Aberration, Part 1
This is a world where hopes and dreams come to die.
A world deeply descended into darkness, yet at the same time, bathed in light.
As far as worlds go, it's an odd one, and far from pleasant. Its unique set of physics allow antimatter to drift by in vacuum bubbles, not really interfering with anything at first.
But when its field decays... then come the storms. The same kind of storm that took everything from me.
Everything has flaws. In all of existence, there is no such thing as true perfection. There is only progress, towards something better.
And making progress... is difficult.
I was born with a heart condition that would cause me to die within a few months of my birth. My father, an amazing man, crafted an artificial heart for me, and I was able to survive, thanks to him.
Over time, voices formed in my head, and kept getting louder and louder, and more numerous. Eventually, they became less prominent; and I got used to them, I guess. I've never really told very many people about it, but the truth comes out when I verbally respond to my hallucinations.
These voices became my only friends, after a while. Nobody else on the island trusted me or my family. We were jackal Xeeok, anthropomorphic shapes with the physical characteristics of jackals. Mental characteristics can also carry over, influencing personality.
Oridnarily, a jackal will be exploitive and seek to take advantage of people, but my family was nothing like that. Even so, we were all avoided. Many thought that it was an act; that we weren't really good people. Nobody even tried to get to know us, so they never knew better.
Our island had been rather fortunate to go sixteen years without a dark matter storm, but that luck came to an end suddenly. The island no longer exists; torn to pieces by the violent energy storm. The metal braces meant to hold it together failed, and everything was lost.
I suppose I'm lucky to still be alive, but I drifted so far away. I do not know if my family even survived. I had been on this new island for a while, homeless and friendless, with nothing but the clothes I was wearing and what precious little willpower I had.
Eventually, I was found by a god and a desiccator. As suddenly as the storm had come, I had been chosen to be a Harvester; a slayer of those deemed unworthy to live, by both deities. But it was a mistake.
They were looking for someone else. Even so, rather than stripping me of my new power, they left it to me. They could sense the despair I was feeling, and they knew I wanted to survive, so they left me with powerful magical abilities to help me to do so in such a dangerous world.
But still, the desiccator was not fully benevolent. He poured even more power into me, making me a Voidmind, a being with the capability to match all frequencies of the time-space continuum. The price for this was heavy, however. I was already regarded insane, due to several conditions that made me somewhat dubious company, but now, as a Voidmind, even less of my sanity remained.
With my mind weakened, it was a simple matter for telepaths to invade me. Every few nights, the voices in my head go silent, replaced by a new one. Through this one, I learned the secret of my artificial heart.
Inside it was a dimensional hole, siphoning Aether, from the Void. Because of this power source, my ability to survive was increased drastically, as was my lifespan. It also explained why I was able to live in close proximity to the strong electromagnetic fields surrounding my home island. This heart couldn't be shut off so easily as an attachement like a pacemaker could.
This heart was not even operating at full strength. The owner of the new voice wanted this heart, but to take it, I needed to die. It promised me that "the end of Kane would come swiftly." That I would die fighting.
That my heart would serve as the element the moon needed. That the moon would end all life. That once life had ended, reality and nature would come to an end as well.
For a while, I could not be sure that this wasn't just another hallucination. After a few more conversations, it proved itself to be an intenlligence originating elsewhere.
Even so, I continued to try and survive. Maybe I'd find my family, by chance. Or maybe I'd die and never see them again. Maybe they were already dead.
This new voice returned more and more frequently. I had doubts that I would even live much longer.
I am Kane Nalach Teth, The Nine-Tailed Jackal. Nothing more than a joke among the divine.
Anesthetic dripped from razor-edged metal fingers, busy threading wire in and out of the unconscious patient's flesh. The patient had taken quite a bit of damage; it had lost several of the red Draconium plates guarding its weak points.
Uloth was without a welding device, so for now, stitching the plate into the flesh would have to do. The metal bones were probably too damaged to be permanent, so welding would have been a stupid choice anyway.
The Syringe had been busy for a few hours; picking through the battlefield, repairing and reviving the few Aberrations he could. It would've been a shame to let so many of them just go to waste.
These things took time to make. To let them fall in battle and let that be the end of it was a sin. They had a a mission to complete.
Progress. Perfection was something that nothing could achieve, but progress was something that everything had the ability to make. Progress towards the limitless limit.
Uloth stepped away from the Aberration lying at the bottom of the slope, clicking his metal hands together. He produced a vial from underneath his robe, and uncapped it.
Antithesis. A corruptive energy, found both formless and in liquid form. In either form, demons could reside in this energy. It was how they traveled on worlds where this energy was plentiful.
Uloth stepped forward and knelt, and poured the contents of the vial onto the motionless construct. He jerked back to prevent getting any of the liquid on his leather, birdlike face. The antithesis left burn marks on the metal that it touched, but eventually, it all evaporated, leaving a stain and the demon with the Aberration.
The thing twitched and then began to work towards standing; operational once again. This used to be a Moku; a species regarded as primitive, although their arcane abilities surpassed that of most other species.
It planted its winglike arms on the ground, its spindly artificial feet hanging about a foot above the surface. Its augmented head sparked a bit, but it seemed to be in working condition for the moment.
Uloth turned and walked away, gesturing for the revived weapon to follow. Obediently, it started walking, along with four other repaired Aberrations. The syringe had repaired them, but he wasn't going to let them go back to serving some nameless tyrant.
The demons he empowered them with were under his control. Any Catalyst or Aberration that became fused with them would obey Uloth, and Uloth only.
The battle that these patients faced must have been an amazing one; they had made it all away across the island. There was absolutely no sign of life, other than Uloth and themselves. Even all the trees had fallen and burned, and even the sound of buzzing insects was absent.
Just ashes, dead bodies, and rubble. That was all that was left.
The Aberrations had proved themselves to be capable of doing their duty. The five that Uloth had repaired were going to do it again.
And again. That was what they existed for. And they were good at it.