In the previous episode, readers voted that the meeting between L Strider, Gamma, Mr. Red, Raphael Fantassa, and Vance De Phial be to discuss the origins of the karayans.
Raphael, who has been lazily lounging in the chair, suddenly springs to his feet. He straightens the white lab coat he is wearing, and adjusts his black framed glasses. Inside his skull the gears of his mind begin spinning wildly with thought. After a brief moment, he has a look of epiphany; the perfect thought comes to the forefront of his brain.
Looking straight at Mr. Red and Strider, he asks, “Ever since I came across Gamma, I have been questioning the existence of your kind. Though you may appear human, it is clear that you’re not. What is a karayan?”
“I, too, am a bit curious,” Vance chimes in, still sitting patiently at his desk. “Mr. Red, you have been at my side for quite some time, yet you keep your origins a mystery. I believe it is time that we know.”
Strider and Mr. Red both exchange glances with one another, as if they struggle to come up with the right words to give. Gamma, on the other hand, simply stares at the group with a blank expression. Obviously he has nothing to contribute to the explanation of their kind. Eventually, it is Strider that steps forward with a tired sigh.
“We have been called many things throughout the course of history,” he speaks calmly, “Angels, demons, and demigods; to name a few.”
“Of course all those are wrong,” Mr. Red adds. “We are, or rather we were, human. Simply put, we are the next step in human evolution.”
L Strider picks up the explanation, “We are stronger, more durable, and live longer. And of course, each of us has are own unique ability. For example, I am able to manipulate all matter just by thought.”
“So long as the light doesn’t touch it,” Mr. Red points out with a devious smirk.
Raphael jumps in with a follow-up question, “Exactly how many of you are there?”
“We are small in number,” Strider is the one who answers. “Humans believe themselves to be the final step of evolution. They have never considered themselves to be only a stepping stone. Thus, not many karayans exist.”
“And what about you,” Vance raises another question. “From what Raphael and I have observed, the three of you have some connection with one another.”
Mr. Red looks from Gamma to L Strider, before answering for the group of karayans, “That is because we are the first humans to become karayans.”
“And the fact that we are brothers,” Strider adds. “When we became karayans, I took on the name Alpha, being the eldest. Red, as he calls himself now, went by Beta. And lastly, our little brother became Gamma.”
“Our lives became eternal,” Red speaks calmly, “And over time, you could say that Alpha and I began to develop different opinions.”
Strider shoots Mr. Red a dark look, and says, “I wished to teach others how to advance to the next step, and become karayans as well. Beta, on the other hand, saw our evolution as a sign from a higher power. He believed that we were meant to rule over mankind.”
“And what did Gamma believe?” Raphael asks, looking over his shoulder to the childish karayan.
Strider lets out a regrettable sigh, “Unfortunately, his power was too much for his young mind. It drove him to madness. Because of that, neither Beta nor I could see our goals come to fruition.”
An enthusiastic smile spreads over Raphael’s lips, “Oh? Is his ability that problematic?”
“It is,” Mr. Red growls. “Nightmare Fuel is the most terrifying ability gained by any karayan. Of course, such a terrible power fell into the hands of an idiotic child.” He growls louder, “If only I had that power.”
Mr. Red scowls at his younger brother, who looks back at him with a sweet smile. Behind Gamma are the swirling eyes, which appear to shelter and protect him like maddening guardians. But then, Raphael stands in the way of the childish karayan, acting as another protector. He holds his ground with arms folded, and a conniving grin kept on his face.
“Do either of you know what Gamma wants?” he asks the pair with an air of confidence.
Both Mr. Red and L Strider are taken aback by such a question. Never before did they consider the wants of their little brother. For the longest time he has been a harbinger of destruction and turmoil. They look to one another for some sort of clue, but neither appears to have an answer. All they can do is shake their heads. While they give their answer, the pair of karayans watch as the violet eyes wrap around Raphael, as if they are embracing him like a child would a parent.
Glancing back to Gamma again, Raphael confirms, “He wants to be rid of his powers, his curse. While the two of you claim to be superior beings, he desires nothing more than to become a normal human again. Knowing that, I made the contract with him. I had a theory of how to extract his power, and thanks to your little story, Strider, I now know it is possible.”
Vance suddenly counters, “And what do you get in return? I know you, Raphael. You do not act out of charity. You’re after something.”
An icy laugh escapes from Raphael’s throat, “I suppose you do know me too well, old friend. It is true I am getting something out of making Gamma human. Unfortunately for him, his karayan abilities cannot be eliminated. Therefore, I will have to transfer them into me. I will become a karayan, and gain all of his powers, including the nightmarish illusions.”
“You’ll end up just like him,” Vance shouts, rising from his seat, “Driven mad by that power.”
Raphael laughs mockingly, “Please. My intelligence surpasses a simple child. I know I can control it.”
“How,” Strider barks, utterly baffled, “How can you take the traits of a karayan?”
“It is surprisingly simple,” Raphael says with a reassuring chuckle. “Studying Gamma has revealed that your great abilities are concentrated in your blood. A blood transfusion will make it possible.”
“That sounds interesting,” Red growls with glee.
The well-dressed karayan claws at his attire, shredding his suit and shirt. Underneath the cloth are three sets of monstrous mouths covering his torso. Each has a set of enormous fangs that gnash harshly, as if each appears to have been rudely awakened. Mr. Red himself appears to be smiling with shark-like fangs. Drool leaks from every mouth on his body, which a number of tongues quickly laps up.
“So the blood is the key,” he says with a carnivorous smile. “Well then, I suppose I will just have to have a taste of my little brother. If you want it, human, you better hurry. I’m starving for power!”
Realizing he has said too much, Raphael nervously jokes, “Care to see who gets him first?” Vote now on what will happen next by clicking view poll.