The failed prototype of the artificial race, the Oraki, it was Kain's misfortune to be found, and resurrected by those who bore a special hatred for his kind. Twisted now in mind and body, this monstrous man machine haunts both its kin and its former captors.
Ptump. Ptump. Ptump. The sound of the heartbeat echoed down the corridor, as he perched in the shadows, his patience straining against the rage, the hatred that burned within him. Ptump. Ptump. He counted the heart beats, the scuffling sound of the boots. Ptump. Ptump. Ptump. He counted. Five beats for four seconds. The other did not suspect. Not until he was upon the other, his mangled limbs twisting, seeking. The other screamed, and then strangled silent, his lungs lost as the tendrils devoured the core of his body. Not enough metals, but the organics still had a certain value, and that strangled scream had been so... satisfying to hear from his former tormentor. The tendrils retracted, his arms becoming a parody of wholeness once more. For a moment, his shoulder burst open, oozing the grey goo that fought against him from with in, and he shuddered as his flesh worked to overcome it once more. Noting this pain, and the satisfaction he had drawn from the scream, he nodded, entirely to himself. There were many things to be done, and tormentors to destroy. But where to start?
Wait! Another! As the shots rang out, a black haze descended over his eyes, and he roared. There was the enemy. There was his flesh. And as the haze cleared, he looked about, seeing the bodies scattered about, the terrible rends in the walls. And he knew what he had done. But it was so very necessary.
Adam-1 was the first of the Oraki prototypes to be designed and built, yet something went horribly wrong. His immune system was 'blind', attacking all the pseudo-tissues of his body as they attempted to devour each other, as the over-eager von Neumann nanomachines sought to over aggressively to replicate from one another. Judging rightly that his new son was unable to feel anything but pain, and unlikely to survive long, Dr. Orak threw the kill switch, and after an extensive analysis of the body, he interred the corpse in a steel tube, placing it in a position of honor in the small gardens aboard his research station. For many years, as the doctor labored to bring forth his progeny, Adam was permitted to rest in death. But this would end not long after the destruction of the station by Dr. Orak himself.
Unwilling to let his children or his work fall into the hands of those who claimed them a product of the devil, Orak detonated the station's main power core, obliterating the computer systems in entirety, and turning the victory of his foes, who had finally found him and invaded the station deeply pyrrhic. Yet this blast was incomplete, meant to scatter the escape pods that contained his children far enough that their tiny drives could carry them to safety. Also caught upon the blast wave was the titanium coffin of Adam-1. Unable to escape on its own, the coffin was easy pickings for the scavengers who swooped through the mess, including the Word of Creation.
Cracking the dead tube open, they found a treasure beyond their imagination - A body of the enemy.
Pain. Darkness. These were the first things that Adam noticed as he awoke. As the lights flickered to life, he heard, as well. First the snapping sound of the lights coming to life, then a voice. It was far distant, and it spoke words he could not understand. But the malevolence in the sound of it, that he understood, and fear joined the pain. It was not Father who had re-awoken him.
They tore him apart. Again, and again. And every time, the regenerative powers of his body restored him, as best they could, though never perfectly, and always painfully. In time, they chose to fight fire with fire, vile though this strange technology was, and paid to have nanomachines made that would prey upon Adam's body as bacteria might. Every one, however, found a terrible and agonizing balance between itself against his restorative ability and his immune system, and soon it would be that he would have a dozen and more of these plagues within himself.
As he writhed upon the table against his restraints, he heard that terrible voice once more. "Pain, monster? Do not worry. Soon enough, it will end. You will be our Abel, and we will learn to murder all your kind." He knew the reference. He had been educated, at least some. And so, his struggles redoubled now, not out fear, or the pain, but now out of anger.
As his body fought with itself, and with the alien machines that had been injected into him, it forgot much of its own shape, and Adam found that it began to shift under his command, as it was ordered. Fingers grew from his wrists and ankles, opening up the buckles upon his limbs. And he waited.
As the malevolent voice returned, he waited. And it came close. "Well, monster. I've decided. It's time for us to try the old fashioned ways. You will be our Abel, our sacrifice to ensure the safety of all the worlds." He saw the glint of steel, and he knew what he must do. His fingers were knives, and the flesh of the evil man parted beneath them, so very easily. And he spoke now, hard though it was. He had to form the mouth, draw in the air, and shove it through his lips. "No. I will be our Kain, and I will teach them to kill you."
Slaughtering the outpost was easy. So very easy. Piloting the small vessel attached to it, that was harder. But he had all the time in the galaxy to return to his brothers...
Standing roughly two meters tall, Kain-1 is, at his best, an approximation of the humanoid shape, a mannequin made apparently of the archtypical grey goo. Unlike those constructed from what was learned from building him, his body is fully malleable, and is under his conscious control. He is readily able to shape shift, though coloration and the fine details of the human form elude him as of yet. This malleable body is his strongest weapon, providing him with an infinite variation of pseudopods and blades with which to destroy his foes, shortly to be torn into raw materials of construction by the grey goo of his flesh.
He sustains himself in his crusade to destroy the enemies of his father by devouring both them and the weapons that they wield, devouring them through the pseudopods that he destroys them with. Theoretically, he is capable of self reconstruction from only his central core and a tiny handful of the nanomachines, though they require the central core to control them. Material which is disassociated too far from the core dies after a few hours time.
Deranged from his torture and loaded with mechanical plagues, the once-Oraki rechristened Kain seeks to destroy anything and everyone associated with the Word of Creation. Too, he despises the humanity that gave birth to them, and would prefer to purge them from the stars, yet he knows that he may need the help of a few to utterly obliterate the Word. And yet, he cannot truly return to his people, for the plagues that rend his flesh strike true when he comes too close to them. Now, they seek to put him down as one would a rabid dog, for fear that he will bite and destroy them, as well.
Hunted by Mankind, by the Oraki, even as he hunts the Word of Creation, he has become a desperate creature, ready to bargain for the help he needs to attain victory... and even quicker to kill for it. He still requires others to help him find his enemy, but has learned that they do not always have to speak with words to have the evidence he needs around them.
There is always a haze to his thinking, a fog of pain and terror that drives him to hunt his enemy. Yet, from time to time, he can think only of this pain, of this anger, and the haze thickens upon his mind. When this is upon him, he destroys all that is near him, lashing and rending without thought or remorse, and without identification of that which is near him. When this clears, he is often afforded a few moments of terrible and absolute clarity, before the subtle haze descends once more, and he is once again possessed by his dread cunning, until something again triggers the total madness.
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? Responses (5)-5
Update: Feels undone, but pushing it live anyway.
While quite single-minded, with a sole purpose, sole course and thus sole dimension, this is a very tragic character - and may even be suitable as a protagonist if one adds a desire to combat the madness and goals beside killing.
What you might add are details of his schemes, how he goes about his quest for vengeance, for personally hunting a cult spread amongst the stars is stylish, but ineffective.
That was a fun read. I love the idea of a 'blind' immune system, and I echo Echo's (lol) first line. The character seems quite singular in concept, but the execution brings a ton of depth to Kain-1. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but I have really enjoyed your Starkin submissions. They aren't something I can readily use, but I do enjoy reading them. Good work.
An excellent addition to the Oraki saga.
Frankenstein for the cosmos. I like the idea of an idea such as this but as you said yourself, it feels far to undone for my liking. I'm used to your submissions being far more entertainingly complete than this. All in all its a good NPC to throw at a group of players to see what they do.