Tod heard his mother screaming in the other room. When he ran across, he saw her screaming at a group of armed Huanons. They were all dressed in orange clothing with red stripes, but they didn’t have heads like humans did! Instead, a silver pole protruded from their chests where their heads should be. Even worse, there were three of them and they were pointing their guns directly at him.
He was terrified, but his mother’s voice kept him calm.
“They are good guys, Tod. Do whatever they say please.”
Tod’s mother was taken from him. She yelled and shrieked as they dragged her out of the house. Tod attempted to go after her, but one of the Huanons grappled him and tried to pin him down.
Tod could surprisingly withstand the intruder’s suppression, despite the creature’s grip closing around his shoulder.
Tod found strength within, as energy surged through him like a raging river. His arms solidified and turned grey. They were slowly transmuting to metal. The energy then travelled to his legs, and it covered them in titanium alloy.
The alien looked at the boy in fear as Tod formed a blade from his right hand and stabbed it through Huanon’s chest, where he assumed it was the creature’s weak spot.
He was correct in his heated instinct as the alien staggered and fell over dead. Tod felt the draw of the weapon pulling back into his body and he noticed his hands had returned to normal. He didn’t know how or what possessed him with such power, but he was glad to have it. Soon after his euphoria, he felt a sense of dread. Something was draining him of energy.
He tried to get up again, but couldn’t move. The young boy could hear the screams coming from outside. He needed to get up; he needed to help his mother.
A Huanon soldier came into the living room and stood next to his fallen comrade. It seemed confused by what had happened. Although he was weak, Tod used his remaining strength, picked up the defeated enemy’s weapon near his fingertips, and pointed it at the soldier.
The Huanon backed away, scowling.
“Your mother is a traitor to the Huasin Triumvirate!” it said, its voice bellowing from its chest.
Tod ignored their words as if the being was not even there and continued staring out into space in contemplation of his future, wondering how she was betraying anyone when had raised him well despite being a cyborg?
After all, they deemed his kind dangerous and unfit to co-exist with other beings in the universe.
The Huanon continued, “She has been working with your father for years. You’re a result of their experiments- they killed you when you were young and turned into this destructive cyborg!”
Tod remained silent.
‘These creatures want to stop me because I am different?’ He thought to himself.
Two other Huanons entered the room, shocked by what they saw, looking at Tod, and then back at their demised comrade.
The first one said, “His power is drained. He doesn’t know how to wield it.”
After assuring them, it instructed. “Take him to a holding cell.”
Tod’s thoughts went blank. In his weakened state, he did not resist as two more Huanons carried him down the hall.
His mother was still screaming. Tod wondered if they were still harming her. The thoughts made him furious, and he felt his energy surge slowly coming back.
Ironically, with it, he felt the energy draining from his body again, and soon fell into darkness.
When he awoke in the cell, Tod saw an old man chained to the wall. They also shackled the young cyborg to the wall, his arms extended above him. Feeling the wetness on his face and seeing the secretions on the old man’s as well, he assumed the Huanons spat on them during his unconscious time here. The place felt like an eternity of blended darkness, its only light source from translucent pans above that appeared to lead to other cells, just like theirs of torment and pain.
A deep sense of dread settled in Tod’s stomach when he saw an old man chained up next door; it reminded him too much about how helpless they were here if this was their worst fear come true- being left behind by everyone.
The old man opened his weak eyes and spoke to him.
“You are not the only one, child.”
“Who are you?” Tod asked, perplexed by what the old man had just told him. “And what do you mean, only one?”
Tod could see that the old man’s eyes were filled with desperation and sorrow- just like what Tod felt inside. The old man ignored his question and simply said, “I’m sorry about your mother.”
Tod examined the old man anxiously with his eyes. “What do they want with her? What do they want with me?” He wondered out loud. The reply he received made his blood run cold: “Everything.”
There was a new urgency in his voice as he spoke, and the old man looked up at him intensely, his eyes glowing green.
Tod was stunned. The aged prisoner beside him shifted into a metallic state. The young boy watched as the old man morphed into a humanoid robot. It took several minutes until all the parts had finished changing into something completely different.
The cyborg’s ancient face was lined with wrinkles and creases, like it had peeled the human skin back to show its withered framework. His eyes were dark hollows that gave off an impression of being dead inside as well, but they were still glowing with angered ambition.
“Do you know what we truly are, boy? We are the enders of worlds. That is why they fear us.” his voice sounded otherworldly as he gave Tod this shocking news. “Soon, when we are many in this stinking cell, we shall join in power and rule the universe. Our destiny awaits us, boy. This is just phase one. There are many people, like your mother, who continuously create chaos and destruction. They must not live to see the day we become gods. I hope you understand this.”
Tod blurted out, “That doesn’t make sense. My mother has protected me and kept me safe for as long as she could.”
The old cyborg continued, “We must destroy your mother and her friends to protect us from the oncoming doom. Their deaths will make the others realise their lives mean nothing. They will see the error of their ways. They will come to us. They will beg to serve. They will attack and nullify those who defy us. And then, the stars will fall from the sky. The sun will burn. The planets will die. The moons will melt. The entire galaxy will perish. All so that the few may rise to greatness and eternity. That is the plan. For now, we wait.”
Tod listened to the old man’s speech, and he felt his mind being pulled out of his body.
He could hear its heavy breathing as it struggled for air in that large room with no windows or doors; only whitewashed stone walls all around them and then there was blackness…
A strange feeling overtook him – not pain exactly—but more like an emptiness which consumed every ounce of energy left within himself: Tiredly hanging onto consciousness by a thread so thin one could barely see it. He could hear the blood rushing in his ears and felt himself floating. It all seemed like a dream.
Tod felt thoughts of his mother enter his mind. Moments that they shared and years of love. He was not ready for all that to disappear, all because of an old man’s ranting.
“You must let go, boy!” the elder cyborg warned. “This is not your path.”
Tod fought the helpless feeling of flight and pushed himself back to reality.
“I’ll never let you destroy her!”
He felt the power surging through him. This time, he felt more in control of it.
“I did not awaken your abilities to use it against us.” The old man admitted. “If you do not submit, you shall be our enemy!”
Tod didn’t listen anymore. The energy reached its peak, and he felt the metal familiarness take over his body as it did earlier in the day. With the newfound strength, he burst through his confines and lit up the entire complex as the energy vibrated through him.
The other prisoners who were asleep shielded their eyes from the light, who could blame them as it may have been the first time in years they’ve witnessed such power emitting in the environs of the penitentiary.
The guards were alerted and began their descent towards the offending cell. Tod had little time to plan to escape.
Then he remembered the sensation of flight. This time, he wondered if he could harness it for his own means.
“Don’t do it, boy!” The old cyborg knew what was about to happen, but it was too late. Tod jumped up and flew through the cell, through the complex, and into the night sky, smashing all forms of the building’s structure as he did. He looked down only to see the remnants of his path to elusion below.
Tod looked up again at the stars and moons above, thinking of the possibilities that now existed in the world he hadn’t known before. The world his mother protected him from, but now he had to face it.
A few things were now certain to him.
He had a focus to rescue his mother, avoid recapture from the Huanons, and be prepared for the plan of his new enemies, the cyborgs who were eagerly awaiting to take over the galaxy and perish all life.
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