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The Eve of Genesis
Posted By: Mainevent<yesIhaveone@netscape.net>
Date: 6 December 2003, 5:26 AM

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      In the halls of the Forerunner complex, all was silent. The large metallic-stone compound was utterly abandoned. It was the beginning of the end for them, but in a way, the end of the beginning. They believed not only that they had done what needed to be, but prepared for it. It was prophecy; it was how it was meant to be.
      "And'Je Kigotu", or The Genesis was the beginning of purity, of perfection. They would finally be whole. Their being finaled. Seven long decades worth of work was finally coming to fruition. Genetics had reached their penacle, and the Forerunner would live forever.
      Angastal Kanas, the divine Flood, was their mechanism. Through munipulation of millions of gene codes, they had arranged the perfect combination. An organism that would not only manipulate and alter their form, but would allow them to be supreme. Never dying, never hurting, stronger than any before it. The creature they bred was impervious to disease, could feel no pain, and was genetically enhanced to be stronger than previously thought possible. There was a benefit as well. The genetic resequencing was exact enough to allow the host to retain full control over the new being, as well as retain all thought processes.

      "...and we shall be made whole again." Anrik said enthusiastically. His enormous palm sweeping across the ringworld and into the heavens above. Only twenty four hours until Angastal was released. Everyone who was anyone had been given the rights to be "attained." They were all assembled at Eden, Installation 04. The head priest and leader of the ceremonies was The Monitor. An Artificial Intelligence of the former, and legendary, Angrel Amshew.
      "We shall be no better than we were before, and I cannot possibly see how this could help us, but if only for your sake, I shall do it."
      "You must brother. If you don't, you will die."
      "I can handle death my friend, it is life I am unsure of."
      "But why? Why would you give up this oppurtunity?"
      "No more disease, no more pain, no more wanting. It sounds too good to be true, which usually means it is."
      "Oh, but not this time. This time it's different. The Monitor says this is the time of the Angastal, and we should all be God's tools.
      "But why would he need us? To build this structure. To be swallowed. To be dead."
      "The Monitor says sacrifice is key. He says we shall all be reborn unto him."
      Reborn, what is wrong with our natural form. Are we not perfect as God himself originally created us? Are we too good for that, that we should need all of this?"
      "The Monitor says that our form was flawed, and that we have unlocked what God hath stored inside. The Monitor is right, and says he has found the key. Our salvation rests with him."
      "The Monitor, the Monitor, the Monitor. Enough with the monitor-"
      Do not speak so quickly, you should bite your tongue. We could both be killed should someone hear your foolishness. The Monitor is the second coming of Angrel himself, he is as good as the original."
      "No one here believes that. It's only those puppets of his. The Sentinels permit no-dissent whatsoever. If he is so powerful and truthful, why does he need them? Why were we summoned here agaisnt our will?"
      Anrik's face changed at the sound of his brother's words. He could not believe that his own brother was saying such blasphemy, much less implying that others were unhappy in their lives. After all, the Monitor had been gracious enough to hand-pick them, to assign them jobs, and make sure their families were fed. And they had the gall to turn on him. He would hear no more of it. Anrik turned from Elsrik, and left the room through the eight-foot ceiling before him. He cursed as he bumped his head on the frame, always mad at how low the ceilings were for him.
      Why are these confounded ceilings so low? It's not as though anyone else will ever have to use them. Anrik thought to himself. It doesn't matter, in the morning, all shall be made clear, and Elsrik will not spew his fooleshness. My brother will not die, he will not be taken from me. Not now. Not ever. He is mine, and will always be mine.

      The sunrise on the curved landscape was a miracle to behold, and Elsrik would not miss it for the world. The dull grays mixing with the oranges and blues mixed to form a palette that he would willingly make his last view. It was the day of truth, to see if the Monitor had lived up to what he promised all. The whail of communion sirens in the distance snapped his gaze off of the wonderous sight. He mumbled to himself as he turned to the large rolling plains before him. The scattered and obscure figures of buildings before him were all active, their large blue signals a beacon to all, that there was always a place for shelter.
      It was part of his creed, that the Monitor would let none go hungry, cold, nor hopeless under his watch. Elsrik noticed his brother impatiently waiting for him in the doorway of Algrek Temple. Buried atop a small cliff, it's entrance was a massive opening leading to an elevator.
      "So where are we to go?" Elsrik queried with the hint of frustration.
      "To the temple altar, there our sins will be washed away by the flood, and our sanctity restored."
      "I find that hard to believe, Elder Glesk was seen entering only moments ago, I doubt even the Monitor has a flood large enough to cleanse him." Elsrik laughed to himself, but the stern face of the man standing next to him was unflinching.
      "Jokes will not save you, now come, or we shall miss it."
      "Something I would not be too upset to do."
      The two turned to the now empty foyer, and descended the ramp into the first level. The elevator had already descended into the facility, and the subtle reverbarating humm from below reminded them of it's ascention.
      "We are too late, they have started without us. We HAVE missed it!" Ansrik shouted in dispair. The large maroon lift slowly fixed itself into place. The two stepped onto the platform as it jolted before lowering into the belly of the goliath facility. It was unusually quiet, however, for such a profound day of celebration.
      As it came to rest below, the two exited towards the small hallway leading into one of the altar rooms. The fallen bodies were horrendous. Small raindrop shaped creatures were violently digging into their flesh, devouring it, absorbing it. Ansrik and Elsrik's eyes bulged as two of the bodies they recognized began moving again. Several of the raindrops noticed them as well, and quickly raced towards the new oppurtunity to feed.
      They turned back into the hallway, and into the elevator shaft. It had ascended AGAIN. They weren't sure how long it would be before the creatures were on them, but it wouldn't be too long. The floating floor became steady with a heavy creaking sound, just as the two ex-acquaintances lunged into the room. Their face and body were being hideously mutated by the creatures, but their heavy faces moaned in agony.
      Ansrik quickly pushed the activation on the large holographic controls, and it lurched upwards. Elsrik made a running leap, and his hand was caught as it began upwards. The two fleshen monstrosities were grasping feverishly on the device, clawing at it't occupants with fervor.
      A leather-like whip shot across the darkness, and cut across Ansrik's chest heavily. Bright green blood splashed onto the metallic tiles below. Droplets of the thick coagulating substance tittered into their mouths, fueling their passion.
      "I told you I was doing this to save you brother. I meant it." Ansrik said as he turned to face his opponents, his brother beginning to charge.
      "Brother no!" Elsrik held out a sympathetic hand, but dared not to stop him. Ansrik would die eitherway, at least this one was honorable. He coupled his enormous fingers around the Flood's feet, and caught them off guard. Their grip loosened as they plummeted into the nothingness below.
      As he reached the top, he rushed up the slick damp ramp, and into the suddenly soaked environment. The distant hum from somewhere above him was out of place, but he knew instantly who it was. The Monitor.
      "You there, why are you not in the altar with the others?" His voice was artificial, and Elsrik's anger was blooming exponentially.
      "You! You have betrayed us all, and are responsible for my brother's death!"
      "I, betrayed you? Hoh hoh hoh, I would be most pleased to hear your reason for this."
      "You said there would be no more pain, no more suffering. You lied to them all. You murdered them."
      "I said there would be no more pain or suffering after the cleansing. I never told them it would be easy or painless. You delved far too into my words. Now if you would, I have business otherwise." His small circular body shimmered several times before disappearing in a quick flash of orange, and then was gone.
      Elsrik was alone for perhaps the first time in his life. Alone, desperate, and outnumbered. He had only a matter of time before they were back, and he had to warn the others. Before the Monitor lured more into his horrid trap.