The Atavist


Blake’s eyes struggled to focus. The bright light was harsh after being in the dark for so long. Silhouettes filled themselves in and Blake saw that he was standing in a great, circular room. It was filled with dozens of relief carvings and statues. The dome over head made it look like something out of a movie.

            Or a palace. Blake thought.

            His eyes were drawn to the center of the room. In the middle, alone, was a giant statue carved out of what looked to be a solid piece of marble. A muscular youth draped in barely concealing silver robes. The pose was triumphant—the left hand held a snake in its grasp, strangling it. The right hand was aloft, holding a spear made of a solid black material. Blake felt himself shudder at the spear. The statue was beautiful all in all, except for the face. The entire head of the boy was clad in an iron helmet that reminded Blake of an old suit of armor you saw in museums or castles, but it looked funny. There was something to it that he couldn’t place. Before he could put his finger on it, he was interrupted by a tugging on his chains.

            Blake shot the men in suits a glare. He felt he had been a pretty good sport so far.

            He had been going about his business as usual on a Monday morning. Everything went according to schedule, up until his morning jog. He always went out for a morning job before classes. But he had only gotten several blocks when a white van swerved at him, nearly hitting him. Before he knew it two muscled goons had stuffed him into the back of a dark van.

            He tried to escape, like most people. Unfortunately Blake was rather untalented when it came to the delicate art of being an escape artist. He could barely squirm his fingers around to feel the rope around his wrists (later replaced by some kind of metal shackle).

            So he sat in the dark the entire way, pissed off and brooding. He had taken a moment to carefully go over the events in his head. There was no reason to kidnap him. He wasn’t rich (he was a student for gods sake) and his parents had died two years ago. That left only two possibilities: crazy military experiments or some kind of sacrifice for a crazy cult.

            Blake liked the idea of the military experiments a bit more.

            His captors hadn’t said anything to him at all, or to each other from what Blake could hear. They were big guys. One of hem was short, very bulky and the other was darker, with broad shoulders. They had no trouble catching Blake and throwing him into the van.

            Not that Blake was completely helpless. He studied martial arts, preferring them over more team involved sports. Except his martial art of choice happened to be kendo, and Blake wasn’t in the habit of carrying a bamboo sword on him at all times. There wasn’t even a decent sized stick to pick up. He had silently cursed the cleanliness of the neighborhood as the doors to he van slammed closed.

            Undaunted, he was ready to try to escape again. The next time the doors opened he made a dash for it. He took two steps before something hard came down on the back of his head. When he woke up he had a sack over his head, being escorted somewhere by the two enormous baboons in suits.

            Only when the sack was removed did confusion really set in.

            They obviously weren’t in a military installation.

            Looks more and more like I’m going to be sacrificed to some pathetic cult god. Blake thought, though for some reason his dry sense of humor didn’t quite catch and he found it hard to swallow.

            He was led to a giant archway that opened into a huge ball room. Eyes flicking over the place, Blake decided that the décor was far too over elaborate for his taste. The he noticed them. The crowd of people mingling in the room below. They were all in different kinds of dress, but the one thing they had in common was the masquerade masks covering their faces.

            Suddenly the music stopped.

            ::BRING THE ATAVIST BEFORE US!:: The shout ripped between his ears and Blake cringed. He felt the two monkeys lift him by the arms and drag him into the room. The sea of people parted, looking on with curiosity.

            As they moved down the ballroom, Blake’s eyes focused groggily. His head was spinning in every direction. Suddenly the floor came rushing at him and he did his best to keep his head from hitting the floor. Hushed whispers echoed in the hall as Blake pushed himself off of the floor.

            In front of him were a dozen or so steps, forcing his gaze upwards to a large marble throne. The figure on the throne resembled the statue in the lobby to the minutest of detail. Blake looked around for a snake. He couldn’t see any, but high above the figure was a spear mounted on the wall.

            Blake struggled to his feet.

            ::ATAVIST!:: The blast radiated from the throne like speaker that had been turned up far too much.

            ‘Not so FUCKING loud!’ Blake heard himself shout, hands over his ears. A rush of whispers filled the room.

            There was a slight hesitation on the enthroned figure’s part. Blake took the chance to dust himself off.

            ‘Look, I don’t know that the hell all this is, but I’ve got to tell you I think you go the wrong guy.’ He looked up at the throne. The figure waved a hand. Suddenly a woman in an ornate gold headdress and flowing scarlet gown came towards him.

            Blake felt a lump form in his throat again. Before he could open his mouth to speak the woman was holding his hand. Blake felt his heart race as she caressed his palm, then without warning, drug a sharp dagger over it.

            ‘Ah!’ Blake yelled, jerking his hand back. ‘What the hell!’

            The woman walked to a flat pedestal. A large oval stone was in its center, shining with some strange ethereal light. Several drops of Blake’s blood fell on it. Strange whispers filled Blake’s head.

            ‘Analysis does not revel the Atavist present in this one’s blood.’ The woman said from behind the mask, ‘Though curiously he appears to be a perfect genetic host.’

            The armored figure leaned forward on his throne, peering at Blake. He felt a strange wave sweeping over him, as if he was being submerged underwater.

            ‘You’re right Countessa. I do not sense the Atavist in this one.’ The figure leaned back, ‘Though it is possible it hides in him. Bring the Ollium.’

            Blake watched as the crowd shrunk and dispersed, leaving the room. Only a handful of them remained. Several giant men painted bronze moved into the center of the room. At their center was a huge iron egg. Blake frowned as he was moved toward it. His chains were attached to the floor of the room in small slots he hadn’t noticed before. The lid of the egg was removed, revealing a more opaque white egg within. It gave off a faint light. A wave of sickness his Blake.

            What the hell is that? He meant to speak out loud. He was shocked when he got a reply.

            ::Ollium in concentrated form. It is a great weakness in our current state.:: The voice was deep, and male.

            What the fuck?! Blake fought to keep his eyes open. Who the hell are you?

            ::Now is not the time for explanation. We’re in a very bad situation. You’ll have to let me take over. Peor whishes me to show myself. I do not wish to, but it is required for our continued survival.::

            Blake gritted his teeth. He knew they had taken the inner layer of the stone off, exposing a brighter light. Pain coursed through him. He could feel the figure on the throne watching with more than just his eyes.

            ::You will have to relinquish motor control to me.::

            The hell I do!

            ::If you do not then we will both die here.::

            Blake moaned in pain. Suddenly he felt his body give way. As he started to fall his arm moved forward to catch him. He tried to make sense of it, he didn’t move his arm, couldn’t feel his arm or his legs.

            ::Fighting my attempts to remove us from this situation is likely to cause permanent damage to your internal thought organ.::

            Fuckin’ voice. Blake felt like all of his bones were splintering from the inside out. He vaguely wondered if this was how superman felt when he was near Kryptonite.

            Alright! Alright! Just...get me the hell out of here! Blake felt another mind slip into his brain. He found himself fighting the influence.

            ::Do not fight me!::

            I can’t help it! It doesn’t feel right. Blake said, then with all the strength he could muster, he let go.



            Kahmon.’ The name rang in the air as Blake’s body stood and turned to face the throne.

            Peor.’ The voice was Blake’s but much deeper.

            ‘We’ve finally found you.’ Peor gave a mental signal. Soliders in black armor began to fill the room. Blake was vaguely aware of what was happeing, still looking out of his own eyes.

            ::Destroy the Atavist!:: Blake heard the command roll through his brain. Suddenly they were in the air, twisting around in a way Blake could never have imagine himself doing.

            Waves of soldiers came at them. Blake watched the thing inside him extend his hand (HIS hand!) and push. An invisible force shot out, crushing many of the black suits on the wall. Red fire streaked through the air. The thing controlling Blake narrowly dodged it.

            Blake watched as it engaged more soldiers, working quickly, methodically.

            You were supposed to get me out of here! Blake insisted, not sure if the thing could hear him or not.

            There was no answer. Instead Blake turned and began to sprint down the ballroom faster than he had ever been able to do.

            ‘Atavist!’ The woman, Countessa, stepped in their way. Blake felt a lurch of power come from her. He could feel its purpose. It would rip his body apart, literally one cell at a time.

            Blake felt the thing inside of him shift. Suddenly the tide had been turned on the woman. Blake watched in horror as she began to deteriorate, blood pooling on the floor.

            Then they were gone, out into the night.

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