This is the sequel to The Becoming, which I serialized here over the last couple of months. The previous nine installments were just a weird dream I had one night. As a testament to the power of the human subconscious mind, I recall getting up that night to use the bathroom and having the dream when I went back to bed, so the entire thing came about in only a couple hours’ time. It was so random and epic and weird that I had to write it up and share it. And, it had so many loose ends that I kind of had to continue it with my waking mind. You can start at the beginning here, and the last installment can be found here. Again, next week when it publishes, part 2 will be here.
General Havoc returned to the control room where Shelby met him. He carried a heavy air of worry as he proceed through to his office and Shelby followed him in. “What happened?” she asked him.
He sighed, “She made me cut off pursuit.”
“Well, that was pretty obvious,” Shelby pushed.
“We’re going to have to convince Reid and Naomi to work for us,” he declared resolutely.
Shelby asked, “so you’re going to hire them?”
“I don’t really have a choice,” he answered her, “they seem to trust you more than about anyone else. Would you be so kind as to get them for me?”
I awoke to a knock at the door to our quarters. I didn’t even know that I had fallen asleep. When I realized what was going on, I leaped to my feet and approached the door. “Who is is?” I demanded.
“It’s Shelby,” came a voice from the other side of the door, “can I come in?”
I looked at Naomi, who sleepily nodded her head as she sat up on the edge of the bed. I opened the door, and before I could say anything, Shelby began talking to us, “I know that you two are angry right now, and I know that you have a lot of resentment towards General Havoc and the other people who work here, but please do try to keep an open mind. Havoc wants to meet with you and talk about some options.”
“Options?!?” I cried, “our options are none of his business! We’re leaving this place and never coming back.”
“To do what, Reid?” Shelby asked, “you are an eight foot tall ape. Are you going to just go back to your suburban lifestyle? Are you going to get a job waiting tables? You know, they don’t even really build cars or homes sized for your stature. Please just at least hear Havoc out. As much as I hate what’s been done to you, it is done. We can genuinely help you at this point, if you’ll let us.”
She had a point. I sighed, “fine. We’ll hear him out. But, I’m not going to rule out the possibility of burrowing our way out of this building to go and live in the woods somewhere.”
This is how we found ourselves at a table in a conference room that we didn’t previously know existed. Havoc was at the table with us, as were Shelby and a couple of men that we hadn’t met before.
“Reid and Naomi,” said Havoc, “I would like to apologize for the way you’ve been treated.”
I really hated this guy. “I would like to run your head through this table,” I muttered at him, and then out loud, “don’t you think that we deserve just a tad more than a simple apology?”
The man to Havoc’s right had a notebook that he scribbled some notes into.
“Yes I do,” Havoc said. “We can offer you a real opportunity here. We can certainly use your talents.”
“We’ve heard all of this before,” Naomi said, “that’s how you led us into this mess in the first place. The real question is, why in the world should we help you?”
“Fair enough,” Havoc said, “I feel like we can help each other.”
“And,” I interrupted, “you owe us some answers. Why’d you call off your thugs yesterday?”
Havoc sighed deeply, “well, all of us answer to someone. I was instructed to cut off pursuit and to make ovations toward you.”
“I don’t think that word means what you think it means,” Naomi stated flatly, “why did you try to brainwash us? Why did you turn us into the things we are now?”
“It’s difficult to explain,” said Havoc slowly and deliberately, as though he was calculating every word, “the program tends to work better when our front line individuals are devoted to the establishment primarily.”
His cold attitude toward the ‘front line individuals’ made my scalp tingle with my rage, “You are kidnapping people, brainwashing them, and deforming their bodies without their consent. How many laws are you breaking; both codified laws and natural laws? Can’t you see that this is wrong?”
Havoc stared at me for a moment prior to answering, “everyone who enters the program does so of their own free will.”
“Your program is misrepresented, and you use drugs to influence your volunteers,” I corrected him, “give me one good reason we shouldn’t walk right out that door and never darken it again.”
“Reid,” Shelby said, “I tried to tell you earlier…” and then, Havoc cut her off.
“Reid,” he said, “you are a Bigfoot. Where are you going to go? Naomi, you are an Electra. Where do you propose that the two of you will go together? If you stay here, we can give you a life. You will be paid handsomely and your every need will be taken care of. You both have abilities now that you didn’t have before, and we can help you learn how to use them to their fullest.”
“We will not be separated again,” Naomi said resolutely, “that’s my first condition.”
“Agreed,” I crossed my arms.
“Done,” Havoc said.
“Ever,” clarified Naomi, “when we train, we train together. If you have to make changes to the very facility to make that happen, then that is my condition.”
“And, we get to leave anytime we see fit for whatever reason or no reason at all, at our option, with or without notice,” I added.
“That’s a lot to ask,” noted Havoc.
“Dude,” I snapped back, “you have to understand that we have suffered some pretty heavy violation at your hands. We are not your little mindless puppets, and these are our conditions to assure we don’t get screwed anymore.”
“No, that’s not it,” Havoc said, “Electros work with Electros and Sasquatch work with Sasquatch. What you’re asking us to do is completely restructure the social structure of our teams.”
“Figure it out,” Naomi said, with a few sparks showering from the corners of her eyes. I still didn’t have any clue what all she could do now. The sparks were subtle, but took me by surprise.
“We will,” Havoc cautioned, “but you will likely hear about it from the other creatures working here. They’ve all been conditioned to do this one way, and they won’t easily accept what you are proposing. We can mitigate that to an extent by making you staff and giving you staff quarters instead of general population quarters.”
“So,” I clarified, “if we leave, we’ll be outcasts. If we stay, we’ll be outcasts. We’ll be together either way though? I can live with that.”
Havoc continued, “there is going to be friction, but if your friction spills out and causes issues between the Electros and the Sasquatch in general, we’re going to have bigger problems.”
“Do you have a frog in your pocket?” snapped Naomi.
“All I’m asking is that you make an attempt at keeping the peace,” General Havoc flushed with suppressed annoyance. Turning to the man to his left, “can you prepare their new quarters in the staff section, and begin whatever we need to give them their own training area?”
The man gave a speechless nod as he stood up from the table and left the room.