The following is the prologue to my current W.I.P Project Zero: Memories of Steel

Prologue

(Approx A couple of months prior to Warren’s return to working for Reidefell)

Tuese 15th Deceambre, 2015, Project Zero

“I know you struggle for fresh bodies, Mitsuki. So here are a few for you. Drain them of what you need then I’ll see to it that we have them incinerated.”

The Red Virulent, Mitsuki Akira was stood in some kind of observation room deep in the more forgotten depths of Project Zero. The equipment appeared to be connected to some strange spherical device on a pedestal in the centre of the room. In this room was also bodies, most of them recently shot in the head. The woman holding the smoking gun at her side was Doctor Danielle Yale. Her face looked worn out, tired and possibly hungry. Mitsuki had a habit of noticing the small things that bugged her best friend. She sensed Yale’s discomfort at what had transpired as the woman had begun playing with the tip of her ponytail that was often draped over her shoulder. Getting rid of unruly personnel was a task she was all too accustomed to but this was a very different set of circumstances, unlike any she had experienced in her time working for the Terra Science and Research Institute. The problem facing them both was that this was the seventh batch of V-chipped scientists to attempt to fathom the strange device that they only knew in name, the Dominion Sphere. It was living up to its name, the scientists were falling under the influence of something or someone referring to itself as the Empress. This phenomenon had been described in detail to her by the man who had given her the device. Charles Sawyer, the Chairman of the Reidefell Company. His people had been fruitless in their endeavour to understand the device. And there was no point attempting to decipher it with an unchipped being since the Sphere would simply be unresponsive.

“I’m almost prepared to call it quits on this one, Reidefell can have their stupid sphere. The last thing I need is this Empress enslaving my people.”

“Yes, Yale-san. I imagine it is quite a nuisance. As the device does not appear to affect unchipped individuals, I will be more than willing to transfer it to the Containment Sector.”

“You would do that for me, Mitsuki?”

“I will do anything for you, Yale-san.”

Mitsuki began her gleeful methodical movements over the cooling corpses, tendrils of all sizes began draping over them. She wouldn’t need to feed for a while at least. Looking back over her shoulder, Yale struggled to hide her displeasure at the sight. It was only natural for someone like her to repulsed by what Mitsuki was. Even going as far as to allow her to drain these bodies of their fluids was already a serious offence. The aiding and abetting of a Virulent was an act punishable by death sentence or kill right depending on the threat level. In many ways, as much as this place was a prison for Yale’s subjects and workforce, it was a sanctuary for her to operate as she needed. Although in the more well-used sectors of the facility, she played the role of secretary with remarkable efficiency. After draining the last body, the tendrils dissolved away. She was stood before the pedestal that held on it the Dominion Sphere. For such an ominous sounding device it was unassuming and bland to look at. She cocked her head and inspected its engravings. It was an old language that much was obvious but it was also unfamiliar to her. For something that was likely so old, it didn’t look at all worn. Careful not to send it hurtling to the floor she reached out and wrapped her pale brown hands around it. It was light, barely even close to a feather in weight. She couldn’t move. She watched helplessly as vein like tendrils began sliding into the sphere’s engraving’s giving it an ominous red glow. The weight pulled her forward so that the sphere ended up resting on the pedestal. She was straining now, her knees close to crumbling under an intense pain and weight like she had never felt before.

“Yale-san!”

Doctor Yale began a tentative approach unsure of what she could do to help the struggling Virulent that had now been ensnared by the device.

“What is it doing?”

“Make it stop Yale-san.”

“What’s it doing?” asked Dr Yale now at her side. “Mitsuki, answer me.”

***

Birth

Before the current universe, before you, before the cataclysm, there was only us and our Creators.

“What should we call it?”

“It, Creator Tirin, is a she.”

Well what should we call her?”

“Hmm, Akiviva?”

“Any reason? Tirin.”

“It just sounds right.”

“Then Akiviva it is.”

The Creator Tirin held her in a warm embrace. Truthfully it was difficult to make out any details of it. Everything was fuzzy, a non-stop blur as they began moving. The only observable sensation was coldness as something unseen drifted between her fingers and feet. The light was suddenly bright now. She shut her eyes.

“Aren’t new born babies suppose to cry, Tirin? We haven’t gotten something wrong in the process have we?”

“Well, Creator D’jarack, the parents mated just fine, the mother gave birth without a problem. Perhaps this is just an abnormality. I wouldn’t worry, she’s probably just sleeping.”

“I’ll take your word for it. Where are we going now anyway?”

“Where all newborns go,” said Creator Tirin.

“Oh, do we have to. She’s barely tasted her first breath.”

“The Proving Ground is the only place for the Umbra Ascensionis. Anywhere else and we would have problems. Strictly speaking, most females are deposed of in order to maintain a certain balance to our current Reservation. But I feel like Akiviva will surprise us. I say we give her a chance, how about it, D’jarack. This is their world after all.”

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