The Willing Union?



Before he even had a chance to reply in some manner, he felt a firm grasp on his arm. It tightened quickly, tugging back, like his arm was nothing more than a length of string.

"I bet you don't even know who you are, almost nothing but an empty doll, the poor dear." He recognised the voice immediately, it was the creature that had pulled him into this dark place, though he dared not turn to face it

"Don't be quite so afraid dear, I'm not here to harm you."

The other creature from across the table was watching with it's small eyes. "Try not to get too attached dear, you know they're not built to last", it said, before turning away and looking down at the table in-front of him - like someone had switched him off.

There was a brief silence, before the creature that had him held tight began to speak again. "My name is Betty, dear." The creature, Betty, shuffled around, inspecting him thoroughly, and he felt something slick against his arm which it continued to grip tightly. "An interesting marking here, perhaps I should be calling you Abel, it's a rough translation."

Abel. An interesting name, and finally something he could use for himself, though perhaps not something he would have chosen.

As he thought about it in silence, the creature still gripping his arm tight, there was a sudden loud pop. It echoed around the chamber they were standing within. "Oooh, there goes another one!" Betty exclaimed, letting go of Abel's arm almost immediately and shuffling away from behind him. When Abel turned around, it, the creature, was already gone.

He immediately checked himself; his arm felt tighter than before from the creature's grip but it was otherwise unharmed, though he continued to inspect it noting the strange imprint upon his arm that the creature was likely remarking on. It was a mirrored pattern, a symbol of sorts, followed by some smaller symbols that he didn't recognise - perhaps writing.

He turned back, the other creature still sitting at the other end of the table, though it appeared motionless for the time being rather than showing any interest in Abel himself, which was probably a good thing.

Abel took the opportunity to look around, though there remained little worth commenting on, the place he found himself in was dark, damp and cold, and he felt more tense than he did outside. The ground and walls were covered in a thick fleshy membrane, though between a few gaps there was a rough looking metal wall; most of it appeared to be coated in the same membrane that occupies most of the room.

The table before him, oddly, appeared to be of a wide and thick wooden structure with a number of indentations across it's surface. Between some of the indentations were odd stains, blood perhaps but hard to know for sure.

Abel got up and walked a few stumbled steps away from the chair he had been seated on, when the other creature finally showed some interest and looked up away from the table to face him again. "Going somewhere?" It asked, leaning forward ever so slightly, as if to give an impression of intimidation. It worked. Abel stopped and kept where he was, only three steps further from the chair.

"You're going to miss dinner, you don't want to miss dinner do you?" A noise left its mouth, like a chuckle only more frantic and higher-pitched, with a distinct rhythm to it. It tilted it's head slightly, "come back and sit down." Abel shook his head, grabbing his left arm and clenching it tightly. Food wasn't particularly something that was on Abel's mind, he couldn't find a desire within himself for it and given the current circumstance, it didn't seem appropriate.

"I'm back!" Betty moved herself back into the room, dragging something bloody behind her.

Upon moving to the table, the creature threw what could only be described as a heaping mess of flesh and bone onto the large table. Immediately on impact it made the most disgusting sound - what was it?



"Wake up!" A distant voice demanded.

"Just leave him there, he'll regret it later!"

A silence took over and hours passed in what felt like a fraction of time. Eventually, a faint light followed by a focused pain deep within his skull... Memories, words and thoughts flooded his mind, like pure noise blasting within his skull.

He was awake.

Cold, strained and hungry, he finally shot up, grasping his throat as he did so. It was dry and raspy, though it wasn't likely worth the effort to try and draw attention, given that he may have only just managed to survive an ordeal sometime before.

The space above him was pitch black and it was almost impossible to even determine where either wall beside him ended as they towered over him, and then looking ahead, flickering lights filled the path with a cold air blowing through, scattering strange debris and dirt, leaving them skittering amongst the hard ground.

The ground was of a dull metal, which remained cold to the touch and covered in a thin layer of grime. Dotted around, you could perhaps just barely make out the strange indentations upon its surface. Perhaps more likely a mere decorative pattern than some cryptic sign.

Everything around had sharp features, and it was a cautious note to see even cables spilling out of panels in the wall and strewn over the ground. It was a ruin.

He took a deep breath, mustering some strength before proceeding down the path before him. Would it ever end? It continued to seem less and less likely, and as he took each step, it produced a slight creak of the metal ground beneath him, making it almost impossible not to be conscious of how long he had been walking for.

Finally he stopped. It seemed hopeless, and it was like being lost in a never ending maze of tight turns and dark halls.

"H-Help...", he squawked, clenching his throat tightly as he forced it out with as much strength as he could muster. Though it was a word that felt alien to him, and yet he knew what he needed to say.

Standing idly, it seemed that his cries were unheard and he was ready to finally succumb to his fate...

As he began to lower himself to the ground, there was a small creak, followed by a loud hiss; smoke filled the path he was taking, spewing forth from the wall adjacent to him. With a clang, an entrance began to grind open, slowly against the hard ground like a doorway, only, upon closer inspection he realised that's exactly what it was.

After a brief moment, it came to a sudden stop, producing a loud clattering sound that would have almost certainly caught anyone's attention.

A peculiar creature slowly wormed it's head forth from behind the door, followed by a long neck. It blinked, with large dark eyes that began to protrude on long stalks.

"Tea and sugar?" The creature spoke.

It wasn't the first thing you would expect such a creature to say, though in this life or death situation, it's not the first thing you would expect to hear from anyone.

He stared at it. And it stared back. A bizarre smirk, which can only be described as the look of a snarling dog, slowly took upon its face, wide enough to show layers upon layers of thin pin-like teeth.

The creature gazed a little harder, squinting the small eyes upon each of its thin stalks, before it then slowly disappeared inside.

He raised himself back from the ground, confused but feeling hopeful that he had perhaps finally found an escape. Though, unsure on whether this creature was friend or foe, he remained outside and stood motionless, trying to make a decision on where he would take his chances.

"Come on in, don't by shy." It's words were beginning to sound gruff and cold.

It was terrifying, but he concluded his chances weren't much better outside. He needed to step inside, as reluctant as he may have been.

Upon walking to the door, peering through, it immediately sent chills down his spine. A dark chamber with no visible light within and he was quick to note the strange patches of what he could only imagine to be blood, splattered upon the walls leading in.

No, he thought to himself. But before he could even begin turning around, something grabbed his arm. Yanking it hard before tugging him within, leaving him shrieking into the black abyss and fading into silence.

Though it was as if he had just blinked and been transported to another realm, he found himself sitting at a wooden table, fork and spoon in-hand, as if everything up to this moment had simply been some horrible dream. Though reality soon kicked back; looking back and forth, he became aware of some devilish singing from nearby.

How long had it been since he was dragged within?

As his senses returned in their entirety, it became obvious he wasn't alone, no, he was being watched; a creature similar to the one from before, yet larger, was sat at the opposite end of the table. It was the first opportunity he had to see the full figure of the creature he'd seen before, but something was different.

From initial glance, it's neck, as thin and long as the one before but yet its eyes on either stalk appeared larger and more pronounced, and then there was the huge body that was like a large blob of fat and green scaly flesh, hulked over the table with a number of appendages coming from the creature, each featuring a tiny grasper of sorts and each holding what appeared to be sharp metal rod.

"What's wrong?" It asked.

It was an indescribable nightmare.



Rise and Shine

Deep breathes and a heavy chest, he was alone and just another toy in his cage. It wasn't possible to see within or outside but it was clear, he felt more aware than he ever had before.

It was the beginning of his time, though he was yet to be aware of who he was, where he was or to even establish who he wanted to be.

He slowly began to open his eyes, but was met with a sharp pain and, visibly, nothing but darkness. However, reassuringly, there was yet a slight hum of the machinery in the chamber that began to fill his ears. It immediately became almost hypnotic. The first sound he had heard in his lifetime.

It wasn't too long that it was followed by a second. Though it was a sound that filled him with confusion and immediately sent chills down his spine...

"Please stand-by; decommissioning pod zero, one, two..." The dry synthetic voice continued on, and almost immediately, screams began to fill the room followed by a horrifying churning sound. It was clear he wasn't alone after all, but perhaps soon would be.

He soon realised that despite only having been conscious for such a short period, with no prior awareness or experience in his life that he could recall, his mind seemed to be flooded with at least some knowledge of what was occurring. Perhaps that even made it all the worse.

After a brief moment, already feeling himself begin to shake with fear, another voice, sounding like it was coming directly from within his skull, began to speak with an almost friendly voice, "exporting latest readings and saving genetic blueprint for unit QA seventy-six; beginning severance of blood flow in unit and disconnection of pod from frontal lobe." It was immediately obvious that it's intentions were otherwise not so friendly.

He began to throw himself around, despite not even being fully aware of his complete presence in the darkness he found himself succumbed in, and yet it became clear that there wasn't going to be an escape from this. His brief awareness looked already like it was coming to an end.

Gradually he felt himself slump down onto the ground beneath himself, losing his strength and feeling his thoughts become hazy.

Just as he began to feel faint, as the circulation around his body waned, a bright flash, followed by a loud bang filled the room and something began to hiss. It was then immediately followed by another, and another, it sounded like something was then hit immediately above him - followed by a sudden thump on the floor.

Before even beginning to process what had just happened, he felt himself tugged hard and dragged, eerie lights going past before finally finding his eyes become heavy; his consciousness ceasing once more.