Author's Notes: Hi, another story that I just had to write. Got this sudden brainwave after hearing this theory of evolution from my friend and really really had to put it down onto paper. Uh, basically. Since the beginning of time, since the birth of the universe and planet earth, all life was deposited in the sea ( the soup of life - scientists do call it that ). And gradually, for all those who know evolution, the simple living organisms would evolve into more complicated life structures and finally they would proceed on to live on the land. and so on and so forth, they evolved, till they became humans.
Now here onwards, it gets confusing and pardon me. Humans, are containers, that's right - containers for what we call the Beta particles. The Beta Particles is what constitutes us - our soul. As our containers - our bodies - gets worn down as we age, we grow weaker. And finally when we die, the Beta Particles leave us. These Beta Particles would then search for another container - a baby uninhabited by any particles in the womb of its mother. The Beta particles would now attempt to enter this new host. Now, about this baby is what we call the Beta Shield. The Beta Shield filters whatever Beta Particles that enters it, thus removing memories of its past, feelings, personality and all that - leaving only the basic instincts of humans. So all babies born would retain no recollections of its previous incarnation.
Some Beta Particles would linger about its dead container - and this is what we perceive as ghosts.
Now on to more complicated stuff. In this world, there is yet another line of evolution toiling forth - the Delta Particles. They are much more impure and cannot take the form in any container - due to the Beta Shield. If any Delta Particles were to attempt entering the baby, the Beta Shield would destroy and erase them. Thus the evolution of Delta Particles would have to take place elsewhere - in the world about us.
In this story, modeled after this theory of evolution, another race is in existent, from another realm or dimension - the Alphas. And these Alphas consider our world as a form of "Reality TV". They play with us to entertain themselves. And thus, a few of them descended and bestowed upon the pathetic Deltas the Alpha Blades. With these Blades, the Delta could now inhabit, at the most, a hundred containers. What these Alpha Blades do, is to destroy the Beta Shield about a human, shattering the Beta Particles within the human thus killing him without leaving any wounds.
The Deltas would then enter this human and assume his form. Yep. There's lots more to go but well, you have to read this story to know the whole thing.
I'm not sure if this would continue or perhaps I would leave it a one shot. Do Review and let me know. Thanks!
Chapter One – Beta
The room was filled with men – emotionless men, cold men, unfeeling men … Dozens and dozens of them … each given nothing but a clean, hard metal table to lie on. Politicians, businessmen, beggars, hawkers, doctors, brokers ….
Regardless of what status they held in the feeble community of men, in this room, all they were given was a table.
And they lay on it, eyes fixed upon the whitewashed ceiling above. The room was silent. It was silent because the men were quiet, unmoving, and cold.
And the men were so, because they were dead.
Men without life, can never feel, never move, never speak. Neither did their lives mattered anymore. If not for these dead men, the room would have appeared peaceful, calm and serene.
Perhaps, it had already appeared thus so to a few.
This room, was clean, not a speck of grime or dust to be caught by the naked eye anywhere about it. There was no stench from the men. That was because they were not rotting.
This room, was brightly lit, the light from the lamps dancing about the white walls and silver surfaces of the metal tables; about the cold blue floors and the white pieces of slick cloth draped atop each man.
If anyone were to be in this room, anyone alive to be specific, he would think that this room had been left untouched for centuries, for a time of infinite length – that the serenity of this room had never been broken.
Yet, finally, a slight sole change in this room broke the chain of serenity. One of the overhanging lamps glowed, pulsated, shook a little in excitement and then unleashed a huge pillar of blue dazzling trinkets of light onto the dead man atop the table directly beneath the lamp.
And just as abrupt as this change happened, it vanished, without leaving a slightest trace of it ever occurring.
The serenity returned.
Returned, that is, till the man on the table moved – moved his fingertips. The man was about sixteen years of age. He was a student, something about him that one could easily tell from his school uniform. He had died decades ago, slain and then brought into this room to be preserved.
His soul was removed, extracted and then disposed of.
And now he was brought back alive, only that this time round, another soul was within him.
The student sat up on the table, propping his torso up with his hands, his eyes remaining closed.
Synchronization Test …
He perceived these words. He didn't hear them. Nor did he see them. They were just … there.
Synchronization … 83 … Class A …
These words …. made no sense. He did not comprehend them. He … he had forgotten.
Delta … Rank … Master … Serial … No … Two …
There was a familiar rush. A spark – an ignition in his mind …. He remembered. He recovered … his – memories.
Failure – Failure – Failure
He frowned. Failure? Of what?
Synchronization Test Repeat … Initialization … Failure To Connect …
Failure to connect?
Synchronization Rate – 83 … Failure to Connect … YOU … ARE … DEAF …
And after a long pause, the student's lips parted and mouthed a word.
His eyes fluttered opened and almost instantaneously, he frowned, his arm raising instinctively to shield his eyes from the sudden seizure of light. The student sat on the table for a while more, recollecting his senses, his memories, his thoughts – and his identity.
Synchronization Rate of 83? That high? My previous container was only 79 … But – but … I cannot perceive hearing?
He sighed. He wondered how he was going to survive without his sense of hearing. It was crucial in battle – hearing, that is.
The student looked up and removed his hand from before his eyes. There was something …. wrong … with his eyesight ….
He frowned. Apparently, what he saw – what he perceived, was erratic and blur.
I was only told that I was deaf, not partially blind …
He tried to clear the misty fog that shrouded his view from clear sight, yet to no avail.
The synchronization rate was 83 … So it is almost impossible that my eyes and ears have both failed to function … Unless … these eyes of my container were already poor in the first place.
Pushing the various questions he had in mind aside, the student slowly climbed off the table and stood onto the ground, both feet stable and firm. It had been three centuries since he last stood.
The last time he stood … he had had seventeen sword puncture wounds through his chest.
He exited the room through a silver door by a corner, whilst trying to get comfortable and used to his new container. There was a quiet dark corridor, barely lit by the few lamps overhanging on the ceiling, past the door. Apparently, few men frequent this corridor.
This building was ancient – as far back as he could recall, it was already in existence. And his age was into the millennia. Time and time again, it was renovated, yet the catacomb and maze-like arrangement of the rooms and halls would never change.
He knew the way.
He knew where he was to go.
Yet, he hesitated.
Why? Why the pause? I have to go, right? I have the strength – the ability to serve …. Why … am I …. Hesitating? Why?
He didn't hesitate for long. His conscience had forced him to stroll forth and now, he found himself at one end of the maze. He stared forward. And the pale green door stared back at him.
And then he knocked.
The door slid open. He stepped through. It slid back shut again.
Silence. A momentous pause. Then finally.
A smirk grew across his face. He went forth to the table in the middle of the room, drew back the chair and sat across the silver masked man. He could not hear, yet he could lip-read – a skill that he had acquired in his past incarnations. He kept silent.
The other man seemed to note the silence and continued. "I shall make my self-introduction then. I am Tsi, Delta Twenty-Nine – Guardian of the Headquarters. And as you can see, I am of silver –"
Tsi was shortly cut in mid-sentence by the raising of the student's and in mid-air.
"I need not know who you are. Tell me. What has changed in the past few years I was absent."
"I – I have only limited access to your data – you know, it's part of the game rules. It says here that you died in …. Year … 16 …. 93 …. 1693 A.D. The year now is 2008. You have been terminated for the past three centuries, three hundred and fifteen years to be exact. A lot has changed I must tell you. "
"Summarize." He ordered.
"You – you do not have the right to …." Tsi's voice grew a little harsh before he regained his composure once more. "Delta – I have to remind you that you are currently a bronze mask, and must not disrespect anyone ranked above you."
"Need I disclose my past rank to you as well? The one that I held before I was terminated?"
"What?" Tsi shot coldly. He did not believe that this insolent brute before him could attain anything higher than silver. The past few ones that Tsi had attended to in the past few decades were nothing but weak bronzlings.
The student stared at Tsi right in the eye for a long time, before turning away. "Forget it."
Tsi rolled his eyes. He knew it. He coughed dryly before continuing.
"This is a new era you are entering into – the era of democracy, not monarchy. You are not allowed to discreetly kill any – although if you do, it is not against the game rules."
"Yes. Democracy – power of the people. It is the people who rule the commoners – people whom the commoner choose and allow them to rule. That is democracy. In addition, there is the police that you have to take note of. The law-enforcing body that would be sent hot on your tail if you arouse too much suspicion. Keep a low profile."
"Aren't they mere humans? What can they do to us?"
"Whatever you do, keep low about it. The media is both a strong tool and network. And whatever the police does would be broadcasted to the entire world via media. In other words, if the police places you on their wanted list, the whole world is watching you."
"Right. Got that."
"Another point to note. That hundred Alpha Blades that was bestowed unto us – forty seven are left."
"FORTY-SEVEN!!!" The student leapt from his chair onto his feet.
"Yes. Forty seven."
"Whatever happened to the others?"
"They died and lost the Alpha Blades altogether."
He stood before the Altar.
Altar? It was more of a weapons rack. There were a hundred slots. Ninety-nine empty ones. He paced slowly from one empty end of it to the other – where the last slot was, and softly withdrew the Alpha Blade.
There was a shimmer of excitement within him, as man and blade made contact.
How many years?
Three hundred and fifteen ….
He closed his eyes and recalled vividly, recalled – how he was disemboweled and how he struggled to make his way back to the headquarters and return his Alpha Blade, that is, before his container was terminated. He had reached the steps of the headquarters, his entrails dragged painfully behind him and the Executioner hot on his trail.
"Delta. You may leave." Tsi cleared his throat before announcing by the Altar Hall's entrance.
The Bronze Delta was startled by this news. He struggled for words before – "I … I thought I was supposed to be the next guardian before the next resurrection replaces me?"
Tsi retorted coldly at his words. "You? A Bronzling? The Alphas have placed me in charge so you – you leave. And there aren't any Alpha Blades left in the Altar, so do you think any further resurrections would be made?"
The Bronze Delta knew the truth though. That he was made to leave Headquarters because he was stronger – and much more stronger than Tsi.
After all, he was D-03, in his previous incarnation and could have had risen even further if he hadn't let his guard down and allowed a young Executioner to terminate him.
Tsi saw the Bronze Delta to the exit of the Headquarters. He bowed solemnly.
"D-47, in your hands is the last Alpha Blade we Deltas possess. Remember, even if you must die, return the Alpha Blade to us so that another may hold it and continue our fight."
He nodded and turned his back to the Headquarters.
"May I ask your name, one that I could remember you by?"
The Bronze Delta stared out into the vast wasteland outside the Headquarters. The Headquarters was a deep underground structure, situated in the middle of barren lands that few would frequent. How long – how long has it been since Tsi last had company? Tsi was the sole living thing in Headquarters till he, the "Bronzling" was resurrected.
He understood the bitter of the Silver Delta's loneliness.
"Me? My name?" He spoke at last. "Ming. Call me Ming."
Ming's eyes searched the lands about him. Besides Tsi and himself, there were fifteen other beings.
"How long has it been since a Delta returned?"
"Never. For the two centuries I guarded the headquarters. Never. I have seen to the resurrection of three other Deltas, one to every five decades as the game rules dictate, yet never have I seen them return."
"You want to know the reason?"
"There – there's a reason?"
"Of course. There's a reason behind everything beneath the sky." Ming smirked, his eyes staring coldly and fiercely into the lands where the others stay hidden. He continued. "Tsi, have you had any idea that the Headquarters was under SIEGE!!!"
Ming roared. And even before his roar died down, he was no longer in Tsi's sight.
"Cheryl." It was cold, though the sun was hung highly in the middle of the sky. "How long has it been since another Delta was spotted at the entrance?" He looked to the woman dozing off at the other end of the trench. She was into her thirties and was clothed in a white casual blouse and jeans.
"Huh." She rubbed her eyes lazily. "Matthew? You were asking?"
"It has been fifty years, hasn't it? Go – go wake the others up. There's now another two Deltas at the entrance."
"Yes. Two. Wait, no … one left. The other is gone. Quick – wake the others –"
Before Matthew could speak further, he was silenced.
Every last touch of sleep was drained from Cheryl. There was now a Delta before her. Her fingers crept to the red button by her post and she pressed it down urgently.
Ming's repositioned his blade before his chest. He looked to his right, where the recently terminated Executioner still reluctantly stood.
"Stop haunting me." He grunted. "You have died, so go down." And with his free foot, he booted the back of the young Executioner's knee. They easily buckled and gave way and Ming watched the male Executioner topple down to the bottom of the trench.
"Now for you." He returned his glance to the other Executioner left. "Cheryl. He called you Cheryl, didn't he?"
The female Executioner nodded.
"I want you to wake the other thirteen up. And bring them here. I will kill all of you."
It was an insult. An insult that a Bronze Delta would demand of her to send for assistance. After all, she was an Executioner. She thought of Matthew's death as a lucky hit – Matthew had let his guard down. She was still in shock, yet the insult brought her back to her senses.
"Bronzling. You were lucky that's all. Ha – to think that after killing only one –" Once more, she was cut short in her sentence – akin to what had befallen upon Matthew.
Ming's arm was outstretched, and so was his Alpha Blade.
"I – I am unable to hear you. So just shut up."
He licked his dry lips and with a twist of his wrist, the entire length of the Alpha Blade shimmered and shape-shifted. The thin sheet of metal that was the blade "bubbled" and melted away into a blunt scabbard.
The two carcasses of the Executioners had neither wound nor blood.
These were the wonders of the Alpha Blade – the hundred swords bestowed upon the helpless Deltas by the Alphas to aid them in their race of evolution against the humans – the Betas. The Alpha Blade kills, not by any form of mortal wounding, but by dispersing and assimilating the Beta Particles within the humans.
The Beta Particles in which humans regard as … the soul.
And the Alpha Blade, can morph, able to shape shift into whatever form the wielder demands of it. It need not be blade, and can take on any form of a weapon. All the Alpha Blade requires was of a Delta with sufficient strength to lift it.
"The rest of you can show yourself now." Ming whispered softly, but it was audible enough for the remaining thirteen Executioners.