles, and the cops dropped to the ground. Unlike most of their missions, Bravo Squad weren't carrying any stun guns today. They wouldn't work on this target.
Bravo Squad surrounded the rear of the vehicle, taking up their positions. The squad leader gave the signal, and within moments the lock had been shot off the doors had been opened. Stepping away from the opening, all five men kept their weapons ready. Burt watched anxiously, everyone knew what this one was capable of. He'd killed eighteen cops across three states before they finally brought him down.
Movement drew Burt's attention to the opening as a young man in an orange prison jumpsuit climbed out. Hello, little brother, Burt thought. Short and stocky, the flashlights on Bravo Team's rifles shone on the man's pale, smooth, bald scalp. For a moment he seemed unsteady, probably still shaken from the crash, yet an instant later he stood up tall and strong, staring down the commandos in front of him. "Take him," the order came down, and the men opened fire. Bullets tore through the prisoner's body, his limbs convulsing with each impact until he finally dropped to the ground. Bravo Team swarmed his bloody, limp body, grabbing his arms and pulling restraints out of their packs.
A gunshot, a loud one, ripped through the night, and Burt saw one of the commandos fall to the ground. The others stepped back and turned their rifles back on the prisoner as he threw himself at a second soldier. The weight of his blood-drenched body knocked the armed man to the ground as the rest of the team opened fire, pumping more rounds into the young man's back. There was a scream, but it wasn't the prisoner's; a second commando was now finished. The team really opened up now, switching their rifles to full auto and emptying their clips. Over a hundred rounds from three guns tore through his body as the prisoner doubled over, and Burt's eyes widened as he realized he could see the man's guts dangling out of his shredded gut. The Commandos stopped for a split second to reload as the prisoner scooped up his own entrails and staggered weakly over to the van. What had been an orange jumpsuit was now dark red, the shreds of it that were left that is. Eerily illuminated by the light from the burning cars, the prisoner looked like something out of a zombie movie, so deformed by bullet holes that he couldn't possibly be human.
The commandos didn't waste time. Spreading out, they moved carefully around the vehicle towards their target. Their weak, wounded target… But sprang up from his ditch and opened his mouth to scream, but his voice didn't carry over the loud thunder of gunfire. Before his unbelieving eyes, he had witnessed an impossible transformation. Bullets had popped out of the prisoner's flesh like popcorn kernels in a microwave, while the organs that had been sitting in his lap were pushed back into his gut. And the gun, he still had the first commando's sidearm. When the rest of Bravo Team rounded the vehicle, he opened fire. Two of the commandos dropped immediately while the third fell back. Now the hunters had become the hunted, as the prisoner grabbed a rifle from one of the soldiers he had killed and pursued the last Bravo Team soldier. The commando fired as he retreated, but his bullets only slowed the prisoner down.
"Get back!" Burt shouted to the commando as he charged forward. Quincy's voice was in his earpiece, shouting at him, but Burt ignored the commander. Extending his hands to either side in front of him, he saw himself grabbing hold of the fires that were slowly simmering down around them. The force of his will fueled them, growing the flames, pulling them towards him. The tongues of the fire licked the flesh of his arms, but the scarred, leathery skin on his body had long since lost most of its feeling. Focusing straight ahead, he pushed the fire from his body towards the prisoner. His sibling was just turning to see what this new threat was as the flames enveloped his body, incinerating the remnants of his jumpsuit and consuming his flesh.
Now the screams in the night were his, as the prisoner's body was wrapped in a ranging inferno. Burt pressed forward, grabbing a set of restraints off of a fallen commando. It took a minute before the fire consuming the prisoner's nerve endings, causing him to collapse to the ground. That was enough, Burt decided, and extinguished the flames. There was little left of the prisoner, a charred husk of flesh. Still, Burt knew his mission, and he reached down and grabbed the corpse's arms. Pulling them together behind the body, he heard a loud crack and for a split second thought he had actually ripped the man's arm off. But, no, he could already see it: through the crack that he had torn in the charred exterior he could see new flesh beginning to form. Burt couldn't help but chuckle as he bound the prisoner's arms together behind his back. His father had really outdone himself with this one, the prisoner was a truly prime specimen.
"Target secure," Burt reported over his earpiece once he had secured the prisoner's legs as well. "He's still alive." A soft whistle came over the radio.
"They weren't kidding about this one," Quincy remarked. "That was one nice trick there, by the way."
"Thanks," Burt replied, grimacing. He made it a point to never demonstrate just how good his control had actually gotten. "It's something new I've been working on." What else was there to say? They all knew now, but it couldn't have been helped. His usefulness to them was everything, and his perfect mission record was his most valuable asset.
Staring down at the prisoner, his brother through shared chromosomes, he watched charred, rotten flesh slowly being replaced by healthy pink skin and found himself feeling sorry for him. It wasn't that long ago that the prisoner had been living a normal life, wrapped in the delusion that was modern society. Like Burt, that façade had now been brutally ripped away. This young man was seeing the world as it really was, and learning that a special place in this living hell was reserved for Carey Tollard's bastard offspring.
Burt helped the last commando lift their prisoner off of the ground and secure him in their vehicle. Whatever it takes, he had vowed years ago. To escape the burden of his father's legacy, to end the hell that had consumed his life, to finally be free, he would do whatever it took.
To Be Continued…
Author's Note: So there's your taste. I'm working on bringing out more, but please, REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!. Seriously, I tend to get distracted, and nothing drives me to write more than reading that people are enjoying my work.