A little boy squirmed in his bed, further messing up the covers. The boy, around the age of ten, couldn't sleep. He opened his eyes and yawned, getting up and out of his bed. His black hair was ruffled and messy.
He glanced at his alarm clock, which stated that the boy had gotten up at fifteen minutes after the fourth hour. Smiling, he opened his door and trotted out into the hallways outside. He wasn't going to be late! Today was the big day!
The boy ran past several lab assistants in the hallway, each of them telling him to slow down, that he was going to injure himself one of these days. Sure enough, one foot caught on the other, and the boy was sent sprawling onto the floor.
There was the sound of someone lightly chuckling from behind him. He turned around as hands kindly picked him up off of the ground.
"Hey, Ivan." The boy laughed, smiling at the man who'd picked him up.
The man, about forty years of age, black hair and brown eyes nearly the same shade as the boy's, smiled as well.
"You know I don't like being called Ivan. Where were you heading?" He put the boy down onto his two feet and held his hand. The two of them continuing down the hallway.
"You know where I was going! Everyone's saying that the demonstration of their newest project is today!"
At this, Ivan frowned. His brows lowered as he stared straight ahead.
"That's not right. The project isn't even ready!" They quickened their pace, eventually coming to a glass large room with a heavy, clear door leading to an even larger room.
Inside the larger room, gold and silver-plated instruments along the sides of the room were blinking. Several lab assistants were rushing around, preparing for the demonstration. What really caught the boy's eye, was the immense, nearly cylindrical machine in the center. In the front of the machine was a circular window which glowed a yellow color and doubled as a small hatch. This led to a giant containment unit, which hooked into the backside of the wall with large tubes and pipes.
Ivan rushed inside, closing the door behind him and leaving the boy curiously pressing his face against the glass to get a better look on what was going on inside the largest room.
A dark-haired man with a clipboard approached Ivan; a grin on his face.
"Van, you're just in time. We're doing a demonstration today to show-" He started, but was interrupted by Ivan.
"It's not ready! The project may not even be stable! Chris, what do you think you're doing?" He shouted at him, a worried expression crossing Ivan's face.
"Don't worry, Ivan, it's just a test-run to see if the machine works or not. As I said before - it's a demonstration." Chris turned to one of the computers and entered pass-codes and such. The large machine behind them whirred to life, the glowing yellow through the small window in the front of the machine gently changed into a light blue.
Chris, along with nearly every one of the other scientists, smiled. A chorus of excited cheers erupted from the room.
"We'll save millions of lives!"
"It's the greatest innovation in history!"
Ivan turned to Chris.
"There's your demonstration." He stated calmly, his brown eyes lined with concern. "Now shut it off."
Chris put down the clipboard and raised a finger to silence Ivan. Chris looked outside the room at the brown-eyed boy, whose curiosity was practically leaking through the glass, pleading to know what was going on inside.
"After I show my son our second greatest achievement since his birth." Chris grinned and walked over to the entrance to the room. He stuck his head into the clear area and looked at the boy.
"Hey, kiddo! Want to see what we've done?"
Without words, the boy's eyes lit up and he ran into the large room. The machine's whirring growing slightly louder.
Chris, the boy's father, was standing in front of the small window, looking inside. The boy joined him, smiling as he leaned over to look inside as well.
Inside the machine, through the window, was a blue smoke. Minuscule white specks flew in and out of vision. At times, the specks flickered in unison.
Chris looked down at the boy.
"These, Rex, are nanites. They're the ultimate vaccine. You inject them into a sick person, and they cure their illness."
Ivan walked up next to the two of them, looking down at the boy.
"They extract the antigens from a person's body, but instead of wearing off like an antibiotic, they stay in a person's body, forever protecting them. Regardless, the project isn't ready yet. The nanites still aren't coded properly. They're a little glitchy."
Ivan glared over to Chris, eying him to stop the machine. Chris nodded and walked over to the computer panel, pressing a few buttons.
"Van..? Come over here, will you?" Chris' voice wavered a bit as Ivan briskly walked over, leaving Rex ogling at the hazy blue devices in the window.
"The machine's not complying to my codes."
"Reboot the system."
"We don't have our information saved!"
"Do it anyway."
"It won't let me-" The machine uttered a deafening roar; the pipes behind the machine hissing as steam and other chemicals escaped.
An alarm sounded as the machine reached a high internal temperature. The entire system shuddered.
"We have to evacuate! It's going to explode!" Ivan shouted, grabbing Chris' arm and running towards the exit, towing the scientist behind him. The other assistants were making their way out of the building.
Out of breath, both Ivan and Chris stood outside, surrounded by the other lab assistants who were nervously looking back at the large building. Other personnel were just evacuating the building, their crowd converging with the scientists' crowd.
"Are we missing anybody?" A voice asked over the noise of the fussing workers.
A chorus of "No's" and "I don't think so's" rung out.
"Where's Rex?" Chris worridly asked, backing out of the crowd to get a better look.
The entire group became quiet as they searched for the dark-haired boy. Ivan broke away from the group to run back inside.
"Kleiss!" He addressed the man formally, "What're you-?" Chris shouted after the scientist.
"I'm saving your son!" He yelled back, yanking the door to the facility open with one swift movement and ducking inside. He sprinted down the many hallways; his labcoat flowing behind him in a heroic manner. Halting at the room, he rushed inside to find the boy with one hand on the glass of the machine's window, still looking inside.
"Hey, Van." He greeted him casually, not even turning around to face the scientist.
The machine shuddered once more, emitting a screech and making the room several degrees warmer.
"It's going to explode! You have to leave!" Ivan rushed forward and grabbed the boy by his arm. Rex was extremely calm.
"Ivan...you have to try and stop the machine." The boy looked down, a saddened emotion seeped from him. "What if the nanites don't make it?"
Van reluctantly let him go, rushing to the back of the machine where the manual controls were.
"I-I can't stop it, Rex. You have to leave!"
"I'm not leaving them!"
"They're machines, Rex! We can just rebuild!"
"No! They're special! I know it! I can feel it!" Rex had a pleading look on his face.
Van scowled at the child, turning back to the console.
"Your father was too eager to start this project, Rex. He shouldn't have rushed this! We weren't ready!"
At this, Ivan turned from his station and picked up a squirming Rex, opening the door and placing the boy in the outer room. He quickly locked the door from the inside.
"Van! I'm not leaving! Let me in!" Rex cried at the scientist.
"I won't have you hurt. I'm stopping this machine." Ivan coldly turned towards the machine.
At this point, time seemed to slow. Like a heartbeat, the large contraption pulsed with sound and power, and in a fiery flash - exploded.
Everything was a mixture of blue and yellow. The machine pulsed again, sending out a wave; the feeling similar to a balloon filled with helium being ignited and exploding, or a large gust of wind blowing through. Van was thrown backwards into the wall, and the glass imploded, spraying large shards towards Rex. The boy covered his head with his arms and dove down towards the floor. Again, the contraption sent out another wave, knocking both Ivan and Rex unconscious. Another pulse, and this time, it was followed by a hot sensation. The floor lurched as the machine itself, exploded.
It was said that the explosion was seen from space, and felt by all.
There was the sound of a defibrillator being charged.
Something cold was pressed to his chest, and an electric shock sparked and he felt it travel throughout his entire system.
"He- he's alive!"
Light brown eyes opened. The world was blurry, and the scientists around him were silhouetted in contrast with the white light in the background. He could see his feet, covered by white socks, and the gray sweat pants he was wearing from earlier that morning.
"C'mon Rexy. You can do it. Stay with us..."
Was that his dad's voice? What was happening? The boy groaned and tried sitting up, only to be pushed back down by the silhouettes' hands. He was unconscious again, but his heart beat was audible.
The boy awoke again, but as he opened his eyes again, the world wasn't blurry. Everything was as clear, as sharp, and as colorful as he remembered it. He took a breath and sat up. He felt tingly. The radio in the background played quiet classical music.
"Hey, Rex. Glad to have you with us. Your father's been worried." A scientist loomed over him, a clipboard in his hand.
"What...happened?" Rex asked, blinking a few times.
The scientist was quiet for a few minutes.
"There...was an accident..." He started, looking nervous. "Apparently, the nanites couldn't be contained in such a small container, so when the machine was started, their incomplete programming instructed them to continue to multiply...The machine exploded."
Rex looked confused.
"What happened with the nanites?" He asked, tilting his head to the side.
"They're..." The scientist searched for words. "They've spread across the world...Apparently, they've made their way into the very genetic structure of...every living thing."
"You...found this out already?" Rex asked, his brow lowering. "That was quick.." he quietly added.
"Rex, it's been several weeks since the accident. We're not even at the same building."
There was silence once again.
"The explosion rendered the area inhospitable. We have a team rebuilding as we speak. Don't worry! The nanites seem harmless. They could very well be doing their job!" the scientist reassured.
Rex blinked again.
"Where's Ivan?" the boy frowned.
"We..couldn't find him in the wreckage." The scientist went pale. "We think he was-"
Just then, Rex's father burst into the room. He ran over to his son and hugged him.
"Rex! I'm so glad you're okay! Do you feel alright? How're your injuries?"
"Hi, dad." he was quiet.
"What's wrong, Rex?" His dad caught the look he had on his face and pulled out of his hug to get a better look at the boy.
"N-nothing. Was anyone else hurt by the explosion?"
"Just a little shaken, but everything's fine."
Rex looked down at his hands. An uneasy feeling crept its way into his brain.
You're wrong. Everything's not fine. Something's not right.
"Here, I got you something." His dad's voice snapped him out of his thoughts. Chris reached into his labcoat pocket and pulled out a large metallic item.
The item was white, and each of the shapes on the item was outlined in gray. On each of the shapes was a small symbol. The entire contraption gave off the impression that it twisted and turned. In short - It looked like an egg-shaped Rubix Cube.
He handed it over to Rex, who grasped it and looked down at the contraption. The boy started to fiddle with it.
His father smiled, patted him on the shoulder, checked a few diagnostics, then with another quick hug, he left the room.
Rex looked down at the object he was given. Silently, he placed it down on the covers next to him. The covers crumpling ever-so-slightly under the object's weight. His expression slowly molded into one of determination.
He looked over at the scientist, who was tending to a few computer files and not paying any attention to his patent. Trying to make the least amount of sound possible, Rex slid out from under the covers of the bed and ran out the door.
I don't believe them! Van CAN'T be dead! I'll find him myself!
Rex's socks quieted his running steps, but when he came to sharp turns, he was forced to slow down so he wouldn't skid into the nearby walls. He dodged past lab personnel, who did a double-take as soon as they realized that the little blur that ran past them was indeed the head-scientist's son.
They didn't have much of a chance to call after him before he was gone out of their sight.
He turned down another hallway. The exit was in sight. His small hands reached for the handle.
Suddenly, a sharp scream was heard from down the hallway followed by the the sound of glass breaking. Rex debated briefly on whether or not to leave, but his curiosity got the better of him. He ran down the hall and yanked open the lab door where the sounds were coming from.
He gasped at what he saw.
A hulking monster loomed over two scientists. One of them was sprawled out onto the floor, his eyes closed and body limp. The other scientist was backed up against a wall, a terrified expression on his face.
The monster, a bubbly mixture of gray and brown skin, turned its deformed head to peer down at Rex. Its jagged teeth protruded from its drooling mouth, and dozens of boils and scales covered its skin. Before Rex could blink, the monster was hurdling at him at full-force.
Barely, he dodged. The monster was sent running through the door and rammed itself into the hallway's opposite wall.
"Wh-what IS that?" Rex asked, turning to the only conscious scientist.
"T-that thing is..is P-Professor Wheeler! H-he suddenly-" The scientist stammered, grabbing a phone to call for help.
In a matter of seconds, personnel were in the room, and the monster, tranquilized.
Wide-eyed and shaking, Rex turned to run down the hallway back to the room he woke up in. From down the hallway, he could see that several lab assistants and scientists had gathered in his room and were conversing. Holding his breath to quiet his rapid breathing, he approached the entrance of the room and stood outside along the edge of the door, unseen by the personnel inside. He listened to them talk.
"And the mutations? Are they part of this nanite disaster?"
"It would explain what happened to Wheeler.."
"So does that mean that everyone can potentially transform into one of those...creatures?"
"Not just everyone, every living organism on this damned planet!"
Their tone was getting worried and frantic.
"We'll have to run some tests on Mr. Wheeler. It's the only way we can find out what went wrong with him. Chris, come with me. Doctor, you stay here and listen to the radio and television for newscasts. This nanite event could very well change the course of evolution as we know it..."
Outside, Rex had a far-away look on his face.
Disaster? Does that mean that I could...turn into a-a monster?
He blinked as soon as the lab personnel filed out the door. Rex was spotted by his father, who kneeled down to his height, a concerned look adorned his facial features.
"You shouldn't be out here, Rex. Get inside your room for now, okay?"
His father stood up and caught up with the other scientists who were speed-walking down the hall towards the labs. Rex trudged into the room and wasn't greeted by the doctor in there. The doctor was occupied switching through different stations on the radio.
Rex hopped up onto the white bed and picked up the object his father'd given him. He held it in his hands and stared at it for a few seconds. A tingling sensation ran up his arms that felt like static electricity. Rex dropped the toy as if it were on fire and scooted away from it.
He was about to say something to the doctor in his room, when a newscast blared through the speakers.
"Manhattan. You wouldn't believe what's happening! Reports are filing in about some sort of..mutant parakeet causing mass destruction on the buildings in the immediate area."
The doctor in the room wrote down a few things on a clipboard and then hurried out of the room, leaving Rex alone.
"In the recent days, reports of smaller incidents have been aired on radio stations around the world. A newly-formed global agency, Providence, is said to combat these monsters into submission. The origins of these mutations is still unknown."
Rex reached over and turned the radio off. Silence filled the room. Taking this silence as a gift, he plopped down onto his back and closed his eyes.
A few minutes passed of completely pure silence before the familiar voice of Chris was heard from way down the hall.
"You will do no such thing!" His father yelled.
"Chris, he was there in the room! Practically next to the machine! We have to do tests to make sure he's stable!"
Rex opened his eyes and sat up to see several scientists enter, followed by his father. One of the scientists, a female, put on some latex gloves and brandished a small needle.
"Don't worry. We're just getting a blood sample so we can analyze his nanites, okay, Chris?"
His father was silent, but he nodded after a short pause. With a smile, the woman turned to face the only child in the room.
"Okay Rex, hold out your arm for me. I'm just taking a little blood sample."
Rex held out his arm and looked away. He never could stand needles. There was a prick and after a few seconds, the needle was extracted. The doctor walked over to the nearest computer and put a small sample of blood on the diagnostic reader.
"Remember what the corrupted nanite readings look like, doctor."
"I know how to do my job."
Images of small, round objects appeared on the screen. They were clustered together and vibrated slightly in the scans. These were Rex's nanites.
"Chris-" the doctor turned to look at Rex's father, and gave a worried look at Rex. She motioned for the scientist to come over.
Chris gave the monitor a stare. A cold stare. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"They're...the same as the readings from Wheeler..." He looked down at Rex, who had a confused look on his face.
"He's corrupted." Chris whirled around and grabbed Rex by the shoulders. The scientist had a wild look in his eyes.
"How do you feel, Rex?" He shouted.
"I-I...I don't know!" Stammering, the boy tried to lean away from his father.
Releasing him, Chris turned to the other scientists. It was apparent that he was becoming hysterical upon the news that Rex could very well become a creature...
"If the readings are the same, why isn't he-?"
One of the assistants sternly grabbed his shoulder, wheeling Chris around to face him.
"Acting hysterical will get you nowhere. We'll have to constantly monitor his nanite readings. They may be corrupted, but the boy's nanites are stable."
Chris had a pained look on his face as he calmed down a bit and faced his son. Rex had a worried expression and was looking down at his hands.
I knew something wasn't right...
His father bent down so he was face-to-face with him.
"Rex..it-it's been a big day."
"Just...get some sleep, okay?"
The boy nodded, but didn't look up from his hands. Chris departed, and several of the doctors stuck equipment to monitor his biometrics over the course of the night along his forehead and arms. It wasn't much, but it effectively read the nanites' stability readings.
As the last doctor left the room, the lights dimmed. The only sources of light in the room were from a few small computer screens, but nothing else.
Eventually, his eyes adjusted to the darkness.
He...was a monster? That's a hard pill to swallow...but why wasn't he out and on a destructive rampage just as Wheeler had been? He couldn't figure it out.
Sighing, he picked up the toy from earlier. Immediately, he felt that static cling feeling in his fingers, flowing up his arms and resonating throughout his body. Unlike the previous time, he kept ahold of the object. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the feeling he was getting.
It was friendly. It felt familiar. Like a lost friend he hadn't talked to in years.
He decided that in order for him to get nearer to completing this toy's puzzle, he'd have to twist the object, and pop the top-left key to get the three symbols in a row. It was a start, right?
As soon as his mind processed his desire to twist and move the machine, the toy responded. Rex felt that static-feeling gather in his fingers and flow into the machine. Only, it didn't stop there. He could feel and follow that energy. Right into feeling the very inner-workings of the mechanism, like he was part of it, and he and the toy were sharing a conversation.
-Twist and pop. Got it!-
The object twirled and whirred in the boy's hands, finally finishing with the top-left key popping outwards.
Rex opened his eyes to inspect the egg-shaped toy.
No way that can happen twice...
Deciding to try it again, he thought about pushing in the left-middle key.
Sure enough, it moved into place. Narrowing his brown eyes, he knew exactly what was going on.
"I can control them...Tell them what to do..." Rex's eyes widened as he realized the possibilities. He made the toy in his hands twirl once more, a small smile adorning his face.
I can talk to them! I can hear them!
Blinking, he realized how tired he was. Rex set the egg-shaped object on the small table on the side of his bed and lied down, drawing the covers up close and letting his eyes shut.
Rex opened his eyes to a blurry, bright world. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and sat up, looking around. Immediately, he noticed a lab assistant working on the computer across the room. The assistant looked over at Rex to see him wake up, but didn't say anything as he turned back to his work.
There was a knock at the door, and Chris entered. Not even looking at Rex, Chris turned to the assistant and started sharing bits of news information. Rex's eyes fell to the egg-shaped toy, eyes widening as he remembered about the nanites.
He had to tell!
"There have been a few more reports. More mutated animals, but most of the mutations were humans..." Chris started.
"Dad!" Rex's voice called out.
"The human mutations...they vary depending on what kind of person they were. Like what pets they had, what their strengths and weaknesses were...the nanites seem to enhance those qualities exponentially..." he continued, not looking at his son.
"I believe we should classify these organisms." The assistant suggested, taking his eyes off of his computer.
"Hey, dad! I got somethin' to tell ya'!"
There was a moment's silence, except for the fidgeting of Rex's bed covers.
"Variegated organisms...Exponentially variegated. These nanite-mutations should be classified as Exponentially Variegated Organisms. E.V.O.s for short."
Finally, the scientist whipped around to face Rex. "What is it?"
The boy, with a smug expression riddled all over his face, took the metallic toy into his palms and held it up.
"I can hear them!"
"Them! The nanites!"
Both pairs of eyes were on him. Staring. The awkward silence was so thick, that one could feel it with a wave of the hand.
Chris turned to the assistant once more.
"Gather a team of two others and meet me in here. Now."
"Yes, sir." the assistant stood up and rushed out the door. Several minutes later, two scientists passed through the entrance and conversed lightly with Chris before facing Rex.
Alongside Chris was a young woman and a man.
"Now Rex.." the man next to Chris started, "...we are aware that your nanites are corrupted, and could become unstable at any minute..." The scientists exchanged nervous glances before he continued, "...but Chris says that you can...hear the nanites?"
Rex's expression turned to one of determination.
"Yeah. I can."
"Would you care to demonstrate for us?" the man asked.
With a nod, the boy picked up the object and held it in his hands. Closing his eyes, he concentrated.
"I know you guys can hear me...Can you manipulate this object so it twists, and then the top-left key pops out in the end?"
-Sure thing! Let's do it!-
The object whirred in Rex's hands before turning, twisting, and popping, showing a display of movements without a single twitch of Rex's fingers. The boy looked up at the scientists before him, waiting for their reaction.
"It's a miracle...It's like he speaks to them!" the woman exclaimed, grinning ear-to-ear.
"Do you realize what this means? If he can control the nanites, if he can control technology - the possibilities are endless! Perhaps this nanite disaster can be harnessed with his abilities!" the male scientist next to Chris jumped up in excitement.
Chris stepped up, an unreadable expression on his face.
"Perhaps. He still needs to be watched. I refuse to lose my son.."
The room was hushed at his tones. The scientists nodded towards Rex before leaving.
These scientists, for the next two or so weeks, visited the boy to ensure that his abilities were under control. To also see what else he could do. Rex, learning whatever he could about himself and his nanites, also learned the names of the scientists.
Of course, there was his father, Chris. The other male in the group was Mr. James Layton, or as he preferred, "Professor" Layton. Last but not least was Miss Lori Meeks, she was the kindest out of the three.
"Okay, Rex. Show me what you can do." Lori handed the boy a small handheld radio.
With a cocky smile, Rex placed a hand on the device and concentrated. White-blue lines spread from his fingertips and onto the radio. Without a single movement from the boy, the radio switched on, scanned past a few stations, and finally rested on a rock station. The electric guitar blared through the speakers.
Both Chris and James glared at Rex for choosing such loud, obnoxious music, but Lori was thrilled at the control and precision the child executed.
"Great work! You're getting so good at this!" With a smile, Lori ruffled the boy's hair and headed out the door. James trailed behind her, his labcoat billowing out from behind him.
Suddenly, the man began to cough uncontrollably.
"Layton? Are you feeling well?" Chris walked over to pat the man on the back, but there was no response except for continued coughing and hacking. James doubled over, clutching his mid-section. The coughing continued.
"G-get...away from me..." he gasped before shuddering.
"James, what the hell's wrong with yo-" Chris was cut off as the man emitted a low growl.
It all happened so quickly. From Rex's warning shouts to Lori's screams, the man once named James exploded into a monstrous shape. His skin a sickly gray, no apparent neck, spines alongside his face, and worst of all, his eyes were reduced to gaping holes, their lines dragging down the side of his face. Pieces of his clothing were strewn across the linoleum floor.
With a wave of the arm, the monster flung Lori across the hallway. She skidded, but was very much conscious. Lori sat up and held her arm where slash marks were visible from the attack. Blood seeped through her labcoat. Seeing this entire scene flash before his eyes, Chris grabbed the microphone from his desk.
"We have a situation! Scientist James Layton's nanites have become unstable. He is no longer aware of his actions. We need a team to take care of him NOW!" The scientist's orders resounded throughout the building over the speakers.
Within seconds, the building's trained combat "EVO Subduers" were on the scene. Tranquilizers at ready and every weapon was aimed at the creature who used to be Professor Layton.
The EVO dodged their line of fire with a single bound. Leaping over several peoples' heads, Layton tackled one man and instantly started clawing at him. The soldiers open fired upon the creature, and in seconds, the EVO was galloping on all fours down the hallway, tearing up the floor as it did so.
Rex was wide-eyed. His mouth gaped open at the sight of one of his mentors, literally exploding in front of his eyes, Lori attacked, a man mauled..probably to death...and a hideous monster...His breath shuddered as he closed his eyes and tried to forget what he'd just witnessed.
He heard Chris' voice again.
"Lock down the building! We have an EVO on the run!" the man rushed out of the room, grabbing a fallen soldier's tranquilizer gun in the process.
Rex was left, once again, alone. His form stuck out like a sore thumb compared to his pure-white surroundings. He looked down at his hands.
"I can control nanites...right?" Looking up, he saw flashes of light from the end of the hallway outside the door. "Nanites are causing people to mutate..." With a blink, something in his mind clicked.
"I can stop this!" the boy's eyebrows knitted together with determination as he slipped out of bed and into his shoes. Lucky for him, he was dressed in his normal clothes. The boy ran down the hallway. His first stop was to see if Lori was okay. She hadn't stood up since she was hit.
Skidding a bit, Rex kneeled down to he was level with Lori's eyes. She was breathing rapidly.
"Are you okay?"
She didn't look at him. Her breath came in even shorter gasps as she bent over with a groan.
For some reason, Rex's nanites were sending him warnings. The boy reached out a hand to touch the woman on the shoulder.
Rex touched her on the shoulder, he instantly felt the nanites inside of her.
"Lori? Are you feeling alright?"
Her nanites spiked, and he recoiled his hand.
The scientist's hand shot out, grabbing his hand and drawing the boy closer. He stared at her hand. The skin was slowly greying and becoming scaly to the touch. Rex tried to squirm out of her grasp, but her fingernails were digging into his skin. Her grip was too strong.
"LORI!" tears were forming in his eyes.
A low growl erupted from the woman as she shifted into an immense creature. Lori's once-stunning smile morphed into a deformed scowl, her teeth elongated and jagged and her gums were now visible through a newly-formed tear in her skin all the way up to her nonexistent nose. Her ears were pointed and wrinkled, her eyes black holes of nothingness. A large fissure in the flesh and bone adorned the top of her head.
Lori, was gone.
With Rex's limb in hand, or claw for that matter, the creature tossed Rex like a ragdoll across the hallway, the boy's body skidded and rolled across the white floor.
"Lori! Don't do this!"
Rex shakily stood up as the new EVO raged. Lori was knocking into walls in her crazed frenzy of anger. Gas and steam hissed as she broke pipes and glass. There was buildup in one of the pipes, which exploded with such force that flame spewed across the area.
There was so much chaos, that Rex didn't even notice his father running up from behind him, shouting his name. Only when the man scooped him up, did he realize that Chris was there.
"We've been ordered to evacuate, Rex. We can't stop them.." Chris explained. Rex squirmed out of his grasp.
"Dad...Lori...she-" he started, but was cut off by a shudder in the building's structure.
"There's no time. Rex.." He bent down to his height and hugged his son, "..our lives have changed. The world has changed, and..you need to remember this. Rex, I love you. I don't ever want to lose you."
Rex hugged his father back.
"You won't lose me, and I won't forget."
There was a screech from down the hallway as one of the creatures tore open the ceiling and attempted to jump out. The team of soldiers with the tranquilizers were shooting at the EVO, but to no avail. Only about half of their shots were making it. The EVO quit its pursuit, twisted around, and leaped down onto the soldiers, clawing and scratching at them. The men's calls and yells of bloody murder rang above the noise of the building collapsing.
Then, all was silent except for the heavy breathing of both EVOs. Lori was down the hallway to the left, and James, to their right.
Both Rex and Chris were caught in the middle.
"Dad...I think I can help them."
His father's hand grasped his shoulder. Chris' eyes bore into Rex's.
"You. Will. Do. No. Such. Thing."
"Dad! LISTEN to me! I can-" Rex stopped and his eyes widened.
His father's nanites...He looked down at Chris' hand.
..they didn't feel right.
Rex took a fearful step away from him.
Chris stood up fully, a pained expression on his face.
The boy turned to run, but looked back at his father, who was already doubled over. Both EVOs from before were making their way down the long hallways.
"I'll find a way, dad, to save everyone. I won't forget. I promise." he choked on the last words before breaking out in a sprint towards the front side of the building.
The building shuddered again, a wall giving way to a hulking shape. An EVO. Rex stared like a deer in headlights as the creature glared down at him.
No spiked features. Not James.
No fissure in the skull. Not Lori.
The EVO that could only be his father now stood between Rex and his freedom. The enormous figure that now loomed over him had the same hollowed-out eyes as the other two. Lines from the eyes were drawn all the way down his face. No apparent neck was visible, and the entire body of the creature was grey and had a bumpy texture. What was most distinct about this one, was that it had two mouths, both of which opened and closed at different times to sniff and taste the air, for no nose was visible.
The large EVO advanced on Rex, who took a small step backwards.
"I-I think I can help you! Please!" the boy stuck out his hands.
With an enormous clawed hand, the EVO swatted Rex away, knocking him down and sending him skidding across the hallway, colliding with a pile of rubble.
The only people that cared about me are monsters...
Blinking the stars out of his eyes, he shakily got up and ran forward again towards what used to be his father.
"Stop!" Rex made a break for the creature and stuck his hand out. Time slowed down a little as he touched the surface of the EVO's skin and concentrated on the nanites. He could feel the corrupted ones under the surface.
Almost instantly, he felt a pressure around his mid-section as he was grabbed by the EVO's other hand and lifted upwards.
And my father's going to kill me...
Rex stared into the hollow eyes of Chris. Their eyes locked for a second. Suddenly, Rex was thrown to the ground, his head slamming against the linoleum. The next thing he knew, he was being hurtled at the opposing wall. He hit the ground and skidded into more rubble. He saw his father's shadow over him. Rex's vision was blurring in and out. Getting hit on the head several times through all of this trauma...it wasn't easy staying awake.
I'm gonna die...
Raising a clawed arm, the EVO swung down at his motionless body. Rex closed his eyes, waiting for the impact, for the pain.
It didn't come.
Opening a weary eye, all he could see was a flash of forest green and the glint of metal before he fell into unconsciousness.
The familiar jostle of being carried.
A jolt that could only signify being on a mobile vehicle.
The boy opened his eyes. Everything was quiet. He could make out a few people around him.
A man, dressed in a green suit, white shirt, and black sunglasses instantly made his way into the boy's vision.
"Do you know what happened?" he asked, his voice monotone and serious.
"What happened...where?" The boy felt confused.
"You don't remember." the question was more of a statement, the way the man said it.
"I-I don't know..." the boy looked down. He was lying on a white stretcher of some sort. "I don't remember...I don't remember!" He started to panic, "I don't remember anything!"
"Six! Calm him down! He'll hyperventilate!" A female voice called above the boy's frantic realizations.
"You're the doctor, why don't you come over here?" the green-suited man straightened up and looked behind him, an annoyed aura seeped from him.
"I will!" a doctor, clad in a labcoat, pastel-orange shirt and gray skirt walked over, her heels clicking on the floor. Her green eyes were friendly and strands of her dark brown hair that was tied in a bun hung a little in her face. She placed a hand on the boy's forehead to calm him down.
"It's okay, sweetie. Everything's fine...You're in no danger." The contact of her hand on his forehead immediately made the boy stop worrying and panicking. The room was quiet once more.
"Do you remember anything about the nanites?" She asked, a smile adorning her face.
Sitting up, the boy rubbed the back of his head. He winced in pain.
"Nanites...yeah..." He looked up and casually stated, "I can hear 'em an' tell 'em what to do."
Whispers were heard from the crowd around the green-suited man and the doctor.
"Demonstrate." The suited man from earlier stepped closer.
"D-do you have a radio?" the boy smiled as he was handed the technology.
For some reason, this felt familiar. Like everyday life was talking to the nanites, telling them to go to a certain radio station. Apparently, this normal, possibly casual action wasn't so normal to the people who crowded around the boy, for every single one of them gasped as the radio turned on and tuned itself without a twitch of a muscle.
"He talks to them!"
"The boy must speak binary!"
"What in the worlds?"
"He must be an EVO."
So many voices were talking, chatting at the same time. The green-suited man raised his hand to silence the crowd. Six? Was his name Six? What an odd name...Regardless, silence engulfed the room once more.
Agent Six loomed over the boy to ask a final question.
"What is your name?"
After arriving at some sort of base and carted around to different medical labs, the boy was informed that this building, was the infamous Providence. The back of his head was being catered-to, for it had started to bruise.
He liked that doctor. Holiday. He'll remember that name. But where was that agent from before?
Agent Six entered the pure white room, a single computer monitor hung in the very center of the area. It blipped, turning on. A man stared down at the agent from the other side of the monitor's broadcast. This man, clad in a white suit and hair to match, was Agent Six's boss.
"Agent Six. Report." The white-suited man demanded.
"We found a child in the wreckage. He's an EVO."
"Neutralize him, Six." The agent's eyebrows lowered at these words, but his voice was kept the same tone as he answered.
"He can control his nanites, sir. He's stable."
There was silence.
"Kid says his name's Rex." Six continued.
"And his parents?"
The green agent shook his head.
"He doesn't remember. Kid hit his head."
White poured a small glass of milk.
"Six." He took a swig from the glass, "I assign this child to you and Holiday. He's essential not only for our research, but for helping us win this war. Holiday will serve as his physical and mental overseer. You will train him and help him control these abilities he has. Do you understand?"
With a nod, the agent departed.