Urazel clung to the side of the building, talons embedded into the maroon stone that acted as camouflage. The mutant groomed a battered wing with its free hand, feathers dropping to the street below.
It shouldn’t have been like this. Out of control. Monsters fighting, gods hiding,
and those untouched by the Parahuman-Process have now become food.
Urazel scanned the broken city. Scattered fires formed black pillars that rose into the hazed and heated sky. In the distance a bridge toppled at the weight of a spongy mass of tentacles. A dozen cow-sized urchins crowd a nearby building, their spines, sharp and strong as steel, puncture the brick siding. Tongues slip from the spines--tasting, smelling, and searching for hidden humans. A ten-legged arachnid with a serpentine neck and crocodile head shoves cars aside in search of prey. A block away, Bipedal blue furred cycloptic gorillas surround a crimson half horse, with its upper body that of a Mantis. It held in its grasping arms a human torso. The hybrid hissed, exposing its bloodied mandibles. The Alpha of the apes charged the insect-aur. The Mantid-ine attempted flight, but its equine base weighed it down, forcing it to drop the mutilated body. It flew away unsteadily as the cycl-apes rushed the meat. The Alpha beat at the four lesser ones, dragging the torso away into a building, leaving a trail of blood and guts for the others to feast on.
I cannot fight them all. I’m not strong enough.
Urazel leapt to a lower rooftop, landing quietly on the balls of its feet. It walked to a pool of water and stared at its reflection. One of its twelve horns had broken and fangs were covered in pink blood of another creature. Only three of four pigment-less eyes were functional.
They are growing too strong. The rotten experiments, rotten disease of progress has given the new beasts strength, and with that they have lost their function to reason. I fear if I do not feed as they do, I will not survive, but what shall I do? I will not lose my reason, my mind, my Self.
Urazel washed its face with the water.
The cowardly gods have gone, hiding beneath us in their digital dungeons. Have they forgotten that we are stemmed from the seeds of all living things? Have they not remembered they are the creations, as we are the mutations of man?
A motion near the roof’s doorway broke thought. Urazel expanded the good wing, arched spines on its back, hissed and exposed all three rows of teeth. The door opened, and an elderly human emerged. He limped slowly towards the wounded beast.
“Hello,” whispered the man.
Urazel stood ground. Thorns rose from its neck and shoulders.
“Please. I know you, Urazel, we humans all do.” The man raised his hands, palms faced outwards. “You have tried to help us, tried to protect us.” The elder stopped a few feet from Urazel who towered over the human, nearly two feet above his six. The man’s face was bruised, his clothes worn and left leg bled, pant ripped at the thigh.
“We, I, have been looking for you for some time now.”
Urazel growled, gargled briefly, adjusting vocals. The gargling turned to audible sound, working with black lips. “Why?” echoed a genderless voice.
“I am here to help you.”
Urazel cocked its head. “Are you a Para as I am? You look weak. Is there an army of you? Weapons of old?”
The man lowered his head. “No army. No weapons. They are all gone. And I am human, pure and untouched by the Para-Process.”
“So what good are you then,” replied Urazel, whipping its tail.
“Because you need to feed. And I have something to give you, something to help you fight your kind. Something in me.” The elder’s eyes watered. He licked his lips, hydrating them with his tears.
“I don’t eat humans. I’ll eat lesser prey or food from your supply stores, but I won’t eat humans!”
“You must do this. It will make you stronger, better than before. Just this one time… Please do this for us.”
“No,” said the chimera as it prepared to leap off the building. The old man grabbed its wrist, cutting his hand on razor sharp scales. Urazel’s body trembled, glands between its groin and on its chest puffed in excitement.
What is this? My horn is growing back, as is my eye. And my wing! It is healed, and tauter than before.
With sharpened sight, Urazel noticed an object in one of the fallen skyscrapers. In the haze of the smoke there was a gaping mouth filled with sharp teeth and a single eye cradled in the gut of the building, hanging on yellow nerves and muscle tendons that webbed within. It watched the two from the distance.
“Hide!” Urazel and the man hid behind the wall of the doorway.
The man was holding his bleeding hand. Urazel grabbed it, leathery palm dry against the blood, and shook in ecstasy.
“In my blood is a source of newly developed material. They are genes specially made by the remaining prodigies of our straggling species.”
The healed mutant looked over the doorway. The ocular carnivore’s attention was elsewhere.
“And why must it be in a human?”
The elder sighed. “I don’t know. I’m no scientist. All I know is that it was difficult and risky creating this serum. I am the only carrier. I am the tool for this mission.”
Urazel crouched so eyes can meet. “And what is your name, tool?”
“Poe,” smiled the man.
“Poe. I cannot eat you. I am not like them,” Urazel pointed below.
“But you must. That is how you’ll change and become more powerful!” Poe raised his bloody fist in anger. “We’ve seen them, those like you. They grow, eating us because we are weak and unable to fight back.” He lowered his gaze. “Many have died protecting me. Two are dead in the stairwell, fatally injured defending me. I chose this, Urazel, because I want to help what’s left of us.” He sobbed. “I am old, and my time is short.” Poe looked to the sky. “I remember when this place was fine. Before this change.”
The building suddenly shook, knocking the two down. A deep groan came from below and the edge of the building crumbled. Yellow and green tentacles covered in eyes rose above and around them. It was the bridge killer, the building dwelling eye a watcher for the massive sponge. Urazel covered Poe, unable to take flight, caged by the slithering limbs. Poe grabbed Urazel by the horns, pulling its face towards his.
The roof collapsed and they fell into the darkness. The blob tore at the building in pursuit, a bulk of bubbly flesh engulfing the entire building. There was no escape. Urazel then bit into Poe’s neck. The old man gargled blood. Four eyes sobbed as teeth bit down deeper. Poe shuddered, dying seconds later. Urazel felt energy tingle from its wings to its toes. The protector immediately began eating, decapitating the corpse, tearing at the skull. Grey brain matter smeared against chin.
The blob completely covered them now. It oozed fluid that began dissolving Urazel’s skin and scales. The winged beast ate faster, sucking out eyes, snapping bones and tearing apart chest, swallowing heart and lungs in one gulp. It moved down the body, slurping intestines like spaghetti, gnawing at thigh and privates, nearly choking in the process. Nausea struck instantly causing Urazel to curl into a fetal position. The blob formed a womb of digesting layers around Urazel, who nearly fainted.
Then the human savior held its breath, heart frozen in chest. Urazel’s cells exploded like bubble wrap, releasing energy of a thousand lightning storms. The energy electrified the yellow behemoth, stunning it momentarily. Urazel’s body curled in tighter till it liquefied into a glowing sphere, thoughts concentrated in its center.
I can see everywhere! Poe, I thank you, for you have given me the power which no other amalgamated monstrosity has; the power of the gods.
The sponge creature withdrew its attack. The Urazel sphere levitated above the sponge and the building like a floating luminescent jellyfish. Thousands of glassy tube-like appendages ejected from the sphere, zigzagging into the yellow flesh. It began sucking up the mass, feeding the sphere. The leviathan’s many eyes fluttered as it was torn apart like cotton, till it was gone. The U sphere moved over the city, ejecting the tubes, feeding on the other parahumans, chimeras, and hybrid beasts. The tubes extended a mile away within seconds, sensing them even when in hiding.
I have become the hunter, and the hunter is now my prey.
The tubes found a group of sheltered humans in the bowels of a building. They were beaten, weak and frail, shivering in fear. The extensions analyzed them, glowing in blue energetic light. One tube touched a younger female, feeling her against it. She stood motionless, tears welling up in her brown eyes. Sensing fear, the tube retracted, disappearing instantly.
Soon I will become strong enough and I will find the gods. I will make them fix things, even if I must feed on them.
Urazel continued towards the horizon, slowly brightening as the sky grew dark.
And I will become a new sun for survival, having cleansed this world of its wretchedness until all that is left is I and the human remnants, which then will feed on me, and then the feeding will hopefully end as a new growth of humanity begins.