The Emerald Nexus

The TV blared out a news byte. After the truth became public, more of Dax's hybrid offspring had been born, but Krystal had the distinction of being the first to report. The television now showed a busty blond woman with tears and streaks of mascara adorning her cheeks, holding a bright green baby in her arms. The infant was the same vivid green as the Dax, brighter and more intense even than fresh grass in Spring.

"What a beautiful baby girl!" said Dax gazing in rapture at the hybrid infant on the screen.

"Genutec have mortified me! How's this going to look?" wailed the mother on the TV, mascara black tears streaking down her cheeks, "oh the shame!"

"She's being self-indulgent," said Lucy, holding baby Jamie to her bosom. "It's still her baby. I notice they're not showing the father's point of view. He has actually been cuckolded in a weird, roundabout way."

Krystal nodded. "Often they decide beforehand exactly what slant they want to take and then stick to it. This one comes across as amateurish, I agree."

The Dax looked uncomfortable. "You mean they don't want to think about how it must feel for the father? At Genutec they said humans have a wonderful capacity to close their minds to things, but I thought they were just being mean…" he stroked his green cheek, "I would like to see the baby, but they wouldn't want to see me."

Back in the Genutec compound, Mechnikov had captured the policemen under pretence of showing them around. Now however, time was running out.

He had tazed the coppers and tied them up in Genutec's reception which was now dominated by a terrifying statue – a likeness of the Reaper in full armour, wielding a blade of obsidian. The scene was lit up by the glare of a blood red lamp. The coppers groaned and began to stir feebly. They were coming round.

"We are now at war with the world," said Mechnikov. "My boy, you must earn a place in my world order…"

"Your world order?" the Reaper's grinding voice had the hint of a growl. He reached up and broke the obsidian blade free of the statue and then brought it down hard onto his creator's skull. Cranial fluid spurted everywhere and Mechnikov crumbled up like a ragdoll. The policemen cowered in fear at the feet of the statue. The Reaper grinned horribly at them, showing all his carnivore's teeth to their fullest extent.

"You may live a little longer and witness the destruction I will bring to this miserable planet. The time of your inferior species is at an end. But the other Genutec staff will be the first to go."

Katy had decided to come clean. Mechnikov had clearly gone mad. She could not allow him to release such a horror on the world. She was typing up a program for controlling the functions of the complex. An adept programmer, she had now uploaded a self-destruct sequence; one that would engulf the entire complex in delta fire. That was the only sure way of destroying the Reaper. If it meant saving human or baby hybrid lives, she had to do it. She brushed her long red hair away from her face as she typed faster, her heart beat quickening. How had she become embroiled in all this? She thought back to her unhappy teenage years. Her mother had had north European as well as semitic ancestry and from the north European gene pool, she had inherited the hereditary disease Cystic Fibrosis. She had died when Katy was only sixteen. Since then Katy had desperately wanted to be a part of genetic research and Mechnikov had seemed to offer it. What enhancements could be made to humanity's DNA to make sure no one would have to suffer like her poor mother? Her own child was a hybrid. She would never be afflicted with CF. But Mechnikov had perverted all they had done and used it for evil. He and the Reaper both had to be stopped. Katy gritted her teeth as she typed still faster. She left a message to the DAX. One he would hear if he returned to her lab – returned home. If he could only return to her welcoming arms one last time… Anyway the process was complete. Now all that was left to do was turn herself in.

She picked up the phone and dialled 999. But there was no response. No dialling sound. Nothing…

"Tut tut tut…" At the sound of that awful, grinding voice, Katy spun round on her chair. The Reaper stood, blocking the doorway. He was grinning that awful macabre grin. His black eyes seemed to glow red from within like burning coals.

"We can't have any meddlers or turncoats surviving now can we?" He raised a blade of obsidian that dripped with cranial fluid. "The remains of a brilliant mind drip from my blade. But I am greater than my creator. This is the only sword exuding fluid I use. Perhaps the disgusting Dax stuck the sticky end of his point into you to give you that little crossbred life in your belly? I'm going to slice your inferior frame with its hideous genitalia with this sword – an entirely antiseptic way of bringing death. Death is pure. Death is perfect. Death is the solution."

Quickly overcoming her shock, Katy reacted with a mother's desire to protect her offspring. She seized the vials of liquid nitrogen on the desk and flung them at the horror one after the other in quick succession. He simply laughed and smashed each one with the obsidian blade.

Katy rose to her feet, panting with the exertion. She was prepared for an emergency. She opened a secret compartment in the back of the desk and removed a revolver. She fired at the Reaper, but to her horror he just knocked the bullets out of the air with lightning swiftness. Her self destruct program would not be ready for activation for at least thirty minutes. If she could not distract the monster that long, then all was lost…

The Reaper came crashing through the lab. She backed away as he smashed through her desk, breaking the computer to pieces. She wrenched the pipe for liquid nitrogen from the wall and pointed it at the monster. But he just laughed and kept coming. The searing cold of the spurting liquid had no effect even though it drenched him and gave off billowing clouds of intense frigidity…

"It ends now!" he roared and he sliced off her head with a single stroke.

Krystal had taken the Dax to a ward for teenage mothers who all had something in common – they had received the sperm from Genutec and were now giving birth to his hybrid offspring. She was confident that she had the edge on other reporters. She actually had Dax by her side.

The new mothers each held a bright green newborn. For her purposes Krystal thrust the microphone at a shy girl with long dark hair. She looked pale and wan and rather nervous at the prospect of being interviewed, but she would not refuse. She introduced herself as Cindy and gazed up at Krystal with wide brown eyes as she held her hybrid son in her arms.

"So Cindy, Genutec gave you a vial of donor sperm and you were how old?"

"I was fourteen years old and – and eight months," stammered Cindy.

"And is a fifteen year old girl really capable of taking care of a little boy?"

"N- no, but I really wanted to be a mum and they made it sound like something really happy."

"Then they lied?" Krystal had expected the conversation to take this turn.

"Yes," said Cindy, her bottom lip quivering.

"So you see how irresponsible, immoral and downright criminal Genutec are. I have exposed the truth. And they have only used the one donor."

On cue, Dax stepped forward.

"It is true. More than ten thousand hybrid children are mine, but at least they have my distinctive look. They will know that they should never have relationships with one another. Now excuse me, Krystal."

Dax knelt beside Cindy who was sniffling and comforted her. He really did work well with the babies and new mothers. This was definitely making the newsbyte more interesting. Yes Dax, keep it up. He cradled each in his arms in turn and the mothers all beamed at him. Her newsbyte would make the top spot. Little did she know what bombshell was about to drop…

The screen on the TV on the wall had shown her newsbyte being played, but now the machine whined and the image flicked and went out. Then another took its place. The image of a green, muscle bound giant. His lips were drawn back to their fullest extent, revealing rows of teeth like pointed gravestones. His wicked black eyes seem to glow from within with a crimson fire. He began to speak. His awful grinding voice seemed to reverberate in Krystal's skull.

"Tremble in fear, all you swine watching and do not bother to adjust your sets, for I am on all the networks," grated the Reaper, "I am Genutec's last creation and the only true great one. I am so much more than my creators. I have brought death to them to punish their presumption and that is only the beginning." The monster held up a model globe. "I will bring death to all of humanity. Starting with the primitive brutes of the Africas. I will fire Genutec's delta weapon on the continent and they have no military defence. Let it be yet another plague for them. And let it be a demonstration of what the whole of humanity deserves! To the grotesque Seeder – if you are watching this - I am going to come for you and for your hybrid spawn as well. Death is pure! Death is perfect! Death is the solution!"

The mothers gasped and the babies had all began bawling at the dreadful sound of that voice. Dax turned to her, his dark eyes wide. "It's happened. They really did it. They've created a monster to bring doom to the world."