ZEROEX: OUR LAST HOPE
1956. The Harper Expedition
James Harper, a millionaire adventurer was doing it again, he was, as his daughter had said, trying to kill himself. He had hired over 20 men to adventure into the Canadian Mountains. They were in Anchorage hiking over 600 miles to a remote airport-Harper's choice.
At 57 he was leading them without falter with 60 miles behind them.
About an hour later they made camp on a forest line bordering an odd shaped clearing. One man, Maxwell Sampson, wandered aimlessly into the clearing.
"Hey, Max! Get back 'ere, what d' thin' your doin'" shouted another man.
"I'm gonna take a leak."
"Well don't go git yourself eatin by a bear."
Max walked out to the middle of the clearing. A thick fog had settled on the ground. He unzipped his pants and threw his head back. There was a mild cracking from under his feet but he paid no attention.
Back at camp a deafening crack echoed through the mighty pines followed by the scream of Max. Several men led by Harper ran into the clearing. Their powerful lights barely cut though the fog. But they all say the gapping hole through the ground into blackness.
In minutes Harper and a man by the name of Lou Orson were in harnesses and were descending into the abyss.
"This goes on forever…," Harper said shining his light downward.
In minutes the beam of light rested on the broken heap that was Maxwell Sampson.
"My God, he must have fell at least…30 feet," Orson breathed starring at the body.
The two set down on a metallic-like surface. It was bluish in color, looked as hard as steel but was exceptionally malleable. They unhooked their safety line clips. Orson unclipped all his cords.
"Lou, come on put it back on who knows what's here," Harper said.
"Come on James," Orson smiled, "We can handle anything," with that he withdrew his Colt revolver and pulled back the firing hammer.
The two walked around shining their flashlights everywhere in awe. The two walked down a spiraling ramp before Harper jumped in fright when a purple beam of light across the bottom of the light flashed red and light poured in out of nowhere.
Ahead of them was a cavernous room with six glass columns supporting the roof. 2 columns were filled with a dark greenish liquid , the others were cracked and a dried crusty blue substance was on the floor.
In the corner of Harper's eye he saw something lumbering toward them. At first he thought it was a bear and this was it's den they stumbled onto. But when he realized it had long silvery hair and he became more worried.
It was 7 feet tall at the shoulder and had a silvery lion-like mane, the rest of it's body was reptilian looking with long spines and a club-like tail. It's face was black and scaly. It had four large white eyes, and a gaping mouth with rows of gleaming razor sharp teeth.
Harper threw odd objects from a nearby round control panel-like shelf. Orson fired 3 bullets into the beasts face, slowing it down.
"What is it?" screamed Orson firing the last of his bullets.
"I-Ii don't know," Harper said throwing more objects. He grabbed the last one, a octagonal canister filled with a gelatinous liquid. A tremendous power swept through him.
The monster trembled at the sight of it, stopping in it's tracks. "Throw it!!! It is scared of it," Orson said lobbing his Colt at it.
Harper tried to throw it but he couldn't, some foreign voice kept saying to keep it, cherish it…protect it at all costs.
In a rage the beast leaped through the air toward the object. Without thinking Harper pushed Orson toward it. Caught by surprise Lou fell to the ground. The monstrosity was on him in a minute in a blood-thirsty frenzy.
Harper screamed, he couldn't watch, he tugged hard on his life cord to the surface. Immediately the 17 men up top pulled Harper through the spiral ramp and through the hole. Orson was gone.
On the surface Harper cried in anguish running from the scene. What had he done? He do anything, he thought. It did it, It told him.
It made him do it.
Chapter One: Sean Lexington
New York City
The Museum of Natural History
The not to distant future
Sean unloaded his granddad's last new shipment. It was a light pine wood box. On it was marked: 'The Harper Foundation. Est. 1948. Alaska'. Sean took out a crowbar and pryed the lid off. Under was a short note.
"Let's see…'To whomever it may concern, this relic was discovered by grandfather and I was instructed to give it to you at the museum' hmmm." Sean scratched his head.
Undaunted he searched through the packing peanuts. His pinky brushed against a smooth surface. Immediately he was hit with a tidal wave of emotions. A little voice in his head, barely noticeable whispered: the begging of the end. Sean staggered backwards. He was just working to hard…
Green Witch Village, New York City
That night all Sean could think about was that object. Something called to him…something more powerful he could ever imagine. He got out of bed and walked to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror and briefly saw a imagine of some…creature in the mirror. Sean leaped backwards hitting the wall hard enough to spill glasses, medical containers, and dental utensils off the sink top.
His father appeared in the door way, "what was that sound!!"
"The m-mirror," Sean said shaking in fright.
His father was a government weapons contractor so was very intolerant and easily angered.
Sean's grandfather and younger sister of fifteen showed up too.
"I thought World War three was here with all that ruckus in here," Dick Lexington said. He was the curator for the Mystic Realms section at the museums and the reason Sean at seventeen was even considered to work there.
"I think he just lost his mind," said Rai Lexington rubbing here eyes.
Dick frowned, "He's just worried about his early graduation, being a genius and all."
"No grandpa the-the mirror there was something in it, I swear."
"Get to bed Sean," his father sighed skulking to his room.
Sean just sat there astonished. He doubted if his sister was wrong.
It had been two weeks since he touched the object and it was the grand opening of the Mystic Realms exhibit. He had barely slept, hardly eaten, and was seeing things everywhere.
He stood before the opening, people pouring in and out laughing and carrying on with their lives.
Ryder Strokes, Sean's younger sister Rai's boyfriend, walked up and placed a firm hand on his should.
"Hey Hey Sean, what's up with the pre-grad'…," Sean turned looking at him with blood shot swollen eyes and pale gaunt features, "wow, you…ah…look absolutely horrible." Ryder took a big swig of his Slushy and smiled, "get some sleep or something…yeah well, um bye."
6 hours later Sean wandered the dark exhibit, hours after closing time. He mopped up the floors his eyes heavy and irritated.
In the corner of his eye he glimpsed a soft blue glow. He knew. It was the object.
He reluctantly walked over to it. He didn't want to but it drew him to it, like a
moth to the flame. He told himself he shouldn't but the force, the call was to strong. He
had to. It was telling his to.
He could hear the voice again in his head, stronger now, I've been waiting for you.
"Your not real! Your just my mind," he said out loud.
No, you must be apart of me it is the only way.
"What, the only way for what?"
The salvation of your race
The glowing octagonal disc began to secrete a blackish, blue gelatinous liquid. Sean leaned in to look at it behind the glass box it was stored in. He put a finger against the cool glass, the liquid leaped from disc and right on the glass directly opposite of Sean's finger.
Sean drew his finger away in awe. The liquid spread through the inside of the glass until it shattered freeing the goo. The odd substance leaped across the room wrapping itself around Sean's hand.
As a reactions Sean shook his hand furiously flinging the symbiotic liquid into the shadows.
Sean moved around cautiously, not sure were the thing was. He peered into the black nothingness that was the unlighted spaces of the exhibit.
In the back of his head he could here it, It is time HostSean.
With that something gripped his back. It burned through his shirt and embedded itself in his skin surprisingly sending a warm soothing sensation through his body. He actually laughed as it spread through his body. Something dark covered his face and then he blacked out.
Sean woke with a start. He looked around. He was in his room. He looked down seeing his clothes in tatters, barely hanging from his body. The edges were burnt and frayed. His back itched as he sat up. As he touched it he discovered several sores around his back. Also he noticed his face was back to normal and it almost appeared ha had shaved.
He glanced around to find his window shattered and glass strewn around the floor. He walked over to it and looked around the wall of the house. There was a burn mark at the base and two mediocre sized holes in the side near the windowsill.
"Well it's not that bad," said Sean rubbing his temples.
But on further inspection he saw that their neighbors house's corner was blown apart. Mortar, stone, wood, random furniture was strewn around the yard burn marks everywhere. Open pipes and wire jutting out of the wall bent and twisted. Several police officers were on the scene, taking pictures, and gathering evidence. One looked up at Sean, who in fright pulled his head back in and spinning on his heels to see Rai.
"Uh, nice look, Sean, here's the book I loaned you." She said.
"Yeah, good morning to you too," Sean said taking off what was left of his shirt.
"Morning, what are talking about it's like three o'clock."
Sean stopped dead in his tracks.
Rai started to leave, "Oh yeah, your in deep trouble when dad gets back from work, he waited for you last nigh till like two in the morning but you never showed, then at like nine this morning he went in your room before he left and there you were dead asleep, he couldn't wake you up. Your really freakin' us all out, Sean. It was like you just teleported or something." She left.
Sean re-clothed looked back out the window, "what happened last night."
It was very productive HostSean, said the voice. It sent chills down Sean's spine.
"Who are you," whispered Sean looking in the mirror, some how his reflection was faint, blurry.
You mean who are we.
"No who-what are you, I'm Sean Lexington!"
The singular Sean Lexington died last night as did I, now only the HostSean and the Zeroexathos organism exist together they are the legendary Zeroex!
"What? I-I don't under stand."
You will, HostSean, you will for our survival of us and mankind.