In my last memory as a human, my clothes were stained with blood, chaos reigned all around as an unstoppable alien force wrecked their way through my hometown, and I was helpless to do anything as I was dragged away, limp and worn to the core, and just waiting to black out, afraid for my life of what would happen when I awoke.
I suddenly gained consciousness, finding myself lying on the floor with some sort of shell disintegrating off of me under the pressure of some sort of sprayed gas.
The room was very hot; I could feel myself sweating already. Not only that, but I felt a strange feeling beginning to build up in my head… a violent, even murderous feeling.
My eyes cracked open. Through the blurry mess that I was just beginning to see, something seemed wrong. My eyes felt as though they were both at the front of my face and also on the side. I blinked… and felt not two, but six eyelids slowly close and reopen. I suddenly realized too that I couldn’t feel any lips on my mouth, and my teeth fit together rather oddly… viciously.
I began to lift a hand to my face, but, not three seconds after awaking, something grasped me by the arms and lifted me into the air. I was confused. What was happening to me? …And why did it feel so good?
I had almost been awake for five seconds when suddenly the most horrific pain I had ever felt plunged without warning into my back. I screamed at the top of my lungs long and hard; the pain was insane… and cold… so cold.
Through the pain though, something just as horrific disturbed me: I had screamed, but all I heard was a monstrous, pained roar. I had felt my mouth stretch further open than ever before, too, and a long, nearly pointed tongue shoot out between my teeth. I felt as though I should have been extremely concerned with whatever was happening to me, but… I didn’t. It felt natural, somehow… It wasn’t worth thinking about, especially over the pain in my back.
I was still screaming two seconds later, when I was hoisted up and through a series of tubing. They were cold too, although as badly intolerable as I remembered being to the cold before today, it now felt soothing. It didn’t make up for my back though.
Suddenly I came into another room. This one was large, and had many working machines. I barely had time to see that their actions were associated with pale bodies with glowing mechanisms on their backs before my arms and legs were tightly grasped and forced in a firm position. I turned my head left to try to see what it was doing to me, when a pain similar to the one in my back before struck twice in the backs of each of my forearms and calves. I screamed once more, again hearing the horrific voice that had replaced it. I thought that was bad; moments later, the pain spread to my entire body as whatever had penetrated my arms and legs began to pump something as cold as ice through my veins.
I probably would have wanted to simply die by this point, but again, the cold, to my near-immediate surprise, was exactly what my body wanted; I suddenly became aware that I had still been burning up, and was covered with sweat, but now felt comfortable, temperature-wise. If only that had made up for the pain that came with all of it…
Whether the pain had suppressed my memory or I had actually lost consciousness, I don’t know, but my memory blacked out after that. The next thing I knew, I was in the middle of what had formerly been my worst nightmare. A collection of chimeran hybrids sat all around me, all of us being transported out of a chimera conversion facility. I had studied these buildings via long-distance observation and reports of rare escapees, but never did I imagine I would be so close to one. But my thoughts on the facility lasted only a microsecond as I realized what had happened to me. I had been mutated, into the creature I feared most – into a chimeran hybrid myself. That was why what I now realized was a chimeran body cooling apparatus had been so violently fused into my back, and likely some of its tubing into my arms and legs… and why the other chimera around me hadn’t already tackled me to the ground and tore the flesh from my bones.
I should have been shocked. I should have been afraid for my life. I should have felt fear from becoming a hive mind creature hellbent on horrifying genocide… but I didn’t. Instead, I felt fantastic. I felt as though I was ready to pick up a gun and run through a human bunker and kill everyone in it that sported a gun of his or her own. I felt the need to storm a haven full of unarmed humans and stack every one of them into a transport that was inbound for the nearest conversion center. I felt the need to follow my new brethren across the globe and completely transform it into a planet-wide chimeran ecosystem.
I wanted to obliterate anything that made this world earthly… and that started with humans. Oh, the nerve of them… their need to come out on top of everything else, to take the world away from everything in it other than themselves and populate it to its breaking point… their idea of manifest destiny… I suddenly wished I had never fully been one, and that I had been born a chimera, so I could decimate any human that stood in my path without any remorse or memories of a former human life to make me even hesitate or reminisce…
And yet, deep down, I was aware that I was becoming a monster, and I had no control over it. I was helpless to succumb to the new hive mind I now possessed, and despite the love I knew I had once had for everything in the world around me, I could no longer feel anything but hatred and disgust toward my former life, and so much more toward the vast majority of other, already more vile humans still alive. I remembered that in my human life just before now, I was thirty-one years old, I had a career as a psychiatrist, (at least until the chimera invaded and I began assisting our military in studying whatever I could about them) I had a wife and two young children, and I had lived my entire life being the nice guy who helped everyone out but sadly always ended up with the lowest status. I had spent the last few weeks of my life hiding with my family and close friends from chimeran raids… only to be found and, I alone, (to my knowledge,) captured. A life similar to the one of that kind-hearted human named Oliver Wright now seemed worth destroying indefinitely. For the over-populous majority of not-so-likeable humans that dominated the planet over men like I had been: I cannot fathom a collection of words to describe my newfound hatred for and need to annihilate all of them. To an average human, all of this would probably sound appallingly horrible. Due to what were probably the kinder traits I had carried as a human still being partially present in me, I felt as though I should have thought the same way, but my new chimeran mind couldn’t help but interpret such vile thoughts to be… somewhat natural… even inspiring.
All of this had run through my head in a matter of seconds. I tried to halt my train of thought and examine my new brethren around me. All of them looked as vicious as the next with their large, lipless mouths and enormous pointed teeth, and their blank yellow eyes – six on each head – that could hardly resemble any emotion. They too were all fused with cooling apparatuses on their backs with cords leading to their forearms and calves. Looking at all of theirs and thinking of what it must be like would probably make a human shudder; but for me, and likely the other chimera, even though the pain hadn’t quite ceased, it was rather likeable because of the soothing cold it brought us. I only hoped the pain of such an unnatural fusion to our bodies would soon fade.
After moments of studying the chimera around me, I attempted to speak, already expecting to hear my new monstrous voice.
“Rrraaaaaoooowrr,” was the sound that left my throat. I then remembered I had no lips, and could make only natural sounds that came from my vocal cords – no “adjusting” them or making words out of them. How would I communicate? …How had chimera always communicated with each other?
The chimera just to my right responded with a similar sound, stretching his neck as he did so. He seemed confused, as he began looking every which way for… something, and was likely thinking the same thing I was.
That’s when it hit me: We were hive minds. We didn’t think each other’s thoughts, nor did we share whatever personality traits we had left, but we all thought similarly (or at least somewhat; it’s likely some traits of our human minds remained, such as how I probably thought too much about everything). It was likely that we could simply look at one another and imagine why we might be doing something, observe the environment around us, put two and two together and understand. That couldn’t be everything though; there had to be some sort of meaning to certain sounds or signs… I didn’t ponder long on the subject though; I felt as though I should have wanted to, my new mind was already growing tired of such a now-seemingly trivial subject.
I began observing the environment around me, and I could see some other chimera doing the same. Behind our transport was the facility in which we had just been converted, and all around it was dark… and snowy. Why was it snowy? Last I could recall it was early September. Then I looked away and, in the distance, saw the top of a chimeran command tower, a construct with, if I was right, the power to drastically alter natural temperatures in any surrounding areas to much cooler climates in which we could thrive. The sky all around it was dull, and, not to my surprise, so was most of the sky in the distance in the opposite direction. I looked back to the ground and began to count many more conversion facilities around, along with several other buildings that I remember learning were used to construct many highly destructive and self-protective tools and instruments. As a human, I would have notified anyone I could that this place was dangerous and had to be destroyed as soon as possible if the surrounding areas could not evacuate soon enough; now I simply thought of such a place as marvelous.
Eventually our floating transport came to a halt, and moments later a few armed hybrids like us came to the back of it and roared to us. They were unloading us, I somehow understood from that short snarl. Once I was out of the transport, I looked around and saw many others just like ours letting off loads of hybrids. There were hundreds of us.
I want to say that the next few hours were extremely important to all of us, although my hybrid mind finds the details excessively insignificant, save for the fact that we were dealt weapons, divided into squads, and sent out in dropships to various locations across Western Europe.
I found myself exiting a dropship over northern Germany, armed with what humans had nicknamed a “Bullseye,” a chimeran assault rifle bearing an alternate trigger that fired tracer darts that, for as long as they were active, redirected all of the gun’s fire toward whatever they were stuck to. The moment my feet hit the ground, I knew every human we would encounter that day would never see the sun set again (at least with their human eyes).
We had been dropped off in the middle of a street on the outskirts of a large city, and hundreds of more dropships were beginning to descend nearby. Already, the humans had begun to flee in hysterical fear from us, and the more vicious hybrids that had reached the ground began to charge. I suddenly felt an extremely powerful need to just scream at the top of my lungs… and so I charged after my brethren, and fired my gun away like a frenzied lunatic toward anything I could see moving that wasn’t one of us, and with it came that long, loud, and terrifyingly vile howl that let every human within hearing distance know their time was up. The feeling was amazing.
I alone killed four hundred and ninety-three humans and helped capture two hundred and twenty more that day – yes, I counted them all – and in total, our forces decimated nearly every human who fought back and about two thirds of the civilian population, while about another two sevenths of it was captured, leaving just under a twentieth of the original population alive – just under five percent. That was all that had escaped us. The chimeran virus had been unleashed on the city’s remains though, and it would only be a matter of time before anyone left hiding in it would succumb to it, eventually wrap themselves in a cocoon, and come out a horribly disfigured chimeran mutant, or a “Grim,” as humans called them. We had only lost a quarter of our invading forces by the end of that day, and I was certainly not one of them. That city in Germany hadn’t stood a chance.
Nearly two years passed; the eastern hemisphere of Earth had very little resistance left by this point. The chimera had finally made it to North America, and already seemed to be winning the war over there. Many of us wished to be sent over the Atlantic Ocean to aid in the fight for the new continent, but it seemed only newer chimeran hordes were being taken there.
I was eventually dealt a new weapon, some chimeran sniper rifle, and sent out with a series of dropships going to scout abandoned areas that could possibly be hideouts for human survivors. Within a few weeks’ time, we had found and cleared out four of them among the remains of… southern Ireland, I believe. It wasn’t long later that I was sent with a large group to a destroyed town in England… one which I soon realized was my former hometown.
I felt as though I should have cared somewhat for that town, but the chimeran mind in me thought otherwise. I began to reminisce upon memories of it for the first time since I had become a chimera… and all I could feel for every second of every memory was absolute hatred and disgust, just as I had felt the last time. I wanted to go there and find everyone I use to know that may have still been alive and kill or capture them all myself.
A few hours before we launched, something hit me… some strong need for recognition, but not from my fellow chimera. I was going to the ruins of my former home, and some part of me wanted anyone that may have still been hiding there somewhere to know, if they saw me, that I was once in fact a man they knew. I don’t know what possessed me to think this way, or what I wanted anyone there to make of it if they found out who I was… in fact, I didn’t care what they would think if they found me. All I know is that if people were still there, I wanted them to know what I had been through since the chimera abducted me from them… and that I had returned to demolish anything they had left.
I felt, and still feel as though I should hate myself for wanting such a horrible goal, but my chimeran mind, as you can figure by now, wanted me to feel just that way, as though it was natural. As much as I would probably want to say I love and miss you all, were I still human, I can only say that I no longer do… I am helpless to feel nothing more than an extreme need to destroy you all.
If by some chance I die here, and you find me, you’ll find this letter on a string around my neck. I don’t care what you’ll think of all that’s happened to me, and what I’ve become; I just want you to know that this is Oliver Wright.
Daniel finished reading the letter to Amelia Wright. She was in tears, and even he looked about ready to shed a few.
“…That’s it,” Daniel said. “That’s the end of it.” He took a deep breath, and then lowered his head, pinching the bridge of his nose with his free hand.
The body of a dead chimeran hybrid lay beside the two of them. Its chest was shot up, its right arm was gone, much of its body was somewhat burnt, and the apparatus on its back was no longer glowing. When Daniel had first carried the body in, it had scared Amelia half to death; now she felt only the strongest remorse for it.
“…My poor, sweet Oliver,” she managed to let out between some whimpers as she looked toward the body.
Daniel shook his head. “…I never thought I would kill my best friend… not even like this… But… I had to… After we heard them coming and we sent all of you back underground, we fucked up, and they found us. They charged, we fought back, and… we were just fucking lucky, because someone shot the eyes out on a Brawler, and it flailed one of its arms into a dropship. It lost control and flew straight into the other two that were with it… The damage took out enough hybrids for us to finish off the rest without too many casualties. Afterward, I went to go make sure none had survived the dropship crashes… There were a few still moving but… only one that wasn’t for sure gonna die… He was crawling though, dragging himself with that one arm, and he went mad once he saw me… enough that he pulled himself to his feet and ran at me, roaring like a madman. He grabbed onto me, tried to claw at me, but I threw him off, kicked him to the ground, and stomped hard on his stomach to make sure he couldn’t move… He flailed his arm like mad at my leg, but I held firm, and…” Daniel looked back at the body, still keeping his head low “…just stuck my bayonet in his chest and shot it up… Then I pulled this off his neck, found a good place to sit for the time, and read what it said… I didn’t wanna believe it, so I checked the body to be sure, and… sure enough, he had Oliver’s small tattoo on the back of his shoulder, and the exact same scar on his left index finger… That’s when I realized I’d killed my best friend to save my life… I’ve never felt so conflicted inside.”
Amelia cried a bit longer before letting out, “You did what you had to… Like he wrote, he would have… killed us all.” Her gaze moved toward the body as well.
The two sat still for a long time before Daniel finally moved again.
“We should bury him… We have to be quick about it though – they might have sent for reinforcements before they were all dead… and…” Daniel paused for a long moment as he thought about his next few words “…it might be best not to tell your kids… at least not yet. Don’t want them to… think any bad thoughts about what’s left of him… and they already do think he’s gone…”
Amelia didn’t have anything else to say. She just sat, staring at the body, still sobbing a bit.
Daniel stood still for a while before walking around to lift the body once more. As he did, a last thought came to his mind.
“…There’s a bit of cruel irony that came with Oliver, here… It had been two years since we’ve had to deal with any chimera, and… that was when we last saw him. I had built up a lot of hatred for that, just waiting to let it out on one of them… It’s so ironic… Before he died, I told him something… I said to him, ‘This is for Oliver, you son of a bitch.’” Daniel’s eyes clenched and he lowered his head once more, and a small tear dropped onto the body in his arms.