Nightmares and Monsters: Part 11/?

by Misty

It is done as you commanded, Lord.

The ancient eyes never left the monitor in front of the giant being. "Excellent. The Awakening went well?"

The body is strong, my Lord.

"And Eve?"

The First Child is in safe hands as you requested. She seems to be experiencing... 'regret' for her actions.

"Would that all felt as you, eh Serenity? It is no matter. She will see all soon enough. Begin the next phase of my plan."

The blonde bowed deeply to her master's back and left. The monitor continued to play, showing a darkly lit hall on the outskirts of his lab. A small group slunk along the wall, as unaware of the security camera as the mouse is of the stalking cat.

The figure pressed a button and the image changed. The hand lingered on the screen, fingers caressing what they found there. A man lay abandoned on a metal table, wires and tubes poking out from his flesh at odd angles.

A suppressed whisper escaped the figure's lips. "I have waited so long for you to arrive at this point... oh, so many years... all the pain you have endured... the rage you try to deny... soon you will arrive at your destiny. Death is only a prelude to immortality, and your time awaits you..."


Serenity had been correct in her assessment of Eve- she was being torn apart inside. She had served the Master her entire life, having been given life by Him; she understood and accepted blindly what was expected of her.

She had been told all about the harsh tales of the outside world. Of a brand new race of which she was a part of, although somehow better than the others. Creatures who shot red fire from empty eye sockets, vampire women that sucked out your soul with nothing but a touch, flying witches that singed and cracked the very earth with lightening, people like the Dark Riders... people like Serenity.

Then there were the Master's "Projects," mutants under His special attention and care. These beings needed only minor adjustments to become One of the Strong. These "adjustments" often took years, and the Projects were at their most dangerous during that period of readjustment. She had been briefed on them all, and especially on Logan. The Master had been watching him for a very long time, and had even made it a point to interfere and interact with Logan at points in his life. One of her Master's plans had obviously been set into motion the day He instructed his capture in the Weapon X Program, although Eve was unsure of the reasons for His actions.

Wolverine and a man named "Cable" were especially dangerous, she had been told, and was then given reasons as to why. While the stories of the mutants had sickened and worried her, the exploits of the two men had made her truly afraid.

But when she had touched Mr. Logan for the first hadn't been as she'd feared. There was an unnatural uneasiness along the fringes of his mind, as if something horrid prowled the edges, holding sentry for what lay within. That feeling alone would have shied her away from looking deeper, she would just do as the Master asked and be done with it, but as she prepared to leave the bloody battle field she caught a glimpse of something hidden under a veil of anger and brutality. It shone like nothing she had ever seen before: bright, luminescent memories and principles. It was the true self of Logan, one he too often chose to hide behind a mask of rage. It was the honor that had made him join the X-Men for the atonement he felt he needed, it was what broke his heart every time he dared love and lost, it was the shame and humiliation at what had been done to him and what he had done, it was what inspired his too few friends to cherish his gruff manner. It was what had made him save a white-eyed girl from being crushed by a falling telephone pole. The glimpse showed so much, and yet not enough. She so longed to be a part of that pure, honorable self that she never wanted to leave. Eve was unsure how long she had stayed nestled inside his essence, secure and safe and unnoticed. Serenity had bullied her way into her mind and made her go back to her own body. As her eyes fluttered open she had never felt so disheartened about her life... never felt so utterly alone...

Eve made her decision and looked around the room the Dark Riders had placed her in for safe keeping. The only other being there was Manta. The reptilian thing was perched in front of the doorway, blocking both her exit and anyone's entrance. It's beady black eyes never strayed from her as she moved closer to it. The predatory gleam in them made her shiver.

As she sidled towards the door she entered it's mind. It was a greasy, nasty, violent thing, churning with primordial desires and thoughts. Her shivers intensified to full trembling.

She had always known she could read the thoughts of the Dark Riders; it had never been in question. The first and only time she had was when they were introduced to each other as children. Just a brief mental nod to say "hello" was all she had intended, but was never given the chance to. Her tentative attempt had been met by horrifying hostility and rage. It had told her all that she had needed to know about her "friends."

Now, however, she felt the end justified the means. Manta, she whispered directly into his cerebral cortex. Please close your eyes.

Manta's eye's closed.

When I go out that door, I don't want you to follow me. And don't tell anyone I'm gone either...Okay?

Manta's head bobbed up and down mechanically.

Eve opened the door and walked into the hallway. The Awakening had already begun, and Mr. Logan could not be exposed to the Restructuring or the warmth she knew was in his mind would be warped and twisted forever. Mr. Logan's friends had to be warned. They were in mortal danger.