Kitty Hawk, North Carolina December 17, 1903, B.G. That was the time when the Wright brothers made the first airplane take flight. Even before that hundreds of years later the Renaissance man himself Leonardo da Vinci made sketches of a flying machine to soar above the clouds. And decades shortly Frank Whittle was able to construct the first jet engine in 1939. To make a long history lesson, short human beings have always been interested in the freedom of flight. The sheer ability to fly unhindered by machinery , to dash across the midnight sky and touch the clouds with your own hands. To dive bomb with the feeling of coursing wind on your skin. To soar and ascend like Daedalus free from the world. It indeed is the only paradiso compared to the inferino my life is now.
Hello, my name is David Wiseman, and I am now a monster living in a world gone mad before I would describe myself as average looking. Despite what you may believe not every Italian is a top model. Shiny black hair a little facial hair, not too athletic or tall. The people in my high school would always describe me as a man who was "annoyingly nice." So I guess being a doctor I felt like a natural step. It was around halfway through my second year I met "him." I know it's a massive, horrible cliche but it was loved at first sight. He was named Bruce, a cop and we fell in love hard and fast. I'll spare you the yaoi fanfic and say that we got married for about a couple of years before we discovered that I contracted Melanoma. Anyone else finds in ironic that the doctor couldn't figure out that? I was fighting cancer for about two years before Genesis. And it was a long hard fight. It was painful, and at times I was so very very scared that I might die.
I think the only reason I still fought on was due to Bruce. I didn't know what had exactly happened during Genesis. I only remember bits and pieces from my last procedure. I remember slipping away into the abyss, and I felt nothing. Like I didn't even exist. What happened next still made me wince. A surge of incredible agonizing pain takes over my body. My muscles exploded from my body, my bones cracked and grew denser. My already atrocious skin hardened and cemented. Parts of my back peeled to form new limbs. Every cell in my body had taken on an existence unlike any other. With my transformation subsided I laid on the ground gasping in pain. Slowly I regained control and take in my new form.
Once I regain my surrounding, I saw that Bruce was staring at me and his face few with fear.
Weeks later did I realize what he must have seen. A naked 8 ft tall dragon man with wings and a tail. He stood back in petrifying fear and with tears welling, in my eyes I knew that my life as a man was over. I crashed out the window with utter chaos in the streets. Helixes were losing control of their powers as cars engulfed in flames, buildings crumbled and dead bodies filled the streets. New senses overtake me as in detail all too clear I knew that the entire world was ending or at the very least the one I knew. These new wings twitched with almost electric power, and in minutes I took flight. The ground beneath me quaked as I flapped across the city of Turin. And as the city was set ablaze, I howled in the moonlight knowing that fate was a truly dealt me a cruel hand.
I honestly do think that the thing I've missed most of all was my friends and families. It reminded me of how goddamn stupid I was for taking those days for granted. And I guess the thing I missed most about Bruce wasn't his bad jokes or his somehow too bright teeth. It was his warmth. That connection you feel through someone you love. My day to day mostly consisted of rummaging around trying not to get noticed. I'd say that over eight mesi I had done pretty well for myself. I got a loincloth to hide my "other" dragon and even found an excellent dumpster and sewer to hang out. All the while I discovered the new features of my body almost accidentally. Any sane man would have left the city but I just couldn't not with so much of my old life to hold on to. If I'm lucky, I will catch a glimpse of my past life through my once a week flights.
I thought I would be trapped in this sorry excuse of life until August 5th B.G where it all went crumbling down. I was merely sitting in slumber when my ears pick on a sound I rarely hear: people. In a start, I had tried to pick myself up, but I trip on my tail. I curse my new body as I could listen to the voices grow louder.
"We've been searching this damn sewer for 3 hours now, and we've seen zilch nada nothing!"
"Will you keep it down "it" might hear you."
" This "it" of yours might not even exist; it could have been some bird you saw while stargazing. Maybe all those conspiracy videos of yours are finally getting to you."
"I know what I saw Matteo, and it was a beast, and I'm going to find it. Besides if you thought I was crazy why did you tag along with me with a gun and taser."
"Because Lorenzo you're my best friend and in case you haven't noticed we humans are on the chopping block you don't know what freaks could be hiding here."
I tried running as fast as possible, but adrenaline and a slow, cumbersome body was not an effective combination. Every footstep was like a hammer stop until I, unfortunately, see a light shine on me followed by the sound of the camera going off. I then hear the screams of Matteo and Lorenzo.
They both screamed and panicked while just standing there. I tried getting them to calm down by trying to do the whole shush motion, but that made them panic more. Matteo then pulled out a gun as they started getting to a running action. I guarded up saying no, but the gunshot ran out. I prepared myself for more pain but shockingly that this skin wasn't pierced. All I feel is a small flattened bullet plop back into the sewer. Huh didn't know this body was bulletproof. Still, I needed to make sure that those two guys don't release that video. I ran as fast as possible with the two men frightened and running.
The two jumped out of the water, and Matteo lets out a taser that fires into me! Eelettricità lit every dolore receptor in my new body as I quickly crumple into the ground. My mind felt fuzzy with every impulse seemingly bringing further pain. I realize that Matteo and Lorenzo vanished. The first few days after that I was in complete denial. I may live in a world gone mad but a monster in the sewers by two guys in a shaky phone camera? You'd have to be crazy to believe it. Everstill I forbade myself from flying my only mercy and laid beneath starving slowly. The only thing that filled my new horrid vessel was the warm memories of Bruce. I knew if I had that I could bear any burden.
About three days after the incident my usual stroll through the sewer was peppered with footsteps. I had gotten used to the pitter patter of sewer workers, but this was different. They were a lot more, and the steps seem heavier. Caution borrowed into my mind, and I made a break to travel deeper into the underground labyrinth. Near every manhole, I came across more and more footsteps, and again I run. With all this commotion I didn't want to fly in fear that it was day and it would expose me. Then suddenly my skin makes contact with a strange projectile that fills my vicinity with gray mist. I cough and cough for the first time in months, but it was mostly not that bad. Through my eyes, I see a man in heavily armored gray camo and a helmet that completely covered his face with the only thing showing through was a pair of white eyes. WIth a stun gun in hand, he said in a distorted voice.
"So it seems you can be tear gassed monster that makes things easier for the next part."
"Who are you?"
"My name doesn't matter monster."
"I'm no monster. I'm a man, and I've done no wrong."
"You exist. That in of itself is wrong that I intend to right immediately."
I decided to forgo peace, and I flapped my wings, and an intense gust of wind erupts from them blowing the man away into the wall. With the tear gas blown away, I decided to screw it as I could hear more people with guns fire into me. I ignore them as I make it to a sewer pipe. Anytime I encounter one I blow them away and then like before I am untethered from gravity. Hours later I'm in the edge of the town hiding in an abandoned building eating day old pasta. And the days only grew harder from there.
I was scared mindless as more militia from before stalked every nook and cranny of Turin. Meanwhile, I caught glimpses of a broadcast that my mystery man from before had spoken about.
"Greetings people of Turin. I know all of you are alarmed that there is a monster in our midst. I know you all are scared that we've ordered a mandatory lockdown as we. And I know the mask isn't helping. But please understand that my true identity is and will never be important. I'm only a symbol. A symbol to every human in the world that we are not going to roll out and fade while these abominations. These freaks of nature run rampant with powers beyond any man. My name is Tactic, and I'm a reminder that they have a threat amongst them and that despite all their power they cannot hide their weakness. We are here because we Purifiers have entered a new era in which we have become a private military force that will make sure that you people are safe from abominations like the one we encountered just days ago. And we will create a new world order. Where the ashes of Genesis will be forever purified from the human race!"
The public cheered while I reviled in horror. It was a terrifying statement. A disturbing statement. Doubt in droves entered my mind of how many of those scared, frightened people that wanted me dead we're loved merely ones from a previous life. Would Bruce be amongst that crowds? My parents? I couldn't be sure, and that terrified me all the more. I restricted my movements more and more.
However a little thing I realized that my new body required more food and sleep than the average person, so I was starting to get desperate and weak. So against my better judgment, I decided to come out to feed when night fell. I grabbed what rags I could to cover myself as I engaged in my now daily dumpster diving, however, like how this entire string of events have gone something went wrong. Whilst looking up at another demonized photo of myself I heard a collection of opposing voices. Stupidly I investigated and found two men were beating on a man who had eyes that shined like a flashlight. I could tell the men stunk with alcohol. Every survival instinct told me to turn away, but my body moved of my own accord. Just because I had been called a monster doesn't mean I was one. I walked up to them with a wrathful glint in my eye as my presence told them to turn around. A primal roar let loose from my vocal cords, and the men ran away in a terrified stupor. I lightly picked the shining man that started blinking until his eyes were back to normal while looking as non-threatening as possible. A silent agreement was initiated between us. Too bad it got interrupted by a cop stating that I was under arrest.
I could feel bullets pelt my skin as using what little energy I had left to awkwardly make my way up the building I was on with the Helix in hand and drop him off as I make my venture across the Turnin skylight. Using my wings, I engaged in a series of steady ascents. I was about to slip away from the police and Purifiers once again, but I was tired and hungry, so I allowed myself a few minutes rest.
I was relatively safe, but below I saw a trail of flame out of the corner of my eyes. I thought it was nothing until out of nowhere I am slugged by a tremendous blow to the left, and a strike to the right finished off with a tackle that smokes my skin on contact. The wind is knocked out of me as my eyes try to readjust. Blood fills my mouth as I gaze upon a ball of fire that buzzed with power finally swirled to reveal a man in red clothing. His face morphed into an aggressive yet cocky look as he stood a couple of feet away.
"So you're that beast that's turned Turin into a tizzy. Well, so far I'm not that impressed."
My patience finally snapped as I got back up and quickly jumped up til I was right in his face. I am using my wings to create another gust that pushes him away. I took flight as I dove off the building and quickly gained ascendence. I thought I was safe for a while, but my assailant speeded across the nearby radio tower and jumped off it to meet me in only seconds. At the last second I thought I dodged, but then my tail suddenly felt a lot heavier. My tail throbs with inhuman grip as I try doing everything in my power to shake him off in vain. Curving dives and a shaking tail do nothing more than make him advance his grip to my throat and hit me a couple of times in the head. We finally crashed into the radio tower landing in a crumpled heap.
I get up with my head ringing and everything aching. With my assailant alive but unconscious I start to escape, but then I realize that because of the scuffle the radio tower was seconds away from falling. Again a choice presents itself to me. Self-preservation or selfless heroism? The heroism that will not be returned. Foolish bravery that will earn me further demonization. And I focus on that last word. Demonization: the portrayal of something wicked, unholy sinful. This detestable new form that I know inhabit is still me. I remember the wings that gave me the joy of flight and the senses that made the world feel so much sharper. The strength that gave me the ability to help the innocent. In that moment of grim yet revolutionizing acceptance, I laid claim to my new form. And also lay claim that I am still decent that despite it all I'm still a man. If I'm going down, then I will do so with this final act.
With my battered body, I struggled to get up and try to use my immense strength to pull back the tower. But my fatigue gets the better of me, and then I hear a gun cock.
"Stop right there. You may have bulletproof skin but your eyes are a different story," a man in black body armor said.
"Go ahead and shoot me for all I care but at least help me with this tower. "
Then suddenly a woman dressed in a steampunk trench coat and goggles makes her way to the radio tower and touches it. Blue lighting trials off her hand and completely evaporates the attend to nothing. With nothing left, I lay down on the ground exasperated waiting for judgment to pass. The man in leather then put down his guna and weirdly said.
"Okay now that that is out of the way. You've got some explaining to do. We'll hear you out."
I thought I literally couldn't get any worse, so I took his offer. An hour later we reorganized at an abandoned cigarette factory, and I told my story. It was a little awkward since I've only talked to myself for eight mesi it was weird. As I explained my tale, I managed to get a feel for the group that calls themselves Champions. They also revealed that apparently what brought them here was that the news and reports made them hypothesis I was a helix animal gone feral. Those were very sporadic cases. The man in leather Armory was apparently in charge, and I don't know if it was because of my problem, but he was a little attractive under the mask. God, why am I so weird(besides the obvious of course). The two girls Alchemist and Blackout both had very different looks. One was looking at me inquisitively while the latter was looking at me with sympathy as I pour my heart out. The speedster that fought me Wildfire decided to get me some food but for a speedster was taking a while. When I was done, the room we were in was filled with sadness. Fortunately, Derek came with food, and I devoured two meat lovers pizzas. My stomach rejoices.
"What took you so long," said Alchemist.
"What you wanted me to bake like four pizzas then leave the money there? Then let the nice pizza people find out my identity and put me in jail? Just because I can move fast doesn't mean I can zip in and get food the perfect order instantly and have no one notice. Anyways what are we going to do about him?"
" If he let us I think we should take him to the Trophy Case. Turin is too much of a hotspot, and even if he does go out in Philly we can protect him, "Armory said.
I got panicky and quickly rejected his offer.
"I'm sorry David there isn't much of choice. This Tactic isn't going to stop until he's captured you. It's only a matter of time, "Armory said.
"Then I'm not going this is my home. I can't just leave the country. You don't understand."
Wildfire jumped in aggressively "Look, like it or not we are not letting you kill yourself! You're living like a rat now but what do you think happens when Tactic captures you? Newsflash's it ends either in a cage or a body bag. At least you got a better chance with us. I'm sorry I punched you, but we need to go."
"You don't understand!" I said with erupting emotion.
I then started breaking down.
"I didn't want this I didn't want any of this! All I've wanted to do was live my life in peace! I was a doctor before all this, a husband, a son, a friend. I was all of those things before in this city before this. And now you're asking me to leave everything behind. You're asking me to leave the one thing that's kept me sane and human all these months?"
No one got a chance to answer as suddenly a familiar voice sounded on a megaphone. With a small strike force behind him
"Attention abominations you are all under arrest. Surrender now and or not, either way, it's about to get ugly."
Adrenaline filled my body as I decided to run now that I was almost on a full stomach. I ran away as the troops soon advanced and the other Champions attempted to bring me back. I crash through the wall, and again I sail towards the sky. But unlike hundreds of times before I stop halfway. My wings grew heavy weighed down by a storm of possibilities until I shout for all of Turin to hear.
"Damn it all!"
In this instant there was no debate no matter how damning it was I knew that they could not fight my battle. I knew in my conflicted heart that my life as David Wiseman was finally over. Everything I had done up until was denied that fact. All there was the monster that Tactic feared. But I thought it was time for him to give him a reason to worry. I was going down no matter what right? I might as well go out with being everything they feared. With rage in my heart, I dove down like a falcon and tore through one of the surrounding walls like Styrofoam. I scream out with self-destructive rage. Blind to the world around me.
"You want to face a monster well here he is!"
Gently I take every man who stood before me down as they're bullets were like raindrops on my skin. In my advance, I pick up on Tactic's scent and follow suit. I found him and Armory exchanging in a brutal fight he was winning. In a blind rage, I swipe my tail at him sending him flying to the opposite wall. He was knocked out instantly. With a predatory facade, I walked towards him attempting to kill. But Armory got in my way.
"David you can't kill this man. That's not what we do. We don't decide who lives and who dies."
"So you want me to spare this man who dehumanized me every day! He slandered me, demonized me! This man who inspires others to make sure I will never see my loved ones ever again! I've got nothing to lose anymore. The entire world thinks I'm a monster anyway. It's over for me. So why not prove them right?"
Armory then desperately launched a counterclaim.
"Fine your right. It doesn't matter what the entire world says. Because at the end of the day David you are just like rest of us. An innocent man who is trying to live in a world gone mad. Only you decide your actions, not the world and sure as hell, not him. If you kill him everything that he said towards you will come to pass. He will become nothing more than a martyr for a cause that may never truly die. But go ahead and make your choice I can't stop you. But if you do ask yourself this. Are you a man or a monster?"
I raised my hands ready to make the ground quake. The struggle was so hard that frustration and rage made my entire body shake. Every dark thought in my head urged me to do it. But again I find myself and I damn it all. I back away from Tactic and in seconds I slam my fist into the floor away from him again and again and again! 8 months of pain, sorrow, humiliation and mostly rage cracks the earth beneath me. I don't stop until my fist starts to bleed as each blow drilled and left scars on the earth like a force of nature. After that, I just laid there sad and exhausted as Armory consoled while the sound of chaos cried out in the distance.
"It's okay David. It's going to be okay. I don't know how but we will make it okay."
Hours later we escaped with only a couple of scraps and zero fatalities. Already we had made plans to flee Turin and move on to our next mission. With our next mission location on our world tour. I unfurled my wings so that I may say goodbye to my old life as I fly towards another stage of my life whatever that may be. I don't know where to start, but maybe with my new allies as a champion I could at least fight and teach the lesson that was forged on this very night that it doesn't matter what anyone says or how I may look. I will keep my decency, pride, and kindness of any other person. I think that is the only way we all will stay sane in a world gone mad. This is David Wiseman aka Gargoyle and I wish you good morrow till next time we meet. Please stay sane and keep in touch.