Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Capricious Infection ❯ Act 39: The Truth Behind Warships ( Chapter 39 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
By: Melissa Norvell
Act 39: The Truth Behind Warships
Dante squirmed frantically against the shackles that held him down. His body was heavy against the bindings as he was suspended in mid-air, overlooking the decaying landscape of the Death Factory. His wrists bled and the flesh was rubbed raw, bruised and tender. The Chaos reincarnate's breath was heavy against the stale air, riddled in decomposition.
Down below, the reaper stood beside of his new stratos, holding his scythe and gazing up at the two of them. "Ares! What are you doing?"
Ares turned, smirking at Tarvos before he glanced back at Dante. "Allow me to educate you on a few things. There have long since been rumors about my airships, back fromt he destruction of the planet Arcane by the Dradel.
"No one knows how exactly my ships are constructed. These streams of vibrant color are the blood and ichor of the slaughtered. They flow down the columns into the great vats and are mixed together as par their pigment. From there, the colors are pumped out into more channels, where they are taken to sectors across the factory.
"Nothing is left to waste. The blood foes to a special sectory where the inside of the dead are purged and bound to each other to make walls of the blood systems in which my ships run. They are scientifically bound by biochemistry that I've worked years on to make. The skin is also used to make the synthetic material that creates the outside shell of my ships, along with bone, creating a completely functional and self-operating vessel."
Dante listened to his explanation. He took in everything, and he could lie that it sounded like the ramblings of an insane man. "As fucked up as that is, it's really fucking smart. It's too bad that you used your intelligence to do this. Not even Oz could think of something this smart." It was sickening how much he was impressed over such a thing. To think that Ares was capable of using that type of knowledge for something just, made the fluids in his stomach lurch and churn.
The Dius before him could have been such an inspiring and powerful being, but instead he was a sadistic butcher who made terrors out of his victims. It was like something straight out of a horror picture.
"Most facilities are welcoming and bubbly, but this is a factory of the dead. Up here, I protect the harsh imagery with my billow of pitch black," the words slid like slime between Ares' lips.
"We members of the factory are sworn with secrecy, and only Tarvos can leave. Any normal person would more than likely leave in a body bag, far too twisted and disturbed to utter a word," Sawtooth helped bring an even darker shade to the factory's already grotesque image.
"Many theories on our technology, such theories as black magic, sacred rituals, blessings by the Divine Ones, environmental hazards and foreign chemicals that no one can tolerate. Oz is even suspected in having a hand in the development of our biotechnology...but no one is farther from the truth." It was amusing, really. Ares could only laugh at their petty assumptions as to what his powers could possibly be and what drove his twisted science.
"They might be casualties of war but that doesn't mean that they aren't worth keeping alive. Those people down there, they're just hurt badly. They aren't worthless," Dante clenched his teeth as his body shook in rage. "What a fucking horrible place!"
Ares nearly laughed. "You call yourself a Dius? You are a failure to our race. You make the bile in my cleansing organ turn." Didn't he see? This was Ares' job, and a breakthrough in science. No one will be able to take that away from him.
"Shut the hell up! You have no right to treat people like this!" They were all being used like animals, slaughtered for pleasure and used as material for his creepy war ships. It was diabolical.
"I can treat you however I want," Ares retorted, glaring daggers into the boy's body. "You hardly classify as a true Dius."
"Do you expect me to be your slave? I'd rather fucking be deported," the last thing Dante was going to do was kiss this guy's shoes. He'd rather be used in his war ship.
"Failures like you have no choice. Although my degree isn't a medical one, there will be some surgery going on. This is an integral process and I must be able to use all parts of them. Being the best and latest technology in war efforts is a great honor," Ares placed a hand to his chest proudly. "Call me a mad scientist all you want, but I am prided on my intelligence. You should watch what promises you make to people. Take notice to the pity of your life."
Dante felt the inward stab of the warrior god's words and his glance it the floor. Down below him, he could see people chattering and hear their worried sobs as they awaited the uncertainty of their grim fate, surrounded by scaffolding.
"Are you far from going through this alone?" Ares gestured to his other battered and wounded prisoners. "If you come here, you do not leave. As I have said before, only Tarvos can leave. You will not be deported. You must know that my Darwinism isn't exactly like your human social Darwinism.
"No one is without use here. Everyone has purpose. You will all be implemented into the construction of mighty warships that will allow you to accomplish the goal that you set out to do- win the war. You will all be there reveling in a marvelous defeat. It should excite you to go to such a worthy cause in rebuilding a new paradox." It was a great honor to haul everyone into victory with their sheer power and presence. It was the status that every warrior wanted and needed in their career defending their motives and choices in life. Didn't Dante see that this was the way that things should be? This was the way of life, and this was a way to put their spirits to rest.
Dante said nothing. He merely wrinkled his nose and bore his jagged teeth in disgust.
"I have some...very special volunteers," Ares smirked wickedly. "You will bear witness to my feat."
A woman with long, black, wavy hair and a thing frame stood out from the rest of the prisoners below. She wore a tattered, blue jean dress with a white, long-sleeved shirt. "How can you get away with such a horrible thing? How could anyone tolerate this? It's slavery and torture!" Her sharp tone carried through the air and pierced Dante's pointed ears.
His orange eyes widened in horror at the familiarity of her tone. 'Mother,' his thoughts reeled as he felt sick to his stomach.
"It's more than that," Ares turned to her, "for centuries, all races have been striving to create self maintaining battleships, but no one has had the technology to do it. However, you cannot harvest what you need or even reproduce system like this." It was an innovation that she had no business judging him for.
"In order to make ships, we bioengineer them by putting corpses to use. However, we need a combination of cells in order to hold the delicate circulatory systems together. What we're doing doesn't defy order. These people are all scheduled to die and are taken through the system at their marking time. This needs perfect conditions in order to create the systems. Flesh must retain its healing ability so it can grow back together in the desired placed to create the massive shells and veins inside of the ship." Tarvos wasn't exactly abusing his privilege as the grim reaper. In fact, he was putting it to use. They should thank him for his contribution to the Dius' efforts in war.
"What did they do?" Dante's mother questioned.
'Surely Tarvos can't be this evil. He helped me, and he even said that he'd give me another chance after all I've done to him in the past. I feel like puking.' First, Ares showed him how terrible he was and now one of the people he wanted to have faith in had given him all the reasons not to. Dante was just beginning to think that Tarvos wasn't all that bad, but now the thought of the Dius being at Ares' side disappointed him. He felt betrayed.
"It's a beautiful idea," Tarvos held one hand out with a toothy smile, "think about it, Dante. The real Diablo would be laughing manically by now. Such a wonderfully horrible idea, one that allow my job to have purpose. It works so well. Just think, repurposing the dead and dying to gain victory is as marvelous as it gets."
Surely the boy could see the beauty in this plan. It was a flawless plan and it helped them out greatly. In order to win the war at hand, sacrifice must be made.
"I thought you cared about me, Tarvos," Dante's words came out lowly, and from his position in the air the reaper couldn't quite hear him.
"What?" Tarvos placed a hand to his ear, asking for clarification on his words.
"I thought you were in love with me," Dante spoke the words even louder. "I thought you cared about me! How could you do this to me! Even as Diablo, you stuck by my side. I wanted you to be the one to have me gain my memories back, to give me back what I lost. I even turned down Lannad because of how I felt about you! I relied on you!" His voice was full of pain as tears ran from his eyes. "After all of that...after everything we've been through, you're just going to fucking let me die? I thought you actually had a heart, and I felt bad for hurting you. I wanted...to make it up to you..."
Dante continued to sob; his words reflected the hurt and betrayal that he felt. His body shook as he cried. Transparent tears fell to the bottom of the factory floor. "I wanted you to trust me. Right now, when I look at you, I see no emotion, no love, no nothing...just apathy and hate."
It was as if he didn't care at all about him, and the blow cut more than the sharpest guillotine in an arsenal of torture devices.
"I did love you," Tarvos said the words simply. "I busted my ass for you. You can't pass the blame onto me for your sorry choices. You may be chaos and wanted that in the lives of the Dius, but even chaos dies.
"I knew what went on here the whole time. Lust and power only drives you so far and Ares is right. This is your burden to bear. I am co-operator of the Death Factory. Only I can supply it with bodies, and make components for Ares' bioships.
"Under Dius law, misuse of torture and deception to commit treason are punishable by far more than banishment to the Null Zone. You play it off like you're trying, but you don't see my feelings. My thoughts never reach you. Just another faux promise. Stop building structures on pillars of salt. I tried, while you kept making excuses and refused to embrace your Dius blood. I created you. I made you who you are. You failed yourself, the Dius race...and me. The worst thing you can do is refuse what I have given you. You're dead to me."
With those words, Dante's spirit broke. It was like a bus hit him going a hundred miles an hour. In that moment, he felt his body go limp in the shackles and he hung there, like a lifeless doll. The saddest thing about the grim reaper's words was that he was right.
"I'll destroy you, like you destroyed me! Now! The loud-mouthed woman! Get her!" Ares held out his hand as he commanded his great factory to do his bidding.
"No!" Dante shouted at the top of his lungs as a giant Cancer symbol illuminated in a brilliant, white light on the center of the giant machine. The assembly chains clinked as they ran and a robotic arm that was suspended in the air moved down to the cage full of people and wrapped it's long, jointed fingers around her, grabbing her around her waist as it lifted her into the air.
The woman struggled violently against the grasp of the machine. She beat on it as hard as she could and kicked her feet as she was lifted high into the air.
"Stop it! Please stop! You don't know what you're doing!" Dante shouted desperately as he helplessly watched his mother in the machine's grasp. Terror shot through his soul, and he felt his stomach drop to his feet.
"No! Stop!" His mother screamed as two smaller robotic arms grabbed her arms, stretching them out so she could no longer struggle.
"The first thing that happens is that we extract all of the blood from the victim's body," Ares explained the diabolical actions as they took place before him.
Several tools attached to metallic, robotic arms descended from the darkness above. They had syringes, drills and knives on them. His mother watched in horror as the tools began to perform work on her while she was still conscious. They severed her skin and extracted the blood from her body.
The woman's screams echoed throughout the open area, echoing from the walls as Dante screamed in anguish, tears running down his cheeks like twin rivers as he was forced to watch the woman he had thought of as a maternal figure was savagely being slaughtered before his eyes.
A brilliant red flowed down the long tube that was attached to the syringe and flowed into a larger tube that already had blood contained in it. It combined with the blood of others.
The woman was overcome with what had happened and grew detached from all emotions. Dante's eyes were locked ont he tube that ran past him, watching as his mother's blood flowed down past him. It ran out until no more could be extracted. Metal clamps released her body and she plummeted, lifeless through the air and descended on top of a pile of deceased and drained, alien and human alike.
The vat released a brilliant red which flowed through the channels. Dante's vision faded as he saw his father lifted into the air by means of the same device.
Sawtooth looked up, watching as the bloodshed happened in front of his eyes. Tarvos simply stood there with a wicked smile on his face, and Ares crossed his arms, retaining a sense of professionalism as he flashed a wicked grin.
"I'm...so sorry..." Dante shook his head, trying to clear the cloudy emotion that felt like a maelstrom inside of his head. "I'm sorry that this had to happen. I'm sorry that Ares captured you. I'm sorry we had to part like this...Goodbye...mother...father..."
He sobbed, his voice weak from screaming so much.
"That's for ever thinking that you could disgrace me," Ares sneered arrogantly. "You're a pathetic pile of manure. You make me laugh." He snapped his fingers and Dante was released from his binds.
His body fell to the floor below, landing with a harsh thud. His legs and arms were jarred and he hissed in pain. The repetitive thud of shoes hitting the ground became increasingly louder as Ares approached him.
The warrior king gestured to his clothes. "These clothes were made from the skins of Diodes and the scales of a long-extinct race called the Barrots. I'm a great destroyer. My power far outweighs yours, as does my intellect."
Dante struggled to stand and stared down the warrior king before him. "How could I ever love something as butchered as you?" He spat the words out, malice dripping from his tone.
"Our pyrexip would never overcome this one, you bastard." Grabbing Dante's arm, Ares displayed his strength by bending it. This caused Dante to let out a scream as his bone splintered and cracked, breaking the limb. The black-haired boy gritted his teeth in pain. He didn't want to give in to Ares. He jerked his arm back and drug him.
Dante's heart pounded, drowning out the sounds in his head. He turned and punched Ares in the back of the leg at the bend of his knee. The warrior king released him and Dante scrambled to his feet, taking off running as fast as he could. Ares turned and darted off after him.
'I have to look ahead, not back. There's no changing what's behind me. I have to focus. Ignore Ares.' Despite the terror, the sorrow, and the pain with the evil lurking behind him, a flood of instinct took over. Dante jumped off of a platform and darted off into the gears of the machine. He traveled along the moving objects with Ares in suit. His body did the running and jumped from a gear as he grabbed a pillar and swung around the corner at an impossible speed.
Zipping down countless flights of stairs, trying to shake Ares' murderous trial, Dante contemplated every nook and cranny, considering going into hiding. He then decided against it. As insane as Ares was, he wasn't dumb enough to overlook it.
Suddenly, he saw a hole and gave thought to where it might lead. Whether it was out of the factory or into an incinerator he couldn't tell, but he decided it was worth the risk. The boy darted down the vent and looked behind him to see the warrior king, looking at him as his form got farther and farther away.
Dante noticed that his face slowly twisted into a malicious grin. "You're so moronic; I'm losing brain cells doing this. You should learn not to defy me. Just accept your fate."
"Oh, fuck!" Dante cursed and slid down a side pipe with an extremely slanted floor. He shot out of the end of it and landed right on the platform he began on. Glancing around at the familiar pools of blood around him, the half-Dius cursed to himself. "Fuck...fuck, fuck, fuck...I lost."
The situation was now hopeless. Ares was going to get him.
Below him, the Cancer symbol glowed, bathing him in white light as a wave of electricity shot through him. Dante screamed as he was electrocuted and went limp, crashing to the floor as his vision went black.
When he came to, he was laying on a floor. It felt like ice on his skin. He tried to move, but metal shackles restricted his movement. The chains that were connected to his arms were attached to steel beams above him. Dante tried to get free, but he could barely move.
Ares walked up to him again, and only footsteps and the rattle of chains could be heard as the noises reverberated in his ears.
"I hope you realize how futile this sadistic cat and mouse game is. You cannot escape your destiny. You are utterly defeated," the warrior king had won and he wasn't going to waste a second telling Dante about his victory.
"So, this is it."
"What would you like to say? Do you have any final words, you miserable, worthless, whore of a Dius?" Ares sneered at him, taunting him.
"I can see why i loved you. I was a fool to hurt you...You truly are a god among Dius." It was all Dante could say. He finally realized that what Ares was trying to prove. It all hit him like a wrecking ball, and the wool that had once shrouded his vision had been pulled away.
...To Be Continued