Part 3: Circle Complete

(posted Tuesday, February 08, 2005)

Vast areas of Paragon lay in ruins. Dmitriy was drawn there, both out of curiosity, and survival. He felt something of a kinship, having his home destroyed too, but also there was going to be a need for workers, to clean up the mess and rebuild.

Paragon Construction, a subsidiary of Crey Industries, won the contract to clean up the mess and was looking for just about anyone they could get their hands on. Dimtiry was once again employed, with some hope of capturing the American Dream.

Crey Research’s Paragon Protector program was going well, but they needed a guinea pig for a new power-imbuement methodology. The test required the immolation of a live test subject. They were past the animal phase, and required human material. Since there was little to no chance the subject would survive, they knew that it would need to be done surreptitiously. The real science would be done in the autopsy.

Examining all the resource they had at hand, i.e., their employees, they decided that a staged industrial accident would fit the bill nicely. After a close examination of employee records and histories a picture perfect test subject was found. An elderly man, with no family, who works with explosive gases, Dimitriy.

Dimitriy was working clean up detail. Dimitriy’s job was to cut thru rebar so it was easier to move broken concrete. Today was a little odd, as he was working alone in an isolated portion of the work site. But Dimitriy was a seasoned veteran, and it wasn’t the first time he worked on his own. He was excited, maybe this willingness to let him work alone was a show of trust, a respect for his talents, maybe this could lead to bigger things. Maybe if he did well he could get a crew to supervise, like he old days. All these things were going thru his mind when he lit the torch that triggered the explosion.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion. The sparker was set to the torches nozzle… Dimitriy casually looks over at his tanks with happy thought in his mind… sees the odd little box attached to his tank… thinking nothing of it… lights the spark… sees an LED begin to blink on the little box… see the tank rupture at the point of connection with the tank… sees the ball of reddish green flam expand out of the rupture… sees his skin melt off his.

All his life Dimitry had dealt with survivor’s guilt. Now he knew what his family had suffered. Though in pain, from burning and betrayal, Dimitriy was able to reach some measure of peace. He was to die as his family did. The circle was complete.

Crey medical personnel were on the scene immediately. While they knew they couldn’t exactly “hide” the accident, the cover story was simple and clear. Elderly worker had gone off on his own, working where he shouldn’t, and bit off more than he could chew. Crey would continue to hire older workers of course! In fact, as a show of good faith they would even take care the memorial and interment of this now dead indigent worker.

However things did not go as planned. As the med team began to set up shop a brilliant green glow started to emanate from the charred remains. Within seconds Dimitiy’s body was whole. There stood Dimitry, much to the surprise of the med team, and Dimitry.

As members of the med team reached for Dimitriy he made a back handed swipe with his powerful hand, expecting to knock back his opponents, instead he seemed to cover them in smoke and ash. He used this opportunity to escape.

He knew he had been betrayed. He had heard the rumors about Crey, but now he knew them for what they really were. And he knew now he had been changed. His bones did not creak and pain him like they used to. In fact, he looked 30 years younger; he was no spring chicken, but his hair was back to being salt-pepper and there was only a hint of crows feet around the eyes.

At the moment of his death and re-birth he reached a moment of clarity. The American Dream is a lie, and Soviet Russia was a failed experiment. But to fight for the ideal, where people can chose who leads them, in a world where corporations are owned and run by the collective for the betterment of the people, that is what is worth fighting for. Knowing Crey would be eager to find him, and that the CCCP had been moved to Paragon in an act of “friendship”, The Workers’ Torch path was clear.