One bad Year
"B-But.. I have to ask. Wouldn't you want to go back, and change it all? To be.. h-human again..?"
"Not if it means never creating you."
2037 was a bad year for humanity, with the entire situation being linked to the creation of the very first 'Sentient' Android. The workings of Robotics Engineer, Jack Abner. Right before his mysterious disappearance in late 2036 from the Public eye.
001-Tesla, was the first of his kind to be displayed publicly. This displayed the promising future of Humanity working alongside droids such as Tesla, living only to aid Humans in any area of work! It was rather successful, and gained all sorts of good publicity to the Company that helped his creator, and the Creator himself. Alkaloid Engineering was the company, manufacturing all sorts pf gadgets and even consumable products like Soda. That however, never mattered much to Jack. No matter how much Soda gave him the energy to work so long on his schematics. It was all just side projects to their main products, Serv-droids. Which were just fancy Butlers for those who could afford them, which Jack had a big hand in making.
Yet, after nearly half a month of working, and maintaining Tesla, Jack had reached his peak of stress and limit. All he had done since Tesla gave him so much fame and recognition, was work. He worked and worked. No breaks, and dealing with his pesky mistakes for coworkers. They would constantly try to egg in on his fame, and consistantly attempt to shoehorn themselves near him for their own fame. At their worst, even a rare few attempted to steal his plans! The sneaky bastards. Jack had decided after a long night, he needed a vacation. But his employer wasn't about to lose their figurehead either. So a certain plan was enacted, which was heavily rumored about, but Jack could never get specifics. Maybe at some point, he'd actually figure it out.
Due to all this, Jack had begun searching for a way out. An escape from what had become of his job and current life; and a seemingly perfect opportunity arose, a Research Bunker that Alkaloid was supposedly willing to part with. Or at least the Director of operations there, who Jack knew very little of within the company. It was suspicious, but the gesture itself seemed quite like a miracle. Jack had paid plenty extra to keep the purchase off records. Buried. Shady business can go a long way. At last, a way to escape the public light! Just what he needed. But perhaps it all fell according to the unknown plan, and he never knew it.
As it would turn out, the burnt-out Scientist actually got his wish, isolating himself in the Bunker. With that choice, he began cutting all ties to his family, 'friends', and coworkers without much warning. Technically going officially missing as he went off the grid. Even having to walk, and hike into the outer city woods just to make it there. But, he had already begun making trips with his car to begin stockpiling behind everyone's backs. Once all that was done, he had ditched it all. Heading to his bunker, and there, the steel door shut for the last time behind him. Was he now some sort of doomsday prepper? Possibly. Everything was fuzzy around this time.
"Honestly? I can't even remember those days. It's so faint, that I wonder if I was just driven insane. You don't hear of too many Scientists living in worn-out fuckin cold war bunkers do you? Maybe I still am mental, despite the examinations."
Within the Bunker, he spent a year alone, surviving on what he stored up in the storage rooms. This was all provided through Jack's personal wealth after all. Tesla really did make him a lot of money for.. everything he had now. Public appearances, advertisements, contracts for Alkaloid Serv-Droids.. But that was all behind him, it was in the past. Now he had all he needed to live. But this was no way for a normal human to live, and he knew it. But that was merely what normal people would say, and he was in no way a 'normal' person. He, Jack, was above that! A Genius Scientist! Of course he was.
It had all really been so great. But now it even felt everyone was out to get him! Sabotage him? Jack knew they were always out to get him. They had ruined some Public appearances, the worst being when they disabled Tesla mid-showcase. That whole week, Jack was just apologizing to investors and the higher ups. It was an awful time for him, to be blamed for a faulty creation. When in reality it wasn't even his fault. That was the final straw anyhow, that had led to this final conclusion. Living in a Bunker. Isolated. Only with secretive projects to work on alone.
Jack was completely cut off from the outside world. Only keeping his Smart phone on him, which he felt would be a mistake in the long run. But, he had nothing better to do, than sometimes waste time on his own Alkaloid Smartphone. He had helped developed it for Alkaloid's sake!
Yet his entire portion of the work was stolen by his coworker. Jack never cared to ever confront him, or even remember his name. What was the point? It was too late.
With all that, most people would've been in shock at being alone and isolated for so long, Jack loved it. He didn't have to worry about a social life, no work, and he could do whatever he wanted! Create Weapons, More Android designs.. whatever tickled his mind! No one to steal his shit anymore. The agonizing stress of his designs being stolen.. his ideas for inventions being taken by coworkers.. The Showcases with Tesla.. it all got to him of course.
But now, now, he didn't have to deal with any of it!
It was just him.
Alone. In the pale light of the buzzing industrial Lightbulbs over his head. The cold, dark concrete walls.
The Scientist preferred not to think too hard about his circumstances. Spending his newly gained Freetime to do his own Research and development. Filling notebooks full of his knowledge and several design schematics within the Laboratory. A Full year of this. Notes, and study. Projects, all with no results..
And then it ended.
On one faithful day, Jack created the ultimate invention. One to cure humans of all ailments. Nanobot technology had reached its earliest potential. Bots to aid human limbs, aid in walking, strength, and anything Jack could've imagined.
Unfortunately it went wrong quite fast.
During trials on a test subject, a simple Bunny that he brought in from the surrounding woods outside the facility, things went unexpectedly. They successfully attached to the subject, and before testing could be complete, The Nanobots detected Jack as a wounded Host, they spread themselves onto him from the Test Subject.
Carrying the Bunny's genetic makeup, and combining with his own, to heal the Scientist. Since Jack's genetics did not match the bunny's. It was altered just enough to change his physical appearance. Yet, was at least still Jack down to the blood type. What followed, was a painful process. His body being turned into a strange abomination of what it once was, the Nanobots using chemicals and other additions to alter him with effective results.
Jack that day was gone, from a Paranoid, and generally isolationist human, to a Genetic mutant. The only thing that remained constant, was his mind. Even his blood showed who he truly was with his personality. With that, came an unfortunate haze of panic. His brain and neural pathways being altered from the inside. Enhancing his newfound body and mind. Everything felt different, and limitless, once the pain subsided. Was this a blessing in disguise?
"What in the.. hell?"
Was all he could say, his voice notably deepened to go along with his transformation. Looking into a mirror, showed the horror on his void black, dark face. Jack panicked, and touched his face and chest, even letting out a raspy scream at the Inhuman reflection within the glass. Like nothing anyone could predict, or ever expect to become.
Jack had become a tall, dark creature. Short bunny snout and a button nose. Long ears, charcoal black skin, and lightly glowing white eyes. His own expanded white eyes looking almost cartoony, In a lowered expression. His facial features had shifted to become a plain, featureless head. The top sporting a set of bunny ears, and seemingly losing his old human ones; and the pain of completely losing your ears wasn't forgotten. He could feel a sharp, throbbing pain within his new ears, as if he the established nerves were finally complete. The Scientist grasped at one side of his scalp, only to feel nothing but smoothness and the absence of Human ears. Definitely an Alien appearance to the standard human look, and it was obvious by this point.
"I know you don't feel like talking back. But it's the only way I can describe how.. painful; This was for me. Look, can I get you anything? I don't want to scare you."
Above all else, he felt a serious increase in strength, and endurance. He sure did feel unstoppable; his body sure did look, and feel that way. That wasn't the ego talking was it? But besides just raw physical power, even his height grew, from a average 5"9' to a confident 6"6'. Jack was seemingly just brawn now, like any Superhuman you'd commonly expect. One obvious thought came to mind as he lowered the reflective glass to observe his new form; how on Earth did his clothes still fit? In fact, It should've been just a dream- a nightmare at most. He looked into the pitiful, shallow optics of eyes he had, feeling almost dead inside. Was this it, was he finally within madness in believing himself to be an Anthropomorphic RABBIT!
The Mutant let out a twisted, gut-wenching yell as both hands gripped his skull. The Mirror collapsed out of his overgrown hands, smacking into the floor with the reflective surface shattering into a sharp mess of glass onto the concrete lab floor. The crash filled the silent room with it's noise, only succeeded by Jack himself. Feeling a strong imbalance as his hand went to on the nearby table. Something within his head, gave him a splitting headache and a sickness down to his stomach; as if he had a painstakingly long hangover! Yet, it felt.. amazing! Amazingly painful.
"Yeah, I thought it was impossible too. But I'm here now, aren't I? Maybe not as.. Erratic or.. angry as I was before.. You know, I'll never really get better at explaining this; and I'm uh, rather bleak aren't I?"
Only once did the horrible pain subside, did he actually begin to feel clear. Lifting himself off the table, Jack took a moment to look over the shattered remains of the mirror on the floor. Able to make out a damaged reflection of what he was now. Darkness, with shallow, meaningless eyes staring back at him. His thoughts on the image felt expanded; almost more unlimited than before. A difficult to explain feeling, but Jack felt it strongly. He shook away his frozen stance before moving into action. With so much curiosity and ideas rooting through his skull, maybe he was just a machine himself now. Could a human ever feel so free? Jack went along and sped through his lab, seeking out anything he could visibly jot down what was bearing him down now. Gathering every free scrap he could write on. Books, journals, and crumbled paper from the steel bin. One lost man's trash was another mutant's pleasure.
He had to make this burning go away! Satisfy his thoughts, and create the inventions that sprung into his expanded mind! It was all so cloudy. So contorted. But in the end, it all was just.. insane.
Jack worked as hard as he could. Alone, he worked day and night without sleep. He had so much to do, and work on. So many notes to take. Forgetting even to sleep. How could he anyways? Eat? He hadn't thought about it. The Scientist didn't even know if he needed to do anything else! Only to work, and remain inside. Create the things he finally had answers to! Although he did not forget how he came to this point, instead disposing safely of the Nanobots, and the bunny used to make him into who he was now. Having released the successfully regenerated Bunny outside, perhaps one day, someone will find it anyhow. It was just a normal Bunny now; interesting how twisted Jack was in comparison. That was the last and first time Jack's mutated form saw the moonlight cast onto his form. His newly nerve-rooted ears listening in to the natural sounds of the woods. Chirping of crickets and various insects roaming around in the dark as anyone would expect. As he turned to leave, he took a moment to reflect on this. This was a World he had decided to leave behind. His new plain, being within the confines of rock, metal and isolation.
Yet even after the entire transforming-traumatic events of the night, Jack still maintained sanity and clarity, but possibly more reasonably, he just regained it after losing those two mental concepts. Now a quiet, isolationist, and generally workaholic Mutant. Yet, no one would ever know this new appearance was Jack Abner's. The Mutant Scientist even came up with a name. It fit quite nicely, his entire appearance being like a shadow on the ground. He liked it. Dark, tall, and menacing. His void, tough skin being the color of the pitch black in unlit Bunker rooms. All that would be seen, were the expressionless eyes of the man they once belonged to, no longer. It was no longer Jack, no longer a human, and most importantly, no longer bound by human limitations. But who was he now? That was an easy question for the Bunny creature to answer, despite the thought of losing his former identity. He was and now, and will always be,
"..and that's how I came to be. Before all that? I forgot. I forgot a lot of things, and maybe I'm falsely remembering things that never really happened. I wouldn't know. What I do know? That I'm Shadow. That's my name now. I know you're judging me, but It sounded fitting to me. Maybe it's best to remember to forget some things."