Cain's head split from the blinding pain. He lost track of how long he'd been in this oppressive dark metal room, but he had long since lost hope and teetered on the brink of sanity. He wore a torn white prisoner smock and was drenched in sweat.
For what seemed an eternity, though only hours in reality, he'd been in this room where a piercing high-pitched siren blared at an ear-splitting volume. Pain shot through him in waves as the noise blinded him to all else. It was enough to drive a lesser man insane, though unbeknown to his captors he had endured similar tortures at Andersonville Federal Military Prison during the war.
He'd trained his mind during that time to go to a place where no one could hurt him, a place where nothing else existed. An empty void free of pain, free of hurting where he was the only thing that existed in an entire universe of nothingness. It wasn't working.
Cain's throat was horse from screaming yet he still uttered an agonizing cry which could not be heard due to the hellish blaring from hidden speakers.
Suddenly, it was gone.
He was curled in a fetal position, crying and sweating and blood dripping from his lip where he'd bitten down hard. His eyes slowly adjusted to the light as a brightness emanated from the far end of the room If there was a god in heaven, this would be death and he would be granted a blessed end to the infernal howl. Slowly, he began to focus and realized that it was not death, but the door opening and several figures moving into the room. He strained to
focus and struggled to get to his feet.
He recognized the crimson-haired hell-hag Gwendolyn Andrews with a security team in full tactical gear brandishing pulse rifles and stunners. He was in no condition to fight despite his urgent desire to rip Gwen's heart from her chest. Were he in better condition, he would do it and hope he killed her before her guards could take him down.
"I will speak with you now," she said with a cold, unfeeling gaze. "We meet again, Jacob Cain, for the final time I'm afraid."
Cain tried to issue a litany of curses, but they came out only as rough coughing. "I told you I know nothing," he croaked. "Is this some kind of sick fucking game to you?"
Three times Stark and Gwen had come to him and three times he'd told them, truthfully, that he had no idea how to access Sybil nor how to find his comerades. He'd punctuated his replies with liberal curses, which earned him painful rebukes. But he knew it all now, Stark...the genome program...the Templars.
In all his years he'd never heard of anything so hideous.
"And I believe you," she replied. "Ms. Chamberlain told us everything. Pity she proved more reasonable than you. Things could have been much different."
The ego seldom believes it has truly lost, but Cain could not decide whether he was grateful that the pain might now stop or horrified that Rikka had actually given Stark what he wanted.
"I told you I won't be a part of your fucking games," he said. "So what does it all prove? That an interplanetary organization with vast funding integrated into the government can break the will of one girl? I swear on your grave...I will see you die painfully."
Gwen laughed. "Defiant even in defeat. I must say, you *are* a real piece of work."
"I must say you are a real piece of shit. Why not call off the goon squad and settle this just between us."
"Anger and passion. You've never believed in anything your entire life, Jacab Cain. Oh you have from time to time, but every time those beliefs turned out to be ill-placed. But now, for the first time in your life you feel real passion burning inside of you. Even now you are deadly. I see the hate burning in your eyes as you gaze at me now. I give this to you, Jacob Cain. I make this possible. I am the wellspring from which you flow, and when I am gone there will be nothing left for you. Such a pity."
"A cleansing fire is coming to the universe, and when it comes humanity will change forever. The weak die and the strong survive. It's been the law of evolution since the dawn of life. Adaptability, strength and intelligence. Who's to say whether we are simply doing evolution's work? Humans are unique in adapting their environments to suit their needs, so perhaps what we are doing is itself a natural evolutionary step?"
"And what gives you the right to decide what's 'perfect'?" spat Cain. "So far, your definition of perfection is flawed, Gwen. You're fucking psychotic. You're evil!"
"Your evil is my good," replied Gwen coolly. "So save your breath, Mr. Cain. I am the zenith of five hundred years of genetic research while you are a symbol of a bankrupt, outdated culture than will not survive the new order."
Gwen laughed grimly. "No, I'm not crazy. I shall see the universe ruled by the only race that was created in perfection. There will be no room for the weak, the ugly, the unclean...the vermin like you."
"Go to hell!"
"Our day of conquest is on coming. On a day soon, we will make our presence known to humanity. A day when humanity is in its darkest hour and calling out for a savior. We will be that savior. Hundreds of thousands of genetically-perfect minds, an army of invincible warriors, will rise up and side with me!"
"You believe you're a god but you think like a murderer."
"That, dear Cain I will leave to the judgment of posterity," she replied. Turning to her guards she said, "Take him to the nearest airlock and kill him."
"Jacob Cain," she said as she turned to leave. "I bid you adieu."
Cain continues here