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Fan Fiction Part 1 and Part 2: Mutates

Image from and courtesy of Video Girl

An older woman in a cloak, Adalynn, walks a few feet ahead of a floating orb large enough to hold a being that appears hardly human. Yet she knows the naked muscular creature with caucasian skin and very long thick whitish blond hair is her thirteen-year-old grandson, Browen. The solid black eyes with coal-colored flecks surrounding them like ash usually are dark brown. The nose is typically slender, with a flare at the bottom, but now is elongated and flat like a lion. The mouth is similar to a lion as well.

  The thick neck blends into the muscular shoulders that connect to very long arms with hands that look like dragon talons that touch the floor of the orb. Her grandson’s back curves as he leans forward on his legs like tight springs, ready at any moment to launch him up at her. Only Kaarel’s orb prevents her from being torn to pieces as they travel through a deserted forest.  

A few days ago, Adalynn sat in a cell awaiting execution like her grandson. Only the mutations kept changing like water as she witnessed her grandson bite, rip apart, and thrust one of his ever-changing hands from talons to claws into castle guards and soldiers, killing them instantly.

It took hours for the remaining castle guards and soldiers to immobilize the boy in thick heavy, set chains. These events reached her son-law Brayton; his rage increased tenfold. He hollered so loudly that his voice carried through the stone walls. Although she could not determine what he said, she knew his blood boiled.  

 Brayton built his reputation on hunting and killing mutates throughout the region. And to have his flesh and blood turn out to be one of them set his temper off as she and her daughter Brenna have ever witnessed.

The older woman takes a deep breath and begins to speak aloud. She talks not just to herself but to her grandson, Browen, trapped and scared in mutated form. Perhaps if she explained things, he would calm down and return to his human form.  

“It all began a little over three decades ago. Human mutates used to be revered warriors throughout the land. The potions they drank, combined with physical and weapons training, heightened strength, sense of smell, taste, and hearing, making them formidable against opponents.

Your father, Brayton, revered these warriors and trained under them at the behest of his father, the King. He never consumed the potions made with magic and the insides of monsters to enhance himself as the human mutate warriors did, yet he still became a famed warrior in his own right. 

Then one terrible day, these warriors failed to save his father, mother, sister, and several court attendants that were part of a royal caravan. They went on tours throughout his vast Kingdom to connect with as many nobles and peasants as possible.  

It began well, but a mass of bestiary attacked the caravan on day four. They came out of a portal that opened right in one of the royal carriages killing the horse, the people inside, and the warriors guarding it instantly. Then they got to work on everyone else. 

Your father skillfully got out of his moving royal carriage and joined the fight with the remaining warriors. Together they did all they could to defend those who remained alive and get them out of harm’s way. But no matter what they did, the dead kept piling up. It was like these monsters could anticipate their every move, but still, the defenders kept going; then they heard the blood-curling screams coming from the carriage your father rode in. At that moment, something broke in your father, and hate toward the warriors slowly grew inside him. Your father would not act on his hatred until after the burials. Once these took place he met with his remaining advisors to plan war against the mutates.

A decade later, he saw your mother Brenna at a festival he attended in our Kingdom – your late grandfather’s Kingdom, where your mother and I lived. That day there were sword and jousting matches between the knights.  

As our guests, we gave up our royal box to Brayton and members of his court to have the best view of the festivities. We sat just below the royal box in the stands with other nobles. 

Later, your mother told me he noticed her golden hair and straight stature. Your father’s interest grew whenever she exclaimed in awe or cheered at the jousting fights that day. Yet, your father did not ask one of his party to ask for her to join him. Instead, your father took his time before finally coming to our castle to ask your grandfather in person if he could court your mother. Usually, if a royal person showed interest in another royal, an intermediary would act on their behalf to broker a possible relationship. 

The older woman takes a few deep breaths and then resumes speaking. The time I said previously was a time of temporary peace. It lasted maybe two years before the war began again, the one your father set in motion. My father, Agnus, with three other kings from the House of Brownlow, Milford, and Jasper, felt great sorrow for your father’s loss, yet starting a war did not feel appropriate. So they opened diplomatic channels and contacted your father to begin discussions. He was willing to talk but not halt the fighting.

The war was terrible from the start and the fourth year was the worst. There used to be six million; now, there are less than fifty thousand mutates. Making one is tricky. A potion can kill a trainee at any time, yet the payoff is massive when potions work. 

I fell for one such mutate. A warrior in my father’s court, his name was Allard. Seeing his brethren consistently die began to take a toll on him, and I felt sympathy with him and the few others who remained alive.

Sometimes I would sit next to him at a meal or find him after training and sit with him. My presence became soothing and a source of strength for Allard. What we did not expect was to fall in love.

Some months later, I began to fear that I would lose Allard in the war. I shared with him my desire to have a child. He told me to forget the idea that he could not physically do that because of potions, and even if he wanted to, the war itself made it a terrible idea. I dropped it for a while but the fear I felt kept nipping at me, so I went to Kaarel.  

Like my parents, he knew I was involved with Allard, but he knew Allard, and I became a serious item. He heard me out before speaking, then, after a fashion, gave me his thoughts. 

“Adalynn, I understand your fear. I do. Allard is your first real love, a suitor in your eyes. However, unlike your previous young men who tried to woo you, he is a warrior who fights under your father’s command, the King.  

His father, a knight under your grandfather, ordered his only son to become a mutate at nine because he felt Allard could be a better warrior than him. He survived each potion, the training physical and mental to become one of this Kingdom’s best defenders and, when warranted, fighter.

You may not know this Allard went further than most human mutates did. He drank far deadlier potions than most mutates will ever consume. Allard is among the few who can change their physical makeup to become a living weapon.   With a thought, he can change part or all of his anatomy to become whatever he needs to be, even a monster, to defeat the far greater threat. 

To you, Allard is a gentleman who is kind and loving toward you, but you have no idea what he is like away from you. You do not know about the demons he sometimes has to fight within himself because of the path he chose to become a mutate. I know because Allard has come to me to help him retain his humanity over the years. Allard nor I know how long he can win. The lengthy war does not ease his struggle.  

I admit that falling for you has comforted him, but it will not necessarily save him. I suggest letting this love go. It’s the best thing for you both. 

I got so angry at Kaarel for telling me to give up my love I did not want to hear the warning that he was a monster. Instead, I wanted to see a great warrior who is kind, loving, and caring underneath it all.

More time passed, and Allard snuck back to the castle one night. I awoke to an awful stench so awful I nearly threw up. Then I heard Allard whisper, telling me about his latest battle and how he barely made it out in one piece. The experience shook him to his very being. Although he did not say it aloud, I knew Allard changed his mind about having a child. Yet I did not bring it up; I waited for him to say it.  

Eventually, Allard told me about jinn, supernatural spirits who could grant wishes. He said we could have a child if we used a jinn. However, for the child to be normal, he would sacrifice himself.

 I chose to ignore what he said. I buried the conversation in my mind, not wanting to give it life. Allard knew the risks, and I failed to tell your mother. Now you are paying the price for my sin along with me.  

Your father spared your mother and exiled her but wants us dead. If Kaarel did not choose to aid us, your father would have gotten what he wanted. Since Kaarel stepped up, I now have to do the same. Our journey will not always be peaceful as it is now, hidden here in the forest. Yet I will do my best to use the little magic I know that Kaarel taught me to open the portals we need to get to safety. We will reach the Nascombe stronghold, the last and most hidden castle belonging to mutates. Allard told me about it a few nights before he died in battle. He made me keep this secret and not tell anyone. You are the first to hear it from my lips.  

A few days before, at the castle, Brenna sobs uncontrollably. Her eyes are red, and her nose is runny. She sits on her legs, rocking back and forth as she stares blindly at a solid door; the window in it shut. Brenna can still feel her son’s lips against her cheek one second, and the next, she hears the most inhuman sound come out of him as he pulls away in terror and unfathomable pain. The sound of his muscles tearing and his bones breaking and reforming as he morphed into one grotesque monster after another. If only she had torn her eyes away from the sight; she kept them locked on her son. Why did I not close my eyes? Why did I not run from the dining hall?  

Suddenly the bolt on the solid door slams back like a shot shocking Brenna and making her jump in place. She soon relaxes as she spots her husband from behind the guards. First, she sees his curly black hair intertwined with his golden crown touching his forehead, and finally, she sees his face relaxed except his dark eyes like daggers looking at her. Suddenly his eyes soften, and he walks into the cell, picks up a stool, and sits in front of her. 

“I want you to know I kept going over events from last night and what you did…reactions and everything. I am sure you had no idea about the evil your parents passed to you and unwittingly gave to our son. If I could, I would do as I told your mother – exile you from the Kingdom. However, that monster kept ripping, tearing, and punching through this castle. No weapon guards and soldiers used broke its skin enough to make an impact. Still, our men kept trying; even Kaarel gave it a go; he died but not before casting one final spell. He got your mother and that monster out of here. I could not believe it; why, after all the death he saw, did he help them? If Kaarel should have helped anyone, it is you. Any ideas?

Brenna stares up at first, refusing to reply, but she knows she cannot stay quiet when her husband sighs. She knows his deep sigh too well; it usually would end with a backhand to her face. ” It does not matter. I will die anyway this morning, ” she whispers.  

“You are wrong. It matters. Perhaps Kaarel thought our son deserved a chance to be saved. f Kaarel were alive, I would ask him. Instead, I have this question unanswered.

After I buried my family, I pledged to rid the world of mutates because they contributed to their death. Your grandfather and stepfather felt the mutates were caught off guard, but I beg to differ. 

“I never had a stepfather,” whispers Brenna.

“Of course you did, Brenna, or how else could our son have turned into a monster. Now apologize to me.”

“I am sorry; I will not cross you again.”

“That could have been more heartfelt, but I will let it go given your circumstances. I bet your mother fell in love with one of mutates, and to cover it up; your grandfather set her up with a proper family. But did he know your mother was pregnant with you? He may not have known about the pregnancy immediately, but he could have come up with the truth. So which mutate could it have been? 

I trained with and got to know several mutates. Most human mutates held onto their human characteristics, and my father let them live just like our regular soldiers with housing within and near the castle grounds. If your mother fell in love with one of them, I doubt your grandfather would have gone the route he did.  

 Unless your mother fell in love with someone who became dangerous, a human mutate who lost what made him human, perhaps hid it well. Now, this makes better sense to me.  

For them, the battle became a drug. I know I saw it in a small number of mutates with whom I trained. I told my father, and he considered what I said. He consulted with his counsel, military leaders, and the mages. A few mutates got reprogrammed by mages, and others sadly had to be executed. My father thought this was the end of it. He was wrong and paid with his life and many others as well.

Too bad when your grandfather learned of your mother’s affair, he did not take similar action. However, while my father did act to root out the dangerous ones and put them to death, he did not go far enough. 

When I began the war, I did so with a heavy heart, and it continues to weigh on me on and off all these years later. Twice I thought the battle would end once and for all, but it was not to be. You kept me from drowning in my sorrow, and going off the rails was falling in love with you.

Now all you have done for me all these years is gone. After I leave you here, the castle physician will arrive to give you a sedative. The dose is high enough that you shall fall asleep and not wake up again; this is the only mercy I can provide you. 

Fan Fiction Part 1 & Part 2: Mutates
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