Irregulars: Origin of the Species: Epitaph/ Epilogue

Epilogue/ Epitaph

Dr. Donna Invadente;
It has been too long since we’ve talked, and so much has changed. Tonight, things may change, and never be the same again, for any of us.
I have lived long enough to see my dreams become nightmares. To see my noble intentions set aside for success, wealth, and power. As often as I try to remember those dreams and intentions, they are clouded from me, as if, perhaps, they never were.
All that remains are machinations far out of my control, and influence, dwindled down to nothing.
That is why I have copied my last journal entry into this email, for you, “Dr. Donna Invadente”, my pushy woman. You were always more than a colleague to me. You were my friend, my confident. I wanted you, and you alone, to receive this message, so that someone will know these are my words, with my own hand. So someone will know my true intentions, and that they weren’t all evil.
I still remember our opponents, the people I used to refer to as “close-minded, religious zealots”. They saw what we started, what we created, as abominations. They feared Rodentia was sent by dark forces to set mankind on a path of self-destruction through scientific hubris. The most popular sentiment came from the weakest of minds. Their claim was that irregulars were monsters. That the creations in your’s and Dr. Kohl’s labs were an affront to God and life and everything that is good and natural.
Despite their words and self-righteous venom, I still believed in what we did, and our success showed them there were no limits mankind could not achieve.
But the arrival of one being set in motion the harsh reality I, and the world, now face.
His arrival was also the source of your dinosaur DNA. The story you were told was as fictional as that Michael Crichton novel. But it was his method of arrival that attracted the most interest. You see, this being came from another word, another dimension, via a device he invented.
I know you’ve heard the rumors whispered and mocked amongst our colleagues. But you must believe me that the most unbelievable things you’ve heard are true. Not only did this being and the dinosaurs come to our world from another, but they were irregulars. You yourself often sent queries about the ease of compatibility of the DNA samples. It’s because they were already irregulars.
Despite these incredible discoveries, it was the device that drew Shingen Kawaga’s attention. That attention became an obsession. It is the reason that my proposals were discarded, and I was forced to increase Cat Clan production. It was the reason Kawaga’s power structure was consolidated. No one understood his single-mindedness.
But I did, thanks to the being who invented and piloted the device. An irregular raven named Stringfellow.
Before he was sent into that abysmal pit under New York City, I had a chance to talk to him. I wanted to learn about him, his world, and the irregulars that lived there. He readily offered up knowledge about his world, the device that destroyed it, and the guilt and fear he felt about bringing such a thing to this world.
I ignored his warnings, and fears. But long after he was taken away, they haunted me.
I used his knowledge to find a usefulness again among Kawaga’s organization. I told myself I was trying to steer the project in a better direction. But Stringfellow’s voice never went away. It grew louder and louder. As it did, I began to see what I had denied for so long.
All of my actions were not from an evil intent. But ignoring his pleas was. Despite all my success, power and wealth, I was still that short, fat, shabby lab assistant, yearning for acknowledgment by those I deemed better than I. The first chance I had to make something of my dreams, I sold them to the highest bidder. I co-opted everything I wanted just so I could meet with the approval of my so-called betters. All of this was never so evident as it was when I ignored the pleas of a being to stave off destruction, all so I could regain some measure of importance.
This shame has grown, and continued to grow, over these past few years. I wish I could say I found the courage to do something about it all. But I haven’t. I’ve leaked the occasional file, with hopes someone would do the thing I could not. But the path remains constant.
Now, tonight, after numerous tests, the device is ready. I have no idea what will happen if the device is fully activated. All I know is that Stringfellow begged me to stop Kawaga from creating that device. I didn’t. Instead, I stood alongside and did nothing of worth.
Perhaps the only thing of worth I’ve done is create irregulars. Part of me still envisions a world where they are a part of it, helping mankind, in one form or another. Like Stringfellow’s world. But if this device is as disruptive as Stringfellow told me, and accomplishes even half of what he said, then I fear for the fate of mankind, and this world.
I tell you this now, because I know not what the future holds. I tell you this hoping you will not think less of me, and that you know that of all those I have worked with and known, you were the one I respected the most.

Dr. Osaka Lo

 

***

Fine grains of nearly pure white sand cover a brown rectangle.
A slender shadow is cast over the rectangle. The shadow crouches down and a long, feminine hand gently wipes the sand away to reveal a book with a leather cover. The sun and sand have worn away the cover, tanning away the former softness, making the leather hard and tough. There are lines along the edge and across the cover that once held gold trim, but are long gone. Deeper indentations two thirds of the way up the cover indicate where letters were once imprinted.
Delicate fingers slowly feel their away across the letters, trying to sense what eyes can barely see.
“Lo.” she whispers, pausing, recalling words she is still learning, from a language spoken by the ancients. Her lips slowly form the last word and hesitantly say, “sak?” There are other indentations, but she can’t determine them. “Losak.” she repeats.
She gingerly opens the book and is startled by the density of the writing within. She runs her fingers along the beginning of the mass of words and letters. Finally, she speaks the words as she imagines how they sounded when written down.
“I’m not a bad man.” she says, haltingly, “My lies were necessary.”
Her eyes slowly rise up from the page. They follow a faint line of footprints that trail off, down the slope of sand, and across hardened basin, towards a massive spire of glass. It looks like something from the ancient texts and pictures, called a skyscraper. Smoke trails out of the top. At it’s base, debris is scattered.
“Losak.” she whispers in awe. She turns back. Behind her, a large caravan of beings, humans and not, with wooden wagons, covered in animal skins, carrying only what they need. She points towards skyscraper in the distance. “Losak!”
Cheers go up throughout the caravan, along with whispers of awe and excitement.
She quickly follows the footprints down the slope.
The others, despite their numbers and dangers of traveling down such a slope, are right behind her.

*****

 

Irregulars: Origin of the Species Copyrighted © 2010-2013 Mark James MacKinnon.
Any use of these characters, without permission, is strictly prohibited. Any similarities to individuals, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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